As I was super busy juggling two articles last week, you guys were carrying on an interesting discussion without me. Let me bring it to the front page.
Is life better today than it was for our parents? Do we enjoy more material benefits? Are our jobs more secure? Is the world more inclusive and kinder?
Well, it is better for people like Ian. They didn’t have the words to describe people with high functioning autism ten years ago. Now, there is the assumption that people like my son should have proper education, work, and housing. Does it always happen? No. Actually, people like Ian have a 20 percent shot of getting those things. But there’s at least recognition that these rights should exist. Maybe there will actually be real progress in another ten years.
Tangent — It does bug the crap out of me that my friends who happily plant a rainbow flag on their front lawns see nothing wrong with the fact that our school district educates its special ed kids in a windowless basement.
We have a bigger house than my parents; I grew up in a two bedroom Cape Cod. But my dad spent more time at home than Steve does. Kids weren’t so stressed out about grades and colleges and after school activities, but they are also less bored. I think middle class parenting is a wash – some improvements, some negatives.
I think the biggest difference in the negative camp has to be for working class Americans. The Trump voters really do have a worse life than they did a generation ago. And that isn’t a subjective assessment; It’s showing up in the death rates. The life expectancy for working class, white women has plummeted. The opioid crisis has hit that group hard.