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Need, Speed, and Greed by Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran

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3

Of Stagnation and Rejuvenation

Today’s innovation revolution is making the world a wealthier and better place in many ways. So why is it that many ordinary people in developed countries feel that their lives are getting worse? There is even a chorus of experts now arguing that the children born today may be the first generation of Americans to be worse off than their parents.

The explanation for this malaise, which was evident even before the recent financial crisis, is the middle-class squeeze. Thanks to the forces of globalization and Googlization, the elites of Mumbai now lead lives as good as or better than those enjoyed by the elites of Manhattan and Munich. With the transformative power of mobile telephony and microfinance, rural women ...

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