NEW YORK – In what analysts called “the most important economic metric that exists,” 360,000 people were born yesterday, 78% of whom are expected to survive into late adulthood. Most will grow up to become productive, working members of their societies.
Subtracting the 150,000 global deaths reported during the day, economists said there were a net 210,000 new humans on the planet Tuesday. Amid news that three-quarters of the world now lives in a free or mostly free political state, at least 100,000 new humans entered the world on Tuesday who will be given the opportunity to learn the accumulated lessons and knowledge of the 100 billion people who came before them.
“This week alone, we’ll add the equivalent of the population of Seattle to the global economy in new people with the odds in their favor of growing up more knowledgeable and productive than you or me,” said Bryan Douglas, an economist with Deutsche Bank. “This year we’ll add the equivalent of the population of New York. Same next year. It’s just amazing.”
Asked what his forecast was for Q4 GDP, Mr. Douglas looked confused. “Did you just hear what I said about all the new people? That’s what’s going to matter over the coming decades.”
Google and Apple reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday. Analysts didn’t seem to care, noting that what happens in a 90-day window tells you nothing about long-term prospects.
The interest rate on 10-year Treasuries fell from 4.2% to 4.18%. Goldman Sachs, in a note to clients, said no one knew why this happened, and if you cared why it happened “you should reexamine your entire life.”
There were widespread reports Tuesday of people tinkering with crazy new ideas, particularly young people no one paid attention to, a few of whom will create the next great generation of businesses.
Across the world, people were said to be studying what worked and didn’t work in the past and using their observations to get a little better than before. “People get 1.5% better at what they do each year,” said Douglas. “It never seems like much, and it’s easier to pay attention to what’s going wrong in the short run. But a 1.5% increase in productivity each year compounded over a generation is incredible.”
In Baltimore, 24-year-old Tim Donovan opened a Roth IRA, depositing $500 into an investment account to compound over the next half -century in a vehicle that didn’t exist 20 years ago. “This is the first generation that’s had access to two things,” said financial planner Christy Eckert. “Super-low-cost investment options, and easy, tax-free investment vehicles. No other generation has begun their savings lives with those two advantages. Don’t underestimate where that will put them 40 or 50 years from now.”
Reports of Baby Boomers worried that younger generations lack the motivation and morals of their parents were met with pictures of a 1974 hippie commune and a plea from 28-year-old Travis Garner who said, “Look, every generation eventually figures it out and finds their own way. We’ll be fine.”
In California, 18-year-old Sarah Thompson began her freshman biology class at UC Davis where she’ll learn stuff we didn’t know when her parents went to college, while she won’t be taught stuff that’s since been proven false. “That’s how progress works,” her professor said. “A slow grind higher over the generations.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48 points on Tuesday. Greg Jones, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, expected that no one would care about that useless, vapid, fact by tomorrow.
(None of these quotes are real)