The world’s population is expected to hit 7 billion sometime today. And the biggest part of the story, for me, is that we’ve reached this figure in large part by extending lifetimes rather than by having more babies.
Check out these two graphs — the first is from the Washington Post and depicts rising life expectancies at birth; the second is one I generated on Google with data from the World Bank, and it depicts falling birth rates:
These trends suggest some serious implications: for the use of resources, for the future strength of today’s strongest economies, etc. For today, I want to focus on what they mean for the systems the United States and other rich countries have built to redistribute wealth from the young to the old.
(And before someone objects, “Hey, I paid for