"Children of the Recession" Offer Answers

CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman asks kids about fixing the recession CBS

CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman decided to set up a little booth at a local school, and ask kids how to fix the recession-rewarding them with one dollar for every good idea.

The goal was to try and get a fresh perspective on issues like job creation, what to do about stock prices, or even just how to begin to cut the national debt.

Of course, it's not really their job to fix this grown-up mess. But you'd be surprised how much they try - at least in their own little ways - in their own little worlds.

Ten-year-old Stefan Auclaire had never even heard the word recession -- but he knew full well what one felt like.

Stefan and his older brother Keith live on the edge of town. Their dad is a carpenter and like a lot construction workers in the area - he's struggling for work like never before.

Stefan says it got especially bad about a month ago: "We had to go down to our cousin's house to get some food - money to buy food."

Stefan says it was at about then that he realized he had to do something - so he went to the place where he hides his birthday money - and tried to give it to his parents.

"They said, 'No, you take it.' But I just laid it on the counter and then they put it in their pile," he said.

It was $40, his life savings.

"He gave it all -- just to buy stuff for the house," said Stefan's mom Wanda. "I got good kids but it just hurts. It just makes us feel like we're failures."

Stefan's story isn't unique. And if by chance, you're one of those parents, with one of these kids. There's an important correction to what Stefan's mom said earlier: no parent is ever a failure-who raises a selfless child.

Read more of the Children of the Recession
  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

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