A couple of days ago, I talked about a lifeline that’s been thrown out for our family by some loved ones to help us get through some of the more challenging times we’re facing as I wait for some job re-training to resume. It’s the kind of gesture that helps to pay the bills along with woefully inadequate unemployment insurance deposits (while they are better than nothing, anyone who thinks unemployment insurance is an easy ride has never had to live off of it).
But what about those besides us who don’t have that kind of lifeline thrown out to them? We’re talking about people right here in the United States. Just how bad off are people in this country?
I talked about this topic here in this blog last Sunday in the third part of my “In search of America for Memorial Day” series, and a report that came out from UNICEF on Tuesday only serves to amplify what I brought up then.
If we’re paying attention to the signs, believing the information that’s laid out in front of us, we would realize that we’re living in a nation with a real “embarrassment of riches.”
We spend so much time thinking of the plight of the people living in extreme poverty in the world’s under-developed nations — which we should — that it’s so easy to forget there is a serious crisis when it comes to poverty in our developed nations as well.
The chart below with statistics based on the UNICEF report provides a real eye-opener, listing child poverty rates for the top 35 nations in the world — from best to worst. The top five nations in terms of providing for their children are Iceland, Finland, Cyprus, the Netherlands, and Norway, going from 4.7% to 6.1% between them.
Where out of the top 35 is the United States? Let me put it this way: only two nations in that list had child poverty rates over 20%. The U.S. was at 23.1%, followed only by Romania at 26.5%.
Is that something to be proud of?
We may not like to take a long, hard look at how much poverty there is in this country. It makes too many of us too uncomfortable. We’d rather go about our lives with the comforts that we have around us and enjoy them.
Then we have to ask ourselves, “What if all those comforts were suddenly taken away? What would our lives be like then?”
It’s a fair question, well worth examining … that is, if we can keep our eyes from turning away from it.
Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media
- UNICEF: US Among Highest Child Poverty Rates in Developed Countries (commondreams.org)
- UNICEF: US Among Highest Child Poverty Rates in Developed Countries (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Child poverty in UK set to increase as result of austerity drive, says Unicef (guardian.co.uk)
- Shock report: cuts to have a ‘catastrophic’ effect on child poverty (independent.co.uk)
- Cuts ‘to increase child poverty’ (bbc.co.uk)
- U.S.: Second-highest child poverty level (upi.com)
- Report: US Has One Of The Highest Child Poverty Rates In The Developed World (thinkprogress.org)
- US Has Second-Highest Rate Of Childhood Poverty In Developed World, Only Romania Is Worse (ibtimes.com)
- U.S.: Second-Highest Child Poverty Level (personalliberty.com)
- UK success on child poverty threatened by austerity programme (leftfootforward.org)