Hope: Globalization's Dividend

It may not feel like it in the West, but this is, in many ways, the best of times. Optimism is on the move—with important consequences for both the hopeful and the hopeless.

One of the most overused words in public life is "hope", up there with "change". Yet it matters enormously. Politicians pay close attention to right-track/wrong-track indicators. Confidence determines whether consumers spend, and so whether companies invest. The "power of positive thinking", as Norman Vincent Peale pointed out, is enormous. ... Now hope is on the move. According to the Pew Research Centre, some 87% of Chinese, 50% of Brazilians and 45% of Indians think their country is going in the right direction, whereas 31% of Britons, 30% of Americans and 26% of the French do.

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