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America's Child

The extent of child poverty in America is one of our closely guarded secrets.

© U.R. Romano

© U.R. Romano

The world's richest country and largest economy is the second highest in child poverty among the 35 most developed countries, we rank 34th, just above Romania.

A child born in America today has a one in five chance of living in poverty. Of these children, 60% will be children of color and of these, every other child will live in poverty. Forty five per cent of these children will go to bed hungry. The younger the child, the more likely they are to experience poverty.

© U.R. Romano

© U.R. Romano

The total is a staggering 16.7 million children, the equivalent of the population of Denmark.

The cost of child poverty to our economy is estimated at 500 billion dollars a year; a combination of lost future wages, increases in crime, policing, social services and healthcare costs.

For these children, the human toll is years of poor health, slow cognitive development and an increased likelihood that they will drop out of school or become victims of violence. The broken families and stressful day- to- day lives they lead are themselves acts of violence.

Today, at a time that the need for assistance is growing due to increasing inequality and consistently low wages, we're being told by our political representatives that America can't afford to support and care for our own children. Somewhere in our political process the interests of children have been given a backseat to corporate profits and political expediency.

© Witnesses to Hunger (Melissa)

© Witnesses to Hunger (Melissa)

A tiny tax on financial transactions could change all of that.  It's estimated that a tax of one tenth of a percent would generate 150 billion dollars a year, every year.

The Children's Defense Fund estimates that we could cut childhood poverty in the United States by two thirds with an additional 77 billion dollars a year. You can read more about their plan here.

To learn more about the Financial Transaction Tax click visit thesameheart.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Len Morris

Media Voices for Children, 110 Daggett Avenue, Vineyard Haven, MA, United States