We could end up with a generation of "lost kids" due to recent recessions, wars, poverty, bail-outs, and yes even global warming measures. I stole the term "adult wrong-doing index" from a NY Times article about child welfare, which has been tracked since 1975.
It's really the correct way of looking at it, since the kids can't control their destiny. The Bush years set back the index more than any other time since 1975. Child poverty is the worst in a developed nations except for Mexico! Unfortunately, President Obama has been handed a situation where he really can't solve the problem, as it would take years to fix it. The economy, wars, and education have to be fixed first. There is not a tenth of the amount of money to get a start on the job.
No, I'm not one of those "Chicken Little" or liberal types that thinks the country is going to hell in a hand basket, but the situation certainly is bad - and getting worse. I see that in my kids, who are now in their early 20s and barely surviving without parental hand-outs (we have our own family bail-out system, too). Having a college degree doesn't mean a thing, other than incurring large amounts of debt, since the jobs simply are not there - and adults are competing for the same, low-paying positions. But in hindsight we're going fairly well in comparison to families who don't have insurance, jobs, lost their house due to foreclosure, got divorced, or have kin in the military who were fragged by their experiences in Iraq or Afghanistan.
But why does the US have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the developed world, and increasing after years of significant declines? Why is teen violence and "wannabee gangsta" violence up? Why is autism and asthma so high among children today? Something is obviously wrong, and the kids are telling us that in the numbers. Folks, those folks are going to end up running our country ... just something to think about.
Update - sorry for the bummer post, but the more I read the worse it is. Social security will soon run out. California, the leader of the US having a larger economy than many developed nations, will soon go bankrupt - already, a MILLION kids have been taken off health insurance in California over the last year. Sitting here in my comfy island beach cottage, living large and grand, I can only contemplate how horrible things could get. But we don't care ... the road goes on forever and the party never ends. Helluva thought for Memorial Day.