Monday, May 25, 2009

The Adult Wrong-Doing Index

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.


Anonymous said...

How about this as the cause of all in the US going bad, Sam: reality television shows.

Sam said...

It all started with "Hey Jude" on the Ed Sullivan Show. You're right, I need to post something more intelligent than that!

Anonymous said...

Ok, my reply is full of Hate Speech so you probably won't even consider I may be on the right track. Lets look for a second at how things were in the US say, 20-40 years ago. If a girl got pregnant while still in school she basically had limited choices. She could get an illegal abortion. She could(go hide in a different town with an out of state Aunt during 3rd trimester) then give the child up for adoption. She could go (again usually outside the area) to a school/home for unwed mothers, have the child, go to school part time, hold a job, and live in poverty. Remember, those were backwards times! Girls/women didn't have a lot of choices. Their was no child/new mother welfare. In short, being a single mom was NOT "ok" . In my school, a school that avg about 120 per grade only one girl got pregnant during 9th grade(prominent family/didnt matter, shipped to school for unwed mothers) and one other girl got pregnant before graduation but delivered after graduation. These were uncaring/backwards times. However, notice the pregnancy rates quoted? Now we are aware, concerned, compassionate! What are the teen pregnancy rated here in the Valley?? We give them lots of choices! Sex ed, birth control( in most cases DRs don't even have to tell the parents daughter is on pill)and a society with Tv, and movie stars and magazines that say it is "ok" to be a single mom.The state provides food stamps, education assistance and day care assistance. See how compassionate we are now?? Well, everyone but me, I am a right wing hate monger. I wonder if we shouldn't at least think/talk about going back to the old ways.

Of course, you can't say that out loud. Bill Cosby speaks often about getting jobs, taking responsibility, getting an education etc. The black community mostly hates him/he is routinely booed when he speaks.


Anonymous said...

Ray Dean, I don't think we can go back to the old ways even if we wanted. I am not even sure how far you need to go back to get to the "old ways", since I am 52 and these problems have been talked about seemingly for my entire life. You would probably have to go back to pre WWll times to get to the old ways. I will take a stab at this here and say that from what I have seen, these problems are, in large part, a combination of socio-economic status and the expectations as to the future that those within that group have around an individual. Sure, an individual can lift them self up from their surroundings, but if they are born into poverty and everyone around them has low expectations it is just unlikely to occur.

Sam said...

Well good point about individual will versus collective statistics. But the fact that since 2002 or so, we see a deterioration in the index of child welfare, especially pronounced since 2005 and 2006. Before that, all that nasty rates like for teen pregnancy, drug use, suicide, and child mortality had been going down, nearly all the metrics. To I was speaking in relative terms here.

Everett said...

Hey Sam have you noticed that the unemployment of people (actual people) increased by 500K last month? And the month before was just as bad or worse! But the White House and its minions keep putting out the same percentage rate of folks out of a job. Somewhere on the order of 8%. Funny but the more people out of the work force, the % stays the same! What do you suppose they are all smoking up there? Or could they possible be trying to mislead us? Nah! They wouldn't do that! Not Obamamiester!! BTW, next time you see him on the tube, which is virtually every single day, watch him as he speaks. He turns from left to right and back again constantly and continuously! he NEVER, EVER, looks straight ahead! Is he afraid of eye contact with the folks in the center or does he like just talking to the "fringe" elements? Maybe they haven't figured out how to get a teleprompter directly in front of him. Bye Now!