December 28, 2012 | Back to: Columns

Economy contributes to kids’ stress

I have yet to hear anybody come up with the correct answer as to why this Newtown tragedy and other such tragedies of past years have occurred.

It’s a societal issue only, revolving around money. It has nothing to do with gun availability or anything such as that.

I’m 74 years old. When I was a kid, there was almost no pressure on anybody. My father was a structural engineer, which is not a high-paying profession compared to doctors, lawyers, etc. My mother was a “stay-at-home mom.” My father’s salary although not that large was enough to raise a family of five and send three kids through college. Horrible crimes at this time were nonexistent, general crime was much lower than it is today, and any “Archie Bunker” graduate from high school could get married, have children, buy a house and get a job at a large company that would last until retirement. Then, with his/her company’s retirement plan, plus Social Security, this person could live fairly well till he/she passed away.

Now my wife and I were both college graduates. But upon graduation, around June of 1963, we were among the first of couples where it took two incomes to raise a family, as compared to one income in my father’s era. What happened?

Greed. Lobbyists on the state and federal levels came into being and began buying off our so-called leaders for the good of the people who hired them, the large corporate interests of America. Among other things, our Congress allowed these companies to move their manufacturing to dirt poor countries where the labor rate is 10 cents an hour, causing millions of American workers to lose their jobs. Then it just “snowballed” from there. This greed has been getting worse and worse over the past 40-plus years.

Today, people have no jobs, can’t afford health insurance, can’t afford rent, food and you name it. The middle class is dwindling and falling toward the lower class. The lower class is falling into oblivion, and the rich are getting richer. This compounds into an unbelievable amount of stress on the average individual.

Are you getting the picture? The kids and young adults who are committing these vicious acts are the sons/daughters of parents who are feeling their parents’ stress, and they can’t help but get caught up in it.

Donald B. Hess lives in Grass Valley.

Today, people have no jobs, can’t afford health insurance, can’t afford rent, food and you name it.

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Donald B. Hess


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The Union Updated Dec 28, 2012 08:36PM Published Dec 28, 2012 08:36PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.