It may be freezing outside but a dose of spring-like optimism will emanate from newsstands this week as business magnate Warren Buffett assures readers that American children will have a better standard of living than their parents.
The essay for Time magazine's Jan. 15 issue (available Friday, Jan. 5), by Buffett, 87, comes as Millennials are projected to be the first generation in U.S. history to do worse financially than their moms and dads.
"I have good news," Buffet writes. "First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come."
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But Buffett warns that happy outcome hinges on the nation closing the divide between rich and poor.
His essay highlights a special Time issue, titled "The Optimists," guest-edited by philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In an editor's letter, Gates ticks off a litany of global ills, including last year's devastating North American hurricanes, mass shootings, the U.S. nuclear standoff with North Korea and bloody civil wars in Syria and Yemen.
But he adds, "On the whole, the world is getting better." He points to heartening successes such as sharp declines in the portion of the global population living in extreme poverty and the number of children dying before their fifth birthday. Featured on the cover is 5-year-old Ethiopian Mohamad Nasir, whom Gates met less than a month after he was born.