I'm on board with a better system of taxation and even a basic income, for sure. though, maybe part of the overall problem, is that it's all in terms of financial/economic expectations - why not create a system of guaranteed housing, health care, food, and education, instead? I'm not sure how that would work, but why not gurantee the things that are most vital to be able to live, as opposed to just looking to handing out cash to ameliorate the problems associated with the growth of the modern economy in the first place? (sorry, these are sort of half-baked ideas right now).
As I point out, it's probably not much better to deprive teenagers of a living wage than it is an adult, just because they are teenagers and it's assumed that they don't need it... in fact, I'd guess that the majority of teens who have jobs do so more out of necessity now. From what I understand of public school, students are so loaded down with homework that if they work, they fall behind academically. Ideally, teenagers would be able to focus on their education, but we all know that isn't the case for far too many.
That being said, I'm not sure I know what this means? That we're evolving in a certain direction, but we are "immature" somehow as a society? That history has a predetermined course that we can chart and predict and we are on a particular course? The US is what it is, I'd say, and if we want it to change, we can't wait on more enlightened or progressive policies to appear [edited to add: not that I think that this is what you're advocated], because that's how things evolve. We have to make them happen collectively through the political system or otherwise. Honestly, I've always been skeptical of the notion of progress, in terms of society as an evolving entity. It's probably the enlightenment idea I'm most skeptical of and weirdly, it's probably the one most tied to Marxist thought. Go figure, I guess.