Poor Children in Wealthy Nations

February 28, 2007

A friend sent me this UNICEF report, An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Nations. It provides yet more evidence that children in the United States fare less well on many measures of education, health and well-being than do children in other Western nations. The report states

given levels of child well-being are not inevitable, but are policy susceptible. The wide differences in child well-being seen throughout this report card can therefore be interpreted as a broad and realistic guide to the potential for improvement in all OECD countries.

Yet how to begin discussions around policy change, when our national credo is that to place themselves on equal footing with other people’s kids, children raised in poor and working-class families need only do all of their homework and save their allowance for college?

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