A Stepstool for the "Flat World Train."

Thomas Friedman’s book “The World is Flat,” merits many more excerpts. Toward the end of the book, he ponders how to include the more than three billion people who have never used a computer, dialed a cellphone, nor reaped any of the benefits of this flat new world, and subsist on less than $1 a day. “The half flat are all those other hundreds of millions of people, particularly in rural India, rural China, and rural Eastern Europe, who are close enough to see, touch and occasionally benefit from the flat world but who are not really living inside it themselves.

We saw how big and angry this group can be in the Spring of 2004 Indian national elections, in which the ruling BJP was surprisingly turned out office–despite having overseen a surge in India’s growth rate–largely because of the discontent of rural Indian voters with the slow pace of globalization outside the giant cities.

These voters were not saying “Stop the globalization train, we want to get off.” They were saying ‘we want to get on, but someone needs to help us by building a better stepstool”