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Global happiness

Globalisation is making everyone richer, but may undermine human happiness. What would a (utilitarian) God suggest?

By Robert Wright   December 2000

For all the discord over globalisation, virtually everyone agrees on two of its properties. First, globalisation is hard to stop. Second, globalisation makes the world-on balance, at least-more prosperous. The critique of globalisation isn’t that it fails to churn out ever more stuff, but that churning out more stuff has lots of drawbacks, especially given the way the stuff then gets distributed.

These two properties are related: globalisation is almost unstoppable precisely because it is driven by lots of people hell-bent on increasing their prosperity. Nike shareholders want to boost profits by holding down production costs, which means manufacturing overseas.…

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