The Kids Today Are Very Nice People

Margot Sanger-Katz and Aaron Carroll write about the kids these days:

You wouldn’t know it from “Euphoria,” but today’s teenagers drink less than their parents’ generation did. They smoke less, and they use fewer hard drugs. They get in fewer car accidents and fewer physical fights. They are less likely to drop out of high school, less likely to have sex, and less likely to become pregnant. They commit fewer crimes. They even wear bike helmets.

Across a wide range of classically risky teenage behaviors, today’s teenagers are getting tamer and more responsible, making better decisions and eschewing the dangerous choices that, for many adults today, defined youth.

That’s true! For example:

Among teenagers, arrest rates have plummeted by 50-70 percent since the “superpredator” era of the early 90s. Generally speaking, teenagers today are nicer, politer, and less likely to get in trouble than at nearly any time in the postwar era. It’s amazing what happens when you halt the practice of poisoning kids with lead fumes and turning them into monsters, isn’t it?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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