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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Nation's Shame

Trillions In New Wealth, Millions Of Children In Poverty

By Paul Buchheit
Information Clearing House
April 14, 2015

America's wealth grew by 60 percent in the past six years, by over
$30 trillion.

In approximately the same time, the number of homeless children
has also grown by 60 percent.

Financier and CEO Peter Schiff said, "People don’t go hungry in a
capitalist economy."

The 16 million kids on food stamps know what it's like to go hungry.

Perhaps, some in Congress would say, those children
should be working.

"There is no such thing as a free lunch," insisted Georgia
Representative Jack Kingston, even for schoolkids, who
should be required to "sweep the floor of the cafeteria"
(as they actually do at a charter school in Texas).

The callousness of U.S. political and business leaders
is disturbing, shocking.

Hunger is just one of the problems of our children.

Teacher Sonya Romero-Smith told about the two little
homeless girls she adopted:

"Getting rid of bedbugs, that took us a while. Night terrors,
that took a little while. Hoarding food.."

America Is A 'Leader' In Child Poverty

The U.S. has one of the highest relative child poverty
rates in the developed world.

As UNICEF reports, "[Children's] material well-being is highest in the
Netherlands and in the four Nordic countries and lowest in Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania and the United States."

Over half of public school students are poor enough to qualify for
lunch subsidies, and almost half of black children under the age of
six are living in poverty.

$5 a Day for Food -- But Congress Thought It Was Too Much

Nearly half of all food stamp recipients are children, and they
averaged about $5 a day for their meals before the 2014 farm
bill cut $8.6 billion (over the next ten years) from the food
stamp program.

In 2007 about 12 of every 100 kids were on food stamps.

Today it's 20 of every 100.

For Every 2 Homeless Children in 2006, There Are Now 3

On a typical frigid night in January, 138,000 children, according to
the U.S. Department of Housing, were without a place to call home.

That's about the same number of households that have each
increased their wealth by $10 million per year since the recession.

The US: Near The Bottom In Education And Sinking

The U.S. ranks near the bottom of the developed world in
the percentage of 4-year-olds in early childhood education.

Early education should be a primary goal for the future,
as numerous studies have shown that pre-school helps
all children to achieve more and earn more through
adulthood, with the most disadvantaged benefiting the
most.

But we're going in the opposite direction.

Head Start was recently hit with the worst cutbacks in its history.

Children's Rights? Not in the U.S.

It's hard to comprehend the thinking of people who cut funding
for homeless and hungry children.

It may be delusion about trickle-down, it may be indifference to
poverty, it may be resentment toward people unable to "make it
on their own."

The indifference and resentment and disdain for society reach
around the globe.

Only two nations still refuse to ratify the UN Convention on
the Rights of the Child: South Sudan and the United States.

When President Obama said, "I believe America is exceptional,"
he was close to the truth, in a way he and his wealthy friends
would never admit.



Paul Buchheit teaches economic inequality at DePaul University. He
is the founder and developer of the Web sites UsAgainstGreed.org,
PayUpNow.org and RappingHistory.org, and the editor and main
author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press).

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41535.htm

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