Thomas L. Friedman, fully Thomas Lauren Friedman

Thomas L.
Friedman, fully Thomas Lauren Friedman

American Journalist, Columnist and Multiple Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

Author Quotes

America needs rebooting.

So those landscape architects, financial planners, home designers, and real estate brokers who get it, who become skilled at working to build, customize, and interpret models, will also find themselves with a pathway to the new middle.

The ideal country in a flat world is the one with no natural resources, because countries with no natural resources tend to dig inside themselves. They try to tap the energy, entrepreneurship, creativity, and intelligence of their own people-men and women-rather than drill an oil well.

Using computer simulation and graphics, you can now bring all sorts of data together to create models that will show you how all kinds of complex things work together–before you actually go through the process of building them.

When Muslim radicals and fundamentalists look at the West, they see only the openness that makes us, in their eyes, decadent and promiscuous. They see only the openness that has produced Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. They do not see, and do not want to see, the openness - the freedom of thought and inquiry - that has made us powerful, the openness that has produced Bill Gates and Sally Ride. They deliberately define it all as decadence. Because if openness, women's empowerment, and freedom of thought and inquiry are the real sources of the West's economic strength, then the Arab-Muslim world would have to change. And the fundamentalists and extremists do not want to change.

So what am I? I guess I would call myself a sober optimist...If you are not sober about the scale of the challenge, then you are not paying attention. But if you are not an optimist, you have no chance of generating the kind of mass movement needed to achieve the needed scale.

The job of government and politicians in such a flattening world is more important than ever. It is to embrace globalization and understand that a fairer, more compassionate, and more egalitarian society lies in a web of policies aimed not at strengthening the old welfare state–or in abolishing it and just letting the market rip–but at reconfiguring it to give more Americans the outlook, education, skills, and safety nets they will need to compete against other individuals in the flat world. That is what compassionate flatism stands for, and it is built around five section areas: leadership, muscle, cushioning, social activism, and parenting.

We are entering an era of creative destruction on steroids.

When we were young kids growing up in America, we were told to eat our Vegetables at dinner and not leave them. Mothers said, think of the starving children in India and finish the dinner. And now I tell my children: Finish your homework. Think of the children in India Who would make you starve, if you don't.'?

So whatever you plan to do, whether you plan to travel the world next year, go to graduate school, join the workforce, or take some time off to think, don't just listen to your head. Listen to your heart. It's the best career counselor there is. Do what you really love to do and if you don't know quite what that is yet, well, keep searching, because if you find it, you'll bring that something extra to your work that will help ensure you will not be automated or outsourced.

The most enduring skill you can bring to the workplace is also one of the most important skills you always had to bring to reporting -- and that is the ability to learn how to learn.

We are led by lawyers who do not understand either technology or balance sheets.

When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.

Some would ask what country am I from? We are supposed to tell the truth, [so] we tell them India. Some thought it was Indiana, not India! Some did not know where India is. I said the country next to Pakistan.

The next six months in Iraq — which will determine the prospects for democracy-building there — are the most important six months in U.S. foreign policy in a long, long time.

We need to become energy independent or at least aspire to that.

When you study history and look at every civilization that has grown up and died off, they all leave one remnant: a major sports coliseum at the heart of their capital. Our fate can be different; but only if we start doing things differently.

Sometimes, when my wife and I were going out to dinner, I would take my laptop with me and work in the car, so as to take advantage of the half hour going and coming.

The only engine big enough to impact Mother Nature is Father Greed.

We need to send the message that anyone who orders suicide bombings against Americans, or protects those who do, commits suicide himself. And U.S. marines will search every cave in Afghanistan to make that principle stick. You order, you die — absolutely, positively, you die.

With Saddam rattled, now is the time to really rattle his cage: Turn up the volume on Radio Free Iraq to extra loud and call for his ouster 24 hours a day: ”All Saddam, all the time.” Take steps to have Saddam declared a war criminal by the U.N. Blow up a different power station in Iraq every week, so no one knows when the lights will go off or who’s in charge. Offer a reward for removing Saddam from office. Use every provocation by Saddam to blow up another Iraqi general’s home.

Sooner or later, Mr. Bush argued, sanctions would force Mr. Hussein's generals to bring him down, and then Washington would have the best of all worlds: an iron-fisted Iraqi junta without Saddam Hussein.

The only thing I am certain of is that in the wake of this election, Iraq will be what Iraqis make of it — and the next six months will tell us a lot. I remain guardedly hopeful.

We needed to go over there, basically, and take out a very big stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble.… What they [Muslims] needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying "Which part of this sentence don't you understand? You don't think we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, we're just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this!" That, Charlie, is what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia! It was part of that bubble. We could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.

Yes, the world is now flat for publishing as well.

Author Picture
First Name
Thomas L.
Last Name
Friedman, fully Thomas Lauren Friedman
Birth Date

American Journalist, Columnist and Multiple Pulitzer Prize Winning Author