Panel 1: We see Elly sitting down for a second, listening to the radio news. The main headline is about how high mortgage rates and fuel costs are destroying the dreams of young families like hers. In short, the latest housing bubble collapsed because of the latest recession. Not a pleasant thing to have happen to the people who got hurt but not (yet) the herald of disaster the humorless moaner listening to the radio thinks it is. A saner person would realize that sooner or later things would get better because they remember that economic cycles are cyclical. An idiot like Elly would content herself with the comforting nightmare of living in a refrigerator box in a week's time because she thinks that the current trend will last forever and ever.
Panel 2: She switches stations only to hear another chunk of bad news. This one is about a student protest for equal treatment touched off by the fact that the students can't find jobs they're qualified for. This is a tough problem to solve but it can be done if the will to do so is there. Elly's preferred solution of whining about the Man and how things will never get better is playing right into the hands of people who want things to stay the same.
Panel 3: She turns the dial to yet another doomsday scenario: pollution. Again, a tough problem that we can, if not solve, at least mitigate if we act. That action, of course, has got to be more than putting up a sticker in our johns proclaiming that we conserve water. Meanwhile, Elly's downcast expression has attracted Mike's attention.
Panel 4: Having listened to all the bad news, he woefully asks her if there'll be anything left for him when he grows up. My answer is that there will be but it won't be because of passive lumps like his mother who think there's no point in trying to change things. Or, for that matter, oblivious jackasses like his dad who blind themselves to the evils of the world because they think they aren't affected by them. John and Elly are the sort of imbeciles that impede progress and get in the way of people trying to change the world for the better. As tvtropes.org would put it, Elly is a mouse while John is a bat.
Hypothesis: Lynn has yet again inadvertently reminded us that the things we snark have always been part of the strip. Today, we see that we've always had to deal with simplistic, heavy-handed moralizing.
ETA: The funny thing is that all I had to do was mention it was anvilicious and cookie77 knew what it was.