Monday, December 17, 2012

Why do America's children get the short end of the stick?

From Facebook. Robert Reich is a noted economist.

Robert Reich
I've been wondering why America's children seem to be shortchanged on almost every issue. If we go over the "fiscal cliff" without a budget deal, programs for the elderly won't be touched but those focused on children (nutrition, school lunches, health care, education) will be slashed. Even the budget deals put forward by both Democrats and Republicans are harder on kids than on retirees. Meanwhile,
the nation's rate of child poverty keeps rising, even faster than the rate of adult poverty. Our schools are falling behind, succumbing to draconian budget cuts at state and local levels. Rates of child diabetes and asthma are increasing.

We're not even adequately protecting our children from deranged people wielding guns.


Conservatives want to blame parents for not doing their job. But this ignores political reality. The AARP and the NRA are among the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington. At the same time, big corporations and the wealthy know how to get and keep tax cuts that are starving federal and state budgets. Advertisers and marketers of junk foods and violent video games also have the clout they need to get to the kids. And so it goes. It seems as if every major interest has political clout -- except children. They don't vote.

Perhaps we need a new lobbying organization -- Mothers and Fathers For the Well Being of Children. Or an American Association of Young People. Or maybe America just needs to think harder about our future.

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