Generational justice

Auctioning Off Our Public Lands: Congress’s Worst Idea by Margie Alt, huffingtonpost.com April 2015  l  What author Wallace Stegner called America’s “best idea,” was simple, but unprecedented anywhere in the world: treasured landscapes should be preserved and protected from private interests for all the public to enjoy, in the form of national parks…. As congressional leaders wrestle with their budget over the next several weeks, they need to abandon their plans to allow states to sell off valued public lands to the highest bidder. They need to reject other efforts to erode protections for our parks, forests, and open lands. If protecting our prized landscapes forever for the benefit of all is America’s best idea, selling them off for the short-term economic gain of a few special interests is Congress’s worst.

America’s Billionaires Are Turning Public Parks Into Playgrounds for the Wealthy By Inga Saffron, New Republic,  February 2, 2015

How Corporations Are Cheating Millions of School Children Out of Billions in Education Funds By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet, January 4, 2015 

Older really can mean wiser Some elements of intelligence may peak later in life than previously thought. by: BENEDICT CAREY , New York Times, March 21, 2015

America’s Billionaires Are Turning Public Parks Into Playgrounds for the Wealthy

The Most Entitled Generation Isn’t Millennials. It’s Baby Boomers

How Corporations Are Cheating Millions of School Children Out of Billions in Education Funds By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet, January 4, 2015 

Study: More Homeless Children Now Than Any Point in US History By Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams, November 17, 2014

Chomsky: There’s an Overt Corporate Effort to Indoctrinate American Children By Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson, Truthout, October 13, 2014 

The Gradual Selling of America the Beautiful By VERLYN KLINKENBORG, New York Times, February 9, 2013 – Of the 2.27 billion acres that constitute the land area of the United States, a little less than 30 percent — about 640 million acres — belongs to you, the American citizen. It is land acquired over the years by treaty, conquest or purchase by the federal government acting on behalf of the people, and indisputably belongs to neither the states nor individuals. But in the last few decades no part of the American land mass has stirred greater controversy.…the real threat to the public lands is not from Congress, or the state legislatures, whose laws would almost certainly be struck down as unconstitutional. The real and constant threat is more subtle, and more piecemeal. Only about a third of the 640 million acres of public land — national parks, permanently protected wilderness where only backpackers are allowed, national wildlife refuges — enjoy complete or high levels of protection against commercial development. Nearly all the rest is multiuse land, for logging, grazing, hard-rock mining, oil and gas development. Especially vulnerable are the 248 million acres overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. It is to this threat that President Obama must pay more attention than he has.Some presidents — like George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton — have done a good job protecting public lands; in contrast, President George W. Bush did his best to get the bureau into the speed-leasing business, vending leases, with virtually no profit to the government, for gas and oil drilling…… attitude toward protecting and exploiting public lands. Congress has extraction fever of a rare severity, and it will be on full display. Finding the right balance is always the hard part, especially in the West, where the urge to return to the exploitative ways of the past is strong. But the public lands belong now, as they always have, to the future. There are dozens of wrong ways to use them. But there is no such thing as a wrong way to protect them.

Old vs. Young By David Leonhardt, New York Times, June 22, 2012 …one dividing line has actually received too little attention. It’s the line between young and old……economic slump of the last decade…has still taken a much higher toll on the young…The wealth gap between households headed by someone over 65 and those headed by someone under 35 … gap in homeownership… income gap is also at a recorded high…the young are generally losing out to the old….more than 50 percent of federal benefits flow to the 13 percent of the population over 65…education spending — the area that the young say should be cut the least, polls show — is taking deep cuts… Hammered by the economic downturn…They wish the country would devote more attention to its future, especially on education and the climate. They, of course, will have to live with that future.

The Koch Brothers’ 3-Step Plan to Conquer the Next Generation By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News, September 14, 2014        1. Defund Public Schools 2. Make Schools Dependent on Private Entities for Money 3. Ingrain students with Greed-Based Ideology

How Capitalism Is Cheating Young Americans by Paul Buchheit for Buzzflash at Truthout, July 28, 2014

Dear Millennials, We’re Sorry by Frank Bruni, New York Times, JUNE 7, 2014

Ted Cruz Proposes Selling Massive Portions of National Parks by Salvatore Aversa, I Acknowledge, July 10, 2014

Starting Out Behind By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, New York Times, JUNE 7, 2014  …While the worst is over, economic conditions are still subpar, damaging the immediate job prospects and long-term living standards of young adults starting out now….Over the last six years, one of the economy’s biggest problems has been faulty fiscal policy, with the federal government underestimating the need for economic aid or withholding and reducing help prematurely. Another drag has been lack of business investment, even as financial markets have prospered with the help of loose monetary policy. The result has been an economy where young people starting out are at risk of prolonged underachievement. It is possible to defuse that risk, but not without responsive policy and robust investment.

8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back By Bruce Levine on June 8, 2014 …Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination. Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it…How exactly has American society subdued young Americans? 1. Student-Loan Debt. 2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance. 3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy. 4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” 5. Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously. 6. The Normalization of Surveillance. 8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism.

The Boomers “Failed” Us: Climate Activist Tim DeChristopher on Anger, Love, and Sacrifice by Sarah van Gelder, YES! Magazine,  June 4, 2014 First the anger, then the love—overcoming generational anger to find the courage required for the difficult work ahead.

America’s Greatest Shame: Child Poverty Rises and Food Stamps Cut While Billionaires Boom By Les Leopold, HuffingtonPost.com, 11/08/2013 

How George W. Bush Screwed This Generation of College Students By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program, April 28 014

U.S. Ranks at the Bottom of Child Well-Being Salon.com / By Katie McDonough, April 12, 2013 – The United States ranked in the bottom four of a United Nations report on child well-being. Among 29 countries, America landed second from the bottom in child poverty and held a similarly dismal position when it came to “child life satisfaction.” Keeping the U.S. company at the bottom of the report, which gauged material well-being, overall health, access to housing and education, were Lithuania, Latvia and Romania, three of the poorest countries in the survey….But don’t feel too discouraged, fellow Americans! As the International Business Times notes [3], the U.S. has managed to take first place in plenty of other surveys conducted by global organizations: The United States is No. 1 on many other lists: It spends more on the military than the next 12 nations on the list combined; it’s the best in the world at imprisoning people; and it has the most obese people, the highest divorce rate, and the highest rate of both illicit and prescription drug use.

Why our children’s future no longer looks so bright By Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, October 16, 2011— A specter haunts America: downward mobility. Every generation, we believe, should live better than its predecessor…But these expectations could be dashed. For young Americans, the future could be dimmer …Our children’s futures have been heavily mortgaged…The future is never entirely predictable, but downward mobility is not just a scary sound bite. It’s a real possibility. 

The Decade of Lost Children by Charles M. Blow, New York Times, August 5, 2011

The Rise and Fall of the American Childhood By Colin Greer,Alter­Net, July 19, 2012 – From the 1930s to 1980, child­hood in Amer­ica became a cher­ished space for young­sters to grow in. After 1980, and with increas­ing furor, that space has been under assault and child­hood ter­ri­bly com­pro­mised. Look at what we once did and what we’re now doing.The Rise: Child labor laws, Civil rights pro­tec­tions for all chil­dren., Full and secure employ­ment for par­ents. Play as a mode of learn­ing. Early child­hood as a time to invest in child devel­op­ment through stim­u­lat­ing play…Access to qual­ity edu­ca­tion on an unprece­dented scale…The US moved toward uni­ver­sal inclu­sion from ele­men­tary through post-secondary education.Yet once these gains were fully estab­lished in the top rungs of soci­ety, they began to shut down for the nation’s chil­dren as a whole. For 50 years, the pen­du­lum swung toward pro­tect­ing chil­dren and guar­an­tee­ing a child­hood for all; then it began to swing back when less than half of the pop­u­la­tion had securely achieved these ben­e­fits. So despite the lan­guage of “going too far” in the direc­tion of a pro­tec­tive, even a “nanny state,” we have never in fact gone far enough for the least priv­i­leged of us…Chil­dren in poor and immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties are actu­ally work­ing — on the land and in sweat­shops — despite our laws to the con­trary. Chil­dren in this pop­u­la­tion have less than a 10% chance of a col­lege edu­ca­tion. Hunger and home­less­ness among these chil­dren is at shock­ingly high lev­els….The need for both par­ents to work in the face of not only eco­nomic down­turns, but the demand for higher pro­duc­tiv­ity from Amer­i­can work­ers and lower pub­lic ben­e­fits, puts the lives of chil­dren under stresses that we once aimed to eradicate.In describ­ing both the rise and fall of Amer­i­can child­hood, I’ve quoted no data for two rea­sons. One, it is all out there. It’s in the press and in the pro­fes­sional lit­er­a­ture for all to find. Two, the gath­er­ing of data seems to make no dif­fer­ence to pub­lic behav­ior and pub­lic policy.Per­haps it’s time instead for each of us to imag­ine just one child, one who looks like a child you know and love. Each of these chil­dren is the bearer of the accu­mu­lated loss sum­ma­rized in the Rise and Fall.

Millennials to business: Social responsibility isn’t optional By Michelle Nunn, Washington Post, December 20, 2011 — ….As consumers, employees and entrepreneurs, Millennials are shifting the norms of corporate America’s conduct, ethical imperatives and purpose. In his book, “The Way We’ll Be,” pollster John Zogby documents how these “First Globals” are more conscientious consumers than their predecessors, demanding greater honesty and accountability from businesses. Millennials are bringing their values into the career equation by placing a premium on employers’ reputation for social responsibility and the opportunities those companies and organizations provide their employees to make a positive impact on society. .. Millennials, as consumers, are pushing companies to change the ways of doing business to align with the values of civic and global responsibility largely held by Millennials…While Millennials are transforming established businesses, they are also starting a new breed of businesses with built-in social missions that are resonating with the marketplace and revolutionizing their sectors…The values behind Occupy Wall Street are manifesting themselves in the marketplace and companies that are failing to take notice should start…A new generation of employees, consumers and entrepreneurs is stepping forward with a better way of doing business — putting its bets on the goodness of people rather than loading the dice in its own favor.

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