U.S. child poverty

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Mariner, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Mariner
    Offline

    Mariner Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    772
    Thanks Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Boston, Mass.
    Ratings:
    +52
    So what's the conservative take on child poverty? The rising tide of reduced taxation has not lifted the boats of children--child poverty reached a low in the 70s and then began rising. We have by far the highest rate of child poverty in the industrialized world--one in six American children. Corporate profits have grown immensely since the 70s, but wages have stagnated. CEOs now make 900 times the salary of their average worker, the highest number since the age of the robber barons. The average worker keeps a smaller percentage of his own productivity than at any time in the past 35 yeras--the corporation keeps the rest. Who suffers from all this? Children, our future.

    Here's a summary. The website itself has a very interesting graph showing how we compare to various other countries (www.epinet.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_06232004):

    "Social expenditures and child poverty—the U.S. is a noticeable outlier.

    All advanced industrialized countries make an effort to reduce the number of children who live in poverty, but poverty remains a harsh reality for many children in every country. Child poverty is defined as children living in households where income is less than 50% of household median income within each country. Although children bear no responsibility for living in poverty, they are penalized not only in childhood but later in life if their health or education suffers from a lack of resources.*

    All economies face the trade-off between how much money should be spent and what level of childhood poverty is acceptable. The data used in the figure below compare social economic expenditures and child poverty rates of the United States to that of 16 other rich, industrialized countries that, like the United States, belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The United States and these other countries face similar global conditions with respect to trade, investment, technology, the environment, and other factors that shape economic opportunities.* Thus, this comparison provides a yardstick for gauging the commitment of the U.S. government to reducing child poverty and its lifelong effects.

    [graph]

    The figure clearly illustrates that those countries with higher social expenditures — as a percentage of gross domestic product, or GDP — have dramatically lower poverty rates among children. The blue line in the figure shows the correlation between expenditures and child poverty rates for all countries. Individually, the Nordic countries — Sweden, Norway, and Finland — stand out, with child poverty rates between 2.8% and 4.2%. The United States stands out as the country with the lowest expenditures and the highest child poverty rate — five times as much as the Nordics.

    The paucity of social expenditures addressing high poverty rates in the United States is not due to a lack of resources — high per capita income and high productivity make it possible for the United States to afford much greater social welfare spending. Moreover, other OECD countries that spend more on both poverty reduction and family-friendly policies have done so while maintaining competitive rates of productivity and income growth."

    Mariner.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. CSM
    Offline

    CSM Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    6,907
    Thanks Received:
    708
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Northeast US
    Ratings:
    +708
    I have already explained why this is horse puckey. The overall poverty rate in the US is below 10%. That's overall, bubba. I gave you a link showing the actual figures from a US government site. Yet you pursue this specious train of thought by posting links to what looks suspiciously like a communist or socialist website.

    It may be true that our social expoenditures are not as high as other countries. It is not true that our poverty rate is higher. In other words, the graph is deliberately misleading and NOT using factual data.
     
  3. no1tovote4
    Offline

    no1tovote4 VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,294
    Thanks Received:
    616
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Colorado
    Ratings:
    +616

    Not only this, but I would love to see a graph comparing US Poverty to Poverty in say Mozambique. Our poorest citizens (and Illegal Immigrants) have it far better than this "poverty" graph would have somebody believe. This is like to commercials that say that 1 in 5 children go to bed hungry because their parents cannot afford food. That is garbage, if it was so we would all constantly see the swollen belly of starvation everywhere in the US (the swelling is due to malnutrition and gasses in the intestines). It simply isn't so and is simply a percentage used to get you to believe something specious, just as it is used here.
     
  4. Mariner
    Offline

    Mariner Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    772
    Thanks Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Boston, Mass.
    Ratings:
    +52
    poverty isn't specious, No1. It's a real problem, which I'm curious how conservatives would confront, since you oppose a welfare state. How about addressing the issue I raised, which is that European children have it better than ours? I'm not trying to compare our system to that of a third world country. I'm trying to compare it to other capitalist economies which choose, as a society, to invest more in their people, while we choose a more individualistic path.

    Mariner.
     
  5. CSM
    Offline

    CSM Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    6,907
    Thanks Received:
    708
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Northeast US
    Ratings:
    +708
    IT IS NOT 18%!!! Your figures regarding the US poverty rate is INCORRECT! That is what makes the graph wrong and your argument WRONG! This is the last time I will say anything on the topic of the poverty rate among children. You are obviously ignoring the facts to make a point.....
     
  6. Mr. P
    Offline

    Mr. P Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    11,329
    Thanks Received:
    618
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South of the Mason Dixon
    Ratings:
    +620
    Mariner...are you posing an argument for abortion, one for economically responsible parents, or for socialism? Or are you simply pointing out differences, which we already know?
     
  7. Mariner
    Offline

    Mariner Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    772
    Thanks Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Boston, Mass.
    Ratings:
    +52
    doing your math wrong. You're making the incorrect assumption that children are distributed evenly across socioeconomic class. Yes, the overall poverty rate in the U.S. around 10%. But families with children are more poor, because 1. it costs a lot of money to raise a child, and 2. people universally tend to have fewer children as their economic and educational status improves. Therefore the child poverty rate is higher than the overall poverty rate: nearly double.

    So, 1/6 of all American children are growing up in poverty. This is the official figure of the U.S. gov't and can be found on dozens of websites, not only liberal ones. Though it does seem that liberals care more about it, especially judging by how few people even open and read a thread named "child poverty."

    Now, your kids and mine have to grow up to share the same streets as these impoverished kids. Is it good for our society to have so much poverty among children? Add to this the dismal statistics for college attendance among people from lower socioeconomic childhoods, and Bush's favoring of bank loans (which lose money) rather than gov't financed loans (which actually make money) for college, and you have a terribly un-level playing field. America's great if you're born into the middle or upper class. It stinks right now if you're born poor.

    So what does a conservative suggest? You're allergic to giving poor people money. You're allergic to social welfare programs, except those run by churches. So how are you going to help all these poor kids have the same opportunity you had? Have you seen the numbers on how many poor kids have access to computers, textbooks, running tracks, swimming pools, and other aspects of American civilization compared with most kids? They're appalling.

    Mariner.
     
  8. Mariner
    Offline

    Mariner Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Messages:
    772
    Thanks Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Boston, Mass.
    Ratings:
    +52
    Personally, I support increased social spending, combined with every incentive we can think of to help people develop skills and work (for example, they shouldn't lose their health insurance when they begin to work). I don't support increasing social spending to Swedish levels, however. I do think Europe has overdone it, not adequately emphasizing personal responsibility.

    Mariner.
     
  9. ScreamingEagle
    Offline

    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    12,887
    Thanks Received:
    1,610
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Ratings:
    +2,159
    Your article's definition of poverty is: "Child poverty is defined as children living in households where income is less than 50% of household median income within each country."

    Since the median income in the U.S. runs approximately $60k that means "poverty" is pegged at $30k or less. There are plenty of young families that make $20k to $30k per year and although they are not living in the lap of luxury, they are not exactly poverty-stricken either.

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/4person.html
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  10. CSM
    Offline

    CSM Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    6,907
    Thanks Received:
    708
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Northeast US
    Ratings:
    +708
    I disagree. However, for the sake of argument, let us say you are correct. If you are correct, where the hell are all those global charitable organizations with their economic, educational and medical aid travelling the highways and byways of the United States to help the poor destitute children here in the US? or are they less important than children elsewhere in the world?
     

Share This Page