The state of poverty in the United States, particularly among children, is abhorrent. It puts America, the richest and most powerful country in the world, in a shameful light.
Successive U.S. administrations are guilty of immense negligence toward poor children. They have inflicted incalculable damage to millions who continue to suffer. This causes a tremendous loss of human resources and productivity to the country. The following heart-wrenching statistics demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. One in 11 children, approximately 6.5 million nationwide, live in extreme poverty (an average of $12,129 per year for a family of four).
One in five infants-to-preschool-aged children (4.2 million) live in conditions of foreboding poverty, compounded by the fact that this age is a time of rapid brain development. Black and Hispanic children are disproportionately suffering from poverty—one in three and one in four respectively—compared to one in eight for their white counterparts. If this is not the result of a colossal failure in the U.S. economic system and its defunct policies, then it is difficult to think what that would be.
A country-wide problem
There is no part of the country that does not experience intense poverty from which children suffer the most. Even in Boston, MA, the child poverty rate is 26.9%. Around the country, it is common to hear that right down the road from an economically stable community is an area of deep impoverishment and scarcity. These Americans are unable to rely on the support of any community, as they are often assigned a stigma by those more privileged and must hide what little they do have from others who are equally desperate and hungry.
The children of these families suffer from developmental issues resulting not only from malnutrition — but also from broken homes, lack of education and the absence of any stable emotional base. The most saddening truth of the situation is that these children were born into a mentally, emotionally, and physically oppressive system.
A report by a USA Today affiliate, The Courier Journal, found that these children of poverty could be aided by an Earned Income Tax Credit for their families—one of the very programs hit with funding cuts in Trump’s proposed budget.