U.S. Has Second-Highest Child Poverty Rate Among Developed Nations

“A UNICEF study of 35 developed countries found the United States had the second-highest rate of child poverty after Romania.

The study – -titled Report Card 10 — found the child poverty rate in Romania was 26.5 percent. The U.S. rate was 23.1 percent, followed by Latvia and Bulgaria at 18.8 percent, Spain at 17.1 percent and Greece at 16 percent.

(…) Governmental policy can have a significant impact on the lives of children. For example, Denmark and Sweden had lower rates of child deprivation than Belgium or Germany, yet all four countries have roughly similar levels of economic development and per capita income, the report said.”

This is a real disgrace. America has the second-highest child poverty rate in the developed world. This is the land that prides itself in if not giving everybody the same results, the fair opportunities to make a better living than the previous generation. This whole building of lies collapses now like a house of cards. We are giving our children worse opportunities, because the parents of those children work dead-end jobs that can’t guarantee their children a decent upbringing. And this is happening because the wealthy elites have been able to defeat the middle class through outsourcing, downsizing, automation, student loans, credit card debt, and subprime mortgages et al.; subsequently, absorb almost all the wealth that could be had in this country. According to researcher Saez, it is 93% of new wealth that goes to the richest 1% exclusively.

The American Dream is dead for many. The right-wing talking heads, who are holding on to their dear libertarian beliefs, are screaming louder. (As the article indicated, government is the source of better child outcomes. This comes to the chagrin of libertarians, who are either forced to downplay this finding or defend widespread poverty for the sake of “liberty”, which can’t be worth much if I am poor and hungry.) But the American people aren’t willing to listen to that argument any longer. But in the absence of a strong counter-voice, political apathy becomes stronger at a time when we need citizen activism the most. Worse, sooner or later those disaffected people might back reactionaries of any stripe (Tea Party, Christian fundamentalists, Neonazis etc.). It should be clear that Occupy has to return center stage. They have turned around the conversation since last fall, and heightened level of working class consciousness is the first step toward change.

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