November 6th, 2009
05:35 PM ET

How confident are you in the next generation of Americans?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If you buy the axiom that "You're only as strong as your weakest link," this country is in some serious trouble.

Consider this: 75 percent of America's young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are unfit for military duty. Army statistics show these youngsters are ineligible to enlist for lots of reasons: From lack of education to illegal drug use, being overweight or out of shape to having a criminal record. 75 percent.

This disturbing news comes just a month after the Pentagon met its annual recruiting goals for the first time since 1973. But military commanders point out that during economic downturns, recruitment numbers go up and "a weak economy is no formula for a strong military."

This is scary stuff. We continue to fight two wars and there are additional potential threats from places like Iran and North Korea.

And here is a very real sign our standard of living is declining: Research shows almost half of all U.S. children - and 90 percent of African-American children - will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 20. The current recession could push these numbers even higher.

This study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine says many of these children could be at risk for malnutrition and other problems associated with poverty. What kind of future is that for half of our children… and by extension, for the country?

Here’s my question to you: How confident are you in the next generation of Americans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sheryl writes:
As an education specialist and researcher, I believe to my bones that the only way to fight the poverty that plagues the next generation is through education. We adopted our daughter out of U.S. poverty. Her sister was murdered through urban peer violence. Education and having her most basic needs met is what is making the difference for our now 13 year old daughter. Her sister had equal potential, but had to attend school in a dangerous environment. Education is life. The alternative is poverty, incarceration or death.

Emden from Texas writes:
Jack, They can't be worse than my generation: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Our legacy: massive debt, unsecured borders, ever-increasing drug traffic to our children. We've squandered everything our parents and grandparents left us. In spite of this, people are dying to get in. Go figure!

Greg writes:
We threw out our Judeo-Christian heritage, its symbols, its moral restraints, its guidelines and this is what secularism has given us back.

Tom writes:
We are a nation full of children raising children; I have no confidence in our future.

Stephanie writes:
I am 52 years old and have worked with young and old people. I have met some very hardworking, dedicated and intelligent young people. I feel this generation is the same as any other generation.

Joe writes:
I used to be a Marine Corps Recruiter. From my experience, I can tell you that we are screwed!

Harry in Millersburg, Kentucky writes:
Careful, Jack. I'm sure that when you were growing up, you heard your elders proclaim something negative about you and your generation and how the country was going to hell because of you. Guess what? They were right.

Filed under: United States
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    Welfare created the 'nanny' mentality. What do you expect when discipline, competition, ambition, and 'winning' was replaced by political correctness and re-distribution? The evidence of sloth is right in front of you.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Tina Tx

    The next generation will be the generation like after the Great Depression. They will have to work harder to even get near to achieving their dream. They may not have the nice luxury that the baby boomers had before this recession but you can at least lead a happy life if you so choose but you have to make that choice.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  3. HD in Phoenix, AZ


    GIven the fact that this nation has spawned an entire generation of people whithout souls who are currently greedy CEO's, GOP & Democrat politicians and wallstreet fat cats, I'm not very confident. If these people are supposed to be the leaders that our nation's youth are to look up to, then there is no more integrity in this nation. Just GOP cowards, chicken hawks and spineless elitists.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    November 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  4. Jim in Alabama

    Not every confident! Youth today have been raised by materialistic parents and many divorced ones as well. They haven't been taught responsibility or hard work and have watched their parents live on credit. Also many have dropped out of school or cannot afford college. This doesn't bode well for this generation of children.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  5. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Well Jack, these kids have arms, legs, torsos, necks full of tatoos, they love the violent topics of rap 'music', they have role models that include the criminals masquariding as professional athletes and rappers, video games are a way of life, they reeive little discipline at home or school, 'work' is a nasty four letter word. I see no problem here Jack. These kids are heading in the proper direction.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  6. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    not very, they seem to have lost certain social traits: courtesy and the work ethic, being among them

    November 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  7. Lou from North Carolina

    Those who aren't dependant on some sort of drugs are great!

    November 6, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  8. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Our nation's lack of emphasis on education and general well-being for the population, in favor of funneling money to the wealth and war profiteers, is now showing the true damage caused by these policies. Jack, you get what you pay for.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  9. Gany

    The next generation will be the dumbest in our history.
    Thousands of would be students thwarted fir tget nyst pay for basic education and Americans belittle the educated.
    Our Empire building has crashed like an overloaded computer.
    Not felled by gays, greed, nor eveb pundits, but by inertia!

    November 6, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Kathleen

    I think the facts speak for themselves. High fees to enter university or college. High price for a home. High odds against a person to get the job they want simply from the high employment figures showing there are many others in the same boat. It costs an arm to enter your child into sports and taxes have stolen a leg to cover the debt from the military expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan that cannot get to the public school system.

    Unless you are a lotto winner, live nearby a private school with a sudden half price tuition discount or Sarah Palin's press agent (who earns their money well) you end up hopping along lost and unfocused. The kids in china have better futures knowing they will have jobs sending more to Walmart in the US that the next generation will buy with their low introductory fee credit cards.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  11. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I grew up in the fifties and sixties. In the sixties, with the generation gap, my parents didn't think my generation of boomers would amount to much. History will make that decision. Your statistics really look gloomy. Another one to think about, how many grown children live with their parents compared to other age groups? The world is definitely changing.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  12. Loren, Chicago

    The question should be turned around: how confident am I in this generation to create a generation of Americans capable of taking care of this country? My answer to that, based on the current administration, is not at all. Our children are no worse than we were at that same age, but for one big difference–an apparent accepted belief that they are incapable of making decisions for themselves or taking responsibility for their actions. I find it hard to believe that those numbers are anything but a statistical shell game intended to scare people into taking action that benefits those putting the numbers out. Our children will rise to any test that the future puts in front of them, so long as we remind them that they are responsible for their future through the choices they make today. If they prove themselves not up to the task, well, we llikely won't be around to see them fail.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  13. Santiago Virginia Beach

    When you add up declining standards of living, declining quality of education, increasing debt burdens, greater global food competition, etc; the future looks rather bleak indeed. Blame the parents and grandparents though, 60 years of "Big Brother will take care of you" will do this to any society.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  14. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    That is one thing about the people of the United States, we survive and do what is needed. I'm sure our forefathers ask the same question and we've carried the torch and getting ready to pass it on.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    It's not the next generation of Americans that I'm worried about. It's the next generation of politicians that worries me.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  16. Mark

    I am a school teacher in an inner-city middle school and I am scared to death now, forget about the future.

    Mark in OKC

    November 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  17. Leo P Livernoche

    How do you educate leaders in the north american economy to understand that there is enough wealth to satisfy more than the basic needs of all citizens. If that could be done...then there would be hope for the future generations.
    Leo P L

    November 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  18. Sharman, Richmond, In

    Considering the poor graduation rate in our country, I think we are in deep trouble! Then, throw in the growing drug abuse, and adult "kids" moving back home with their parents when they can't make it, and the parents allowing it, I'd say" Houston, we have a problem!" Can't anyone just merely take the bull by the horns and grow up regardless of a few ups and downs in life?

    November 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  19. steve in virginia

    Not at all. It's the past two generations that created the mess we're in. What basis is there to have faith in the children that they spawn and raise? I won't have faith in any generation until the accepted norm resumes being that parents are more than DNA donors, that children need a full-time parent, and that parents are to be held accountable and responsible for providing effective parenting.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  20. Remo from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Tx.

    Jack, if you took all their home entertainment toys away, you might get a whimpering fight. Otherwise we are toast if we have to rely on these sorry self-indulgent citizens. I doubt many could chase you across a living room before they run out of breath.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  21. jim Blevins

    It is the values of our young that concerns me most (learned, of course from us). Good old American know how has been replaced with greed. Our work ethic has been replaced with sloth. (never thought I would be one of those old farts always complaining about the young).

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  22. james in Idaho

    Depending on how many of the next generation are stay-as-you-are, status-quo-is-good for you, conservatives I'm reserrving my judgement. We jsut dont' have those numbers yet. However, if there are far less of those, then the next generation has a fighting chance.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  23. George Wilson

    It is my opinion that Canada is going to become more heavily populated if American starts the draft again, and looks like the draft is going to be the only way to get people of that age to join.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  24. antoinette d. newman

    Regrettable, but they seem like a pretty sorry lot to me. What does that say about their parents and teachers?
    Guess they don't have any religious educators, since we have deleted the "G" word from their lives.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  25. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Not much, Jack. I won't be around to see what will happen to our planet, and that's probably a good thing. From what I see now, we've been swimming in the shallow end of the gene pool!

    November 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  26. Carl D.

    Carl D. November 5th, 2009 4:01 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I'am not confident at all. Having said that, I have no good use for our soon becoming Thd. World Government. These greedy politicians only care about themselves. Our corrupt government is a government out of control. The way our so called leadership is going, I predict only more Doom and Gloom for our future

    November 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  27. Drj

    I predict if the CEO's and executives of the country running the major corporations don't change their ways and start including more of America in that great big pie,, the future generations of this country will be forced into crimes of a survival nature,, and if main st continues to go hungry their will be pain that reaches futher up the ladder..

    November 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  28. Chris

    Unless we throw out some of our liberal laws that allow criminals, illegal aliens, crazy muslims, and the like run over the honest, law abiding citizens of this country then the next generation has no chance to succeed unless they fight back.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  29. Kirk (Apple Valley, Minnesota)

    I've been fearful of this countries destiny ever since I first saw a kid having to hold up his pants when he walked so they wouldn't fall down. And then when they started showing their underwear, I knew we were in deep kimchi.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |

    My confidents is about as low as whale excrement and its my fault and your fault Jack and all the others who planted the crop.
    How in the world can we expect any better from our growing children when we as adults do not supply thier needs.
    All our enemies have to do is sit and wait and watch us deteriorate, generation after generation, to the point were we are no longer a viable entity. Our strength will be sapped and the cohesiveness that normally bonds a society as a whole will be stripped. We will be a country of nobodys with no goals. Man am I depressed.
    Thats when they will attack.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  31. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Jack I'm glad I'm 75 and don't have long to go, Our kids don't care about their country, Give them music,drugs, and let them do as they want. When I talk to my grandkids, all they want to know is how much you give me (GIVE) me??????

    November 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  32. Linda in Arizona

    We are a country in decline. I'm not confident there will even be a United States in 10 years.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  33. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    There are many children that are good students, hard workers, have a reasonable amount of common sense... and have a sense of responsibilty toward their fellow man.

    Unfortunately, based on the politicians of today, all those traits might disqualify them for political life!

    November 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  34. Dee

    About as confident I am that my lottery ticket is a winner.

    We have turned out generation after generation of incompetant, uneducated, and in many cases lawbreaking young people.

    To those who hav e some intelligence, look around. THIS is what happens when we refuse to fund education, take away the rights of parents to discipline their kids, and keep a huge section of the population in poverty!

    For those who have no idea why this situation is a tragedy, why not run for public office? You'd fit right in!

    November 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  35. Yelnats Rekab

    If what we see now is allowed to breed, we are in dire straits. We are raising a generation of GIMMIE groupies. Unlike JFK who asked "Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country"! It is now officially inverted and the next generation will not care who they are of if there are jobs or not. Everything will be free and no one will make a dime more than any other person. Sound familiar to anyone????

    November 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  36. Jim


    People have been bad-mouthing the "younger generation" ever since there WAS a younger generation. Kids don't score as well on math and science tests as "we" did, yet we keep producing scientists and mathematicians who are smarter than the ones of their parents' generation. Kids are flabby and obese, yet today's college athletes are as good as any who ever played their sport. Kids are pampered and don't like dealing with the inconveniences their parents took for granted, yet they still line up to volunteer to walk through Hell in places like Iraq and Afghanistan when their country calls. I'm very confident in the next generation of Americans, Jack, because however they might differ from their parents, they're still Americans. We'll be okay.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  37. Lucy

    I suppose I fit into the category of "next generation of Americans", and while I do have confidence in myself and my abilities, fit into the 25% who are eligible for military duty, I understand the concern. To be honest, I think the state of the country and the nation's children reflects poorly on those who have been governing this country and raising the children. So I guess MY question is: does the older generation of Americans have confidence in the job they have done in preparing, nurturing, and teaching the nation's youth?
    SF, CA

    November 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  38. Linda

    Yes, I believe that would be a good idea for Obama to force Congress to vote on health care and to stay in session until that is done. The President and the Congress have tried far harder to work with Republicans than Repubs ever tried to work with Democrats when they were in power. The Greedy Old Plutoctrats Party of NO like the mess that Health Care is right now. And they like the big donations from the Health Care Industry. If there is change, it's got to come from the Democrats. If you like Social Security and Medicare, thank a Democrat. The Repubs came along kicking and screaming on those social programs also.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  39. Frank/Canadian

    Hi Jack

    Excellent question. I'm as confident in the next generation as to the educational standard for all Americans.Remember that the politicans are already bought by the corporation self interests and these politicans have enough money to win the next election.There are no underlying values except for money. The undoing of American Society has a lot to do with the Bush/Cheney era. Societies are changing and adatpting fast but the average American does not have the educational standard to comprehend what is happening. The problems on Wall Street still exist. Huge bonuses are still being paid.Tie this to Faux Fox News and you have the answer. This is from a friend of the US people.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  40. Luwanna Guysville Ohio


    There are pockets of hope but like all bloated empires of the past I believe the American empire is on its last legs. There is too much corruption in our leaders both social and political, there is too much apathy and too little compassion in our youth (witness gang rapes, drowning four year olds, and setting fire to fellow youngsters), our military is stressed and stretched far beyond sustainable levels, and our citizens continue to find ways to devalue certain minority segments of our society (gays, lesbians, bi-sexual, and transgendered folks as well as ethnic and racial minorities).

    The Roman Empire fell in upon itself not long after displaying the same symptoms I have just described. It is too bad really, we could save our dreams and our planet but we humans are selfish and we won't because it would be hard work and take patience and time.

    Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    November 6, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  41. Jon-Delhi,NY

    Not at all Jack. But we cannot place the blame on them. Their faults lie with their parents. Or should I say, lack of parenting. Enough said, yes?

    November 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  42. Robert n CA

    Confident? Not very, when jobs are non existent and more and more of our childern find themselves without basic needs such as health insurance. We place too much emphisis on achievement tests and teachers, when we are all responsible. I will not place the blame on the next generation when their parents and grandparents have squandered any hope for them.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  43. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    Jack, the number is higher than what you cited when you include those who are in our country without documentation. It is a sign that the methods by which we measure the quality of schools and teachers are highly flawed. It is also a sign that marijuana, the most often abused drug by American youth, needs to be legalized and regulated, and those whose records are besmirched with the use of marijuana be expunged. The tax revenue and money saved from modifying drug enforcement will more than pay for more schools, better teachers, and job training that meets the needs of the likes of Microsoft and other businesses that are so keen on outsourcing jobs from the U.S. S.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  44. Sven

    I don't know confident I am in my generation, but maybe the question should be, "How confident are you in older generations ensuring they pass on a brighter future for my genreration." I'm not confident at all.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  45. Jo Anne

    I am very afraid for the future of our country. I am 70 years old and have never been this worried in my lifetime and if we keep going in the direction that the Democrats are taking us-well-I am glad I am not young.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  46. Judi from Frisco, Texas

    I am confident that a small percentage of the next generation will have to do most of the heavy lifting because they won't be able to count on their peers for any help. I know what I am talking about. I've watched and tried to teach them for over 30 years. Many have learned from the adults in their lives that hard work is for chumps and challenges are to be avoided. The adults may not say it, but the children have figured it out by watching them in action. They've learned to think only of number one and step on or over anything and anyone that gets in their way. It's the American way. He who dies with the most money and toys wins! It makes no difference how your behavior affected others.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  47. Sharon

    I have great confidence in the next generation I've seen some of them get involved with helping feed the poor and other altruistic endeavors.. They are the ones who are fighting in two wars.

    The generations of World War I and World War II lacked what we today would call 'education" and they were poor but they helped our country then and continued to help our country. The NEXT generation will find they may have to work harder but there is nothing wrong with hard work.

    The next generation will be just fine. IT'S THIS GENERATION I'M CONCERNED ABOUT BECAUSE OF THEIR GREED AND BEING SELF-CENTERED. The next generation should look to their grandparents/greatgrandparents as examples.

    November 6, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  48. Luis Grana

    With a 30 trillion dollar debt, enticed by the entitlements, following the route of least resistance, doing what its easy instead of what is hard, avoiding math and science careers, with the values of character and ethics deteriorated I do not have much expectancies for the new generation.
    This is the last one before the decline and fall of the society.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  49. DEE

    Considering that I am the next generation. I am studying very hard to become a Doctor. If the people with ambition and determination are used as examples for others to follow and not people on reality T.V. or criminals then maybe we will become better than our Grandparents generation,by that I mean the WW2 generation that made this country great.



    November 6, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  50. honestjohn in Vermont

    I doubt they can do any worse than our current group in Congress which covers several generations.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  51. David Gerstenfeld

    The problem is this generations' parents or lack of them. Parents that are uneducated or overweight or on drugs etc. are having children who have little chance to escape their enviornment.
    David, Las Vegas

    November 6, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  52. Craig in AZ

    Oh I am pretty confident alright. I am confident they the worst lot to come down the pike YET.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  53. Jan Lancaster

    I definitely am not confident in the younger generation. In addition to the things that you mentioned, I have noticed a complete lack of concern for others among this group. They give you the impression that if you get in their way even if you are in the right, that they will run you down and never bat an eye. I have been honked at for stopping at a red light, tailgated to the point where I stopped my car, got out and faced the culprit....an eighteen year old girl....After almost rear-ending me twice, she told me that she wouldn't have almost hit me if I hadn't hit my brake. I hit my brake because she was less than 6 inches off my bumper! After her comment, she ordered me back in my car and when I didn't comply, she roared around me. By the way, I was going five miles over the speed limit while she was following me. My only crime was being in her way.

    These kids have no respect for anyone or anything, The anti-healthcare reform folks rant about someone killing Grandma......Well, I can tell you that it won't be the government that does it but it might very well be this younger generation. From what I have seen, they wouldn't bat an eye at a little bodily harm if you got in their way. All this, and I am not even a "Grandma" yet.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  54. Donald Ainsworth

    Not very confident Jack! We are giving away all we worked for, high wages, our industry, & good health care from our employers! Our Polititions are out of touch. Only when the younger generation has to fight for a better life or we are attacked from offshore, will they wake up! Don from Wapakoneta, Ohio

    November 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  55. A. Smith

    Jack, I'm so confident in the next American generations that it will take a lot more than any Bush family member to fool them!

    75% unfit to serve? No Jack, that is 75% that DO NOT WANT TO HELP, ASSIST, SERVE the Military, Police, Fbi, Cia, Border patrol, Dea, etc.

    A. Smith

    November 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  56. Ken in NC

    Jack, my mom used to tell us kids that she shuttered to see what this country was going to be like with us kids when we are grown up. Today I am shaking in my boots.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  57. Ronald Holst

    Jack I have all of the Confidence In world the Next generation it is this one that has we worried . Ronald Holst at 58 year old of this generation
    In Texas .

    November 6, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  58. Ed'sKate

    The question should be "How confident are you in the CURRENT generation of Americans?" There seems to be so much craziness going on right now not only in homes but in the country as a whole.
    How our next generation turns out is the 64 dollar question. With the parenting they are experiencing in their families and the way the political parties are conducting themselves, it will be a miracle if they live long enough to be our NEXT generation of Americans. All we can do really is hope and pray that they will overcome all the stupidity that is being thrown out there by so many today and they will show that they are more intelligent than some of the so-called intellects of today.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  59. Lynda, Greenville NC

    As a 24 year old less than a year from graduation from medical school, I understand that I am unique for my generation and those younger than me who are mostly selfish, unmotivated and undereducated. Its a sad state, but without reform in multiple aspects of society, its only going to get worse before it gets better.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  60. Mark, Worcester MA

    I see it everyday in the classroom. The new generation is just as capable as the last, and the one before that. But they don't perform, and they don't become fit for the 'real world'. There is no motivation, but it is not the youth that are failing – it's the adults. It is our job to show them that learning is important, to show them that they can do more than be poor for the rest of their lives. But they don't see either part, and that's on the last two or three generations.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  61. Ronald Holst

    It seems that this generation is full of greed we did not get the tag of the Me generation for nothing , not that all of this generation is selfish but from what I have seen is a lot more of the youngsters are willing to do more to help out each other than this one . Oh where oh where did the hippie generation go . I miss them .Make Love Not WAR.
    Ron San Antonio . TX.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  62. pat

    Jack ,a lot of us had parents who swore we would never amount to a hill of beans look at us we were for the most part successful, normal and productive.I just think it was cause our music was cooler though!

    November 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  63. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Not very they are far to passive for my liking! They spend far too much time trying not to offend anyone, that they tell a lie, which fully comprises them, and when you comprise with evil you might as well close this country down because every other nation will be painting a target on this nation for take over!

    November 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  64. Alexis from Phoenix AZ

    It is such a shame that civics is no longer being taught in our schools.
    Our children and grandchildren need this teaching and since it is not being taught in the schools it needs to be taught by the parents and grandchildren. I was so glad that the younger generation got involved in the election of President Obama and now we must find a way to involve the younger generation in their local government.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  65. EugeneWiese

    My kids are greatand I believe they,along with my grandchildren and greatgrandchildren will be able to cope with any situation,better than I did and I,m from the so called Greatest Generation. Deficits and money problems can be solved ;however,Health care,Climate change,Education are very necessary to the pursuit of life,libertyand happiness. If we don't save the Planet,for get about it. Gene

    November 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  66. steve andrews

    JACK: In response to our next generation...how will they eveer
    wake-up if they're under the domain of "cyberspace"; it seems
    to me they are not in touch with reality.
    As for me; my children are impartial/ so removed from the
    current events; there's nowhere to turn to for confidence. Something I've been in denial of ever since #911.
    Now is time for every young man/woman to come to the aid of their very precious "freedom of democracy". Oh, where and whom do so hear say. Glory Glory Halleluah

    November 6, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  67. Darcy Tomball, TX

    Not very confident at all! It's scarey that 75% of our young people are unfit for military duty. I come from a long line of military and have had a family member protecting this country from WWI to the current war on terrorism. What will happen without military protection? Scarey!!

    November 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  68. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    As much as the Baby Boomers have done to doom our economy, I am unsure. Either they will be the most self-entitled socialist-marxist group of people ever or after we have suffered financial armageddon, they will feel more fortunate and have values more in line with the Depression Era Generation.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  69. Stephanie Chapin

    I am 52 years old, I worked with young and old. I have met some very hardworking, dedicated and intelligent young people. I feel this generation is the same as any other generation.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  70. Keith in CA

    Every generation thinks the next is worthless, lazy, self centered, and so on. Some will succeed, but the U.S. lacks the opportunities and industries of past generations. We haven't left them much to look forward to. More disturbing is the rise in violent crimes committed by younger perpetrators, such as the gang rape in Richmond, California, the vicsious beating death in Chicago and the Florida teenagers who set another youth on fire. If these horrible acts are any indication, we can only hope the next generation develops a conscience.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  71. Penny Muleshoe, Texas

    I think we will be OK with our next generation of Americans. Historically Americans have gotten bigger every since the colonies settled. A century ago, the average American man wore a size 6.5 shoe. The average American woman, a 4.5. Today's averages are four sizes larger! Our feet are one full size larger than they were just 15 years ago. Trust me Jack I am a shoe saleswoman and have been for the last 35 years. Americans are growing and will keep growing. That has mostly to do with breeding not just eating.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  72. swell Montana

    Not very confident. If we keep raising generations of kids on the welfare system what do we expect? Instead of healthcare reform, I'd love to see a program for welfare reform, one that actually will work! Get them off the system and quit breaking the system financially, and get them educated! Hello it's not that hard to figure this out people!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  73. ben stockton, calif

    as a senior, my sense is that the next generation will probably go through a mini depression and i think that is a good thing . the whats in it for me mentality is prevalent in todays society of young people. most of them dont save, demand the latest gizmos , a lot of them are very disrespectful especially at us seniors, not all of them mind you but i see it when i go to my granddaughters sporting events. hopefully as they mature and get into the mainstream of america things will change lets hope so ..

    November 6, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  74. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    I am so confident that I'm teaching my kids chinese, manadarin and cantonese.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  75. Courtney from Fort Worth, Texas

    I haven't completely lost confidence in the next generation. What I am losing confidence in is their intelligence, which some lack, and their inability to pick up a book and read and learn proper American English. Have you seen what the lingo is online? The way we are living is also affecting the education of our next generation and it's all because of our weak economy.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  76. deemo

    I cannot believe it! How can a nation survive and defend itself when only 25% of young people would qualify for military service. Furthermore, if they don't qualify fo military service what else won't they qualify for. God help us all.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  77. Mo from Fairfax, VA.

    Hey Jack,

    Its not like this generation of Americans aren't confident. We just lost confident all together. I am watching this with 4 of my friends and we all don't seem confident of the next Generation unfortunately. However, we hope we are wrong in this.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  78. margene barows

    not very sure about this up and coming gene. They seem to be running their parents, sitting around getting fatter by the minute. Don't children like to play outside anymore? They have way to much down time from school now a days they seem to be getting a week off every 3 weeks,
    this country and it's people are going to hell in a hand basket. We need
    to all wake up from our financial comas and get this country and our children back on track. Or we will suffer great demise of the human race.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  79. ted h.


    I'm 26 years old and come from a middle class household. I've served three tours in Iraq and have come to the realization that my expieriences over there have helped me develop character in my early life. The question is whether parents shielding their children and providing for them in these tough times is a good thing or if our young people need to get a good kick in the teeth to help adjust them to the problems and responsibilites they will definitely be inheriting.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  80. Franz

    Not very confident. I recently graduated from college and in one of my classes about the Cold War, when the professor asked the class how would it respond to a hypothetical nuclear attack of a single missile in the middle of vacant North Dakota, they replied they would surrender to the Soviets! I said give me liberty or give me death!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  81. Kathy

    I love kids. Kids today have the opportunity to learn many useful things that the young in more prosperous times don't have to learn. Kids today are seeing a black president. Kids today will learn the value of even a part-time job. Kids today will learn about family budgeting.

    We have to pray that child abuse doesn't increase because of stress in the home and that parents can make very wise decision in their food choices with their foodstamps and tight budgets. But people can be good even though they are poor!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  82. r in boston

    Better question is how confident are you in the current generation to get us out of this mess. We are giving the next generation an excuse so that they don't even have to try to better themselves. Maybe we should also highlight any positive things left so that we don't keep giving them more excuses. Let's see what is left that is positive......Hmmmm!!!!!!!!!!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  83. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, I am not confident that the next generation will be able to keep our quality of life as we used to know it. Some of the reasons are as follows: Not much control of our public education system, but lots and lots of wasted money. Colleges have been crying out for years that the students they are getting are ill prepared for a college education. The dropout rate of students has been ignored. The federal government has been run into the ground by Repubican administrations time after time. Big Business and Capitolists have be allowed to take their business overseas, make inferior quality merchandise, market it in the U.S. cheaply and reap huge profits. The few who have been crying into the wind decided to take back our government and economy by electing Obama. Now the Republicans and Conservatives are still trying to stop the start of a new chapter in our history. God help our children and grandchildren if they succeed.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  84. capt russ

    Mr Cafferty , I am at a loss to say what WE will do in the future , I see no help from our younger americans , seems they all are deserving of a free ride . I didn't get that neither did two of my three sons, the oldest of which is returning to afghanistan a second time . MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA AND OUR SOLDIERS WHO GIVE US THE ABILITY TO LEAD OUR LIVES. FORMER MARINE COMBAT CORPSMAN DOC COOPER.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  85. Richard, Beaumont, Texas


    It seems that each generation is doomed by the previous one. I probably wouldn't be accepted into today's military having been in the shape I was in when I joined the Navy in the mid-1970s. I had shoulder-length hair when I went to boot camp. That quickly disappeared. I probably hadn't run 100 yards since junior high school. But I quickly got in shape, at least enough for that particular time in the military. Standards change in the service for changing times. The military adapts, prospective service men and women adapt, and we're all still here. Amazing huh?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  86. Sandra Tracey

    No confidence whatsoever in the next generation of Americans; in fact, no confidence in the current population in the age range of 18-50. We are now a society where the majority just never grew up and do not take their responsibilities as citizens seriously. They are totally naive concerning government and foreign affairs. It is truly pathetic to those of us over 65....they don't have a clue about maturity and responsibility, and the coming generation will take its clues from this one. We're done in America.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  87. Jay in Montana

    As long as corporate America wants fat kids in front of video screens, that's what we'll get. We'll just have to continue to hire mercenaries for national defense - until we run out of credit.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  88. r.j.j.

    I work with youth, because I am one of those Americans that grew up in poverty and never got ahead. Lots of us left over from the Reagan era of 'lift yourself up by your own bootstraps,' while the manufacturing communities around us collapsed and got sent offshore. But I am enthused by the savvy qualities and intelligence of the youth of today. They use the internet, and they realize this country's workers and industry have been sold down the river in favor of cheap imported goods from Asia for a minority of Americans. And they are mad as hell, and you saw them vote for Obama and change. Heaven help any politicians that doesn't realize this generational difference in the next national election. The Obama Generation is going to turn this country on it's head soon.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  89. Ricky

    i think that the Federal Government should do something about this to help out the future generations. as an 18 year old student at Sacramento state university i see more violence increasing, i know many about many people between the ages of 17 to 24 that that use illegal drugs, drinking, and have criminal record. If we want a strong defense system and want to be a leading power we need focus on our youngsters and do something soon, and do something now.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  90. Pat Tully Jr

    How confident am I in the next generation? How confident can THEY be in us? We've left them what is little more than a third-world country with a blo9ated military. Our standard of living isn't even in the top ten and we are the only industrialized country without a guarantee of health care for its citizens and have 45,000 die every year because of it.

    We have a parasitic banker class that siphons billions in monies from those who work for a living while risking nothing themselves. We have millions who are unable to find jobs....I could go on and on but you get my drift..

    We need to apologize to the next generation, not doubt their worthiness to inherit the "bounty" we are leaving them.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  91. Joseph Kavanaugh

    The next generation is in serious trouble. The only way for serious change in this country and for it to prosper is to have another revolution. There will be many sacrifices but it seems inevitable.

    Rock Hill, NY

    November 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  92. Donyawker

    For years our nation has been dying the death of the thousand cuts – of million cuts, most of them self-administered. This just the latest wound.
    The Greatest Generation has been replaced by the Pepsi Geneation.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  93. James Allen

    As a 72 year old, I'm not only confident in the next generation but am counting on them for the sake of my grandchildren and great grandchildren. When we of my generation finally die off we will be replaced by a much smarter, tolerant, diverse and humane generation.

    James Allen
    Euless, TX

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  94. Joanna- Bloomington, IL

    I think it's interesting how younger Americans are blamed for conditions such as being on food stamps as if it's their fault and not part of a larger societal problem. Many young Americans are doing amazing things for their communities and country, from enlisting in the military, to serving in AmeriCorps programs and the Peace Corps. Young Americans are continuing to attend college in larger numbers as well. I think the next generation needs to be given a little more credit for all of the great things they do.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  95. andy in tx

    I don't think there is anything wrong with the next generation. The military was used to educate our poor and underprivledged young people in the past, if needed it would be done again. In time of need we have always sent our poor and uneducated to die for freedom of everyone. Sad but true. We are capitalist and the educated and rich don't have to make sacrifices in the volunteer military age.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  96. Nina VandeWater

    I have a son who has a felony on his record because when he was 18 he told a kid where he could sell 3 or 4 oz. of marijuana. The kid testified that my son did not possess nor profit from this sale. First offense. This is a result of the overzealous police force of the 21st c. They don't just take it from you, throw it down the drain and tell you they better not catch you being that dumb again. Every asst. D.A. has to win every little case. So, there may be a lot of kids with undeserved criminal records.

    On the weight issue, my nieces and nephews are all overweight and I can't exactly ask why. Some are depressed because they can't find jobs.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  97. Stephanie Renfroe

    I raise my son to be a respectful , confident and logical young man.I stress to him each and every day how important an education is and how the outcome of his life is determined by HIS life choices , not anyone else' s..

    If every parent stressed these same values we won't have a need to worry about the future ..

    If its one thing i notice about many parents today , it's that many of them are so caught up in THEMSELVES to even focus on shaping their children into respectful , productive young men and women.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  98. Louis Marrella

    I am confident in the next generation of Americans because I believe that they are capable of overcoming many obstacles. I am a young teacher that is currently attending graduate school, and one thing that I continue to believe is that education can serve to compensate the realities of our current problems. Our current state of affairs could be received as news that would undoubtedly invoke fear. We have to have faith in our own ability to adapt and come together as a nation. Only through education will our future generation succeed in adapting and overcoming. But I believe us to be capable of change. Especially the children.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  99. Connie

    Absolutely not!!! I work in healthcare and the generation that applies and get in the door, don't have a work ethic nor the sense of responsibility. Momma blamed the teacher or others for her child's behavior and the child blames the employer when they are fired for their decisions not to perform or go against company policy.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  100. Steve

    Forgetting about the economy, the CDC has said that any child born 2000 and after, 1 in 3 will get diabetes and if african american, hispanic american or native american, every other child will have diabetes and most likely will die 10-15 years early and will be miserable for the last years of their lifes. Our children will not live as long as we will.
    The fact is, it is all preventable! It will have to get worse before it gets better.

    PS: November is National Diabetes Month
    Steve, Deerfield,IL.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  101. Stephen

    I'm very confident of the next generation. They're smarter, more politically aware, and a lot more tolerant and caring than any previous generation. It doesn't matter as much if a large percentage of them aren't fit for military service, because if they join or are drafted, the military would whip them into shape.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  102. Michele (Fort Washington, MD)

    We've officially won the battle on dummying down the country, Congrats. We should all be very proud of this achievement.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  103. Guy from Hawaii

    Aloha Jack,
    From what I see kids doing these days texting, video-gaming (in between guzzling super-sized sodas that hold more liquid than most gas tanks)...I think they're going to be all thumbs. Lets face it though, coming out of the 1960's were their many middle age or elder citizens who had any confidence that that generation would amount to anything. From generation to generation is it a majority or a minority of the people that really make a difference in this country?...I think we all know the answer. It's a free country and most people use that excuse to do little or nothing. Unfortunately citizenship doesn't have "free agency" where we can trade away the ones not making a contribution.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  104. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY


    A weekday ride on public transit in any city tells the story. Not only the obvious trunacy, but the noticeable lack of any schoolbags and textbooks. It's not profligate government spending that will bankrupt social security, but the inadequate subsidization provided by a nation of fast food counterpersons.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  105. Donny

    Well there was a rise and fall of Rome, and as with all Great countries, It looks as if the "NO DISCIPLINE" policy of the United States is going to have it's part in the Fall of this Great Country as well. SAD,SAD, SAD!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  106. Lear Riojas

    I beg to differ. I'm in the military and I see a lot of kids who are of military service age, and contributing to society by working on Army posts, or pursuing other interests. Also people who join the military often have family in the military or the military is the only viable job source in the town.

    I say stop beating up on the youth of this country the majority is contributing to their communities in the best way they can. Your statistics probably survey only 1000 military aged young adults. That sampling is useless.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  107. Rick in Florida

    I am very confident in the next generation. The America of tomorrow will not be filled with the greedy SOBs that are here today. My son is graduating college witha degree in journalism. I see in him an enthusiasm and thirst for truth. Nopt the ratings grabbing type of hype we see everyday on cable. What your ilk produces is not news but opinion. And the more sensational the bewtter.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  108. Daynan

    Hmm, you've bred generations that feel entitled to everything and want to work for nothing. Corporate fatcats sit in ivory towers making money on gangsa rap that teaches not to snitch while your youth are set afire and blunged to death in the streets. Credit card companies issuing cards to highschool students who have no intention of repaying them. Unless the next generation of jobs involves smoking pot and playing video games, you're screwed.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  109. Patti

    Jack, I find this latest study to be that of alarmists. While it is true there is poverty yielding poor nutrition for some young people, there are so many children that are healthy and getting an educationl. How can s make these claims if there are so many young people that do not see pediatricians. I am sure that following this study will be one claiming quite the opposite

    November 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  110. SSG Miller

    Asa Staff Sergeant in the United States Army, I have witnessed a sharp decline in the intelligence, academic preparation, character, physical endurance and strength, and coping abilities of new Soldiers entering our force over the past few years...and these are young people who allegedly meet a stringent set of standards. I fear that Playstations and parental neglect have set our youth up for failure. I am so apprehensive for the future of our country and world at large that I, sadly, cannot even bring myself to have children of my own for fear of what would befall them.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  111. Lucas G. Knox

    Hey Jack,

    Our standard of living is about to drop off a cliff. The US must change its "me first, you later" attitude if this country is ever to make a true turn-around. Political corruption and financial unrest are destroying our nation. I just bought my pitchfork for the second American revolution.

    Lucas Knox
    Michigan State University
    East Lansing, MI

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  112. chad

    I have no confidence in the next generation. Growing up on the southside of Chicago in the 80's, Dist 205 has only three high schools in the district. They always had enough or more than enough athletes to compete in school sports. This year they have had to combine the three schools to make up one wrestling team? These kids have been coddled, told they look good and it's okay to like the same sex, They don't have to say the pledge of allegiance anymore, nor do they fear or respect God. I think they should take all the juvenile deliquents and all them that think saggin(pants) is cool and make their butts have to join the military and have some respect for themselves and our country before we are swallowed up by the likes of China or some other nation that does not have our best interest.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  113. Alishia, Northern California

    The generation that put forth the effort to win WWII, and went on to build a huge middle class through hard work and innovation, were raised during the Great Depression. The young people that aren't fit for military service were raised during all the bubbles and excesses that led to this economic collapse. So, I'm hoping that necessity really is the mother of invention, and the next generation will out perform the current one. Cheers

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  114. barry

    As confident as I am in congress delivering real healthcare reform, which is to say not very. I see lots of great kids where I live in stable Madison, WI, but what I hear about neighborhoods in places like Detroit, Youngstown, OH, Los Angeles and others, I get very pessimistic about the future of our country and its youth. My question is "what are we going to do?"

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  115. Ruth

    I have a nephew that is now 21, he got what he wanted growing up, became overweight until he was harassed, and continues to align himself into self-destructive path disregarding the law and finding a solution to his issues is with drug and alcohol use. As a veteran of the US Army my relatives are telling me that the best thing he could do is join the Army. I say no. The Army is an intelligent, well coordinated force, with excellent training. BUT, without self esteem for one's self and one's fellow citizen, I honestly believe we need to see more mentoring from parents, educators, and employers.

    My heart tonight is sadden by the events at Ft. Hood, and my prayers are with all my fellow soldiers.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  116. Barbary Coast, Tucson, AZ

    I suppose we can't be very confident in the youger generation knowing that their parents have done such an excellent job for the last 8 years, screwing up the current state of affairs in this country and its economy. Where are the role models for our younger generation? I don't see any!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  117. Sara in MN

    So you don't have confidence in our generations? Who raised us? Everyone sitting here typing that we are good for nothing. Good job.

    I know a lot of people in my generation and younger that I have a lot of faith in. I'm not worried about us. The people I know are hard working and caring. They are more open to change and new ideas than the older generations. They are smart, volunteer, and care about their country. We aren't perfect, and most of us don't pretend to be. But I don't think we are any worse than any other generation. We have a lot of work to do because of the mess that the other "more intelligent" generations have left us. But we can do it.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  118. Jim/NC

    Fatherless families, MTV, video games, computers, cell phones, entitlement programs, loose morals, drugs, and government school indoctrination have made our kids dependent on others and not themselves. Kids today are not self-starters, competitive and eager to learn. It's the "Me" generation which will become the lost generation. Sad, but true.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  119. Karl Manning

    I am very confident in the next generation of Americans. 75% is a large percentage, but if we encourage our youth and show them that we do have confidence in them, then they will have confidence in themselves. If they have confidence in themselves, then they can achieve anthing including a stable military.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  120. Nalon

    I am 23 years old and I have no confidence in my generation. We have no respect for all that we have, we are spoiled, and all of America will have to pay for it. But it is not only our faults, our parents are the reason we are the way we are. And just wait, the newest generations of Americans, the ones born after the new millenium, are worse off than us, they are being raised in a more disrespectful, spoiled, violent world. Maybe this recession was/is good for us. It will teach us what is important in life. That is what made the WW2 generation strong, they were able to presevere throught the depression and fight to win the war. We need a little suffering to make us stronger, and frankly my generation has had the world handed to us on a silver platter, and we brushed it away.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  121. Blair Cruickshank

    My confidence in the next generation relies on the confidence I have in our current generation to do what's right for them, and that is measuring out at zero, zilch, nothing. We have been nothing but greedy, teaching only that personal wealth is the only measure of success, and that consuming only "the best" is better than saving.

    The current measure of our selfish society makes me feel sick to my stomach. If it's not all about "me", it's all about blaming the other guy – or heck, just pulling out a gun and shooting him. From the streets to those in Congress, no one seems able to consider what's best for the whole.

    The success of the next generation depends on us raising them to be the kinds of citizens and leaders and parents we had the benefit of.
    It's been said before in response to countless questions you have raised, Jack, but it's worth saying again.

    Shame, shame, shame on us.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  122. Ned - Oregon

    It's bad enough that we are paying into a system developed by Roosevelt that was forcasted to fail, and has been for decades. Now what? Is the current work force going to have to pay into yet another failing program to save the children of tomorrow because WE as a society fail to take accountability for our childrens' futures? We should blame ourselves. Our society as Americans have become accustomed to our lazy and inept culture. Our satisfaction with mediocrity has only given us reason to contnue lowering the standards for education, fitness, and nutrition. When will enough be enough?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  123. Tantoo Cardinal

    I worry not only for the young people, but for all the generations. There is a huge disconnect in the Humanity sector that is quite obvious even to deniers. Ignorance is brilliant i.e. Many Republicans still denying Climate Change and naming Health Care the work of the devil.. So many do not understand the importance of working together.
    This Man made Society is headed for a Katrina state and yet these all knowing Republicans and other $ based thinking insist on being juveniles. How deep into disaster will we go before it is understood we have to work together.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  124. Rick M.

    At the moment, not very. It seems like almost everyone I see publicly who are representative of the upcoming generation are either obese, lacking direction, and ambivalent in general. But, my parents accused me of similar stuff, and I bet their parents did too. So, in fairness to our young people, I will say this: Americans tend to get motivated and rally together when they feel pushed into a corner, either by society's ills or International threat of danger.
    How's that for sitting on the fence? (Just kidding?).
    Take care.

    Columbia, Maryland

    November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  125. Rashid

    Zero, because all of them are high school drop outs,teen pregnancy, I going to wake up one day and all the jobs in America will be filled by people from overseas. We are in BAD shape.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  126. Dale Hiland

    I'm not that confident in the current generation...let's see can't afford to help people get health care due to cost...but we can fund a war that can't be won and no one cares. We continue to allow senators and reps to receive money from health insurance companies to push back reform so their bonus' are still paid.. but we listen to the lies being told by those worried about the health care companies..

    We teach soldiers that is's ok to kill, but on the other hand are shocked when soldiers kill? Again, not so sure that the current generation is so special..

    November 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  127. Mark N / Denver

    The youth of America helped put President Obama into the White House. They are good enough for the Obama Youth Boot Camp, but not good enough for our military, that's pretty telling!...Semper Fi

    November 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  128. Andrew in Pinehurst, NC

    The next generation? This generation is responsible for the problems of the next generation. Single parents, drug abuse, dropouts, slackers, and those who prefer to blame the government for any and everything may have ruined any chance the next generation may have had. Can you imagine a generation less responsible than our own? We reap what we sow. Then deny any personal responsibility, again.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  129. Brian

    Maybe if the screwed up beyond repair "justice" system in America allowed parents to actually parent, the situation would be better.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  130. Colin McCue

    Yes Jack, let's blame the kids for the drug problem, not the hippies that made them so popular. Lets blame the kids for not providing them with a proper education. Lets blame the kids for every problem that America and its citizens have created over the past fifty years. I am twenty one and am tired of everyone treating me like I am responsible for the worlds problems. These are our father's wars and problems. The only way things will change is a new revolution and it will happen in my lifetime.

    Colin, Denver, CO

    November 6, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  131. glenn gardinier

    i have little confridence in the next generation. the u.s. should require all young men and women to serve two years in the military. we should initiate tough programs against drugs and obesity. i volunteered for Korean service back in the 1950s and it helped me to become a better adult.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  132. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Not very. When the republican Government relieved the rich from having to pay taxes and then get deductions from reinvesting in America, the corporations happily took their business to countries where they could hire people at slave wages. The result is that there are very few hard labor jobs for young people who could use the exercise. At the same time, the agribusiness is outsourcing farm jobs to illegal aliens, stating that Americans wouldn't do their kind of work. This is what is killing the next generation's chance–that and the mentality against women's right to choose. I think abortion should be free and on demand. If men don't want us to have abortions, they should stay with their wives.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  133. Skip, NY

    Our culture has been dumbing down for years with reality TV, hate talk radio, shock jocks, America's stupidest videos, etc. Maybe if we can't defend ourselves because the majority are so inept and unable to care for themselves we'll wake up and stop glorifying stupidity.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  134. Kathy Y from Orlando Florida

    Jack, You and me grew up with Leave it to the Beav and Lassie. When this last generation came along I said they are lazy, all they do is play video games and don't pull their pants up. Then when the country needed them and the presiden called, they were willing, able, awesome and they shocked and awed me ! Todays young people will clean up well. Never sell them short.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  135. Kara McCracken

    What they say is true, the "next generation" is unfit for military service. The army has certain practices in place to help those that are not physically or morally able to join to enlist. The biggest problem with this upcoming generation is that they do not believe that they should join the military. They don't think they owe this country anything and that this country owes them. There is such a lack of patriotism and sense of duty with these young people now a days. The only thing they worry about is what is in it for me. What did our grandparents and great grandparents fight for. This next generation wants everything given to them without having to work for it. I have very little faith in this "next generation" .

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  136. Diane Myrtle Creek Oregon


    You have made an excellent point. And we are worried about the deficit that we may leave them? If we continue raising a sub standard generation they won't even know what a deficit is and probably won't care either. You and I will be happy that we won't be around to witness that.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  137. Noah Zempel

    I have plenty of confidence In the next generation. It the generations making the decisions currently that concerns me. The problems we're passing the buck on is the only reason they're going to appear to fail, I personally hope the depression comes sooner then later. ...It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  138. Jimbo

    If someone asked me if I was confident that my two teenage kids will be successful, I would have to say I'm very confident in one child who is a self-starter, a go-getter and very independent. On the other hand my other child thinks the world is going to end wants to goof around and is generally negative. My point, Jack, is that you just can't generalize on such a huge and hugely diverse segment of our population.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  139. Christopher Tingus

    Read Hans Morgenthau and you'll see why we have no Hope for our manufacturing jobs were "outsourced" and with it the careers of our youth – We are quickly becoming a nation void in leadership, void in ethics and Biblical words and lessons not even a google choice in reference!

    Christopher Tingus
    Harwich, MA 02645

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  140. tim winschel

    I'm confident in my childrens' ability to succeed. At 21, 18 and 16. all get good grades at school are physically fit and maintain jobs to pay for their cars and associated costs. I believe it is because they had two parents actively engaged in what they did. It wasn't easy but we made sacrifices to be there. Making sure their schoolwork was up to par and having influence on what the character of their friends was. If our youth is not up to our standards I blame the parents for not doing their jobs. The scary part is what happens when these 75% unfit to join the military procreate. What values will they pass on?

    Thank you,

    Tim Winschel

    November 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  141. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    It is funny that over 75 percent of them will be raised on food stamps or some other type of welfare, and still they want the latest things that come on the market, fashionable clothes every month, and they sleep around like a sailor who goes to a new port every month.

    They have no grounding to speak of, so they live in wonderland where they get everything that they want, when they want and once they get these items, they use them for a week or so, and then they toss them in a corner and never use them ever again, and then they go back to their broke parents to pressure them to buy far more junk!

    They just are not going to make it, if this trend is not broken very soon! so the future for them looks very very poor for our country!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  142. Nigel

    All you have to do is watch MTV for a day and you'll have your answer.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  143. Aida gonzalez

    It scare me to thing that my grandkids will be added to those statistic regarding unemployment, lack of medical care and education because our great nation is going down the drain. This is the bigger and the richer country, I cannot understand for the life of me, why do we have so much poverty, homelessness, unemployment and now, a very poor economy. it scare me for them. The free trade, the job outsourcing and all the tax free agreements, had created some of what we have today, while back may years back, a person could walked away from one job to the next door business and get another job, today millions are unemployed and very little hope to get a job anytime soon.

    Shame on the government for poor future planning, I just hope still time to do something about it.

    God Bless America!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  144. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    Any of the next generation that has met or exceeded the values we value as good and American will do it mostly on their own. A few poor kids will struggle and suffer tremendous challenges for little return. The examples the young people have today for successful adults as seen in the media are fatcat cheats, elected fat cat cheats, even in the local news you seee scandals of teachers, principals, sheriff deputies and sheriffs, senators, congressmen. clergymen, elected city officials who routinely get little punishment especially the complicit ones. And this is just in Ohio ! So there is no rational expectation from the next generation but trouble, and we got trouble right here in river city.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  145. Bill

    I'm 25 and and a member of the 'next generation'. I would
    be more inclined to questio
    n the current generation. By the time I retire I'm not going to see a dime of the social security I'm paying every month. I hope the current generation enjoys its retirement on me!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  146. Scott

    Jack, I'm confident in today's generation because to date, I know of no 17 to 24 year old that made the decision to get America involved in two wars. Today's generation is not as likely to drop two horrific nuclear bombs, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children. Why don't you give that some thought before you judge a current, innocent, and wise generation?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  147. ean

    Hey Jack,
    I'm a 25 year old and I am apart of the next generation of americans. I do see a bright future if we can change our ways. Young Americans are not lead in the right direction. Today's society is based on greed and money. I constantly talk to people my own age and we all feel the same way, but people feel like they can't make a difference. It's time to make a difference, the future is in ALL our hands.

    P.S. Cutting school costs and classes doesn't build confidence for our youth.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  148. Frank Montarelli

    Are you kidding? I can't even get a decent salad made up in Subway from young people - on recent road trips, trying to eat healthy, we stopped in numerous Subways for salads - 90 percent of these kids were virtually non-communicative. No eye contact, limited verbal response. The youth we encountered who showed personality and were helpful were few and located mostly in rural areas. If this experience is any indication, we're going to entrust this generation of young people with our national security and our health care? Scary!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  149. Ruth

    I have a nephew that is now 21, he got what he wanted growing up, became overweight until he was harassed, and continues to align himself into self-destructive path disregarding the law and finding a solution to his issues is with drug and alcohol use. As a veteran of the US Army my relatives are telling me that the best thing he could do is join the Army. I say no. The Army is an intelligent, well coordinated force, with excellent training. BUT, without self esteem for one's self and one's fellow citizen, there is no room for individuals that stand as the one's who protect our country. The Military is not a hiding place for cowards who do not hold self esteem. I honestly believe we need to see more mentoring from parents, educators, and employers.

    My heart tonight is sadden by the events at Ft. Hood, and my prayers are with all my fellow soldiers.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  150. OA

    There is No next generation of Americans. This country is only importing people that hate this country. The problem is this generation of so called American. It is because of them that this country had gone down. This didn't just happen and it is not just being noticed. You should have to die before decide you want to prevent it. It's too late than!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  151. Rick

    Maybe spanking your kids once in a while is a good thing??

    November 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  152. Grace Pillari

    Wrong question, isn't it?

    You should ask, "How confident are you in the CURRENT generation in charge?"

    THis question shines a light on the generation that is responsible for the plight of these children on food stamps.

    There are few currently in charge who seem capable of making tough, economically sound decisions. It is a fact that the next generation will be less well educated, less well fed, and more impoverished, yet we are expecting them to pick up the tab for our our self-indulgence.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  153. Rob

    I think the next generation will do just fine. Maybe uneducated, back to basics desperation is just what this country needs to turn the tide on the educated, line my pockets, liars and cheats we now have on Wall Street, in big business and in Government.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  154. Peggy Ivie

    I have little confidence in the next generation. I see them every day in school and it scares me. They are being taught that they do not need to work for grades, it is being given to them so they do not fail. Failure is not an option so they can't make less than a certain grade. Is this success? So why should they think they need to work for anything else?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  155. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Next generation? Its the current generation that has me most concerned. Look who's currently in control of most of the money. The wealthiest care only for themselves. What's going to happen to them when they have completely depleated the wealth of those not as fortunate? Scary...the country is ripe for extremism.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  156. Chad from Los Angeles

    No confidence whatsoever!

    Since big business began to own politicians and the middle class declining since the Reagan Administration, this is exactly what we should expect!

    We are turning into an Aristocracy, with 1% of the population owning 95% of the wealth! The GOP complains about Socialism, but we are worse off than that, having gone back to the system we fought our Independence for!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  157. Carlos

    The next generation depends on the changes we make now. This is really dangerous. This is how unregulated capitalism becomes communism. When families start going hungry while a small segment of the population live like kings, it breeds social unrest. Just take a look at Cuba before Castro. America needs regulation so the middle class grows again and produces healthy,stong and balanced citizens.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  158. Len in Clarkston, Wa.

    Jack, my young neighbor is a Junior in high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, has a 4.9 grade average, is very active in school activities. Here's the problem. She can't read above a fourth grade level. She can't due the simple math needed at her part time job. She has no respect at all for any laws and thinks they are ridiculous and here's the best. Every other word out of her mouth begins with "F."
    Unfortunately, she is not alone. Illiteracy amoung our "brightest" is rampant and it's our fault. We can't blame them now for our failings.
    No, it doesn't look good and we all owe them an apology.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  159. YG

    The next generation will be no different from any, they will victims of crazy politicians, governments, lobbyists , corporations, monopoly, technology, lack of education & massive grow of population, but again, who knows, they might raise out of all into something else which we have no idea what will it be

    November 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  160. Terry Brown from Los Angeles

    i have about as much confidence in the next generation as i have in the generation that raises them. it's a very vague question begging even more. which generation(s) got us into our present debacle(s)? do you believe they are deserving of our confidence?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  161. John Linton

    After hearing those rather sobering statistics, I am completely confident in the next generation of Americans. With fast food chains growing and widespread ignorance of the value of nutrition, obesity will exceed its current watermark. We have continued to fight two wars which have little or no strategy for an end game requiring more growth from that sector of the next generation for which there seems no possibility for jobs. I am quite confident, primarily because the current generation created this American dream.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  162. Val in Ohio

    The statistics of large numbers of children relying on food stamps are certainly shocking, disturbing and pathetic. It is a terrible shame that many if not most parents are ill equipped to meet the basic needs of their children. People need to realize that creating children means they are responsible for providing for all of their needs for at least 18 years. Unfortunately, too many are unprepared for this major responsibility and their children are the victims who fall by the wayside. Until people refrain from having children they cannot parent properly, this country will remain in a downward spiral.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  163. Joby Jerrells


    As a Gen-Xer, I am very concerned about the next generation's ability to lead. As long as the baby boom generation continues to have the votes to selfishly promote its own interests as they have since they came of age, my generation will be passed over and you will hand the reigns of leadership to a generation of people who generally do not know how to work, expect something for nothing, and believe that to produce something means to have your own reality show. Think about that next time you vote baby boomers when you have a viable candidate for office who isn't one of your kind.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  164. Chaiko

    If our future is full of sick fatties it's because we sold it to them and therefore sold our future up the river. we snatch funding from education and after school activities, don't want to offer any form of govt health care, support pushing cancer and diabetes causing foods on our poor through govt programs like WIC, and then blame bad behaviour on rap music??? – Brilliant my capitalist countrymen, just brill! You can't toss the poor majority scraps and then expect them to protect the special interests of a powerful minority of wealthy.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  165. Adrian Rickert

    Jack, I'm not at all confident. As a high school teacher I am amazed on a daily basis of the widespread ignorance of our youth. They are blisfully unaware of the most basic facts about our country and government, things that used to be considered common knowledge or just common sense a generation or two ago. Their vocabularies are horrendous, they don't read anything at all, they're unable to think critically, and they have no curiosity at all about anything. I feel sorry for our young people today because they don't understand that as America falls behind the rest of the world economically, their standards of living are going to continue to decline. Education is key to turning things around, but as of now I'm not holding my breath that this generation will make much progress in that area, and I am very sorry that this is the case.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  166. Jesse Clark

    As a 23-year old member of the next generation and a newly-enlisted Army infantryman, I have to admit that my confidence in my peers is very low. However, for every nine people who let me down, I meet someone truly inspiring who will no doubt do great things for America. The numbers may be depressing, but those 10% will lead the way and I hope to be among them.

    Specialist Jesse Clark
    Portland, OR

    November 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  167. Tychicus

    I feel ashamed that the future of this nation is in our hands. With me being 17, I see and hear all the horrible things. We feel as though everyone should do for us what we can do for ourselves. This all begins at home, parents are yet children themselves. Some say we are misguided but that's not it. We have too much power, what we want is what we get. And the weird thing is, we run the classrooms, I'm going to finish on that note.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  168. Leonard

    I think the situation with our young people is tragic. But we, the parents and grandparents of these people are to blame. What kind of role models are we, too much of everything and we give it to the kids. They have come to expect nothing but the best and don't have to work for it or to be prepared for any effort on their part to care for themselves.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  169. Anonymous

    Foley al. And just why , Jack, are you having to even ask that question?? Perhaps because of the unconscienable leadership in our country right now and in the past Years... We have corrupt leaders, who go against the very ciizens whom they are soposed to be looking after their best interests. We have members of congress who are content to go to bed and sleep like babies, knowing that there are millions who have no healthcare, while they and theirs have the best healthcare that the money these same citicens , can buy them. The talk about our leaders is made into jokes, but it isn"t funny. Not only we older generation just heard bow our government is paying the brother of the president of Afghanistan money, which eventually helps support the very people killing our own soldiers, but the younger generation hears it also, and then we all continue to see it continue right on, as if never having been exposed. Perhaps maybe the younger generation will be smarter. By doing all the wrong things now, maybe that will prevent them from becomming sacificial lambs for the sake of some future leaders , wet dream!!!!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  170. william

    The future of this country is bleak, and that is being optimistic. As jobs are lost, and we find the bright spot in the slow down of losses? That is pathetic, for jobs are not being made, and the population continues to grow. Since more money is being spent by all, in comparison to what is actually being brought in, it doesn't take more than a few brain cells to figure out the result.I have only to look in my own thin wallet to see it.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  171. Elizabeth in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    My confidence is low, but I have hope. It will be up to us to point a better way for our young people. Obama is trying so hard, and the thanks he gets is Republicans criticizing him for wanting to address our school children? Republicans must have an interest in children growing up to be stupid, unhealthy people. I guess that is the only way to get votes...create people stuipid enough to believe you'll make their life better. And how will we sell prescription drugs if our young learn how to be healthy? Wake up young people!! Pull together and be strong and smart. You need exercise, education and love....not meds, junk food, and absence of thought.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  172. Steve, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

    Let's face it, the United States has begun its decline. Our political leaders constantly fight and accomplish nothing. Former President Reagan set the decline in motion when he declared war on the working class. Before his presidency, Dad went to work and Mom maintained the family at home. Now days, both parents have to work just to get by while the wealthy corporations send millions of dollars to Washington DC to get billions in return.
    Congress opened the US Treasury to the war contractors or looters, whichever you call them, and as usual, we the tax paying working class get stuck with the bill. With that kind of example for the young is there any doubt where the US is headed?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  173. Markus Dorst

    As a German I have full confidence in the next generation of Americans, to grow up to be more open and tolerant than their predecessors, being led by a great new government.

    Give them a chance to prove themselves!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  174. indigenous in stolen land

    The previous generation of "all Americans", felt threatened by the very thought of us minorities having the same opportunities as their children this has created a double standard for being American. Your greatest generation has kept people down for so long, that it has become commonplace for us to not have the greatest of any public service(education,health,acceptance into the richest most prosperous government that ever existed), we live were you don't want to, we go to school were you wont send your children, and we are the future of this continent.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  175. Henya CA,

    This is a big problem in this Country kids 9-10 years old are playing outside on a school knit well after 9:00 pm no supervision. Where are there parents so the problem is the parents not giving any roles to the kids they can do what they want to do When I asked one of them why are you not all ready in bad It is a school knit He told me that is mom is OK that. It has nothing to do with the economy, it is the parents.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  176. Michelle in Wisconsin


    This seems by all accounts to be our darkest of hours. And yet I see a shining light and IT IS the next generation, the young people of this country. I don't want to put any more pressure on President Obama, but he did strike a chord now didnt he and it was mostly among young people and they clobbered the heck out of us older folks' doubts, fears and prejudices, some of them even brought some of us around to taking a chance on change! There are people complaining about what this President and his administration are doing to "our children and grandchildren"- well, if those naysayers would actually listen to what their children and grandchildren are thinking/saying- they'd hear, "Give this President a chance, couldnt do no worse than the last". The young people (the next generation) saw (and voted) beyond race, which is step one. And that is why this nation might just survive and prosper- I got news for people in the "current" generation; those people called minorities are now the majority and they are not going to be shipped back to where they came from, nor should that be the wish- there are treasures to be discovered in each and every person, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, etc.- and the next generation has been truly exposed to that diversity- as long as their prejudice forefathers keep their own old world views to themselves and let their children form their own opinions. The next generation truly wants to be equal. They are, as far as I can tell, and I have a 19 year old daughter, color-blind, and having no prejudice and appreciating our fellow man for their good values and contributions is all that we need to be the best nation again. Look at what America has to offer with it's potential vast cultural contributions. What other country in the world is as diverse? Superpower is an understatement for what we as a nation could be- and the young people, the next generation, don't even know that is what they are on the cusp of- they are just, the majority of them, just walking the walk! If the current out of touch fogies in Congress who are still paying off debts to big business campaign contributors don't bring us down- the next generation will have the independant strength of character and initiative to carry this nation on it's shoulder.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  177. Daniel Kaiser (Japan)

    Worried about the next generation?
    I'm worried about this one! The average american is fat and broke and lives in a State or city that is backrupt and depends on a crumbling infrastructure. There isn't a single facet we can point to and say "we're number one!" that doesn't involve a cheese topping.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  178. L Evans

    First, let me say this is only the third time I have bothered to respond to any blog or other on-line endeavor. But, this is a question that moves me to write. First, let me say that I worked for a Fortune 500 company for 43 years and retired one year ago last month. Quite a rare breed to be sure in today's America. I was raised around the world as a U.S. "Army Brat." One of my sons has served both as a Marine and in U.S. law enforcement. I am .rooted from modest but strong Texas stock.. I had 12 uncles who served in WWII and 12 aunts who supported the U.S. over 60 years ago. Even with this engagement, I find myself becoming more and more cynical about the direction of this country and increasingly distant from any hope. While I used to spend at least 15-20 hours reading and listening to the high visibility news channels, I spend less and less time following events.Why? Because it seems there is an attack on the core of this country by lawmakers and those who hold the wealth. Who knows? If I were 20 years old, I would probably numb out with food or drugs or crime. Today, I numb out with "reality programming" and cocktails. No, I do not have much confidence in the future of America. The "next generation" seem to be collateral damage to the current incompetence of leaders and those with seemingly endless greed .

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  179. Debra

    My father was raised in extreme poverty during the depression, even sleeping in a barn at night. He never finished elementary school because he had to work whenever he was needed on the farm. His parents even separted permanently when he was a young man, an almost unheard event of at the time. So, severly undereducated, deeply poverty stricken, and with permanantly separated parents, my father went on to serve his country in www 2, find and marry a wonderful woman, become a generous and compassionate father to four, manage to co-own and run a fleet of small businesses, and help many in his community. Four of his five siblings mangaged to have happy lifelong marriages, be great parents and either support themselves through their own business or careers. My dad would say, when asked how he did everything he did, he'd say "Well who else was suppossed to do it?" Don't get me wrong . My heart breaks for the children of today, but I don't think throwing money at the problem is solving it.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  180. Walt

    Jack, My own son, who is very interested in the history of WWII , was the one who first asked me this question a while back, he told me point blank that he hoped a similar crisis doesn't come along, because he was certain his generation could not handle the call like the Greatest Generation did.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  181. Will

    I am not very confident in our next generation, but I cannot also place the blame on just the parent's or laziness.

    Given the disparity between education in public and private schools, the glamorization of materialism and violence in media outlets, lack of jobs, dependence on goverment aid, and the lack of morals being taught in outlets outside the home for fear of religious recrimination, it's no wonder you now have a future generation who are not only disadvantaged, but who also see no hope for change.

    Regardless of where one chooses to lay the blame, the fact remains that these conditions exist, and as long as we continue to turn a blind eye to it because it's not in our immediate neighborhood, then it will only get worse.

    We, the people cannot continue to delude ourselves into thinking that the problems in our country will somehow work themselves out. The sense of apathy that pervades our nation is the fuse of a very loudly ticking time bomb that threatens to destroy our great nation from within.

    All without the help of Al-Qaeda or Bin Laden

    November 6, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  182. lynnej

    Not. They're spoiled and think they know everything. Manners, if any, aren't even there. Unless they grow some common sense and have an attitude adjustment, they're in trouble.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  183. Bryan from Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Hey Jack, You always seem to ask the right questions, you know the ones politicians don't want to here. I think the 17 to 24 year olds have no chance at the middle class dream. We need to educate them and
    there must be jobs. The older middle class are not very educated yet they were able to earn a living with skilled labor jobs good paying jobs.
    I really don't believe Obama understands we need good paying jobs that don't require a college education. I think the Dems in congress are worthless to this cause. The only good paying jobs that don't require a college education are union jobs. And that sucks.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  184. Hiroshi


    It is not the problem of next generation. It is the problem of current generation.

    Everything is stemes from un-justified distribution of the nations's wealth. What do you expect from the country that top 2% of wealthy people take 21% of our wealth? What do you expect from the third world country?


    November 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  185. Frank Serrapere

    I'm a retired teacher of math, physics, chemistry. This generation from recent college grads on back are the best young people I've ever seen. They care about each other and extend that responsibility to the rest of the world. This group will save us. Watch for them.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  186. Yagoub

    Let's ask why? It is because of the public education. Homeschooling and private education is the solution to produce great generations.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  187. Layne Alleman

    Jack, No more confident than I am about the "Adults" raising them. What is it that you talk about every day?. How lousy our government is, the out-right crooks running Wall Street and Corporate America. Let's sprinkle in Education, dedication, and desire to be someone other than an ambulance chaser. THE TWIG DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE!!!!! Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  188. Gilbert Lebron

    Hi Jack: I just finished 2 years of volunteer work in a local Orlando High School and I cannot believe the high percentage of our youth that just does not give a damn in learning anything. They go to school with their empty backpacks, they have breakfast or lunch in the classroom, they disrupt classes where students want to learn and they always have a deck of cards with them whenever they have free time, and even when they do not. This generation is disrespectful to their parent, teachers, religious leaders, law enforcement officials, all the way up the chain. I think it all began when we took the authority away from teachers.
    I'm not saying that I do not confide in the entire generation, but I do not have confidence in a GREAT MAJORITY.
    Keep up the good work.
    Orlando, FL

    November 6, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  189. Patrick from Bäle

    The problems that affect people everywhere will continue to show up under various symptoms until American businesses figure out that any and all "economic" activity is firstly about "JOBS" and secondly about making money. Profit must be secondarily in support of jobs. When this is recognized people will be better able to handle life's problems. When not recognized, things will only get worse.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  190. Hilary

    Jack, in respose to your question you asked on the air, on whether or not our young people, in the shape they are in now, could have defended the United States when Japan attacked us in 1941. Read your history! Young men were in sorry shape then. At that time our country was going through something called The Great Depression. Remember that? Plenty of draftees were give 4-F status because of physical problems and defects cause by malnutrition and lack of health care.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  191. Kevin

    How many white youth will be future welfare and food stamp recipients? I'll bet more than African American,. That portion of the stats you quoted was in poor taste if left alone. How many Asians, Native Americans, etc...? I receive foodstamps now, but I also worked for thirty one of my forty-eight years living in America. I paid my taxes and I feel that I deserve the benefits that are afforded me by US law. What about the fact that African Americans schools are substandard compared to those that whites attend. If we leave things as they are, our youth will turn to their own devices. A man was with his newborn child and he ordered, "Pick up that bottle and feed yourself!" Now equally as crazy a notion as leaving our youth to teach themselves

    November 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  192. Bill Quinlivan

    This question is really not the one to be asked after the facts you gave out on the air. The preparation of this next generation was our generation's responsibility. From the information you reported, we failed miserably in our responsibility. To get any job done, takes leadership that is up to the task. For the past two decades or more, our leadership has been abysmal. And I might add, our journalists have been too concerned about keeping their access vs. keeping our population informed and educated. Our "leaders" have kept our population over entertained and under educated. They have sacrificed our constitution in the face of invented"fear", while the rich have gotten richer and the poor, poorer. Our Journalists have not stepped up to their responsibilities of keeping our past leaders honest. I hope that we now have a leader that is up to the enormous task of rebuilding our nation from the ground-up and I hope that we will have Journalists who will be up to their responsibility to uncover and report the truth about what is being accomplished or not.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  193. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    This is what happens when the right wing nuts, keep push hate and fear mongering so that they can stay in office and rob the American people blind again like they did during the Bush Administration, and still the American People listen to the mob and voted for them.

    We are in some real trouble right now, and our children are going to suffer far more because they live in wonderland! Their parents are shielding them and not spending the time they need to aid them, because they have to work far too much just to put food on the table, clothes on their back, and a roof over their heads! This is why they will not grow up, this will cost our country dearly!

    November 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  194. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Every generation is fundementally the same, some winners, some losers and a whole bunch of in-between. They are going to be faced with a lot of enormous challenges, assuming we haven't officially become the USSA by then. We have not done them many favors. Hopefully it will still be legal to make money and "pursuit of happiness' is more than just a phrase in our Declaration.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  195. Preston White

    Dear Jack:
    If your numbers are correct, it would seem to indicate that we are already at the end of the Great American Democracy experiment. For the past 63 years of my life, I have done evrything in my power to make this thing work. I have worked 12-15 hours a day for over 35 years, paid all of my taxes each year, educated 3 grown childern, remained married to the same woman for 42 years, and tried to never commit a crime or harm any of my fellow Americans. I am a Black American who understood the so-called Puritan work ethic.Tell this next generation that if they will follow this concept then I will have confidence in them. If they choose not to then may God have mercy on us and will the last one left please turn out the lights.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  196. Ben

    We've become a nation wolves ruled by sheep, how do you think it will turn out?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  197. vern-anaheim,ca

    no0t very confident at all,young people are getting obese in record numbers and many cannot pass phyiscal exam for entry into the military.along with that many cannot fill out a job application properly,misspelling simple words and ineligible handwriting.i fear for this country if these things don't improve,are we raising a generation of "dummies"? or what?

    November 6, 2009 at 7:56 pm |
  198. Brian

    I think the next generation will be OK IF they stand up like our fathers after WWI and Korea and Viet Nam. The experience of the last eight years will certianly form their opinions of whether or not the country is being run properly and if they stand up and take the reins of power like the preceeding generations did then we'l be fine. If they sit back and expect everthing to be handed to them we'll have seen our better days and have a lot to be concerned about.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  199. Steve in Watertown

    I taught classes in Public school for 30 years. Each of those years, out of the 125 young charges I was given, I probably could have assembled a motivated group of 25 who would work hard. If I had had such a single group, in reality, it would have been a most interesting class. But the bright ones were mixed in with the needy and obnoxious ones and, all too often, given the short end of the stick.
    In most cases, those who made an effort came from homes where education was valued. The ones who made no effort wandered the streets at night while Dad or Mom knocked down some brews at a local watering hole, and then knocked each other down for laughs.

    As for the remaining 100, I wish their employer (if they manage to find one) lots of luck. Quite a few of these don't like to read, write, or lift a finger unless it has wrapped itself around a fork.
    So, overall, I'd say the 75% estimate is approximately right.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  200. Milton Knight

    Sitting here watching my younger brother (by 20 years) walking around with his pants "sagging" and showing me his underwear, I have a difficult time finding confidence in him. However, a generation is made up of a diverse group of individuals–not just the American ones–and I believe that, as always, someone will take the lead and address the concerns that the future brings and, as always, the lessons of the past will be referenced.

    November 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm |