At the end of 2009, a study reported by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine concluded that over half of all of the children that live in the United States will live in homes that receive food stamps at some point before they reach the age of 20. I wonder if now, just over a year later, the problem is better or worse…
Even Robert Rector, of the ultra conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, acknowledged that the study’s design and data were solid. However, USA Today reported that the Heritage Foundation found the data “neither surprising nor troubling.” What percentage should begin to trouble us? 75%? 90%?
At what point do we as a country stop looking for easy ways to explain or dismiss these economic issues that, for generations, deeply impact the lives of our fellow citizens (like: laziness, drugs, free-loaders, welfare, children out of wedlock, blah, blah, blah) and begin to grapple with an economic system/structure that allows this to happen at all; while, at the same time, a comparatively small percentage of people become more and more wealthy while exporting jobs to other countries, cutting workers’ benefits, etc?
Rather than looking at the binary perspectives of liberalism or conservativism, I’m just curious why we haven’t grappled more significantly with the human impact of this economic crisis. As a friend recently reminded me, hunger is even more devastating in other parts of the world.
- Defining poverty: Measure by measure (economist.com)
- Poverty’s up in U.S., but welfare rolls don’t show it (seattletimes.nwsource.com)