We are suffering from a pandemic of collective neglect, in a large part due to secret inflation since 2010.
Love that you're writing about this topic Rob! Working in the SF public school system, I see firsthand how our outdated, underfunded, and interwoven systems are failing our youth and lower-income families and public care providers. My small critique is in the phrasing of outlined consequences of neglect; I believe saying "increased dependency on drugs/alcohol...or an increase in drugs/alcohol addiction" would be more aligned with your overall non-blaming approach. Looking forward to the next essay!
"La démocratie féministe" by Marie-Cécile Naves tackles some of the issues you write about. She also writes about "la marchandisation (commodification?) du care", and the low salaries people get when they work in these types of overly gendered job we call care. But also the global need for environmental care (the idea that we need to take better care of ourself, others, but also our planet). Really interesting!