There have been some recent studies and surveys that have shown that America’s kids are being more responsible than they’ve been at any time since the JFK years! Observe:
● The percentage of teens who have ever taken a drink has fallen from 93% in 1980 to 80% in 2000 to 71% today. More importantly, the percentage who drink periodically has fallen from 72% in 1980 to 50% in 2000 to 41% today. That’s a huge change.Politically speaking, there are some interesting changes to note as well... things that should make us happy if conservative mouthpieces weren’t so busy hating young people and instead saw the opportunity here. Right now, young people skew liberal in a big way. But their version of liberalism isn’t quite what liberals like Nancy Pelosi believe. Observe:
● The teen pregnancy rate today is less than half the rate it was in the 1990s.
● Teens are waiting longer to have sex.
● Teen smoking is at an all-time low at 17%, which is less than half the rate of the 1990s.
● Pot use is up slightly at 23%, but still lower than the 1970s or 1990s. And frankly, 23% isn’t that high... it means that 8 in 10 haven’t used pot.
● Violent crime rates today are less than half of what they were in the 1990s.
● Teen incarceration is at its lowest level since 1975.
● According to Pew, 83% of older liberals believe poverty is caused by “circumstances.” Only 47% of younger liberals believe that; 42% believe lack of effort causes poverty.What all of this means is that talk radio is again wrong about young people. They aren’t lazy, stupid, drug addicted socialists. To the contrary, as a generation they are much more responsible than the generations from which the talkers themselves spawned. Add in things like the millionaire numbers showing Millennials are doing better than Boomers (and being more generous to charity), and you see a very different picture take hold of “these kids today.”
● 56% of older liberals think Wall Street does more harm than good. Young liberals do not. 56% of young liberals think Wall Street does more good than harm.
● 80% of older liberals believe that the poor condition of American blacks is the result of discrimination. Only 19% of young liberals buy they. Instead, 68% believe that blacks are responsible for their own condition.
● The one area where young liberals match old liberals is in social issues. Fortunately, those are changing even with the Republican party as younger Republicans pretty much mirror the public, which is neutral (indifferent) with a liberal lean (permissive) on those issues.
Honestly, while our politics may be screwed up, the public at large seems to be headed in the right direction.