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Under a makeshift sunshade by a half-dry riverbed on the Indonesian island of Java, Eddie Sebastian is taking a lunch-break. It is hot and he is tired. He makes $2 a day collecting stones, breaking them with a hammer and selling them as building material. Asked if he has any better tools, he says: “Our most advanced equipment is that ‘forklift’.” He is pointing at a rusty wheelbarrow.
Mr Sebastian’s talents are wasted. Not just because he would make a fine stand-up comedian, but also because he was born in the wrong place. If he lived in a rich country, he would be operating a mechanical digger and earning $20 an hour instead of $2 a day.
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