Chapter 8. Population and Wealth

The argument in this book is that per capita wealth is rising and will continue to rise. The billions of people who are not yet enjoying an adequate standard of living will experience a rise in their standard of living. They will increase their engagement with the world economy and the telecommunications network. They will earn wages and salaries, and many of them will begin to accumulate financial assets. These happy events all depend on the rate of population growth. If population growth slows to zero, all these happy events will happen sooner, and the outlook for the most desperately poor people will be better.

In the late 1970s, I was part of a team that spent a week visiting rural businesses in the Dominican ...

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