Freespirited, you said so yourself what changed in Costa Rica. Yes, everyone got better, but the rich got A LOT better than the poor. So while the poor may not be *as bad* off as before, they still look around and see that they haven't gained nearly as much as the rest. And yes, that is a cause for anger. Even here in the US, the rich have gotten richer. So while the poor may technically be a bit better off than 20yrs ago, they aren't really, not in relation to everyone else. Whereas before there wasn't much difference, now it is starkly apparent the gap between the haves & the have-nots. And it's constantly being broadcast everywhere. So while they may be better off, they realize, for the first time, just how *much* behind they really are. That's a huge shock in the system. As far as entitled to or not, what entitles the richest 1% to having 50% of the assets in a country, or more? Why such HUGE inequalities? I can understand them having more, I'm not for a whole 'everyone is equal' thing, but really, why such a HUGE discrepancy?
As far as pedophilia & violence, it may *seem* that there are more, but there really aren't. It just wasn't talked about in the past. It may seem like more, but that's because you hear more about it. Remember, we used to have mob rule in places such as Las Vegas, Chicago, etc. Those 'mobs' are now what we call 'gangs'. The violence hasn't changed, just our perception of it has. As for pedophiles now having access to children more so than before, not true. Most pedophiles start abusing their relatives first. And unless all of them were sequestered somehow, they had plenty access to children. The only difference now is that it's in our faces exactly how *sick* these people are.
I think the difference between say, Canada & US is that there are a lot more social support in place. People are supported in having children & caring for them. Socialized health care is paramount. No one is left out, like here in the US. Unlike Europe though, the employment situation is different. In Europe, the young adults are either UNABLE to find jobs (it's notoriously hard to get into a good job because of how hard it is to let go of workers), or if they do, when there are layoffs, they are the first to be let go. My dad is in Germany and he asks, each time he calls, if dh is still working. Know why? Because with what the US is broadcasting about the economic slump, ALL the young people should be out of jobs. Since dh is still working, my dad thinks everything is ok. Different realities. (as for per capita income being higher, costs there are higher too. You can't compare them like apples to apples)
The truth is that when you increase the standard of living for a small portion of society, to the exclusion of the rest, there WILL be an increase in outlash. No one likes to be left behind, or to have to work harder to attain the same old level. You also make those at the bottom MUCH more vulnerable. Those poor people may be a bit better off, but how much have prices risen? Since the middle class, and especially the wealthy, have more $$ the cost of things HAS to have gone up a lot--simple law of economics. So did the poor really better their station? Or is it more like 'well their income went up too?'
It's also offensive when you say that young people don't want to work. That's so not the case. A ton of us do and are trying to find a way to do so. The sad thing is that the majority of my graduating class in college KNEW they most likely wouldn't find a 'good' job--you know, the one where there are benefits, like basic healthcare. Doesn't mean they didn't try, just that they started looking at options outside of the 'normal' track. It's disheartening to find out that all that schooling, all those student loans don't mean squat. I graduated in 07, btw. A few of my classmates, after working hard to get their degree, found that it made more financial sense for them to take up bartending. That's sad.
As for your derision about facebook & myspace--sorry to tell you, it's a social networking site. Notice networking? A lot of us are using it to make connections to FIND jobs. Everyone is on the lookout for a good job. Once one friend is able to get into a good company, other friends usually inquire if there are any openings--you know, the ones that are never advertised. Unfortunately, the days of graduating and applying to a good company are OVER. Plus, it's a lot easier to put out that you are looking for a job among 500 friends at once, friends who aren't all in the same area as you are.