Are American Kids Spoiled Rotten?
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The latest spate of parenting books reflects what one writer calls "the nagging sense we haven't raised our children to be competent." Is it just the "generation gap" all over again or legitimate concern about the harsh realities of the current economy? Also, a static unemployment rate and flat job numbers, and Libya's first free election in 42 years.
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Static Unemployment Rate and Flat Jobs Numbers ()
A third month of sluggish growth produced just 80,000 new jobs in June, and unemployment seems stuck at 8.2 percent. Just 90 minutes after the Labor Department latest report, Mitt Romney interrupted his New Hampshire vacation to pronounce the figures, "another kick in the gut to middle class families." At a rally during his campaign bus tour through Ohio, President Obama tried to make the best of bad news, saying, "Our goal was never to just keep on working to get back to where we were in 2007. I want to get back to a time when middle-class families and those working to be in the middle class have some security." Michael Fletcher is economics correspondent for the Washington Post.
- Michael Fletcher: Washington Post
Are American Kids Spoiled Rotten? ()
Last week's issue of the New Yorker magazine contains this comment: "With the exception of the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-revolutionary France, contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world." With too many toys, too few chores and mothers and fathers who doubt their own authority, is "parental hysteria" producing "a nation of wimps?" Why are so many college graduates going back home instead of venturing into the job market and building their own families? Is it time to give up "helicopter parenting" and leave kids alone so they can learn to fend for themselves, or is the millennial generation facing a historic transformation in what it takes to become a successful adult and maintain roots in the middle class?
- Elizabeth Kolbert: New Yorker, @ElizKolbert
- Hara Estroff Marano: Psychology Today, @PsychToday
- Stephanie Coontz: Council on Contemporary Families, @StephanieCoontz
- Steven Mintz: Columbia University
Libyan to Hold Long-Awaited Elections ()
For 42 years, the people of Libya saw only the face of dictator Moammar Gadhafi plastered on walls. Now there are thousands of faces on campaign posters pushing candidates for tomorrow's parliamentary election. Some 4000 candidates are competing for seats in a national assembly. At the same time, an entirely new, well-equipped "shadow army" has cropped up to provide security, according to Borzou Daragahi, who's in Tripoli for the Financial Times.
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