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Global Consumption Patterns
Global consumption patterns

Variation in our consumption of goods and services is the essence of difference in the quality of life and the level of human development that characterize different parts of the world. No matter how per capita regional consumption is measured, flush toilets per capita or televisions per household, consumption presents an important indicator of human welfare. The starkest contrasts between the world's most and least developed regions are manifest in consumption terms.

Consumption varies over time depending on prevailing technologies. Human consumption and welfare once depended on the availability of flint and obsidian to manufacture projectile points. Technological change has made silicate piercing tools obsolete, and access to flint and obsidian is no longer essential to a hunting lifestyle. Until recently, ...

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