any time in our history. For the first time ever, the extreme poverty rate dropped below 10 per cent of the world population in 2015, and both past experience and technological innovations suggest the trend of betterment is set to continue in the future.
But without the beneficial force of open trade and globalisation, the task of growing prosperity for everyone – particularly the world’s poorest – will be made all the more difficult. Right now, a broadly peaceful and increasingly prosperous world may seem – again in the words of Keynes – the “normal, certain, and permanent” state of affairs. But we should heed history’s warning that things can quickly, and unexpectedly, turn for the worse.