Happy Birthday kid. The 7 billionth customer of McDonald's, Coke, Apple and Nike was dropped off by the stork the other day. The inside details of the demographics tell a much bigger story than the whole number. The West's household formation rate is declining. The 60 year movement from city to suburb to ex-urb has stalled with the crisis, high gasoline prices and extended hour days. The developing world, where population and household formation is accelerating, is migrating toward city areas.
Deep inside the budgetary messes of the developed Western economies rests a harsh demographic reality. The monthly employment reports are based from a "immigration" base. If the financial crisis had not hit going into the last election, the top campaign issue would have been immigration law. Demographic and migratory patterns in surplus and deficit nations are THE long term variables of the next cycle.
Happy Birthday baby 7B. If we "grow up" and deal with our problems like adults, you'll grow up in a world better than the great one we did.