Customer Reviews for

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization

Average Rating 3.5
( 45 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2004

    Concur with Old man's memoirs and ramblings

    Laced with numerous anecdotes and boring, irrelevant stories, the author takes 475 pages to make his point! Laborious reading and tough to continue reading. If you are interested in knowing how globalization and capitalism impact, read another book...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2000

    An uninspired effort

    This book is an 'I love me book' discussing the authors many travels as a foreign correspondent couched as an analysis of globalization. His ideas are straightforward at best, and he uses the words 'I' and 'me' at a remarkable rate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2000

    What do you really learn here?

    What do you really learn here? When I was in graduate school 25 years ago multinational corporations like ITT led by Harold Geneen were the concept; today we call that concept, globalization. But what is new? Sure, free trade may have accelerated due to the end of communism and the rise of the Internet but the concept is still the same old one. It seems to me the book is an extremely muddled book about free trade; something about which an increasing majority of economists have increasingly agreed with since the depression. We now know that if you can trade freely with only those within 100 miles of your house you will have a standard of living of: X; and if you can trade with anyone anywhere in the world you will have a standard of living of 1000X. Friedman's attempt to breath new life in to this old concept with metaphors about fine new technology automobiles and old fashioned olive trees just buries the real issue. Sure there are temporary losers, in the global competition to enrich consumers, and those who regret the loss or diminution of their olive tree cultures as globalization proceeds but this has been the case for literally 1000s of years. One can even argue that the modest acceleration of today's globalization is sweet, and modest as compared to many that have come before from the likes of Alexander, Caesar, Attila, Napoleon, Hitler, Marx, Jesus, Jefferson, and Reagan. I suppose in the end this book appeals to Democrats who don't have a clear cut idea about basic economic principles. To them there is no history and each event (globalization for example) must be understood and managed anew by the gov't. For Republicans historic truths are clear; the gov't just needs to get out of the way or to encourage individual liberty. Milton Friedman's book: 'Capitalism and Freedom' is the classic to understand the pure economics of free trade, or, Understanding The Difference between Democrats and Republicans is the best to understand the relationship of freedom to political parties.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 1999

    Cheerleading for a Vicious System

    Reading Friedman I feel as if I were reading an old-style Soviet journalist singing the praises of Stalinism. As Friedman interviews the capitalist elite, they jointly portray capitalism as a basically splendid system -- not surprisingly since it has been good to them. Stalinism too seemed wonderful to the Stalinist elite. But just as the late unlamented Soviet regime appeared less than splendid to the majority of Soviet citizens, so does the global capitalist regime strike a steadily increasing number of the earth's inhabitants as hardly the type of society we want for ourselves or our children. We see capitalism as an uncivilized system of organized greed which is devastating the planet and destroying people's health, dignity, rights, and liberty. Capitalism does not need to be celebrated, it needs to be replaced by a humane and democratic global community. We the people of the world -- and not the profit-driven corporate globalizers -- must be the ones to accomplish that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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