Friday, December 17, 2010

So...How Many Other Wake Up Calls Do We Need?

Very interesting column by the New York Times' Charles Blow. And its very revealing that there are those of us who can continue to delude ourselves into believing that the poverty experienced by children in America is something we will not have to deal with - sooner or later.

The report by UNICEF which ranks our country abysmally low among other countries should serve as a wake up call. But then again, its among a number of things that should serve as a wake up call - but don't.
"As we begin inevitably wrangling over budget cuts and other austerity measures, we must not lose sight of the plight of the most vulnerable among us — the ones who have little say and few choices: the nation’s poorest children.
The gap between those children and the rest of our children is already unacceptably wide, and it can’t afford to get wider. In fact, a report entitled “The Children Left Behind,” released by Unicef last Friday, examined inequality in well-being on a wide range of measures among children in 24 of the world’s richest countries. America’s rankings were among the worst.
Parents play a large role in this inequality, but so do policies. As the report wisely asks, “Is there a point beyond which falling behind is not inevitable but policy susceptible, not unavoidable but unacceptable, not inequality but inequity?”"
"I say absolutely."
"I would hope that we could move to improve this situation. But at the very least, we mustn’t make it worse."

Here's a copy of the UNICEF report.

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