We give respect out of self-interest. If I respect an axe it means I know if I handle it carelessly I could get hurt; secondarily if I learn to work with it my life is improved.
It is the same with human beings as with axes. If a human earns my respect it means I think for my own good I had best treat what he does and says with some modicum of gravity. If I ignore what she asks or does I risk mishap, while if I cotton to her desires I may be helped.
The young respect the old less than they used to for two reasons.
First reason: the world is changing more quickly, because of accelerations in technology, therefore the old may lack the skills necessary for success. Their views may be dumb. So the young can ignore them more freely; they are a dull ax.
Second reason: There are more opportunities for advancement; more zig-zagging paths to a fulfilling life. In the old days of hierarchy the old person’s butt was in your face as you climbed a single ladder. You had to obsequiavate him or her to gain a toe-hold and advancement, bestowing on that old face-staring butt a fine, respectful Kissing and Tongue Bath. Now you can say “See you later, chum.”
But this lack of respect is it a Good Thing? Or a Bad Thing?
Hush, child. Those things worth discussing are always both. Nobody but a fool would ever even voice the question of the goodness or badness of the unequivocally fine or ill.