There is been a growing trend of youth violence. It seemed to first come about with the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement in September 2011. The OWS gang claimed its focus was on the social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the perceived undue influence of corporations and the wealthy on the government.
The OWS slogan was, “We are the 99 percent,” in reference to wealth distribution. Protests became more violent over time, and they used the violence as their message in order to broadcast the inequitable state of the nation. The trend became especially noticeable in Canada during the recent national election of a liberal prime minister.
Much of Justin Trudeau’s platform was based on the liberals’ socialist government giveaways which Canadians – who are even more socialist than Americans — were more than happy to embrace. Yet peace and contentment have continued to elude both the U.S. and Canadian economies. And this is especially true in Canada where there has been a suicide slide in the value of the Canadian currency.
The Canadian electorate of late has almost always put the Canadian Conservative Party in office. But this election was different, and the Liberal Party victory increases the melding between the Canada and the U.S. more than in most periods. That could be because there is a war building between the haves and the have-nots in both countries. The poor put little of the blame on themselves for their poverty, just as the ultra-wealthy take too much personal credit for their wealth.
Typically, the poor see the world differently from the wealthy, viewing it as unfair and rigged. For the lower middle class, the chances of being able to afford shopping at Ethan Allen are about the same as winning the Super Lotto.
Since the late 1960s when Canada’s economic supply surged to the left, there has been a growing connection between the U.S. and Canada. A red state American would have much in common between himself and a man from Alberta. But he would see many ways in which he would have irreconcilable differences with a man from the eastern seaboard.
Despite merging cultures with others in Canada there is a societal gap between the young and the middle aged that didn’t exist to the degree it does now. When I went to school at a good university the cost was dirt cheap; something like $2,000 per year. It can easily cost 30 times that much today.
Now in 2016, universities are swamped by debt-stricken students earning impractical degrees. As they stay in college, their money misfortunes grow.
For those who won’t take on debt, their choice is to turn to manual labor, which can be low-paying, dangerous and backbreaking.
Calls from the poor and middle class to improve the economy are not heard. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, kids understand they won’t live lives as good as the ones their parents lived. For millions in the Western world, teens are a thread away from acting like Peter Finch’s character in the Academy Award winning movie Network who yells out across the city, “I’m mad as hell…”
You get enough kids mad and you will have to use the military.
And this is not happening in just one city or region. Our eldest son has visited most of Europe and taught at six schools outside North America. The worst, he said, were the kids in London.
It was not so long ago that our son graduated from college where he was a starter on the football team. At 13 he was ranked number two by USA Boxing. Yet he felt unsafe in some of the schools because, as he says, almost all the kids carry knives and there were more than a few of them who wouldn’t have to give much thought before using them. I finally feel safe for him because he is a teacher at a private school in Scotland.
In some parts of America they are now allowing — in some cases even encouraging — teachers to wear a sidearm while teaching class. They wouldn’t have to give me much encouragement, now or when I was in my prime.
A few years ago I met an old friend and we walked past a high school in San Diego, California. It was Lincoln High School, where NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen had attended.
I am not exaggerating when I say the school looked like a war zone and the boys there looked like members of a mercenary arm. If I were teaching there, unless I was provided a bodyguard, I would give every single student an A regardless of his work or ability. This might explain why kids who read at a third grade level graduate high school.
Imagine their expectations for the future. Expectations must be terribly bleak for kids aged 17 to 19 when their best option for a job is if some kindly family member brings them into the family business of selling crack.
I was doing research and found these startling numbers from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service:
Youth violence is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Yet, deaths resulting from youth violence are only part of the problem. Many young people need medical care for violence-related injuries. These injuries can include cuts, bruises, broken bones, and gunshot wounds. Some injuries can lead to lasting disabilities.
It is these young people who have miserable lives. Others are still worse off, and without prospects for an education that is going to be impossible to change. But who would cover that college loan besides the government? And the federal government doesn’t have the means to cover the billions needed for new college loans.
With gigantic interest payments on $19 trillion debt, a terrible economy and growing violence, Western democracies are starting to deteriorate at an accelerating pace.
While the liberals have done much to cause this mess, they can’t seem to believe there are any other alternatives and won’t change their ways. Bernie Sanders is Mr. Big spender with taxpayer money, but I have yet to see an economic plan just to tackle the interest owed on the federal government’s debt by either party.
Yours in good times and bad,
— John Myers