Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are Baby Boomers Responsible for Child Poverty?

If Baby Boomers have so much money as it keeps being reported by various media sources, why is it that so many of our children and grandchildren are living below poverty?

New Poverty Data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates the number of children under 18 living BELOW poverty continues to climb---with 37 states showing an increase from 2000 to 2006.

I guess it should come as no surprise that the southern states lead the way when it comes to rural children not having enough. Even less of a surprise are the number one and two states which have the highest rates: Mississippi and Louisiana. In Mississippi, there are nearly 150,000 children living below the poverty line with an overall under 18 population of a little more than 421,000. In Louisiana, there are more than 101,000 children living below poverty. That number jumped significantly from 2006 when the total was 92,000. Could Katrina have something to do with that?

In North Carolina, where I live, the number increased from 128,000 in 2006 to more than 157,000 in 2006. In Ohio, where I used to live, the number of children living below poverty in 2006 was 128,000---up from 73,000 in 2000.

On the other side of the spectrum, Connecticut has the lowest poverty level among children under 18 with 5,993 but even that is significantly higher than the 2000 reported number of 2336.

These are startling statistics! How can this be? Who is responsible for this? Haven’t we figured out YET that the child poverty rate is widely used as an indicator of a child well-being since growing up in poverty often compromises the future health status and educational attainment of these young people? Changes in child poverty signal important changes in a child’s quality of life and future outcomes.

What are we baby boomers---especially the really rich ones--- spending our money on if we’re not spending it on our kids and grandkids? Oh, maybe we’re spending it on vacations, RV’s and other frivolous things so we can get away from them? How sad.

1 comment:

Carine said...

It is so very sad. A magazine asked if we were given $20 to spend on anything we'd like what would it be?
Most of the replies were manicures, cute socks, pedicures, a haircut.
I answered first-saying I'd go to a re-sale shop for kids and buy whatever looked best and donate it to a woman's shelter. Imagine my surprise, when I led w/ that thought, to find my fellow women mentioned self-indulgences!