April 17th 2006

End of the Line. Barry C. Lynn

End of the Line. Barry C. Lynn. The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global
Corporation. 2005. ISBN . Point and counterpoint. For an analysis from
the other side of the theoretical camp from The World is Flat and the
Power of Productivity, comes a surprisingly detailed (for a journalist)
review of past, present and potential US foreign policy. The jumping off
point is the increasing tightly intertwined global logistical supply
chains and the growth of global companies that are no longer vertically
integrated like Intel but are the Dells, GE., Cisco Boeing and Wall Mart
who no longer build anything but push it onto the backs of suppliers and
nation states. Each major icon of industry like Michael Dell, Sam
Walton, Jack Welsh and so on is given some credit for leading the US
down a rabbit hole of potential doom. But he saves most of his vitriol
for Bill Clinton, who is blamed for abandoning policy control, leading
to a purely laissez faire attitude toward global companies. The
analysis of policy predates the War of Independence and is a fascinating
read. Every major author is quoted and plays their part from Coase
through to Porter. What gave me cause to read the book is that what he
predicts about over reliance on single source suppliers all over the
world has caused lots of problems in the technology world and we have
all seen it and still do. Thus plus I see still very fragile production
systems in countries that we still do not really know their end game
but we have certainly seen their mistreatment of their citizens (China)
gives me cause to give this a second think. Not a light read, but well
written. Might be hard to find!

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