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What does it mean when 6 in 10 people worry about their children achieving the American dream?
June 5th, 2012
03:55 PM ET

What does it mean when 6 in 10 people worry about their children achieving the American dream?

CNN A majority of Americans worry about their children achieving the American dream.

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows that nearly 6 in 10 Americans are dissatisfied with the opportunity for the next generation to live better than their parents.

It's a sad commentary on the state of our country: parents have always dreamed of a brighter future for their children than what they had.

Perhaps not anymore.

The reality is many of us may wind up working longer, and retiring later, than anticipated.

The CEO of the international insurance giant A.I.G. tells Bloomberg News that the retirement age could eventually reach 80 in light of Europe's debt crisis.

As we live longer, raising the retirement age is one way to make pensions and health care more affordable.

As Europe sinks deeper into financial crisis under the weight of massive government debt, a piece in The Daily Beast describes young European adults as the "screwed generation."

In countries like Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, the Baby Boomers have held onto generous jobs and benefits leaving little opportunity for their children. In Spain and Greece nearly half of adults under the age of 25 don't work.

There's an increasing sense of hopelessness as young Europeans simply give up on raising families.

And the U.S. could be next.

Young Americans are being crushed by college debt. And even with college degrees, many of them can't find jobs. Consider this: a majority of unemployed Americans older than 25 attended college.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when 6 in 10 people worry about their children achieving the American dream?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Children • On Jack's radar
What's the outer limit of reality TV?
(L-R) Angela Rockwood, Tiphany Adams, Mia Schaikewitz, and Auti Angel of Sundance Channel's "Push Girls."
June 5th, 2012
03:50 PM ET

What's the outer limit of reality TV?

(CNN) – Reality TV is set to conquer the final frontier - or try.

A Dutch company says it's planning a reality show about a group of humans colonizing Mars in 2023.

The mission is backed by a co-creator of the show "Big Brother" as well as a Nobel-winning physicist.

The company is billing it as the "biggest media event ever.” They say viewers will follow the selection and training of the colonists and ultimately their settlement on Mars.

It's the next logical step, I suppose, in the phenomenon of reality TV. After all, they've already done about everything else, haven't they?

Just this week, the Sundance Channel launched "Push Girls." It follows the stories of five women in wheelchairs and shows what life is like after paralysis.

Reality TV took off in the 1990s with "The Real World" on MTV. Producers got a group of strangers to live together in a house and just let the cameras roll.

Soon a whole industry was born.

Now there are competition shows such as "Survivor," "The Apprentice" and "The Amazing Race."

And we can check out talent shows such as "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars" and "America's Got Talent" ... and dating shows such as "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette."

There are shows about pregnant teenagers, about families with eight kids ... and with 19 kids, "Real" housewives of various locales, the Jersey Shore, weight loss shows, programs about over-the-top sweet 16 parties as well as pseudo-celebrities such as Paris Hilton and the Kardashians.

From “Survivor” to women in wheelchairs to what next?

Reality shows are cheap to produce and viewers like them. They're television's answer to a prayer.

Here’s my question to you: What's the outer limit of reality TV?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: On Jack's radar • Reality TV • Television