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Wiil our kids have it better?


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I was born in the 50's and I know my sister and I have it better that our parents did.


I know my parents said they had it better than their parents did.


I am really concerned about do we feel that our children and grandchildren will have it better that we have had?


What do you think? Is better defined as happyiness, wealth, health, security, careers, etc... confused.gif

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I wonder if our parents, grandparents, etc ever thought we were going to have it better than them.

WW1, WW2, depression, plague, dust bowl. hmmm


I think my parents had it the best of anyone in the past or the future.

My dad started out in a sod house as a baby, ended up with a house, car, cottage, trips around the world when it was still an exotic place , explored both poles, breathed fresh air and drank clean water, could fish in any stream and eat the fish, lived to 85.

He didn't think I was going to have it better than that, I think he was right.

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Since we are somewhat of a global community here, the responses may differ. My purely American feeling is no, I don't think our children will have it better than we did. I don't think we've been particularly far sighted in thinking about their future. Most of the things I hear people complaining about when it comes to young people is directly related to how they were raised. I don't stray any further than the nearest mirror to find the culprit for that. I hope I'm wrong. I hope it's just because it's dark and rainy and snow is predicted. I hope.

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I strongly belive they will. If I thought otherwise, I never would have had children in the first place.

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I believe America is a country in decline.


I agree. We live in a house of cards built on a staggering amount of debt, and a US collapse would lead to a global economic collapse. The environment is another ticking time bomb, and there are crack-pot dictators with access to nukes.


The future doesn’t look very rosy if you ask me.

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Uncertain. While we don't have kids, we do have nieces and nephews. I think that since they are raised with good values, love and inquisitive minds, they will seek out that which fulfills them. Will the world climate (insert your own definition here) be better (insert your own definition here, again)? Who knows?


Most of the items the OP put on the "better" list are subjective with the possible exception of health. Interesting subject for discussion though.

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It also might depend on who you are. A child who happens to be a minority or female may find their options and horizons considerably wider then they might have been in our parents' generation.

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While we don't have kids, we do have nieces and nephews. I think that since they are raised with good values, love and inquisitive minds, they will seek out that which fulfills them.


Following along this statement I would like to share what I have seen in Los Angeles. Lori taught public school for 7 years in a predominately poor Hispanic community to the east of our home. There was lots of joyous moments but often times overshadowed by rather bleak realizations of the children's futures.


She then went to the private sector to teach a city over to the west of us.

Worlds apart, so much so that she felt uneasy about it.


Kids are great vehicles for change and they can adapt to most any situation placed in front of them provieded there is something to look forward to.


The kids to the east just wanted out of school so they could do "whatever".

The kids to the west have a well defined map to their future.


I have no concrete stats but things don't look too good from where I'm standing. I do however have great faith in our country and will do my part to keep her standing as strong as possible through difficult times.

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I do not have children but my answer about children of today is, overall, no.


Happiness - as a group - no, because of the following answers.


Wealth - with the staggering national debt and the predominate mentality that buying on credit is good - no.


Health - No. When we were growing up, in an entire school, you'd have two or three over-weight kids. Just look at students at dismissal time at any school. Likely over half are over weight, and many of those obese.


Security - No. I think I just read that 1 of every 100 US citizens are in jail. Pull a gun in a crime...it is really no big deal. Steal a car...no big deal. Break into your neighbor's house...no big deal.


Careers - No. We are heading towards a world economy more each day and the world is full of people who are willing to work hard for very little. Kids of today need to getting ready to do the same.


Kind of depressing, but it is how I see things.

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I don't think they'll have it better then us, but I do know, they will be challenged beyond our wildest imagination.


Too many things are approaching. To borrow a phrase, a perfect storm is forming, and this storm will be world wide.

Number one in this storm is overpopulation and the demands it makes on our planet. Those demands are resulting in industrial pollution and competition for declining resources, e.g. water and oil. Furthermore, overpopulation and scarcity of food and water is already resulting (especially in Europe) in an Exodus of people from 3rd world countries; and we can't (and shouldn’t) hold them back. Migration on this scale will force modern countries into a tug of war for their wealth and their institutions, such as Health and education, and of course job opportunities. Western countries’ identity, as expressed in our culture will become diluted, our sons and daughters will not have the pride we have had in the accomplishments of our forefathers (and mothers). For that matter, nor will the sons and daughters of immigrants. I see a growing unrest with legal and illegal immigrants. For the many cultures and religions to eventually blend and live in relative harmony, several generations will have to grow up. During this time, I am afraid, our sons and daughters (and theirs), will see substantial social unrest.


Then we have the results of 100 years of uncontrolled pollution resulting in global climate changes (not necessarily global warming). Different climates will bring different diseases (SARS, Avian Flue, Malaria etc), exacerbated by increased migration from less healthy countries.


Depleting resources, especially oil, will result in an increase in converting valuable farmlands to energy crops, already a source of much discussion and anguish, and already resulting in increased prices in wheat and corn related products. Mexicans can hardly afford their tortillas and that in turn increases (illegal) migration). Gasoline as we know it will become very expensive and the carefree use of automobiles or any other form of transportation will become less and less affordable, and, I believe, will eventually be rationed either directly or via exorbitant carbon taxes. What all that will do to the auto industry and its multitude of dependent industries as well as to the travel industry is hard to imagine. But in the Western world where the automobile is the main industrial engine, the coming oil shortages do not bode well.


Then there is China and India, they insist now on their share of the pie. They are competing for the dwindling oil resources and are currently building their countries on the model of he Western World, as if the well is never going to be dry. In their effort to catch up, the pollution all that industrial growth brings, further accelerates the CO2 accumulation in our atmosphere and brings about increased global climate changes.


I won’t go on and on, but I think you get my drift. What every ones’ sons and daughters are facing are problems no generation has ever faced before. These problems are global and if the dire predictions we are hearing about daily, are only half true, it will mean that not only the Western World, but the entire humanity will have to undergo substantial changes, and will have to rethink the way we are inhabiting this planet.

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I won’t go on and on, but I think you get my drift. What every ones’ sons and daughters are facing are problems no generation has ever faced before. These problems are global and if the dire predictions we are hearing about daily, are only half true, it will mean that not only the Western World, but the entire humanity will have to undergo substantial changes, and will have to rethink the way we are inhabiting this planet.


I won't argue about change, but the change bringing doom I can't agree with.


WWI, WWII, the cold war, the industrial revolution, telephones, the automobile, the airplane... Heck, our country isn't that old!


From the small to the big the world is an awful different place than it was 1-200yrs ago. Looking back, there were plenty of reasons the world was doomed at any moment in time.


Not saying to ignore it, but it's probably not the "end" either.

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I don't know about the broader view, the world is a troubled place.


However, my 2 kids, aged 24 and 25 are going quite well. They both appear to be on a good road to becoming well adjusted, happy and successful adults.


My wife and I live better than our parents. And I hope and expect our kids will do better than us.

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I was kind of hesitant to jump into this thread, because I figured I'd get slammed big time for my answer, but surprisingly, several people have already posted about what I think on the subject already:


If the question is within the scope of prosperity, safety and happiness in the USA, I have to say no.


But, and it's a big but, for the younger set 20 somethings, if they are smart (excel at top-notch education, become bi or even triple-lingual, etc.) their best bet is to pick up and go elsewhere in the world where the future looks brighter. The USA has peaked, kids, figure out where the next hot spots will be and go there!

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Good question. I think Hermes has nailed one aspect of it - that of the trends and pressures themselves.


At another level, specifically in the U.S., I think the trend towards intolerance, short term me centered thinking, and the social rifts that tear at our nation are preventing us from dealing effectively with the challenges we face. At a minimum, the effects of this mental laziness are rapidly destroying our standing in the world, and eroding our ability to galvanize effective responses to global challenges.


Perhaps, the most profound statement of our times came from one of the most unlikely and pathetic figures imaginable, but I really think Rodney King nailed it:


People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? .... ....I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out


The answer has been that we can not. So long as this remains the case, we are in deep trouble.

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I'm certain in some ways our children will be better off but they will be challenged. Challenge is nothing new - our nation has survived two world wars, a cold war with the threat of a nuclear holocost, stock market crashes, and many other assorted crisis. The problems our children face will be different from those faced by our generation and the generations before us.


Fuel and energy prices will continue to rise as world wide demand rises. China and India will excercise their growing financial clout and consume a greater percentage of world resources. America will continue to buy their products so long as they are cheap.


Disease will always be a threat. Bio-terrorism and continually mutating virus strains will present risks and could quickly become a crisis.


Religion will continue to be a central figure in wars. Sadly this has been one of the few constants since the first ancient religions.


New financial and social crisis will include funding, or limiting, the social security system. Health care will become unaffordable for more as health care costs rise along energy and other living expenses.


But as with every crisis in the past, each new crisis will present new oppotunities. thumbsup.gif

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I was discussing this matter with my wife over lunch today, before I knew of the existence of this thread.


I made the comment to her that I believed that history would look back at the baby boomer generation and figure that we had it the best.


We've had all of the benefits of modern medicine, cheap gas, plentiful jobs, great communications, affordable international travel, in fact all the good things available today.


We have had skirmishes in Viet Nam, Korea and the latest lunacy but haven't had to face a world war. For those that got hurt or died in those skirmishes, that was fairly crappy for them, but for the majority, we got off lightly.


We'll probably die before the world becomes uninhabitable as we know it.


I feel for the kids. I think we've screwed up.


Linz smile.gif

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I'm not sure on this one, there are some new opportunities for them out there. But they are inheriting our mess plus a big chunk of old people chewing up the resources. I hope as a group they carry forward some compassion with them. The baby boomer generation is going to be a serious economic drain on these kids, I hope they make good decisions on how to handle it.

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Well since posting my first, ‘no they won’t’ answer, even though I don’t have any kids, I find this an interesting question that I’ve been contemplating some more. I have a certain opposing (myself) set of feelings on this...


I think it may come down to “redefining.” Redefining what, “have it better” means. Humans are if anything; resilient. The past 150 years or so have been defined by massive increases in energy consumption driving the creation of a vast array of material things to ‘make us happy’, ‘have it better’ than ever before. Often I think at the expense of more important things like interpersonal relationships & the value of human life; justice, understanding & interaction for/with nature, and morality & spirituality. Just to name a few of the values of humanity.


While the timing may be debatable, certainly sooner or later the ‘oil era’ is going to come to and end. As a result humans may choose (or actually be forced) into reevaluating, redefining what “better” means. Does it continue to mean valuing more ‘stuff?” A better life through having things? I suspect not. Does it change to mean valuing each other more, I suspect, or at least hope, so. Will this begin with our children, the next generation? I doubt it. Rather it’s going to take several generations for the current ‘style’ of wealth we’ve had in the last century to fade into the past, but our great, great, grandchildren may indeed have it better, but in a totally different way than how we currently define it.

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People are living longer.

Is that "better"?


Life expectancy, while increasing quite a bit, has fallen from 11th to 42nd when compared worldwide.


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However, the Wall Street Journal takes exception w/the methodology.



People are working longer.

Will they adequately plan for their future?


Since "better" is a subjective condition, I say yes, they will.

Many advances in science, medicine, technology, will certainly continue to change the world we/they live in.

I think that one of the greatest changes will be the new American Revolution.

I believe that the 2 party political system has sown the seeds of its own demise.

Coupled with the continuing diversification of our population, it is only a matter of time until a multi-party system evolves.

This new system will require cooperation to accomplish goals.

It will lead to reformation of the style of government and the financing of government.

It will lead to changes in health care and social security.

When these changes are implemented, the USA will be radically different than the one we know today

We had our chance, we blew it by allowing our elected leaders to run amok with our wallets, whilst cheapening the ethical, and moral values, of our nation.

It may be difficult to regain the moral high ground, but the wallet will prevail, some day.

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No they will not. The standard of living in this country is on its way down as the world moves toward equalizing it. Sorry to say that with all of the deficits that we have passed on, the next generations face some serious challenges of a magnitude that this generation does not seem to have the wherewithal to even approach.


Nothing gets fixed any more until it totally breaks down, and there are some disasters looming.

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At the end of the 19th century, there was a movement to close the US Patent Office because everything which could be invented had already been invented. I'm just saying. wink.gif

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Will our kids be happier??? Might be a better question. My parents & grandparents always seemed to be relatively happy and lived a much simpler lifestyle. Families were closer, mom stayed home, and we ate dinner together. Now eveyone is seeking happiness somewhere else. Maybe that is why a simple trip on a motorcycle seems so fullfilling. We learn to make do with less. We enjoy life's experiences: scenery, rain, sun, new people, and places.

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