What A Time to Be Alive

John D. Rockefeller was the richest man the world had ever seen.

But for most of his adult life he didn’t have electric lights, air conditioning, or sunglasses. And he never had penicillin, sunscreen, or Advil. This is not ancient history: One in twenty Americans were born before Rockefeller died.

The majority of Americans think the next generation of adults will be worse off than their parents.

I think of two things when I hear this.

One, the pessimists are probably wrong, extrapolating a bad decade into infinity. Two, progress is like compound interest – you don’t even notice it in the short run, but it’s mindblowing when you zoom out and see what can be accomplished over long periods.

There are so many things still wrong with the world, and the future will always be hard. But when confronted with pessimism, Warren Buffett reminds us that normal Americans “live better than John D. Rockefeller did.”

Here are some examples of how right he is.

What a time to be alive.


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