For anyone who cares to look, it will be obvious that the current Western model of economic growth, which has been adopted the world over, depends in no small part on excluding the majority in order to create wealth for a few. This has been the case since the colonial era. The same exclusion that was once practiced by the East India Company is now practiced on Wall Street and its excesses are accepted as part of the system by far too many governments. Developed world politicians, however, are all too happy to "include" others in the world economy by outsourcing them cheap and dirty jobs or polluting industries.
Over the past decade, Latin America and the Caribbean have made tremendous progress in reducing poverty and in boosting shared prosperity. Poverty has fallen by half to 12.3 percent. The middle class -- currently 34 percent of the population -- is growing. Meanwhile, inequality in Latin America -- historically the world's highest -- has fallen, even as it rises in practically every other part of the globe. For the first time, the number of people in the middle class surpasses those living in poverty.