How short-term observations can lead to faulty solutions? What was important 50 years ago is not important today. See the following post
What was important 50 years ago is not important today. 50 years ago depression was not among the top 10 or even top 20 illnesses leading to death, today it is number one killer disease. 50 years ago memorizing spellings, formulas and multiplication tables was essential for all educated people, today their memorization is no longer important because of Google search, smart phones and auto spell checkers. 50 years ago self esteem, self care, self finances were taught by father mother, uncles, aunts and extended families and neighborhood friends, today we have deliberately cutoff the support environment of extended family and friends, and now want to shift the responsibility to schools.
We are creating new problems because of our selfish pursuits and then want government and school systems to solve these problems.
Why the pendulum shifted in last 50 years. Regarding memorization of formulas, the shift is understandable because of availability of formula and spelling on a single click of smart phone has obviated the need. The increase in depression is owed to what Alvin Toffler called future shock.
For a more detailed understanding of why there is Prevalence of depression over the last 50 years see my other post