Warren Buffett remains optimistic about America's future

Billionaire Warren Buffett remains optimistic about the U.S. economy and the nation's prospects for the future.

Buffett wrote an essay for Time magazine that appeared online Thursday, part of an issue edited by Bill Gates that was dedicated to "The Optimists." In his essay, Buffett explained why he often says that most American children will live better than their parents.

Buffett said that even if the economy continues to grow at a modest pace of about 2 percent a year, the next generation of Americans will fare better because the economy will still grow faster than the U.S. population does.

Buffett said American businesses will also continue to innovate.

"This game of economic miracles is in its early innings. Americans will benefit from far more and better 'stuff' in the future," Buffett wrote.

Buffett has long been a believer in America's ability to unleash human potential with its market-based economy. He often devotes part of his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to the topic.

But Buffett cautioned that the country needs to help those workers who are displaced by innovation and changes in the economy just as a rich family takes care of all of its children.

"In the years of growth that certainly lie ahead, I have no doubt that America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all. We must not settle for less," Buffett said.

Buffett is the investor who has led the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate for more than 50 years. His company owns more than 90 businesses, including BNSF railroad, Geico insurance and several utilities.

Besides owning companies, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire holds major investments in Wells Fargo, American Express, Apple and other well-known companies.