Hmm well I guess it's just a matter of definitions. I think of skills as the tools of independence. If you had a desire for independence, I would still think of that as not being actual independence until you had aquired the skills. Though you'll never get the skills without the desire so that's a huge part of it.
LOL! I think it all comes down to a chicken and egg argument. That being said, I think my greater concern is where the egg comes from? Can the young person cook the egg because it was simply there, or that he had the independence to acquire the egg in the first place?
Just from my various readings on the subject, I don't think that independence is a concern in this country because kids can't perform certain tasks, but because they lack the ability to get into a situation where the task is required of them. If the kid is in a situation where the task is always performed for him, why would he even be required to know how to perform it? It comes down to the idea that we're creating a culture of dependence. We are in a culture or we have created a culture whereby everything is done for us. Or, at least it is made easier. I have a colleague who doesn't do his own laundry. He sends it out. To him, that is the norm and as long as he can afford it, he will continue to do it. Why should people pack lunches when there are endless restaurants and food carts who can make your lunch for you? If you can afford it, why bother with the options.
I live in a city where every service conceivable is available. When I was out recovering from an unexpected C--section, I had Fresh Direct deliver all my groceries. It was simple, it was cheap, I didn't have to do much. I just had to point and click and voila, I had groceries within two hours. That's the type of world my DD is growing up in...the world of service industry. We don't eat fast food, we don't have a car, we live in a tiny little apartment...but yet, that is world that surrounds us. Independence, in my opinion, is about making conscience decisions that positively affect your life. The world I grew up in has changed a lot. I want DD to be independent but there are new paradigms. She has to know how to survive responsibly in this world and in alternate situations. It is a lot of work. Being independent is knowing how to say no and when to say yes. To me, it is bigger than basic skills.