May 29th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How will your children's lives be different from yours?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The American Dream may be slipping away. Examples are everywhere. One comes from CNNMoney.com, which reports how the life of autoworkers is changing.

It used to be that getting a union job on the production line of a big car company would instantly vault someone into the middle class, even if they didn't have much formal education. But those days are gone.

With Chrysler declaring bankruptcy, and General Motors expected to follow soon, the government is demanding these companies bring their labor costs in line with foreign competitors. That means an entry-level autoworker who used to make $28 an hour could soon be making $14 an hour.

Workers' benefits are also taking a hit. Union employees will have to pay a much larger share of their health care expenses. And when they retire, the company won't be paying for their health care anymore. Also, going forward, fewer medical procedures and drugs will be covered.

The story of the American autoworker is just a slice of what's happening across the country. It seems increasingly likely millions of people won't be able to maintain the standard of living they've grown accustomed to, not to mention what's around the corner for the next generation.

A recent poll found more than a third of parents think their children's standard of living will be worse than theirs is now.

Here’s my question to you: How will your children's lives be different from yours?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Penelope from Cape Cod, Massachusetts writes:
Our children's lives will surely be different. How different and how they respond to that difference depends on how we as adults respond to the need to change priorities. We can continue the angry sense of entitlement that got us here or, we can wake up and realize that we all need to step back and live more simply.

Fred from Livingston, Alabama writes:
My generation and the ones before me worked to turn this country into the best country in the world. This last generation, with its spoiled, selfish attitude of fast money and greed, almost destroyed it. Now, their children will have to work like hell to build it back up again.

Gayle from Columbus, Ohio writes:
This country's economy has always been a series of turning points: industrial to service to information to green. These changes are often painful and forced, but they do and must happen. Therefore, the days of the lifelong job with benefits is gone. The paradigm has shifted and we do not yet know what this will mean for the next generation. I'm hoping my nephews live in an America where everyone can make a living wage and have quality health care, but also where assembly-line workers don't make 3 times what a paramedic or a teacher does.

Duncan writes:
I think our children's lives will be cleaner and better than ours. Sure, they may not make as much money, and they may have to live closer together, without a car, or a big house. But being frugal never constrained us from being great and productive. Our children will live with less, materially, but with all that matters in human relations, I really believe their lives will be better than ours. Our current economic crisis will be seen as a reality check.

Dawson from Minneapolis writes:
I'm a 24 year-old veteran with a kid on the way. The joy I feel for my first child is only outdone by the worry of how well-prepared our society is to deal with children. They are overweight, undereducated, lazy, and now to be born into a broken economy. Sadly enough, the only persons to blame are the parents. If my child ends up a victim of that circumstance, I only have myself to blame. So to answer your question: my child will be fine.

Filed under: Children
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Doug from Indiana

    I have a 15 year old daughter who is a 4.05 GPA student, a very good basketball player, pretty tech savvy, a good judge of character, has a great sense of humor and loves earning and otherwise acquiring money. A far departure from her dad who has 19th century skills, a 20th century upbringing and 21st century unemployment (at least the last two years).

    Barring any unforseen occurances or influences, I am totally confident that, in success terms, my daughter will do far better than I have done...in spite of society's attempts to make her life difficult down the road.

    May 29, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  2. Mark-Broward FL

    They will live less well off than even we are living less well off than our parents did. It's a sad state of affairs for future generations.

    May 29, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  3. Paul Austin, Texas

    Unless we really can change things most likely they will have more taxes and less to show for them.

    May 29, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  4. J.D.

    Fortunately, I have no children. I can't imagine what this country will be like in 20 or 30 years and I'm grateful I don't have to worry about having my children face it.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  5. sherri ziegler

    we used to dream that they would have a better life~easier then we had it right? Parents for eons have had that dream,too. Iam afraid my kids will continue to pay for the blunders of our generation..and as they have children,they too will realize exactly where we went wrong as a tax paying over spending generation and will work to fix the gaps,probably to relize too late that they cant change the world either...I have adjusted my dreams for my kids and just hope that they can make the most of what they have..and come to an understanding that the world keeps turning and your only obligation is to keep your little place safe and happy as you can make it..whether or not you are rich or poor....if poor people havent been made into drones to serve the elite!!lol sierra vista arizona

    May 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm |

    Maplewood, Mn.

    The difference will be that my children, their children and their children will be paying off Obama's spend, spend, spend policy.
    And what 's really sad, is all this spending is going to solve nothing at all. WAY TO GO 'O'!!

    May 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Richard in Mexico

    (Queretaro, Mexico)

    What with global warming almost a certainty, they'd be best to differ by having gills or internal snorkels - at least they won't be able to smoke!

    May 29, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  8. Samir from Florida

    They will live in a world were morals are devalued. Nudity will be taken as lightly as the French take it and ethics will be a caveman concept.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  9. KWR

    The kids will still have the American dream...just not "super-sized" like our generation. The houses will be smaller, no BMW's, no 3-4 nights of dining out at nice restaurants....oh, and forget the big inheritance. Us Boomers will need that to pay for this life-style we created. Yeah...we created this bed...now we're wishing our kids beds were going to be as cushy....they're not. Reality sucks.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  10. J Atlanta

    America's living standards are on the decline. There will be fewer public resources, less clean air and water, poorer job opportunity, expensive or non-existent health care, higher taxes, and for awhile there will be a government which thinks itself more important that the people who allow it to fester in its own ego and self importance. The next three generations will have some real problems if they don't address the situation head on and directly. I don't think they have what it takes to get to it. I know WE didn't.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  11. Mike in SA

    They will have no hope. Look at the French or Spanish economies over the last 40-50 years. That's what our kids have to look forward to. You know, I come from fairly humble beginnings and I have worked hard to make sure that their life was going to be better than mine. All of that work is going to be completely unraveled by massive budget deficits, massive spending, high inflation, and a nanny state that casts a palling shadow over every aspect of future citizens' lives. It's depressing to think about.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    After 3 years our oldest is home again, collecting unemployment, and going back to school. Their's will be a struggle we would have thought impossible 10 years ago. And how does it stop if we continue to bleed out jobs.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  13. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I'm not about to raise any children in this country. This country's shafting my generation bad enough as it is. To knowingly bring a child into such circumstance? No thank you.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  14. Lady Lou from Fayetteville, NC

    Come on! You are comparing a model T Ford to a top line Lexus. My children don't know what a deep rut is. I didn't know what it was to buy more than I could reasonably pay for. My children live in houses over 5,000 sq feet. I am still happy with 2,500 sq feet. I am enjoying seeing what this generation thinks will work. It is fun to watch innovation.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  15. Janice

    They will see both great promise and great pain. They will have to be much more serious about money than my generation and constantly continue their education to be able to shift from dying industries into new ones. They will have to live with much more uncertainty in general. They will see unfortunately a lot of environmental destruction due to climate change. They may see a terrorist attack someday done with nuclear weapons. However, they will live to see us abandon oil to power our vehicles, cure many diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes, and the world finally will unite to get rid of nuclear weapons and address climate change and population growth after great, great pain.

    Aberdeen, SD

    May 29, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  16. david from virginia

    I try not to think about it - it pretty depressing. Offhand I'd guess:

    1. Jobs will be drastically different. More consulting jobs, more temporary jobs with no benefits. Very few long-tenure jobs with health coverage and retirement plans.
    2. Equalization of wealth among the middle and lower classes. There will be no more middle class. Just an aristocratic class and a huge number of working poor.
    3. Warmer climate leading to food shortages and desertification of the western half of the country. Agriculture will be moving to Canada.
    4. US economy in continued decline - we won't be a third world country anytime soon, but I see us becoming another version of Europe - ponderous and irrelevant on the world stage increasingly dominated by India, China and Russia.
    5. And unfortunately, I think inflation is going to eat up anything I've managed to save, so I don't expect to be able to leave them much of an inheritance.

    Gloomy stuff.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  17. Jack From WV

    They will have more technology at their finger tips than I did, back then a computer took up a room compared to a desk or lap these days. According to several groups my children will not be able to spend time in the woods when they get my age sad. With all the texting now I believe people will not know how to carry on a conversation with each other but rather type it on the phone or computer, not very personable. At some time in their future the automobile will be a thing of the past, a relic, an antique. I just hope they will not forget what’s important, family; Father And Mother I Love You.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  18. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    From the looks of things, they will be operating without the "safety net" programs that we all take for granted. Even if you never have to use them, its a comfort knowing they are avaiable if you suddenly find yourself with no means of support. I fear that our children will not have that luxury going forward.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  19. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    The biggest difference between my life and my children's lives is our dreams. I am nearly 60 years old and my generation always dreamed of living the "good life" while my children will have to settle for dreams of living a "better life".

    May 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  20. Dennis North Carolina


    May 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  21. Rick - Denver, CO

    Hopefully a greater tolerance, respect and understanding of the differences that make the societies of the world.

    May 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  22. Conor in Chicago

    I don't plan on having children. How someone could afford that in today's world is still beyond me.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  23. Randy from Gainesville, Florida

    They will not grow up in a divorced home, that's for sure. More than half of our generation grew up in a broken home and know how devastating it can be. We will avoid divorce at all cost when kids are involved, because we know the damages and pain first hand.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  24. David Alexandria, VA

    Depends on how the next few months play out. If the current adminsitration has its way, my children will have lower-quality health care at a higher price, crushing taxes, fewer choices and fewer freedoms. The will to succeed beyonmd theior wildest dreams will give way to a national morose that doing just OK is OK - because the government will make it OK - or at least tell you that it's OK. The American Dream will be, for them, an American Dillusion.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  25. Jason, Koloa, HI

    My kids actually still have a chance to have flying cars and robot dogs.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  26. AB

    I have one son and while I totally love him, I am too afraid to have more children. What kind of world am I bringing them into? Social unrest everywhere, economy in doldrums to the point where all children will be gifted with a trillion dollar debt, pollution in all our natural resources (land, water, air etc), terrorism, disease, drugs, school shootings, ....The only thing I hope to be able to give him, which my ancestors gave me is Hope. I hope he will be able to hope for a better world. I am already disillusioned but hopefully he won't be.....

    May 29, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  27. dan in Tucson AZ

    jack, our children will indeed face greater challenges than us, so I suppose it will make them more understanding and humble, and I hope compassionate toward fellow human beings. Unfortunately it takes more than a few generations to breed out greed and corruption.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  28. Simpliticus

    My children have been adversely effected by the decisions of the past administration. I would ascertain that a good decade and a half have been alotted as time lost for obtaining good jobs and well paying jobs at that. The standard of living for my children have been less for the same amount of time than what I experienced. But George W.Bush wasn't concerned about these matters because these matters were never addressed by him! They are marrying later in life because careers have been more important than relationships for good reasons! Neither of my children have their own homes because due to circumstances, they both still live with their parents, and they are in their thirties! I would say that they have been impacted poorly and adversely!

    May 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  29. Marge in New Port Richey, Florida

    I forgot to have kids, thank goodness. Most people are jealous and marvel over my decision not to have children because they have dealt with such heartache and disappointment over theirs. One of the benefits was that I was able to retire at 50 because I didn't have any of the little darlings sucking all of my money out of me for 20+ years. So although I do worry about what the future holds for generations to come, I'm not personally involved.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  30. Cheryl

    My son graduated college with an engineering degree. He will be fine. More worrisome are those young people who do not feel higher education is important, and America has a large majority of them. Gone are the days when you didn't have to live in poverty without a degree. We will have a huge class of have-nots unless education is pushed more.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  31. Tina Tx

    In reality they will be better in the long run. Things are not supposed to be perfect. You should work hard for what you want not be expected that it is given to you. They hopefully will live in a less poluted society and hopefully the name calling will be erased and maybe we will get along and I hope every few days they come by the home and push me out into the sun.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  32. Scott - San Diego

    Kids these days are pretty pampered, they want the government to take care of them. Much easier than getting a job and working your way up. They want to start at the top with no skills and make the big bucks. Their thought is everything is owed to them and people who have worked hard for their money should "share" it with them. And why wouldn't they think this way? Parents these days give their kids everything and they just want that continuation from the government.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  33. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: They are going to be more difficult--but the bright side of that coin is that --–In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. I wish them all the luck in the world--–they are surely going to need it.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm |

    I think things are looking up for our kids.
    If there is even a remote possibility that our kids can purchase a house we will have to create an 80 year mortgage to bring thier monthly payments down and if they die before it's paid off, thier kids will have pick up the tab.
    Husband and wife each work two jobs. Thier kids drop out of school early to go to work and help pay the bills because schooling either cost too much or it is totally inadequate anyway.
    This country is going the way of the Romans.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  35. Kyle, Washington State

    My children's lives will be better than mine. I learned that education is the key and raised my level from the back woods of Indiana into a six figure salary. I have passed this on to my children and the too, will succeed through education and self-reliance,..not through social programs or through relying on the initiative of others.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  36. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX


    How will their lives be different? More diversity and less prejudice.

    My children are being raised in a culture where ethnicity is not an issue.

    Obviously, my children are being raised outside of the USA!

    So sad that they will eventually lose the positive things of their American heritage. But continuation of rampant American racism is no longer an option for our family.

    I will be that last of my family to be born on American soil. I love the USA, but hate its racial divide.

    Good luck to you all, 'cause you have a lot of growing up to do.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  37. Don in Delaware

    It's a bit selfish, Jack, but in order to get the most out of my life so far, I have pushed off the decision to even have kids. With the way things are today, it's more and more difficult to plan anything even a year ahead, let alone another generation.

    May 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  38. Chi Town

    They will be way over taxed

    They will have national health care that is sub par and only covers 80%, meaning they will still need sup insurance

    They will work for the national auto center, or bank, or investment group... that is if they work at all

    They will not have children because you can't afford them

    They will walk to work because the federal electic cars cost 50K

    They will not be able to worship because churches will be gone due to law suits for not performing same sex marriages

    They will read the federal magazines and only be informed of what the gov wants them informed of.... which is how good they have it

    They will be paranoid because they will have no means to defend themselves

    other than that.... life should be grand

    May 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  39. Joe CE

    They are living thru a decline in the US economy and will have aharder time. Difficult to imagine the changes in technology. Global warming is a major threat. There will probably be a water crisis within 20 years. I lived in a time of success against serious challenges and glory – those days are gone.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  40. TCM

    My children, unfortunately for them, will refer to my days, as the good old days when America was a free nation, a proud nation, where people worked hard, made a living and respected one another. My children will have to contend for jobs where they may lose they job to someone based on their gender or skin color, but not due to qualifications. Affirmative Action is creating a nation of mediocrity and dumbness.

    What's truly sad is my father, a member of the coveted "Band of Brothers," remarked that once a black man gets into office, the country will go down hill. I used to roll my eyes at him for that; however, with the pampering of ACORN, Organizers for America...etc...all heavily black groups....I'm beginning to see the truth in my father's words. It's "Hand-out Heaven," and Obama's at the control stick. It's a shame that so many fought and died for this once great nation, for it to end up in the hands of this disgraceful excuse of a leader. He swaggered across the walk to lay a wreath on Memorial Day, just like some ghetto pimp....what a shame. I long for the day when I 'll be proud of this nation once again. My children stress unnecessarily about the future, because they see where Obama's taking it; there's no incentive to get educated, to get ahead..because you'll be heavily taxed to fund the lazys. There's no incentive to open a business...because you'll be taxed to fund the entitlement programs. What's going to happen when the entitlement pool is so big and the funders are so small? Total collapse. Nah, the good ol' days were any days prior to Obama being handed the white house keys by way of the most corrupt political machine in the history of the world. Perhaps only Adolph Hitler had more propaganda, but that remains to be seen. No, days, weeks, years ahead ...will mean very hard times for our children. We cannot blame Bush, but instead turn to Obama, Reid, Dodd, and Pelosi, along with Obama's policy makers. They are the force that will destroy your child's future.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  41. Ed Reed

    Of neccessity, it will be less material and maybe that's a good thing.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  42. Venia PA

    And we owe it all to bush and the republicans. Thanks guys for destroying this country.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  43. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    It looks like they will be supporting our generation whether they want to or not.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  44. bob z.from pa.

    there will be no middle class if you can't see that coming you in for a big surprize

    May 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  45. John Webster, Aldergrove BC Canada

    Our daughter will live a much more productive and full life than I have and I’ve done and seen more than most. We saw the looming apocalypse of population explosion and related economic and environment problems coming and had only one child and then gave her the best education and direction possible to help her stay ahead of the curve. Others missed the signs, had way too many kids to do anything for and are now watching them fall victim to today’s realities. Those who bred like lemmings will have to watch as so many of their progeny fall victim to poor foresight and the downward spiralling world conditions inspired by stone age religious dogma

    May 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  46. Brad, Memphis, TN

    Let's see, Jack. We'll still be torturing because our leaders are cowards. We'll be hooked on oil for the same reason. We'll still have politicians that put their religion above their country or reason. We'll still have a government that is a corporate lapdog. Their world will be just like ours – continuously declining.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  47. george

    Jack, I am a "post Great Depression boomer", I was born as poor as a church mouse, and lived through very hard times, but you know, my parents were there beside us all the way giving us what they could, and making it the best they could. We were blessed with lots of love, we were taught to always help others, and good manners, but material things were something that we didn't have, and I so grateful now, and I feel like I had a better life than those of today, because they have none of these inmaterial things. Ill take my childhood over theirs any day.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  48. Jesse J

    Hi Jack,

    I think most children born today will be relagated to the class of the working poor... this is unless many of the social services can be saved and reinvented.

    I also worry that most of the serious problems of global polution will become very evident in their life times so much so that much of the way we live our lives will have to change.

    Vancouver Canada

    May 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  49. Mike in Guatemala

    I fear that if they suffer a major health problem it will wipe them out financially which will make buying a home and having a university education impossible . Bottom Linn is thay they will be trapped an economic cycle based on having an unsupportable debt that they can never pay off which mean they can never be financially independent.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  50. Bruce St Paul MN

    Call me a cockeyed optimist. I think that even with stagnant wages, there is a populist movement afoot that will bring some positive changes. The current crisis is going to leave long lasting distrust in institutions, both public and private, but especially the financial sector. Health care access will become a right, even if it means putting insurance carriers out of business. Education will become a national priority and the jobs of the future will be ones that are not yet imagined. Right now, my kids have staggering student loan obligations and limited carreer opportunities. But if we wise up, learn our lessons, it could turn out even better for them than for us.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  51. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida


    The fact that my children and descendents may not enjoy a high standard of living is pale in comparison to their loss of liberty and privacy in the name of world competition.......

    May 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  52. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Their lives will likely be worse Jack. They will have taxes that are out of sight to pay for all of our spending today. Uncontrolled illegal immigration will result in half the nation being supported by the other half. The explosion of world population will make resources extremely expensive.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  53. Don (Ontario)

    Hope for a better life will not be within their grasp, but instead will be something that fantacies are made of. The only good thing that will come from this is that we will finally know what it is like to live in a developing country.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  54. Bert K. in L.A.

    When I dropped out of high school in the 60’s I had a dream of designing and building my dream house. I took a job in the building trades and in time I built that house. My three sons all have a college education. One became a lawyer and bought a home which today he cannot sell for the amount he owes on it. My youngest boy recently told me that today kids dream of maybe buying a new car someday but he tempered that by saying the car likely would not be made in America. The difference is I did not have to compete in a “Global Economy.” That is the American problem we allowed to happen that our children will have to solve.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  55. Lisa in Shelton CT

    I'm a Pollyanna – I think we have a great potential to leave this world better off than we found it and I'm hopeful that job prospects will pick up for my nieces and nephews. Rolling up our sleeves or opening up our wallets to help others, and getting to the polls every time we can vote – should be on bipartisan to-do lists.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  56. Tom from Philly

    I decided to not have children because of the cost of bringing them up and educating them properly. So pretty bleak man.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  57. Neil from Nassau County, N.Y.

    One thing is going to be different: My children is going to miss Wolf Blitzer and you Jack Cafferty, excellent reporters. I doubt they will have individuals like you two.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  58. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    They will not have a retirement plan to work for. We as a society will become at best a lower standard country because we have lost the one thing that we did better than anyone else, manufacturing. The longer we wait to move in a new direction of being the industrial giant we once were the worse it will be for all generations to come.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  59. Simon/Orlando

    They will see much higher taxes due to the federal debt load and more government intrusion into their lives. There chances of realizing monetary success will become a lot slimmer under the increasing "the more you make, the more we take" tax policies. Individual wealth will be stifeled by the increasing majority of those who would rather have the government provide most of their living expenses and believe that capitalism equates to greed. The problem they will face with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  60. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,how will their lives be different?There will not be any big three,only the wee three.they will have been indocrinated into the Obama nanny state where there is no reward for accomplishment and no consequences for failure,.There will be no choice of vehicles,(clown cars only,)In other words we will have become a Socialist State of Mediocrity.Excuse me if I sound tepid.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  61. odessa

    i'm continuing my education so i can earn my degree and maintain a better career status than what i have now.i want my kids to go college and work for it because nobody isn't going to help them but themselves.i hope that their futures are much brighter with mine and don't let anyone tell them what to do, fight for their dreams, and never give up hope as well faith.i truly believe this because my kids deserve it and i want them to be happy.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  62. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: I raised my family on a salary as a white collar engineer for GM. I have lost more than the hourly has so far, but that is not the issue. We have to teach our children that probucts made in the USA are part of our American Heritage. The forign countries that export products like vehicles,steel, and other things and dump them on our markets because we don't know any better, they teach their children not to buy foreign goods. Until we teach this our children will always be like their parents, only poor and work a service job with no future.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  63. don (in naples, florida)

    Capitalism is changing, I believe. We are shifting from a society of over-consumers to a need-based society. Which means that there probably won't be anymore salesmen getting rich from selling autos, or insurance. And unless our government stops borrowing from china, it may mean that our government may be operating under a landlord in the future as well.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  64. Rick McKinney, Texas

    Jack only the future holds that answer. We would all like to think that things will be better for our children. Unfortunately unless things change rapidly that isn't going to happen. We will always need oil but we need to ween ourselves off of so much of it. I just ordered a wind generator today to help offset the high price of energy. I own a Hybrid car that gets 50 miles to the gallon and have for 5 years. What other people are doing I don't know but they better start doing something or our children's lives are going to be awfully hard.

    May 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  65. Mike in Albuquerque,NM

    Having worked as a cook for thirty years, without benefits, unions, or a level of pay that would have allowed me to have had a family, I can say that todays children will live much the same life I did. This trend was started more than thirty years ago, Jack. Good job in keeping the issues current!

    May 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  66. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    America will still be the land of opportunity, but in an ever growing world economy they will know that you have to obtain skills to be competitve and demand a higher salary. They will realize that unskilled American labor, without a degree of any kind, cannot compete with unskilled labor in foreign countries. Companies fighting that trend and overpaying their employees will be on the road to financial ruin unless the quality of their product is superior enough to justify the higher sales price and therefore higher consttruction costs.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  67. Bill Davis

    I don't hold out a lot of hope for the future of my children. Our leaders are too reckless and willing to send them off to war. Our gluttonous habits and our dependence on cars and fossil fuels will finish off this economy once and for all. Our suburbs will be the slums of the 21st century as oil becomes too expensive and difficult to extract. Water supplies are being depleted around the world. There are so many problems, almost all related to over-population that I try my best to stay focused on the work I have to do to raise my children. Things don't look good. Right now I'm hoping our leaders are seeing the light. Hoping, but not holding my breath.

    Bill D.
    Champaign, IL

    May 29, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  68. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Our "child" just graduated from college with a second degree at 38 years old and has no illusions about what it takes to live your dreams. My guess is that about 99.9% of American "children" will be living in a world that doesn't value their texting skills or video game playing expertise, and that will be a reality for several generations to come. We have succeded in dumbing down the masses in our schools, lived on the hollow promises of unions and let our economy be raped by carpet baggers. Things look bleak for the children of the future.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  69. Alex (CT)

    Considering I'm just a senior in high school right now I wouldn't be suprised if my children eventually grow up to be living, breathing Jetsons flying around in hovercars and have all sorts of computerized gadgets in their homes one day. I know it's not very likely but with the rate that technology is changing these days predicting what'll be around in the future is like asking a psychic to predict tomorrow's Powerball numbers.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  70. Jenna

    How will your children’s lives be different from yours?

    It will be harder for them.

    We've mortgaged their futures with our poor political choices.

    We've lost jobs that will never return.

    We've not invested in them with the same education opportunities that other nations give their children.

    We've not invested in them with medical care.

    We've not invested in them with dental or eye care.

    We've not invested in them with stable housing, nor food in their bellies..

    We have FAILED them.

    Least we forget that a nation is only as strong as is weakest citizens.

    Roseville CA

    May 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  71. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    None. I have always lived within my means, and my children will have to do the same or suffer.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  72. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    I'm old, so I'll talk about my grandchildren. They will be okay.
    They may not have the spendable cash of their elders but they will be richer in friends and family. They will learn how to more with less and because of that they will be happier. They might even be better off because they will learn to save for what they want and not to buy what they don't need.

    On the auto workers:
    If the UAW workers are so much better off than foreign car auto workers why did attempts by the UAW to form unions at Toyota and Honda fail?
    I worked at Honda for 3 years. Short answer: The majority of auto workers didn't want to join the UAW.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  73. Cori

    Jack, I was smart, I didn't have any kids.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  74. Gigi

    They will probably live in a "state of fear" it seems to be the tool to keep the masses in line. And to keep the tax money rolling in too feed the rich and powerful.


    May 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  75. Philip from Toronto

    Your question has forced me to a bitter realization. No, I don't think my kids will have a better life than I do. I am afraid that they will be exploited and neglected and be scraping to get by their entire lives. Their education will be irrelevent to their jobs. They will live in fear of unemployment as much as under-employment.

    Somehow the top 2% that control American will survive and their control of government will continue, they will be the exploiters, the overlords, the feudal kings.
    The new Religion is money, who has it, who doesn't.

    So sad, and so sudden.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  76. Scott in Canada

    You have an education system that hasn't properly evolved to meet the demands of the new economy and as a consequence, as the manufacturing jobs go overseas, more and more get stuck in lower income service jobs since they aren't qualified to take up the higher-income positions. The Industrial Revolution hinged on the ability to create skilled labor using government guaranteed primary education and now the Information Revolution will require government guaranteed Post-secondary education – but the government hasn't evolved yet.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  77. Melanie, Germany

    I don't have kids yet, but why should I worry? As far as I know, the end of the world is in 2012...

    May 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  78. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Hopefully they will live in a world without war, lobbyists and neocons.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  79. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hopefully, they will work hard, do their best, and be good stewards of God's gifts to them. They have been given a college education, all four of them, God willing they will use their brains and succeed, not only monetarily but also in marriage and life in general.

    I am an optimist, Jack, I believe that the American Dream is still very much alive, its just been bruised a bit. Can our children do as well, or better than us, Baby Boomers? Yes!

    May 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  80. Jay in Texas

    I don't have any children but the "American Dream" has been dead and buried for most of my adult life. It died when true free enterprise bit the dust and when giant corporations seized control of our state and federal government. Parents of today's children are responsible for the tough road ahead for them by allowing this to happen in our country.
    Brownwood, Texas

    May 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  81. Alex in Seattle

    The next generation will be less optimistic and more cynical. As a baby boomer, I was told that my opportunities were boundless and America was the pinnacle of the world. Then came Viet Nam and Watergate and our faith in our government was shaken. And now the Great Recession has limited many from a job, let alone a living wage with benefits.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  82. Jim from Gardendale, Alabama

    Jack, I would like to think that our children will have it better than we did, but the reality is that they probably won't. The giant debts which were run up by the Bush administration will burden our children for decades to come and now President Obama has been forced to spend even more to try and stimulate our economy and create jobs. These two actions will create additional debt and inflation for us, our children and probably our grandchildren. The time has come for the United States to quit trying to police the world and ignore the needs of the American people, our infrastructure, jobs, health care, and education as well as maintain a strong military to defend us. If this isn't done now, then I have my doubts that it will ever be done.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  83. mark foster texas

    i hope that in the future ,when we declair hostle action against any country or organization,,the dreft will be automatically implimented. this should be an ammendment to the constitution..this might slow our rush to war ,and force us to reason with others.this would make my children lives a great deal more reasonable than mine

    May 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  84. Eric from THE Republic of Texas

    I would never run up thousands of dollars in credit card debt (buying trinkets and doo-dads *I* want "right now" today) and hand the bills to the next five generations of my family to pay.

    Our Congress did just that. And our president put his blessing on it.

    You have to ask yourself, "Is it morally acceptable to steal from people who have not yet been born?"

    Further, "Is it morally acceptable to steal from people whose own PARENTS haven't been born yet?"

    Who would have ever thought it would be a black man who would bring slavery back to America? Working for free (or nearly free), in chains or not, is still slavery.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  85. Greg, Ontario

    They will be under the constant threat of Muslim extremism because we never had the backbone to put them in their place. We embraced cultures from all over the world diluting our own and doing nothing to protect it. They are inheriting a society where you can't do anything or have an opinion on anything without offending some organization that the media quickly throws in everyone's face. It's going to be a scary time and all I can say is I hope they forgive us.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  86. frankie

    The economy will always have ups and downs, but the degree of prejudice that my generation lived with, will never come back.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  87. Christine from Edmeston, New York

    The worst threat to our children is not economic fluctuation, which is always a matter of ups and downs. The thing that is in a continuous decline, however, is the manner in which children can safely experience their childhood. How many kids today can play freely outside without supervision, build forts out in the woods, or do any of those other wonderful things that we baby boomers took for granted during our own youth? Today we must keep our children indoors, where they can hook up with predators online.

    May 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  88. Trevor from NorCal

    I think how my children's lives will be will laregly depend on how well recover over the next 5-10 years. If we do well, then I think we are on track for bright futures indeed. And as an optimist, I think we can get there with Obama. If we don't succeed, then obviously they will be off to hardships, but I think beyond just low class, I think true struggles for basic necessities.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  89. Tom from Boston

    I don't have any children, and frankly I'm not sure how'd I'd feel about bringing any into this world. Beyond the "American dream" issues you note, the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Global warming, increasingly radical fundamentalism, uncontrolled population growth in the world's poorest countries, and the likelihood that clean water will become the world's most precious commodity – well even if my child's standard of living might be a bit lower, I'm afraid the broader picture is just too bleak.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  90. Kevin from Atlanta


    I think that my childrens standard of living will be lower if America does not change its direction. A major problem is the outsourcing of jobs and corporate greed in this country. If we continue to outsource jobs at the rate we are doing our country will turn into a 3rd world country.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  91. Jack Martin from Boynton Beach FL

    American autoworkers pay should be more in line with foreign autoworkers? Really! In many cases foreign autoworkers pay and benefits exceed those of American workers. Health care, pensions, vacations are part of the total package and not just an hourly wage. The difference is in executive pay and perks. When the executive compensation package reverts back to what it was and should be our childrens quality of life should be equal to or exceed that which exists today,

    May 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  92. Mark in OKC

    They won't have to listen to you bash the Bush Administration twenty years from now, Jack. And if you were still on the air in two decades, I'm sure you would stil be bashing Bush and Cheney.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  93. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: The next generation's lives will be different than ours, and ultimately better. The economy will recover, healthcare will be more available and we will value diversity. There will always be the protagonist and as a global community working together, good will prevail. As a former tough minded New Yorker, I still see the silver lining!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  94. Jamal St. Petersbug, FL

    Hmmmm...it's still a while before we see what the future may hold, but the world will definitely be different for them. I do hope it a more tolerant, smarter, wiser, and greener America.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  95. Karen - Missouri

    Oh, I think my grandkids will have a good life. This country always gets over and learns from "disasters". Eventually, everyone WILL bounce back and it will be a better world. I'm not as depressed about it all as you guys in the news. Hey, here's a thought...how about some positive news instead of so much "tabloid" stuff?

    May 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  96. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    They'll have national health care comparable to other industrialized nations. Their subsidized educations will allow them to compete in the global economy. Their food will be inspected for toxins and bacteria. Hornets nests stirred up by Cheney, Limpbough, and Rove will have settled down both at home and abroad. The next generation will have it pretty good.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  97. William Courtland

    Let see: since I will not have children until a few things have been setteled and a reasonable future can be provided for them... As I promised myself to wait for life stability to go in search of my true love I again desided not to even attempt to make a child until such time: hense like a virgin, mental rape aside...

    Two senarios:

    One is the United States of America: as the function of the Federal government will become aware of my intent and understand the need to build a new United States Postal Service. One which will employ hundreds of millions: pull America out of national and State debt, which will bring solution to the greenhouse effect and carbon polution: will expand the economy and the industrial sector, which will bring security to the internet and computers along with greater organization, will make the interactivity with the entertianment and the economy and bring the government back to the people...

    The other is we enter a new Dark Ages. As no one person or company could be held responsible with the amount of power the New United States Postal Service could bring to a private company and owner: it a peoples national interest and infrastructure; the peoples government will as oil finally becomes unreachable in the mass quantities needed: they will cull the people with bioagents, they will loose control of public peace and times will become bleak as the cities can no longer be supported and as the lands will be fought for as people from the cities attempt to regain a patch of land to grow a staple on... we just do not have enough horses and oxen to make life after the resource or gasoline is gone. Times will end as the reasoning to track the passage of time will be gone from reality: the people will eventually fall away and the population of the United States and the rest of the first worlds will fall back to pre-1800's levels.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  98. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Paying for all the money being spent today! That is if there are jobs left here amd not offshored...

    May 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  99. oz Gig Harbor WA

    Being mixed race they'll have it a lot harder than I did. On the other hand they say that 'mutts' are stronger...so maybe they'll be okay.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  100. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Jack their lives are already very different than ours. They are all adults in their 30's & 40's, but things are nowhere near the same for them as they were for us. Two of them live in houses that are upside down – they paid too much for them and got creative financing to buy them. They've been hanging on but it is tough. Fortunately, they were brought up to work hard, and keep their sense of humor. It's my grand kids I am concerned about.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  101. Lance Schumacher

    My children's lives won't be too much different from mine as they are all in their late 40's/early 50's. It is my grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will bear the burdens being created by this "out of control" administration. My sincere hope is that they will find a way to adapt to the changed reality of todays evolving country or have the fortitude to move out of America to a nation where hard work, and personal responsibility still count for something. I would suggest Australia, or possibly Canada although I believe Canada stands little chance of surviving either. Too close to the destructive influence of emerging socialist government here in the states.
    Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    May 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  102. Alveta, Maryland

    Better for sure Jack, the future is Energy Efficient Technologies...Wow we haven't even tapped into it yet...just imagine the jobs that will be created by this Technology. I see the future bright for our children. It may take awhile...but it will happen. We are a great country...they survive with the knowledge from our leaders.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  103. Jerry: Alpharetta, GA

    This next generation, the millenials, understand the old American creed, an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. The UAW by playing one automaker against the others has turned that creed upside-down. The UAW will soon have to adjust to the reality they helped create. I firmly believe that this next generation will be making phenomenal strides in correcting not only worker situations but eliminating the greed and lack of ethics that have dominated the investment , corporate, political and yes union world. These kids have it together. They are ready to Give Back. Not money, but their talents, skills and intelligence so that all people will benefit from their God given talents. I pray for them every day.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Richard New Hampshire

    Change is accelerating.Future shock is an everyday phenomena.Go back to 1949,1959.Envisioning 2009,and what has happened the last 60,50 years was not possible.No one today can envision 2059,2069.Advising our children based on our experiences will not work.We can not understand the world they will live in.
    George Orwell wrote fairy tales.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  105. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    The economic turndown has already made our children lives different from ours. I believe that with every upheaval there arise new innovations. That adaptation to change quickly and efficiently is what our children are learning now and this will make us strong again. We only need to allow our youth to come forward with their ideas.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  106. Dave From Vancouver

    My hope is that they will have a better sense of living within their means and ensuring that they are healthier by focusing on common-sense lifestyle practices (eating healthier foods more often, getting enough rest, and staying active to keep a tone figure)

    May 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  107. nelson

    Jack, A lot of the children will be enslaved by what the political
    system we now have,, as we have not recognized it! Government is taking away more of our freedoms everyday... making the USA a
    socialist country,,, like Obama admin wants.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  108. cy gardner

    I've never had to help my six year old get a job sewing Nike's. When Junior grows up he may not be so lucky. cy gardner, arlington, va

    May 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  109. Anthony....Swedesboro, NJ

    Technology will always save the day. Our children will live longer, likely learn,shop and work from home saving gas and overhead. They'll drive hydrogen cars and have homes with solar power. Cheap energy equates to higher living standards. I feel confidant my son will enjoy a much higher living standard than I could imagine. Only in America!

    May 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  110. Tony from Torrington

    My daughter, my grandson, and his children and grandchildren, will be paying for the irresponsible spending and government intervention in American society and business that is this admisnistration's policies. There will be no savings accounts or IRAs, or stock market portfolios. The money they earn will go to the government for their healthcare and other social programs. Thank you Mr. President.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |

    Their lifestyle will be much worse when Obama bankrupts the country. When Obama is votd out of office in 2012, I hope the nextt Republican president can right the ship. Unfortunately it will be a big mess he or she will inherit. And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment. We will see if this is true.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  112. Ralph Nelson

    What we are seeing is called "specialization" in economics. What happens is our living standard goes down and China and other countries goes up. We benefit from "cheap" goods and our dollar buys more. China and other countries get richer and take our jobs with cheap labor. If it was a "free" market we would all benefit and all be richer, but the Chinese and others rig the system in their favor. As a result the future of my children (if I had any) is a lower and lower standard of living. And sadly, in the long run China screws itself by ruining its overseas markets. The Republicans want cheap overseas labor for business, the Democrats want higher living standards via correct application of "specialization". Frankly, I think overall, the American people are being screwed. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  113. Antoine in Plant City, FL

    They're already screwed! I'm a college student, and I can see that! Budget cuts have already impacted them. In the school district (Tampa area) I'm from, kids are limited to 1 or 2 field trips per year. We used to get that per quarter. They also cut music, art, and social science classes, so kids aren't allowed to think outside of the box.

    To get a "good job," as they say, you need to go to college. Only 1/4 people in the U.S. go to college. Instead of grooming the "cream of the crop," we need to invest in the other 3/4. Auto workers are just one case. Inflation aside, for about 50 years, the only people who saw their incomes grow are the extremely rich (they doubled). Some people's stayed the same, but most's decreased. (Minimum wage will get you LESS now than it did decades ago.) The wealth gap in the country has been growing for decades- the top 10% of earners own 70% of the wealth; the top 20% own 80% of the wealth; the BOTTOM 40% own .2% (yes, point-two %); and the bottom 20% just owe (a negative %)... Yep, unless we change, they're screwed.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  114. Anne Hamilton - Denver, CO

    My children are grown, and learning to judge their standard of living through different eyes. Their standard may be more like that of the 1950s, when we all had a lot less but felt we had a comfortable lifestyle. The UAW members who will be taking a hit may just find that it's possible to be more productive and happy with their lives by following the example of the foreign car autoworkers in the south. It may take awhile, but I think our children and grandchildren will be taking lessons from the failures of the past, and finding ways to fix things for themselves.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  115. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think it will dramatically change for the worse. It used to be when you are employed by a big company you had job security until you retired with a decent pension to live on. Those days are gone and those jobs moved to China and other countries. What is left is the largest national debt that will have to be paid for by my children and grandchildren while working for 1/2 the wages I work for with no benefits. But if you are lucky enough to be among the rich your children's lives should be pretty good. You will have all the cheap labor you need to make more profit along with plenty of tax loopholes to use.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  116. ds

    We already knew that standard of living wasn't sustainable. Or did we think living large on credit and virtual wealth while living cheap when it comes to infrastructure and social (such as education) spending was a viable long term plan? Whether quality of life will get worse too depends on how society decides to adapt. Going back from the suburbs to the city and in a smaller home, driving less and enjoy cooking at home don't need to be changes for the worse.

    May 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  117. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Henry Ford said, “There is one rule for the Industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." We are returning to that vision now. In our children’s world we will be focusing on careers in health and human services like education, health, transportation, and envisioning technologies. We were made to explore the universe and discover Gods gifts to mankind. We will boldly go where no man has gone before. And we will make life and prosper. Whatever we imagine could be for good, we will find. We will learn to overcome our tendencies to diverge and we will make this world a kingdom of heaven on earth.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  118. Josiah, Ottawa, KS

    Though I do not have children yet. I believe that when I do have children they will be more technological dependant. While I was still in elementary school, I played some games on the computer. Now I see elementary school children walking around texting and using cellular phones. I have a fear that the next generation will be TOO technologically dependant for it's own god.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  119. Josiah, Ottawa, KS

    Though I do not have children yet. I believe that when I do have children they will be more technological dependant. While I was still in elementary school, I played some games on the computer. Now I see elementary school children walking around texting and using cellular phones. I have a fear that the next generation will be TOO technologically dependant for it’s own good.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  120. atif

    No one to feel sorry for , Yes the GMAC did make crazy money , so did the employees of dealeships , No one asked why the easy money , now all cry .

    May 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  121. Daniel


    That's the reason why I never had kids.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  122. Linda in Arizona

    I don't have any children, and I'm so glad. If I did, I would feel very sorry that I brought them into this world.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  123. David from PA

    Jack...I'll have to work till the day I die. My kid will probably have to work even after he's dead...

    May 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  124. Penelope from Cape Cod

    Our children's lives will surely be different. How different and how they respond to that difference depends on how we as adults respond to the need to change priorities. We can continue the angry sense of entitlement that got us here or, we can wake up and realize that we all need to step back and live more simply.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  125. A.

    My children's future will be better than mine. It promises hard work,thrift and more realistic goals than my "Greed is Good" future promised me before it crashed!

    May 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  126. Anthony

    My children will live in a dystopian nightmare if the government continues its current trend of evolution. Either that, or in Hobb's "state of nature" in which life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Quoting Albert Einstein, "I know not with what weapons world war 4 will be fought, but world war 5 will be fought with sticks and stones".

    May 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  127. Fuad khan

    My kids will probably not get as educated as I am

    May 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  128. Jeremy


    Seems to me that we are experiencing a shift in the economy. On your point about $28/hour auto workers I might ask you to consider this. Teacher wages start out around $28,000 in Iowa. Your average auto worker's salary is roughly $56,000/year (@ $28/hour). College degree vs. high school diploma. Maybe this shift in our economy will demonstrate the importance of an education to our children.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  129. A.

    My children's future will be better than mine. It promises hard work,thrift and more realistic goals than my "Greed is Good" future promised me before it crashed and declared bankruptcy!

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  130. Will

    Well, they won't have to worry about retirement, because that was just a thing people did for forty or fifty greedy, greedy years. What is so wrong about dying on your feet anyway?
    Chico, CA

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  131. Nick D. Neighbour

    One thing becomes more and more ABUNDANTLY CLEAR!
    We have GOT to install a NATIONAL HEALTH CARE System!!
    Pay for it with a Value Added Tax (VAT)? SURE! Why not?
    Nick. N.
    Pasadena. CA.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  132. Anna

    They will imigrate to China to look for job and I hope that they send me remitence to help me with my expenses.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  133. Garth Sheriff from Manhattan Beach, CA

    They will live in a world of possibilities, in part because my generation will not give up trying to make the lives of their generation better.

    Better might not men more material possessions or bigger houses or shinier toys, but I hope and believe it can be filled with the joys of friendship, the love of family, and the gift of faith; and what could be better than that?

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  134. Carl from Citrus Heights, California

    I have a vision of what the future should look like, everyone earning good wages regardless of the work performed. Idealistic I know, but should one person's life be less filled with good and happy experiences than another's? When we all can agree on some fundamental foundations for a standard of life, it will be then that I can say whether our children's lives will be better then what our's are, or were.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  135. atif

    The future will be brighter no matter what the outcome is , we all got carried away ...time to be humbled

    May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  136. Parker in Covington KY

    With any luck, my kids won't have to argue with right wing idiots, because they'll have long since faded back into the woods. Then my kids will be taught to be afraid of the woods.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  137. John Wig


    Active Nuclear bombs in North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.....Jack, the question isn't how their world will be different but, will their world be at all. It's only a matter of time until some terrorist gets their hands on one of these weapons and sets the entire globe into a new orbit. I wouldn't worry too much about what their quality of life is going to be.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  138. Clarence Garden

    I haven't had any children yet Jack. This is making me contemplate if I want any at all. I can't bear the thought of wronging an innocent life with my mistakes

    May 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  139. Ed Bassett Sr

    Well Jack, If my grandchildren lose all they have today, they will have what I had when I was their ages and probably be better off for it.

    Ed Watertown CT

    May 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  140. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    How? Maybe they'll grow up and truely charish their childhood. Like us all, work hard, save more, and earn the things we now take for as rights and freedom.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  141. sseed13

    I think my children will continue to have less rights and freedoms in America. They will have to home school their children to give them a safe, useful education. They were home schooled and are college graduates. They are concerned that they will not even have fresh water to drink in their future.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  142. Ken in NC

    My daughters life will be no different from mine as we were able to give her a better education than we got. We gave her the edge that we did not have and we let he know that she could always come home and live rent free.......... for the first 30 days.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  143. Brenda

    Jack: My 12 year old daughter, who is a straight A student, asked me yesterday what an Encyclopedia was. There life is already different than mine!! They have everything at their disposal – computers, internet, cell phones and texting. They don't really know the true meaning of "work" as I did not compared to my parents and so on.

    I, fortunately have done better than my parents. Although, I feel my children will struggle to live the lifestyle they have grown up with.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  144. Derrick in Los Angeles, CA

    it won't cause i can't afford to have any. I'm 36, Grad school, and made over 70k a year (unemployed now). i could barely afford a tiny 1 bedroom with no AC and my car. Even in a bad housing market i can't afford these home prices. My parents had a house at 26. Boomers ran up debt and got tax breaks and services they never wanted to pay for especially in the 80s. Now Gen X and Gen Y have too. Whats sad is they know what they did and they still have no intention of paying for what got out of their own taxes rather then mine.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  145. Max

    Well Jack, we voted for 'change' didn't we? We're gonna get it.

    The fact is the loss of UAW benefits will pale beside the crippling debt we're creating for generations to come.

    Ahhhh...bring back the days when CNN used to rail against Bush's spending in Iraq! Ol' W was a piker!

    May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  146. Dawson, Minneapolis, MN

    I'm a 24 y/o veteran with a kid on the way. The joy I feel for my first child is only outdone by the worry of how well prepared our society is to deal with children. Our children in this country are overweight, undereducated, lazy, and now to be born into a broken economy. Sadly enough the only persons to blame are the parents... if my child ends up a victim of that circumstance I only have myself to blame. So to answer your question... my child will be fine...

    May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  147. MariaElena

    My chldren already live a "more materialistic' life than I did. They also give back to the environment by their off-time hobbies. But their children, already in teens will not have those choices.

    Perhaps the idea of the "American Dream" should be reviewed and adjusted as times change. Why should we be trying to pursue a dream that's almost 100 years old?


    May 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  148. Duncan Weller

    I think our children's lives will be cleaner and better than ours. Sure, they may not make as much money, and they may have to live closer together, without a car, or a big house, but being frugal never constrained us from being great and productive. Our children will live with less, materially, but with all that matters in human relations I really believe their lives will be better than ours. Our current economic crisis will be seen as a reality check.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  149. Roger Heuckeroth

    Our children's lives will be better if we do the right things to secure their future. The decline in standard of living is due to our negligence over the last several decades. If we focus on the fundementals and acheive energy independence then we can turn this trend around.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  150. Norm, Toledo

    Jack, they will do whatever it takes to secede.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  151. daniel

    i thnk that the life ive lived will never return next generation will be living 1984

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  152. dave

    Jack I'm afraid financially they will be worst off. But I'm optimistic their quality of live will be better.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  153. Art in WV

    Yes, it's always been part of the fabric of the American way of life that each generation finds itself in better shape than the previous one, but I wonder if my 85 year old mother would have agreed with that notion back in the 1930s during the deepest part of the Great Depression. Of course, there was no doubt of the progress by the 1950s. The point is that short term view can be bleak, but that it's not too hard to have faith when one considers the long term.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  154. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack, it will not be easy for future generations, but is this all bad?
    People are saying today they are spending more time with their families, sitting on the porches, enjoying activities that are free,
    not eating out as much and giving less importance to material
    Think we lost sight along the way with our easy living as to what
    is really important.. So although there may not be as many luxuries,
    perhaps the quality of life will be better.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  155. The Broker.

    No! Clasification. When is your Country categorized. Demoralized.
    You go on CNN. You only have Two Parties. You Elected on Bias
    Now you have no Credability. You can talk! You can shout!
    But your ethics are out.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  156. NevadaGramma

    I'm hoping that my kids will have 21st century infrastructure to include better highways & bridges, high-speed rail travel, and secure up-to-code building structures. They should have easy access to healthcare for them and their children. At least they'll have something to show for the higher taxes they'll be paying.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  157. JJ

    I am concerned for my two daughters, but I have traveled extensively in Burma - a nation where people are oppressed and so poor. This exposure certainly changes my perspective. Although there won't be the abundance we have grown used to, I believe my daughters will have access to health care, education, career choices, safe housing, safe water and a thousand opportunities that people in Burma can only dream of. We Americans are still blessed, and we need to spend more time counting our blessings then cursing our losses.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  158. Dwight in Dallas

    Of course we want things to be better for the next generation, but look at where that's gotten us. My 91 year old father grew up on a farm. They didn't even have indoor plumbing when he was a kid. But they were happy. As a young man, I remember times when we had pancakes for dinner because there was nothing else in the house to eat, but we were happy. Now people are killing themselves because they have lost their job. Are we happy now.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  159. dabuchanan

    Jack, whats the difference between the GM employee in Detroit and the Toyota employee in Tennessee, both of whom are American? Someone with limited education that gets a $28/hr job shouldn't be viewed as the norm, but as the exception. They're just plain lucky.

    As parents we should be giving our children more tools than we had to have the future that they deserve.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  160. J.T. St. Paul MN

    Hi Jack –
    Unlike many Americans, I've not only thought about, but acted upon how my kid's future will be different from mine. I really started thinking about this after reading Friedman's The World Is Flat and decided to do something about it. My 6 year old and 8 year old attend a Chinese immersion elementary school. Everything is taught in Mandarin, even gym class. I figure that way, they can go where the jobs are... even if that means China. Americans need to start thinking global – like it or not – in order to keep up our standard of living we need to look beyond ourselves.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  161. CHIP

    I think there lives will be different, more reason to go hard, over-acheive and don't expect any hand outs. This generation is lazy, and use to having a free RIDE! We can only blame ourselves. STEP UP

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  162. bill

    Their lives will be better albeit simpler. They will live the lives of their grandparents and great grand parents. They won't be getting every new toy or gadget. Maybe a vacation trip once every 5 years. Maybe only one automobile. They will learn to love spending time together. Life was good in the old days.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  163. FED UP IN NYC


    Here's the Difference and it's plain as day. Our children will not have jobs that is the fabric of this nation. Specifically all jobs requiring manufacturing, factory or assembly are outsourced to third world nations.

    This is the problem. Our government – specifically the Clinton Administration, the House & Senate sold American jobs to the these nations. Americans cannot find jobs because their need for jobs are diminished by companies greed for money. Why is it that all clothing companies like the Gap, Old Navy, Levi, Banana Republic to electronic companies to Car manufacturers – even the American ones – ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS ARE MADE IN EVERY OTHER PART OF THE WORLD EXCEPT AMERICA. These companies want us to purchase their products at full value while they only paid pennies on the dollar to have them manufactured. Americans need to boycott all of these companies so that their children can have jobs in the future. this is the problem. there is only one way to fix it...BOYCOTT!!,
    1. There are no jobs in America & why is th

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  164. Neil O'Connor

    If we do not get our media to start standing up to Free Trade - the outsourcing of all our factories - we will be an industrial Third World country soon, a counry where our children will have the same jobs as any Third World country.
    If we do not get our media to start standing up to Hispanic illegal immigration, we will be a Third World country by population, too. Our children will have the same jobs that Mexican peasants have today.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  165. Frank in Ohio

    Our children will not have the opportunities we were given by our parents and grandparents because of our greed. The baby boom generation is responsible for the loss of our industries, industries where almost anyone could get a "starter" job, and work their way up. Our parents and grandparents built those industries, and preserved them for us. Now our children come out of college into burger flipping jobs carrying twenty thousand dollars in education debt. Remember "the giant sucking sound" as our jobs and industry were moved out of the country, and for what, instant profits today for baby boomers, and a future of difficulty for our children. By the way, I am a baby boomer, and I'm ashamed of what my generation has done.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  166. Gayle - Columbus OH

    This country's economy has always been a series of turning points...industrial to service to information to green.....it changes with the times. These changes are often painful and forced, but they do and must happen. Therefore, the days of the lifelong job with benefits is gone. The paradigm has shifted and we do not yet know the what this will mean for the next generation.

    I'm hoping my nephews live in an America where everyone can make a living wage and have quality health care, but also where assembly-line workers don't make 3 times what a paramedic or a teacher does.

    I have nothing against the concept of unions, but maybe someday work will be rewarded based on what one contributes to society, not on what his/her union was able to negotiate.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  167. chapter house fontana, ca

    I pray to God that my son will be a professional mixed martial arts fighter one day.
    It seems to be one of the few industries that’s still growing everyday.
    I train with him night and day, ever since he first learned to walk.
    He’s 9 years old now and his talent and natural ability truly have to be seen to be believed.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  168. Bill, PA

    Now that our government has been bought by the wealthy who control the corporate funds the changes in the United States are profound.
    We used to have: respect for one's word, respect for law, opportunities for jobs with family living wages, access to health care, regulated corporations and financial institutions so our savings were there for retirement, an almost fair tax system, and so on.
    No more.
    Our children will watch as the wealth is ever more concentrated. They may even see the wealth move out of the United States. Then they will see dramatic changes we dare not even put in words but the results of such changes are easily seen in any 3rd-world nation.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  169. dan

    jack, until americans figure out that we will not surive if we continue to send all our money overseas their future is doomed. we are commiting economic suicide. unless we start supporting each other this country and our children's futures are nothing. buy american or say good -bye to america.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  170. jc smoots in tulsa

    Everyone seems to act as if our current troubles and just that – current. I've watched this coming since the 80's and to sum it up, in the 50's, 60's, 70's and into the 80's a hi-tech hard working blue collar worker in many fields could buy a nice house, two decent cars, pay his bills and somewhat keep up with the jones' and even send at least one child to college. Now, we can't even keep up with our bills, even with two incomes. The 70's middle class is now the poor, even when we can find a decent job.
    What about our kids? I feel their only real hope at a life on a par with us is the internet. Decimation of information and the educating that comes with it, along with access to government and hopefully policy making could change our country and the world to enrich the average human life instead of being cannon fodder for the economic war that currently exists. Greed being all powerful both in business and in government. Pray for our kids, Jack.

    from an old fat white guy

    May 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  171. Sharon of Ohio

    With the economy so bad, the national debt, no morality left and we must take a turn to the times before. Hmmmm! I remember my Mom always home when we came in from school. Dinner, homework, then television. There was weekend board games, summer games of hide and seek, horseshoes, a ride in the country for a picnic and sometimes a drive inn movie. There was fairs, carnivals that were all done as a family. We worked and saved for what we wanted. (So did our parents) Then we grew up and it was get it now, pay later. Spoil our kids, go to Paris, or London in the Summer. Trips to Disney. Buy them a car, pay for collage and let them live at home. They have children, and it is even worse. So, there could be a lot worse things for future generations to learn the basics and forget the greed and I want it now. We all contributed, sorry the innocent have to pay the price.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  172. Jim Blevins

    It is entirely our choice. If we continue to allow violence and greed and prejudice to run our lives, our children will live in hell. If we allow reason and goodness to rule, our children could certainly have better lives than we have had.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  173. Mary Texas

    Unfortunately, I see this country sliding into the category of a 3rd world nation. The rich will stay rich and the middle class will disappear. Free trade means that if we don't do something about healthcare, our companies cannot afford to make or keep jobs here in the USA . We cannot compete with workers who make 50 cents a hour. Go figure.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  174. J D Walling

    Right, the days of King Consumer are over. The Reagan revolution spelled tax cuts for the wealthy, and doom for the very people who elected them – and the Bush/Cheney crowd. I don't recall Americans blaminig FDR for the last Republican depression.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  175. John Patrick

    I believe our chidren's lives will be significantly different and more aligned with the generations of the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. They will have to work harder and longer for what they hope to achieve.

    On the other hand, they just might be freed from the greedy march toward "profit at all costs" my generation has fallen victim to and actually learn that balancing profit with the good of humanity is reasonable, and can be profitable.

    My hope is that they will be the progressive, humane and innovative leaders my generation is not.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  176. John from Alabama

    Jack: My 27 year old son will have to take care of his own retirement fund. He will have to work until he is 72 years old. He will move at least 3 times to keep his present job in quality control for a food company. There will not be any perts from the employer for doing an excellent job. He will have less paid vacation time, and he will work about 50 to 60 hours a week to maintain the same quality of life as his parents. But it looks like he will have adequate health insurance.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  177. Diane Savage

    Living in one of the most expensive places in the U.S., San Francisco, does not help our kids. My 35 year old son has been out of a job for over a year. He is literally living in his car. We are in a gated senior community so he can visit, do his laundry, eat and then has to leave for a night in his car.
    One nephew, 30 years old, is a Cook. He had a job for 5 years making good money and developing a reputation...he is now living with his Mom and Dad collecting unemployment insurance. People have less money to spend on eating out so the jobs in his field have dried up.
    Another 28 year old nephew has his Masters and thought he wouldn't have to worry. He worked for Johnson and Johnson and was laid off over 6 months ago. He also is on unemployment insurance.
    We believed our parents dream and my 2 sisters and I are living a higher standard of living than they did. Our children...unemployed and who knows when they will even get a job much less a house.
    What has happened to the America my grandparents, my parents and we grew up in???

    May 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  178. linda in Columbus, Indiana

    Lighten Up! I think families will get back to basics and be closer even tho they may have less $$. Priorities will change. Keeping up with the "Joneses" never was much fun anyway.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  179. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I am sure they will be very different. I have been very fortunate and was able to be a stay at home housewife. I devoted 100% of my time at first raising our son and then was free to sit on boards and do volunteer work. Our son now won a scholarship to law school and starts in August. My daughter-in-law will have to go to work and their children will have to go to day care. They are going to have to work really hard to get where they are going in life. Maybe they won"t have all of the material things I had starting out but maybe a few hard times will be good for their character and value system. They'll appreciate what they've earned and hopefully will want to make this world a better place for my grandchildren.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  180. Terence

    Jack, It will surely be a diferent life style for them. Instead of $14 an hr the will make much less then that and will have no health care or retirement benefits. They will be going to India and Mexico for jobs instead of staying in the USA. There kids will go back to the stone age. What a future to look forward to.
    Piscataway, NJ

    May 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  181. monica von berndt

    jerome Idaho Yes Jack our kids and grandkids might not have a better monitary future but if you think about it where did this way of living lead to we dont need a new car every year, a home we cant afford, clothes for our kids that just had brand name, eating out four or five days out of the week because we are too busy making money to cook a home cooked meal I brought up 8 kids and have 17 grandkids and 2 more on the way and all my kids know the meaning of frugality and some had to teach this to their spouses Now if the wage was cut down to $14.00 an hour what would be wrong with living the way we did way back when eating out 2 or 3 times a year like we did, we survived and we were thankful for what we had

    May 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Roland(St George,UT)

    Bringing an innocent child into perhaps one of the most dysfunctional families in the world (mine) seemed just a bit too cruel and inhumane, I couldn't bring myself to do it. My relationships never evolved into marriages (yet) so assuming I live out my days as a batchelor, whenever I die I'm leaving my body to medical science and if I have any money leftover I'm going to leave it to a charity that rescues children from abusive homes. (Roland/St George, UT)

    May 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  183. Fran

    Since only the worker's pay and not CEO pay has to compete with foreign pay, my children will be able to look in awe at the mansions and estates of the ruling class.

    If you want a preview of this go to Newport, Rode Island and look at the summer homes of the rich of the past. The rise of the middle class demanding their share of the pie made these summer homes too much for the rich to maintain. They are now tourist attractions run by the state.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  184. Marie

    Jack, today's children have learned that lying, cheating and manipulating others is the norm. The last administration did it for years. They also know that if you manage to steal millions or even billions, chances are you won't have to pay it back nor go to prison. If you torture, if you really lie big time, don't worry – – they're going to 'look forward.' No penalty for you.
    Sad, few will learn the principles which made us great. Too radical.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  185. Jay IN Lakewood CA.

    My children will not value anything that society brings into their lives.They will not know the meaning of hard work, a good education and what it means to work at a job and to appreciate it. The youth of america has a me first do nothing until tommorow metality that will ruin their lives as well as the parents who brought them up better than that. My children will know the meaning of education,hard work,determination and the drive to succeed more than I did

    May 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  186. Jacqueline Mongeot

    We, middle class people, want our children, and in our case our grancdchildren, to have a better life. They all are College Graduates without high paying jobs. They consider changing profession, yet because of health care benefits with their current jobs they do not dare,..It's grim. Yet. I may say what I think: the recent Republican administrations destroyed the American dream. , exporting jobs overseas, leaving education stagnates in a mediocre level, exploiting the uneducated workers. IT is going to take extraordinary efforts to change that situation and probably more time than the President Obama's Administration envisions. Our grandchildren-in their 20's and 40's have to be perseverant and patient. John San Diego CA.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  187. Bruce

    Well, we in the U.S. will provide a destroyed currency, third world production capacity, unaffordable education and an underfunded retirement. Lots of wars are possible with our dominate-at-all-costs foreign policy and depleted resources. Combine this with rights-assaulting legislation and militaristic police state tactics and values we will likely be in a slave-state complete with ubiquitous prison camps for those who can't work or those who refuse ID chips. Some of us will say "enough" and abandon the programmed nonsense and get real lives(cooperate instead of compete).

    May 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  188. Migs

    just by reading all this comment here, is that American dream is not slipping away because of the economy its the way people think. We get scared for the things that's happening here in our country, but we don't take initiative to solve this problem. Not through politics start it from our self, government won't be able to help all the people every single day and we know that. For now i learned that school is great but its not guarantee that we are going to have a job once we graduate with degree, my self is still in college to get my degree but that degree is just a coupon for an interview for a non lifetime guarantee and recession proof jobs. And we all knows that Job is not going to give us secured life, why not find a opportunity that gives us a secured life. There are a lot of opportunity out there that people ignore because they are not educated about it or they are scared because they never tried it. In my opinion when the times come that i have children i know they would have a better life and future. Just keep the hope up never give up and strive for what you think you deserve, we can make it through this bad economy.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  189. John in Santa Barbara

    What will they want, what will be their value system. We cannot expect them to desire what we want. That is their hope, and they will be willing to fight for it. I don't believe that they will live a hand to mouth existance, but I do believe that they will take a better responsibility for the health of the planet. They will fight wars, and abuse sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, but they will find their place and worry about the next generation.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  190. Joe in VA

    Given my age, I suppose I am most concerned about my grandchildren. I fear they will live in a country with less freedom, higher taxes, and one in which the greatest days are past. I see us much as England or France is today, a grand history but not a top tier word player. That's OK, maybe others need to lead for a while. Also, It's not so much the inevitable change in standard of living that bothers me. Families can live happily in smaller homes, own fewer cars and do without much of the stuff we too often feel we must have. What bothers me is the general moral decay that I see around us. I see us evolving to the point where there are no moral absolutes and individual self gratification is always elevated about the common good.

    Chatham, VA

    May 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  191. Patrick, Lake Stevens, Washington

    I think my children's lives will be different than mine and for the better. They understand the value of education and take nothing for granted. I know they will prosper because of this belief. I refused to wilt to the might of this recession and the skeptics who talk about higher deficits here in the U.S. The dawning of the new administration gives me that positive outlook on life in America. I believe in the will of the American people. I believe in the will of my daughters who will lead a positive way to a bright future.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  192. Fran - Seattle

    Since only the workers pay and not CEO pay has to compete with foreign pay, my children will be able to look in awe at the mansions and estates of the ruling class.

    If you want a preview of this go to Newport, Rode Island and look at the summer homes of the rich of the past. The rise of the middle class demanding their share of the pie made these summer homes too much for the rich to maintain. They are now tourist attractions run by the state.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  193. Vaughn from Ohio

    America's national debt has been there since the Andrew Jackson presidency and will, in all likelihood, never be paid back. The debt is simply too large and anyone that thinks we can somehow come up with a solution to erase the debt someday is simply fooling themselves. Thus, we'll pass the torch on to our kids, who will then pass it to their kids, etc. until such a time that another country ends up controlling our action. Jack, I don't speak Chinese. Do you?

    May 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  194. Traci from NY

    Wow how did this become blame everything on President Obama when he's trying to repair the damage? that's just like blaming the purchaser of a defective tv instead of blaming Sony.

    so on topic, Jack, the children are always the future. only God can predict what will happen & God always protects his children

    May 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  195. Zack Canton Michigan

    The knowledge revolution is kicking in Jack, the same thing happen when the industrial revolution happen, people went from peasant farmers to Working in factories. The standard of living went down but got better as reforms and other revolutions happen. The knowledge revolution well be the same except people well go from working in factory's to working in offices, and all the physical problems of the industrial revolution, well know be mental problems until those are solved through reforms and revolutions.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  196. George Parker

    Jack. The next generation can have any standard of living they want – they can bury themselves in debt and buy Mac-Mansions, max out several credit cards and generally buy things they will never pay for and re-create a financial catastrophe – or they can even choose a sensible standard of living.
    The stated goal of all recent efforts is to get back to where the nation was in 2005 – REALLY! – no effort should be put into that goal. Our way of life needs to change and going back to 2005 is not at all the needed change. You are my CNN Hero – not that I always agree with you – that is democracy. Keep doing your best. George Parker.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  197. Gary in Lexington


    Sadly, I can only envision the middle class continuing to contract. Having said that, I do not see our children, as a whole, living the life my wife and I have for our 58-years thus far. I can only envision taxes rising due to the fiscal irresponsibility of our politicians and citizens, the cost of health care and insurance continuing to rise, education continuing its downward trend, a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs, a growing energy crisis, etc. They must also face the ever increasing competition from China, India and other developing nations. I never thought I would say this, but I am glad I am 58-years old, I would not want to be them.


    May 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  198. Ed from the Jersey Shore

    I believe our children will find the bar just for middle class status considerably higher to reach. Even with a quality education, people will find themselves in a “lower middle” class because business and government have made a defacto decision that the average joe should be on a par with the average joe on other countries. We in the US middle class today will no longer be looked upon as someone to be. In other words, the middle class is deliberately being “dunned down.”

    This country is clearly headed into two classes: haves and used to have.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  199. Abel

    I cant really say Jack You'll just have to live long enough to see it for yourself

    May 29, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  200. Jim S.

    I don't have any children and I fear what the future holds in store for American kids.
    Regardless of what anyone says, this country is on a downward slide and approaching third world status at an alarming rate.
    Jobs are disappearing and wages being cut for those remaining.
    Millions of homeless that are forgotten along with more than 47 million without medical insurance. Twenty thousand Americans die each year (what's admitted to) for lack of medical insurance.
    The infant mortality rate is below that of some banana republics.
    There's more but I get depressed just thinking about it.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  201. Gimli-Utah

    I can't afford children.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  202. Jim - Massachusetts

    As long as we allow Wall Street and the fat cat CEO's to skim billions off the top while outsourcing jobs, charging the highest prices for the same goods they sell in other countries for a fraction of the cost, the younger generations will not have the same standard of living. These companies are all becomming marketing companies. The ones that do stay here like food production, farming, and service industries will all hire immigrant labor who live cheaply, send their money back to their home countries and then move back there rich and retire.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  203. Bob Mc

    1. Continued American competitiveness in the high tech world, but not manufacturing and unskilled work. 2. A greater political voice for the growing underclass. 3. High debt interest payments.

    All of that adds up to increased reliance on goverment services, higher taxes, less incentive for Generations X and Y to become hard workers, and a slow move to the European way.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  204. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I have always wanted more for my children than I had when growing up and raising a family, even though I always had a good job and made very good money, I wanted my children to do better and they have. My son is an attorney, two of my daughters own their own business and the third is content to be a housewife which is fine with me. Being happy with their lives is the most important thing and making sure their children are taught good values, respect for people and just good common sense aspects of life, then I will consider my life a success.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  205. Rachel

    I have two African American daughters that I believe will have an America that is being shaped by a presidency that will truly give them a chance and a Hope to believe that the "American Dream" can completely be theirs. It is a reality much different than ours. Their dream will be to help build a better and bigger America as they are can now feel 100% apart of America. They will have a much more fulfilled life!

    May 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  206. Dee in sunny (and wet) Florida

    Jack, my daughter's life probably will not be much different from mine.

    She will work all her life, pay her taxes every year, do the right things, and then just before retirement the economy will tank, she will lose nearly all her life savings, and she will continue to work until she dies.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  207. Kirk Williams

    Well let’s see, I am a 46 year old male who after being employed for over 22 years in the airline industry, in one of those union type jobs, has had to return to college for retraining. I now find myself in classrooms with students about half my age. The worst thing about it Jack, not only is there a loss of manufacturing union jobs like those in the past, but these college students know full well the same fate awaits them in the educated jobs sector as well. This lowering in the standard of living awaits us all, in all classes.

    On the other hand, Germany is the world’s second largest exporter. The Germans produce much more than they consume, yet they have some of the strongest labor unions in the world, national health care, and very strong labor laws. In a nut shell, they have a system that makes republicans run in circles, flailing their arms in the air, calling them dirty little socialists. Well news flash, not only are their education standards higher than ours, so is their standard of living, and technology. Essentially, they are kicking our butt all over the place.

    Kirk Williams
    Peoria, AZ

    May 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  208. joseph o leboeuf

    I'm fortunate to have a daughter who has a good job at a credit card co. but I think she like's money too much. she like a lot of people is addicted too money, cause when you really think about it all of us live beyond our need's, most americans are not stupid but we loose trac of what really matters when everything is going good, when we get to the point where we have to step back because of loss of work, I can't help but to look at everything I have that I really don't need!
    JOE N.C.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  209. Kyle, Sacramento

    My child is a female and I am a male so I anticipate that she will be hit on by more men than I have ever been hit on by men....Seriously though, she will encounter more competition for professional work in an overpopulated world and competition for fresh water.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  210. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    No kids, so not a factor for me.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  211. Barbara in NC

    They'll live happier lives – free of the prejudice and fear that have been pounded into our heads from the cold war on thru to today with people calling other people harsh names - oh how I wish people would see other people and not HATE so much or fear the unknown.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  212. dan

    we have less true freedoms than our parants. freedom to them equates to material goods. i hope that my kids get the oppertunity to be kids, and that they get back some of their youth that we as american adults have sacraficed in their name. shame on us lets get there and our freedom back..

    May 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  213. Horn Lake, MS

    Right now, it would appear that they will not have the opportunities to succeed and live a life independent of government interference. The damage done in 4 months of the Obama administration will take generations to undo. The way the media is and with the libs in control, they are erasing the memories of what freedom actually means and you know before they finish the will complete their brainwashing of the children through the beloved NEA.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  214. j

    i thought we were gonna live in a great world according to all the left wingers. everything is gonna be rosy, they better wake up and get into the real world.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  215. Daniel

    As an African American male I can look into my child's eyes and tell them they can be anything they want to.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  216. Daniel Webster

    It's funny to me but I never see my e-mails or comments on your blog. I know I'm not vulgar or demeaning what up?

    May 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  217. Milton

    Our children will watch our country turn into Mexico. Already happening here in Texas.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  218. Angie

    They will be less materialistic, less selfish, and above all more educated so they can jobs that are good paying.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  219. Tom Dolan

    Succeeding generations have no God-given right to ever higher standards of living. Some of our kids and grandkids will have a higher standard of living, some may have less. Standard of living depends on God-given ability and how hard we are willing to work for what we want. Americans' standards of living are generally higher than most people on this planet and will continue to be - if we're willing to work hard. We need to thank whatever God might be and put our shoulders to the wheel.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  220. Aaron

    They will be watched and their every action will be judged. There will be no privacy whatsoever and no expectation of privacy. The American Dream will no longer exist. It actually started to become the Ameican Nightmare several years ago. The golden age of America has passed and will never return.

    This is an absolute guarantee, there is no chance it won' happen this way. How do I know? I'm helping to build it.

    This is why I am not having any kids.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  221. Kelly in Atlanta

    My children will know what it means to "be green" They will comprehend the meaning of Marriage as a union of two people in love. They will see everything in fluorescent light and be downloading their textbooks direct to their computers. My children will know what it means to live in a free world and most importantly of all, my daughter will know that if she really wants it and gives it her all – she can be President, too.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  222. Scott

    Taxes will continue to go up to unfathomable heights. The shrinking middle class will begin to despise the American elite in their fortressed homes and the generational welfare recipients who believe it is the job of the government to take care of them. It will not end well. My sons will probably have American blood on their hands before it is all said and done.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  223. Todd in Madison, WI

    I think that, whenever there is a downturn in the economy, media types hype and prey upon these types of concerns, when the reality is that American history, and that of mankind as a whole, is an almost continuous line of each generation improving their standard of living over the prior one. This recession is nowhere near as bad as the Great Depression, which the Dems and the media hyped it to be. The cultural and socio-political changes the world is going through are hardly comparable to the Dark Ages. The current shift in the job and employment base is not unlike the shift when the Industrial Revolution hit, or when the Service Economy came to be. Individuals may suffer, but as a whole, we'll all be fine. Love your kids, teach them and bring them up right, and more than likely they'll be better off than you were.

    May 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  224. Spero

    Will our children have a tomorrow is the question? They don't have a shield to defend us from possible nuclear attack because Obama is smarter than Bush. They will have terrorists living in this country, being brought to this country and sneaking in that they will have to deal with. They will have to deal with taking care of a lot of people that don't feel like filling out an application for employment and just feel like living off the government. If their a white christian they will be persecuted, bullied, shown intollerance, forced to cover up their religion because someone else finds it offensive. They will be forced to think like someone else or they will be racist only if their white. They will also be in debt before they are even born. Sounds awesome to me.

    May 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  225. Amy

    My step- children have been raised in a very affluent household, and have wanted for nothing. As they graduate from college, it is obvious that they have been conditioned through their public schooling to believe that money is not important, and they and their friends are seeking jobs offer less responsibility and less money. They are happy with this, as long as their parents continue to pay for expensive clothes, vacations, electronics, etc. that they will never be able to afford. Truly, young people today are so spoiled they do not understand what it takes to earn the money they assume will always be available for their every whim, and cannot fathom that cell phones, IPods, cars, clothes, wine and every other luxury are things that have to be paid for by someone. As long as it is not them, who cares?

    May 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  226. William Los Angeles

    Which part of their lives? The part where the older generations selfishly created social security and medicare that burden their children who wont recieve the benefits of it. The part where you neglected the planet and changed its climate forever. The racism and hatred carried before the civil rights movement. The number they did on the economy.

    As a young person I would say dont worry about what your leaving us with and just give it to us now, so you dont continue messing it up.

    May 29, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  227. Daniel Webster

    I read these blogs and wonder if they even understand the question. Our children's lives are going to be greatly effected by the massive debt that's being piled up. And the lower wages we are being forced to accept through free trade. For the very first time in American history our children's lives will not be better than ours.!

    May 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  228. greg arnold

    I'm concerned about the sense of entitlement that young people appear to have. They expect things to be handed to them that people my age (50) never considered. A car at the age of 16 is now an "expected" purchase. I never even though of asking my parents for a car when I was 16. My generation is very material focused. To a fault. The difference is, I saw that I wanted things, and I went after them. Some I got. Others I'm still trying. Young people want the material things. They just feel like they are entitled to get them instead of getting them for themselves.

    May 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  229. Wayne Cave


    You were blasted good with WHO in Des Moines Iowa and you have never lost your touch. Keep going with your points of view, we need it!

    May 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  230. Mark

    Think small. Nanotechnology. Genetic engineering. Living modestly. Living longer. That is our future.

    May 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  231. Meryl, Tennessee

    When school teachers and paramedics organize unions, then perhaps they will make as much money as "assembly line" workers.
    You know, the ones who build America's fighter jets and the automobiles we drive.

    May 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm |