Well, for one thing, they're working.
I'm at the Tucson airport bound for Denver. Got here at 7 and was surprised to see a kid working the shoeshine stand, where I stopped to have the desert dust shined off my loafers.
Kid appears to be about 12, but he says he's a sophomore in college.
"Where?" I ask.
"Last year at the University of Arizona; Pima Community College right now," he says, working expertly on the shoes.
"Tuition went up. I hope to be back next year."
Here's a lesson for me, comfortable in my late middle age, headed for a swell hotel in Denver. Tuition goes up a couple of hundred dollars at the U of A, and here's a kid shining shoes early on a Saturday morning, to try to get back into a good state school.
He started at 5 a.m. this morning.
I went to get a cup of coffee. The girl at the coffee counter also started early, at 4.30.
Both of these kids were cheerful and hard-working. They were not complaining.
Just a reminder to me, as I check into my $245 a night hotel room on a four-day business trip. You don't need to scratch the surface very hard to see how tough times really are for a lot of people, including kids.