Consistent improvements in the economic welfare of the average man and woman have now been sustained for centuries in the Western world. The improvement in global per capita incomes has been especially impressive over the past 70 years as the process of economic growth has been extended more widely.

Global GDP per head in inflation-adjusted terms has increased on average by about four times since 1950. The world population has increased spectacularly from 2-billion to more than 7-billion over the same period, while those subject to absolute poverty have declined to about 1-billion...

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