October 13, 2017

"Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?"

Asks a headline for a long NYT Magazine article.

From the comments there, here are 4 answers:

1. "The bar to get into a top college has been raised so high it requires our children to perform Herculean feats before they are even adults."

2. "Let's face the truth--Social media is toxic. Possession of smart phones should be illegal under 21 years of age."

3. "How much of this correlates with the rather recent development that middle class children go nowhere without an adult nearby until they are teenagers?"

4. "The economic security and growing prosperity Americans used to enjoy has disappeared."

What's the best answer? (You can pick multiple answers, but don't pick all 4 or there's no point in voting.)
 
pollcode.com free polls

83 comments:

Sydney said...

Definitely social media. It magnifies peer pressure to the nth degree. They can't get away from it. Most of them aren't mature enough to ration the use of social media. This is one reason we didn't let our kids have smart phones or social media accounts until they were 18.

Darrell said...

There is a story at Drudge about depression and magic mushrooms. Mythic maladies require magic remedies.

Quayle said...

E. None of the above.

The baby boom generation has robbed them blind, their parents and grandparents have not left them with a worldview on which they can bass any hope for the future, and as our culture and society has degenerated into pride they realize that their standing in society is more based on whim and passion of others than on anything they can control.

The executive summary of the above is "less love in the world"

Big Mike said...

Social media is a contributor, no question, but they probably know people just a little older than themselves who have college degrees but are underemployed or with no job prospects at all -- and a lot of student loan and credit card debt.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I picked social media, but it is not just social media. It is all media, plus school content.

Snark said...

I wonder if at least part of it is that we're testing for and asking about teenage anxiety in ways we haven't before. Adolescence has always been a fraught time in many ways, but nobody was asking about how my cohort was coping in the 80s.

Big Mike said...

Dear Quayle, A message from this boomer: F U

Tari said...

If you're looking for the most universal answer, it should be social media. The elite colleges issue exists, but only for a small number of kids. Lots of my older son's friends (all seniors) are into college already, because they applied online (no essays, just stats) to big state schools in August/September. That is not stressful at all, clearly.

Social media is most toxic to girls, not boys. But when you're in a co-ed environment, that stress gets spread out to everyone, because girls control most high school social interactions. They're playing social chess while the boys are playing checkers.

Nonapod said...

Yeah, my complete guess is social media. It takes normal concerns, worries, fears and magnifies them a 1000 fold. It's like turning the entire internet into one highschool classroom.

Henry said...

I blame global warming.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think definitely not #1 - most kids aren't obsessing about getting into Harvard. Just doesn't make sense that that many ever thought that they had a chance, or even interest, in going to that sort of school.

I do think that over involved, hovering parenting causes problems with some kids do, but is more something that the upper middle class deals with, than is the case elsewhere. Of the two remaining alternatives, feeling of economic security is increasing, with the leftist Dems out of power, at least for a bit, which leaves, for me, social media.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I blame George Bush!

Owen said...

Can I say "all of the above (and probably more)"? We are still trying to grapple with this phenomenon, and even after we discount the NYT Hype (and that of other media who want and desperately need the next Thing) we are left with what is IMHO an important and real problem. Which is: how does society transmit its best self onward through time. How do parents help their kids, but not too much. How does the culture generate and edit and sustain a coherent and healthy image of "who we are" and "what we mean."

Across time. I think the time problem is interesting. We all age, try to make a difference, learn wisdom, pass it on.

When we have fewer young; when each of our offspring costs us more (in career choices, in real expense for the best schools etc); when we therefore have fewer offspring and naturally value them somehow "higher" (and are told by media that they are So Precious); when we no longer have a simplistic social model where We are the Boss (with a strong playbook from our own parents) but are instead Friends with extra money to help them out; is it any wonder that we see the crazy we're in?

rhhardin said...

Minimum wages.

Owen said...

Tari: "social chess...checkers." Boy, does that ring true!

Bob Ellison said...

Wow. NYT seems to want to comply with my click, but then fails to show me the story. That's good marketing right there!

The answer is: re-definition of anxiety.

Henry said...

I'm only half kidding about global warming. One interesting thing I've noted from my kids reading habits is that a huge percentage of young adult books are dystopian tomorrowland dramas. Social media is certainly more intense than the comic books or rock music that used to be blamed for teen problems, but I think there's a much bigger cultural phenomena at work. Helicopter parents probably stress their kids, but that only raises the question: why are so many parents helicoptering?

YoungHegelian said...

"All that is solid melts into air, all that is sacred is profaned."

Henry said...

Everyone is feeling anxious or angry. Teenagers are just more agitatable.

Static Ping said...

I suspect that college is a prime mover for a certain subset. The thing is generations ago a large percentage, possibly the majority, of high school students would not go to college because there was really no reason for them to do so, and those that went to even second or third tier colleges still were respected. Now we treat college as if it is obligatory, like a super high school. Given how much educational standards in high school have been dumbed down, maybe it really is super high school for the majority of the students. It seems more like a scam to give the educational system a lot of money for relatively very little in return.

I also believe that "social justice" is, by its very nature, destabilizing. It is a hateful philosophy designed to split persons into groups and pit them against each other, like the very worst abuses of religions without any of the positive parts, all while tearing down stabilizing institutions that get in the way. If you are taught that there is an existential struggle going on all the time you will be anxious. You will be downright paranoid if you think that saying anything against the orthodoxy will ruin you forever, even if it is a joke or it is factually true or it was not even what you actually said but the wild delusions of some idiot SJW.

mockturtle said...

Teenagers were anxious in the 1960's, too, but no one wanted to know why. And we didn't really know why, either, but we wanted to be different and so we were. Different from society but not different from each other. Most of us grew up. There is less 'growing up' today, it seems.

Ralph L said...

I blame single childhood and lack of exercise.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Henry,
"I blame global warming."

That is a big factor, in the sense that they are constantly being bombarded with "analysis" that the world is going to be nearly uninhabitable in a few years.

Jeff said...

Social media. The other choices are all things that have been around for quite a while and have not recently gotten worse.

tcrosse said...

Nothing new about Teen Angst. We were up to our ears in it a half century ago. We eventually grew out of it and transitioned into Middle Class Status Anxiety.

Carter Wood said...

It's because rap and hip hop have superseded rock 'n roll as the music of today's youth. Tunes soothe the savage breasts. Beats inflame them.

Henry said...

In terms of data -- the question that snark raised above, an article at NY Mag has some very good explanations of how different social scientists gathered valid data -- they look at surveys that have asked about symptoms, not emotional reporting.

For 80 Years, Young Americans Have Been Getting More Anxious and Depressed, and No One Is Quite Sure Why

In a paper published in 2014 in Social Indicators Research, [Dr. Jean] Twenge tracked the results of the Monitoring the Future (MtF) survey, “a nationally representative sample of U.S. 12th graders [administered] every year since 1976,” between 1982 and 2013. Like the MMPI, the MtF asks students about symptoms in a manner that should be generally resistant to cultural change: The somatic items Twenge examined asked about trouble sleeping, remembering things, thinking/concentrating, and learning, as well as shortness of breath.

Bryant said...

I think the "social media" answer is on the right path, but it is the wrong term. I think it is the global scale of things. Take video games, it used to matter who was the best kid on the block. Now you don't even play with the kids on your block, you play against kids (and adults) from around the world. You might have been the best on the block or even your school, but now your just average because the game involves everyone now.

Social media is part of this as well since you can now compare your life to the external view of other people's lives (what they want you to see).

Annie C said...

I regularly read a site called Ask A Manager. Many of the letters, and a majority of the comments are people talking about their mental health issues. With anxiety disorder near the top.

They are mostly young people and they wear their broken personalities as a badge of honor. You go girl with your anxiety, depression, eating disorder, PTSD and just watch out for those triggers!

It's gotten to the point of bragging. As though being a victim excuses them from all kinds of boorish behavior and gives them a higher status among their peers.

I'm not sure that they all have these issues in reality, especially the PTSD, but it gives them a place in the group. And I'm sure there are plenty of mental health
"professionals" willing to feed their illusion.

jwl said...

I would vote for options 2 and 3 but they don't tell full story.

Left wing people are deeply neurotic - I am 47 year old male and you would have no idea that today's middle class in western world is most blessed group of people in human history so far.

I don't have children myself, but my sister has two teenage children and they come to my house after school because I work from home and free daycare for my single mom work full time sis. I basically homeschool my niece and nephew for past four or five years because of rubbish they are being taught at public school - I have to deprogram them after listening to their pillock teachers all day. Climate change is latest thing to get everyone freaked out about even tho there is no evidence of anything out of ordinary.

Progressives are member of secular doomsday cult and make the rest of us participate in their madness.

cubanbob said...

In the end, it's the economy. With the rise in the gig economy the pressure to get into a good school to be able to find a good non-gig job is immense. Then throw in student loan debt. Social media just aggravates the kids anxieties.

Ken B said...

I am torn between 2 and 3. 1 is ridiculous, look at what people had to do to get an education in the depression for instance.

iowan2 said...

Lack of parenting. Lots of parents,not so much parenting.
My daughter taught. After three years I asked what her biggest surprise was. She said the large number of students that don't know they are loved. That lands on parents

DKWalser said...

I think too many are answering the question from the viewpoint of an adult. Most kids don't worry too much about next month let alone their ability to get into a good school or earn enough to support a family. They are much too much in the 'now' to find those concerns compelling. What others think of them, that's a worry. Which is why social media might be a problem. The lack of personal strength that comes from solving problems on your own, that makes worries bigger than they otherwise would be. Which is why too much adult supervision is a problem.

Hagar said...

But I would not call it "suoervision" exactly.
Interference, projection, etc., and so forth. I am no expert on "expert" terms.

mockturtle said...

Bryant makes a very interesting point: You might have been the best on the block or even your school, but now your just average because the game involves everyone now.

And a girl might have been the prettiest in her high school or at the debutante ball but today would be compared to all the Ivankas of the world whom we see in media every day. Because we compete globally it is difficult to imagine we could ever have any real personal impact in any sphere.

Larry J said...

Henry said...
I'm only half kidding about global warming. One interesting thing I've noted from my kids reading habits is that a huge percentage of young adult books are dystopian tomorrowland dramas.


It can be a factor. I remember reading reports of how kids were shown Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" in school. They watched it not just in a science class but multiple times. They were taught to actually believe this stuff. Go to a site like Reddit and you'll find a massive hive of True Believers who seize on any piece of "evidence" to support their holy religion of Climate Change with the same fervor of a fundamentalist Christian who see's Jesus's face in a bagel or cup of coffee. They actually believe they're doomed.

rehajm said...

The rise of STDs and the infectious nature of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Annie C said...

Despite social media, or maybe because of it, I still say they report as having anxiety issues because it is the in thing to do and gives them immediate victim status. Something that has apparently become heroic.

Hagar said...

I am kind of glad I only had WWII to grapple with and did not have to put up with the kind of stresses that the kids today have to live with.

jwl said...

The Atlantic - How To Land Your Kid In Therapy:

Back in graduate school, the clinical focus had always been on how the lack of parental attunement affects the child. It never occurred to any of us to ask, what if the parents are too attuned? What happens to those kids?

Modern social science backs her up on this. “Happiness as a byproduct of living your life is a great thing,” Barry Schwartz, a professor of social theory at Swarthmore College, told me. “But happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster.” It’s precisely this goal, though, that many modern parents focus on obsessively—only to see it backfire. Observing this phenomenon, my colleagues and I began to wonder: Could it be that by protecting our kids from unhappiness as children, we’re depriving them of happiness as adults?

Paul Bohn, a psychiatrist at UCLA who came to speak at my clinic, says the answer may be yes. Based on what he sees in his practice, Bohn believes many parents will do anything to avoid having their kids experience even mild discomfort, anxiety, or disappointment—“anything less than pleasant,” as he puts it—with the result that when, as adults, they experience the normal frustrations of life, they think something must be terribly wrong.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/how-to-land-your-kid-in-therapy/308555/

Birches said...

Heicopter parenting has made kids fearful they are going to make a wrong choice. If people had more kids, the kids would have less anxiety or most would learn to cope with it better.

Hagar said...

and from such a young age.

Birches said...

I doubt many poor kids suffer from anxiety.

Grandma Bee said...

How about the staggering rate of divorce and consequent lack of family stability? My grandchildren have to cope with two sets of family rules. Also, the lack of opportunity to get out in nature and experience fresh air. Daycare. Structured activities that do not let them figure out how to deal with conflict without an adult butting in. (End rant)

Owen said...

Jwl: God bless you for being such a fine uncle to your sister's kids. I have a dozen useless theories here but one of them is, the narrowcasting of our families today. Protective parenting, play-dates, huge merchandising/guilt-trippng of how you let your kids run around and spend their time. Not that my upbringing (50's-60's) was any great shakes --my parents were wonderful but I am sure imperfect-- but I look at today's Bell Jar and I shudder.

People? The point of chlldhood is to enable adulthood. Which is always a least-bad approximation of what the current reserve of human talent can use to deal with the current set of problems; and those we can anticipate.

Whenever I look at the Future, and try to imagine its infinite pool of surprises, I have to look at Us, the collective humanity with our ingenuity and curiosity and why-the-hell-not irreverence, and feel a little bit heartened.

Far more than some Green or other orthodoxy, we need kids who know how to ask "Oh yeah? What about....?"

glenn said...

Quayle. 9:46.

And wait until all those unfunded pension liabilities need to get funded.

Owen said...

"Happiness as a goal is a recipe for disaster."

Makes sense to me.

Happiness is a convenient word, it's even a provisional goal, so long as we understand that it never happens and it's not at all real.

Happiness is the horizon. You never reach it. If you DO reach it, the system failed.

We are animals whose purpose (as best I understand it) is to remain alive (without which, nothing else can occur); and then to optimize what we think to be the best conditions for confronting the Future. Personally I think very few of us, individually, have much of a clue about the Future. Personally I think more of us might generate, and sustain, some better ideas about the Future than I ever could. And so I favor a Future where such diversity and competition is possible.

glenn said...

Or: if it gets you on Disability it's all good.

Jupiter said...

The schools. The schools are hellholes of toxic leftism and sexualization, run by Left Fascist ideologues. If your kids aren't criminals, don't send them to prison.

Kevin said...

I see 1 and 4 as connected. Economic anxiety leads to greater pressure to put yourself into elite company, which makes getting into the right college seem like it's determinative of the rest of your life.

It's hard for many parents to feel that even doing what they did will be enough to provide a good life for their kids, when future expectations are that opportunities and jobs will be fewer in the future due to outsourcing, globalization, and automation.

Robert Cook said...

Economic uncertainty is the answer. That few people selected that choice shows that most people answering the question are older and financially secure.

Good jobs are getting scarcer and harder to find; robots and automation are going to make many jobs for humans obsolete, and outsourcing will diminish those that remain; and the kids going to college are coming out burdened with incredible loan debt that cannot be discharged in the event of bankruptcy.

They know they're fucked.

Roughcoat said...

They're pussies.

Roughcoat said...

The baby boom generation has robbed them blind, their parents and grandparents have not left them with a worldview on which they can bass any hope for the future, and as our culture and society has degenerated into pride they realize that their standing in society is more based on whim and passion of others than on anything they can control.

In other words, it's all someone else's fault, boo-hoo.

Typical.

As I said: pussies.

buwaya said...

I chose economic uncertainty.
That's what I have seen with high school kids starting when ours went to school.
Getting started in life is apparently more difficult these days, and most treat the problem very seriously.
High school certainly isn't all about social anxiety.
If you want a metric, look at the increase in AP test taking over the last 20 years.

Can be much worse for kids in college. Someone should survey them.

tcrosse said...

So Trump and the Republicans now own Teen Anxiety.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's social media. Young teenagers feel as though they are being watched and judged at all times even without social media. Thinking they need to look cool 24/7 via electronic means and stay in constant contact with peers via text has only intensified that.

Prior to smartphones one would at least escape the peer gaze during those moments while trapped at home with one's dorky family.

mockturtle said...

Self esteem cannot be bestowed. It comes from personal accomplishment. Are teens today ever given the opportunity to accomplish anything? Maybe Outward Bound was on the right track.

mockturtle said...

Per Robert Cook: Economic uncertainty is the answer. That few people selected that choice shows that most people answering the question are older and financially secure.

Good jobs are getting scarcer and harder to find; robots and automation are going to make many jobs for humans obsolete, and outsourcing will diminish those that remain; and the kids going to college are coming out burdened with incredible loan debt that cannot be discharged in the event of bankruptcy.

They know they're fucked.


That's where the military comes in! I know you hate the military, Cookie, but it seems a sensible way to learn discipline, get free college, test your mettle and even serve your country for a few years.

Joe Schmoe said...

I say none of the above. I think most kids have the benefits of more prosperity than when I was a kid. The amount of stuff that kids have now is mind-boggling to me. I'm not a 'back-in-my-day' kind of guy, either; I wish I could have had a lot of that stuff when I was a kid.

I think kids now suffer from a lack of purpose. I worked a lot of manual-labor jobs from age 8 through 18. I don't know if it built character or work ethic, but it did crystallize early for me that I didn't want to be a lifetime manual laborer. Nothing wrong with that kind of work; it just wasn't for me.

Kids today are caught in an interesting duality nowadays that leads to anxiety: on the one hand, their school and extracurricular activities are all scheduled. There's a fair bit of anxiety that goes along with that, including keeping to a set schedule all of the time. Many people are hardwired to need time where they can set their own schedule. In addition, with all of the scheduled activities, there can be anxiety induced from trying to achieve performance levels of peers, please parents, etc. Scheduling also locks a kid into something they may not want to do over the long term, but many parents tell the kid that once they commit to doing something, even if it's something they've never done but just want to try, then they are stuck doing it for the duration of the enlistment.

On the other hand, when they don't have scheduled activities, they aren't doing things that instill purpose. Kids work less now in paying jobs, and parents don't ask as much of their kids in helping out around the house. As a result, kids spend more time surfing the web, which adds greatly to anxiety because of alarmist click-bait headlines and content.

And don't get me started on the miasma that is entertainment. I've never seen TV content that is so dyspeptic as what we have today. The cable shows are unbelievably nihilistic and depressing. Just soul-starving junk.

mccullough said...

Social Media saturation and economic anxiety. Also, lack of a grounded faith as more people are areligious.

buwaya said...

From the College Board -

AP test takers
1997 - 566,000 (out of @2.7M High School grads) - .21
2016 - 932,000 (out of @3.6M)- .26

Just for comparison purposes to give a sense of proportion; of course there are many juniors and sophomores taking AP tests, some take AP tests that don't graduate, etc.

The point is these kids (or their parents) take the future more seriously.

buwaya said...

This is not to say they are being well educated, save in mathematics.
Math education in the US is probably better than it has ever been.
Everything else is lousy.

buwaya said...

"The amount of stuff that kids have now is mind-boggling to me."

Stuff is overrated.

Oso Negro said...

I am going with social media and constant parental supervision. Modern kids NEVER unplug from their peer group. The peer reinforcement is there nearly 24/7. Children also don't get any free-range time, which I lay off to the advent of cable news in the '80s and the terror of child kidnapping.

mockturtle said...

It seems to be these kids are slaves to their phones. This kind of slavery is bound to cause anxiety. Every little peep or twang demands your attention and who knows when an enemy--or a friend--will shred you without mercy on FB or Instagram. You feel compelled to look at everything no matter how disturbing or remote and then you must discuss it in terms acceptable to your peers. Oh, for the days when starvation and wild Indians were all you had to worry about!

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Quayle said...
E. None of the above.

The baby boom generation has robbed them blind...


The Baby Boom is not responsible for either the New Deal or the Great Society programs. Those two programs constitute a great deal of the robbing.

tim in vermont said...

Teenagers no longer smoke; a quick hit of anti-anxiety medication. Cigarettes suck, sure, but they are not without benefits, which is why so many people smoked them.

tim in vermont said...

It isn't economic insecurity, I can guarantee you that. It could also be that we, as parents, protected them too much from every little downdraft in life, making them wear bike helmets, strapping them in at all times in the car, keeping them off the monkey bars, it goes on and on. George Carlin would have been a better dispenser of parental advice than Dr Spock.

tim in vermont said...

Economic uncertainty is the answer. That few people selected that choice shows that most people answering the question are older and financially secure.

That is your agenda no matter what, just like Chuck's is Trump hatred. I know kids who have economic security that we couldn't even dream of in my neighborhood as a child, and they have it too. Maybe they feel guilty, I don't know. On the other hand, all of us gutter rats seemed fine.

Yancey Ward said...

Obviously, if you are a teen in the age of Trump, you probably should want to kill yourself.

Tari said...

Joe Schmoe and mccullough make good points - a lack of purpose, whether that purpose would come from religion or otherwise - is a real problem. Kids want to know "why" - and when adults refuse to answer that question when it's asked, that causes a lot of stress The lack of an answer to that "why" - why are we here?, why am I working so hard at school? etc - also plays into the problem with social media. If, as Freeman Hunt says, kids are always "on", always pressured to look cool - and they can't articulate why that should be a goal, they feel frustrated and anxious. Never mind that "looking cool" isn't a good goal ... but that's what an established value system does: it tells you "this is a bad thing to shoot for. you were put on this earth to do more than look cool". Happiness is also an equally shallow goal, as others have already pointed out. Teenagers need a reason to get out of bed in the morning, same as adults. If the adults in their lives aren't showing them what that reason should be, they're failing them.

In my own experience, my husband and I chose to send our boys to parochial school in part for this reason. Will the boys necessarily be observant Christians in 20 years because we did so? I don't know. But they are told how to live every day - in addition to how to write, do math, etc. If, as adults, they reject the idea that they were put on this earth to serve God and others - well, that's their choice. But they need to be told. We have to give them something. That's our purpose as parents.

Incidentally, we toured the "premier" secular private school in town last fall for my younger son. In his presentation, the headmaster said "all of our students are pursuing their own personal version of happiness". My then-13 year old turned to me and whispered "can we leave now? if these people don't know where happiness comes from, I don't want to hang around with them." So maybe it's working. Check back with me in 20 years and I'll tell you.

Fernandinande said...

Henry said...
In terms of data -- ...
For 80 Years, Young Americans Have Been Getting More Anxious and Depressed, and No One Is Quite Sure Why


In terms of data "Bob Ellison said...The answer is: re-definition of anxiety [depression, etc]" is probably correct because the teen suicide rate, something with a more concrete definition than "went to a counselor", was about the same in 2015 as it was in 1975, and lower in 2015 than in 1990-95, although rising.

Quayle said...

"The Baby Boom is not responsible for either the New Deal or the Great Society programs. Those two programs constitute a great deal of the robbing."

The Baby Boom generation is responsible for further running up the deficit with social program spending, bankrupting most major cities and a number of the large states, allowing pension benefits to civil servants and union members to be promised but unfunded, enticing then sticking their young with six figure student loans and making sure that those loans are not discharged in bankruptcy (to fund the lavish college spending and the exponential growth of university administrators which has taken place since 1960s), and most recently lined up the young generations, under penalty of law, (or as Roberts tells us, under a tax) to pay for the boomer's health insurance in the Boomer's dying years, and refused to retire at previous ages thus clogging the ranks of jobs with older people.

Need any more facts?

Never has a greater generational transfer of wealth ever taken place in the history of the world.

Sorry to break the news to some of you. But this is the elephant in the room that nobody (the boomers controlling the media, mostly) that nobody wants to talk about.

Birches said...

I have no problem with anything Quayle said.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"Despite social media, or maybe because of it, I still say they report as having anxiety issues because it is the in thing to do and gives them immediate victim status. Something that has apparently become heroic"

I think this is a big part of it. Especially for girls. "Victims" claim to have overcome and demonstrate spurious strength and earn all kinds of approbation from virtue signalers on social media. The kids I know that are no kind of victim are also the ones showing the greatest likelihood of later success. Go figure.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Somebody tell the Anime Club.

Mountain Maven said...

The boomers pulled the spiritual foundation of life out from under them. Annxiety producing.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

When millenials have to take classes on how to be an adult....

Lack of 2 parent families, and it's all their fault, for those who are white. People are meaner today.

There was a study done why some kids had bad experiences growing up and others don't. The best adjusted kids seem to have been raised in cities of 250k or less. Big city kids are a mess.

Seeing Red said...

Oh, Quayle, the boomers aren't the only ones who vote. I live in Illinois, there's more than enough blame to go around, you big meany. It's for the children!

As to not leaving their job, there are people in good health. Why quit if you're going to live to 90?

Hale Adams said...

Quayle, at 9:46 AM on 10/13, wrote:

The baby boom generation has robbed them blind, their parents and grandparents have not left them with a worldview on which they can bass any hope for the future, and as our culture and society has degenerated into pride they realize that their standing in society is more based on whim and passion of others than on anything they can control.

There's a certain amount of truth in his statement above, and again at 1:21 PM. As Big Mike noted, it's unfair to blame the Boomers for a lot of the trouble, but they did perpetuate a bad set of notions they inherited from their elders. (They had to learn their various dysfunctions from somebody.)

(And if we're going to play the "generational blame-game", I should say up front that I was born in 1962, which makes me either a late Boomer or early GenX'er, depending on how you want to slice the demographic baloney.)

My own pet theory is that for over a century now, we (and our parents and grandparents) have been fed a steady diet of Progressivism in one form or another. Perhaps the most pernicious part of it is the emphasis on "rule by experts" -- that is, we should all defer to the judgement of a group of people who are "expert" in some field, and that we should not rely on things like common sense, because, after all, the "experts" can see the "bigger picture" and therefore can know things that we mere mortals cannot possibly hope to perceive or understand.

*ahem*

Some of know that the "bigger picture" is often so much self-serving BS, but the habit of deference is deeply ingrained in too many of our peers, and we're passing it on to the kids.

The most disheartening example is all the environmental clap-trap, going back to the original Earth Day, the "Club of Rome" study of the early '70s (which famously forecast that the world would be *DOOMED* by 2020 or so), the various prophecies (*snork*) by Paul Ehrlich and others about how we would all be starving by 1990, and so on and so forth.

We grew up with it all, and most of us can see that it's BS. The kids don't have enough experience (yet) to see for themselves what BS it is. And it's being taught to them as truth by teachers who either aren't very bright themselves (and so peddle the BS in the good-faith belief that it IS true) or who are cynical, lying, traitorous (in the sense of being disloyal to the truth) bastards who have no business shaping the minds of their students. (I believe the technical term for the latter possibility is "mind-f***ing".)

(And *some* people wonder why parents are abandoning public schools in droves??)

I can see why the kids are anxious and depressed. They're being told that they have no future -- no jobs, no food, no hope for a better world, because "it's all gone", used up by the greedy United States, which really should have shared it with the rest of the world. But it's too late, because the world will be submerged by all the ice in Antarctica melting, or something.

My two cents' worth.

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Michelle said...

It's because children are raised lacking any real skills, and subconsciously they know it. They are no longer taught history or critical thinking so they have no idea how to process what goes on in the world. They are no longer taught how to repair, mend, or build anything, so they are ill-equiped to handle any circumstance when something goes wrong. They've never veered off the well manicured and safety-inspected trails, so to speak, so they've built no physical skills managing risk at all. They've never mastered fire, knives, chainsaws, ladders, guns, horses, pressure cookers or any other tool that might kill them if mishandled. They've never gotten into any real fights and won. In short, they were raised in a padded cell, and they emerge into a real world having no idea how to manage it.