From the Guardian:

The widening gulf between the global haves and have-nots was starkly revealed last night when the UN announced that while the US was booming in the 1990s more than 50 countries suffered falling living standards. The UN’s annual human development report charted increasing poverty for more than a quarter of the world’s countries, where a lethal combination of famine, HIV/Aids, conflict and failed economic policies have turned the clock back.

. . . The report said the 90s had seen a drop from 30% to 23% in the number of people globally living on less than a dollar a day, but the improvement had largely been the result of the progress in China and India, the world’s two most populous countries.

. . . The richest 1% of the world’s population (around 60 million) now
receive as much income as the poorest 57%, while the income of the richest
25 million Americans is the equivalent of that of almost 2 billion of the
world’s poorest people. In 1820 western Europe’s per capita income was three times that of Africa’s; by the 90s it was more than 13 times as high.

With apologies to the Rav, looks like the bridge to the twentieth-first century was a narrow one…

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