If the position of U.S. culture/economics/technology is slipping, it's all too easy to blame it on the "kids these days" and their Ipods, technology, and subsequent sense of entitlement and apathy....
I see those same kids everyday and have been for over 12 years now. Before that, I was pretty much one of them. I talk with them, I hear their concerns and frustrations, and I work with those that are highly troubled. I also have the honor of working with the best and the brightest "kids these days" that our country has to offer.
Sorry, but I don't think we can blame this one on the kids, as bad as they may appear to all of you.
They can't vote.
They didn't write their school curriculum or approve the state budget.
They didn't create the media network that keeps them constantly bombarded with messages and products carefully designed (by psychologists even!) to target and shape their sense of identity and self worth.
Who created the world that the "kids these days" live in?
I speak with graduating seniors on a daily basis. Keep in mind that despite stellar grades and true desire to succeed, they are staring at college tuition rates 3-5 times higher than what any of us paid, crowded classes, and the ultimate prospect of trying to enter one of the worst labor markets in decades with $60,000 of college debt. Government loans have dried up and grants are few and far between. These days you go to Chase or BofA or Wells to finance your education...at a nice interest rate of course.
And all of this is not to mention the damage that 12 years public education might or might not have already done.
"Johnny, you can be an astronaut if you work hard enough!"
....Yet Johnny goes to an inner-city school with a substandard science program without an updated textbook...
The kids I teach have seen this country in a perpetual state of war for their entire conscious lives. Over fifty percent of them come from broken homes and many of them now have at least one parent out of work.
Who created this world for them?
Who pushes the Ipods and cell phones at them?
Who slashes their education budgets?
Who gave them the gift of the 24 hour TV cycle and internet access to some of the darkest and most depraved things humans can come up with?
And if at the end of all of this they do come out F-ed, whose fault is it?