The US consumes 25% of the world’s resources and has 5% of the world’s population.

I often see this statement, and it is usually meant as a reproach. But what would happen if the US stopped consuming so much of the world’s resources. Would the third world be better off? In all likelihood, exports from third world countries would fall, prices for these products would fall, third world economies would suffer, poverty would increase, income and health levels in those countries would decline.

Is it not a good thing that the US, and the developed world in general, creates a market for the world’s resources, many of which come from the third world. In addition the rich developed economies create new technologies that benefit everyone. Life expectancy just keeps getting longer and longer, health and education levels improve, and expectations everywhere increase. Is that a bad thing?

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