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What may be inferred about "Third World" and "First World" countries?
The author tells us that it is no longer appropriate to contrast the Third and First World, which tells us that although they used to be drastically different from each other, the difference between them has shrunk.
This goes beyond the scope of the passage. While the author objects to the stark contrast that is still made between these two groups, we have no information that tells us that the two are now completely identical.
The second sentence only tells us that the gap between "Third World" and "First World" countries has shrunk but does not tell us that one group has grown more prosperous or that the other has not. Even the numerous statistical examples show us the state of the world today, not how the gap was bridged between the two groups of countries.
This answer choice cannot be inferred from the information in the passage, even if we know it to be true from our general knowledge. Although we may infer that the gap between the two groups has shrunk, the author only tells us about the income of the richest and the poorest people, not the countries in which they live or about the wealth of any country.
Although we know that there was a significant disparity between "Third World" and "First World" countries, the author does not provide us with a reason why this was so.