by CHARLES M. BLOW
As we begin inevitably wrangling over budget cuts and other austerity measures, we must not lose sight of the plight of the most vulnerable among us — the ones who have little say and few choices: the nation’s poorest children.
The gap between those children and the rest of our children is already unacceptably wide, and it can’t afford to get wider. In fact, a report entitled ”The Children Left Behind,” released by Unicef last Friday, examined inequality in well-being on a wide range of measures among children in 24 of the world’s richest countries. America’s rankings were among the worst.
Parents play a large role in this inequality, but so do policies. As the report wisely asks, ”Is there a point beyond which falling behind is not inevitable but policy susceptible, not unavoidable but unacceptable, not inequality but inequity?”
I say absolutely.
I would hope that we could move to improve this situation. But at the very least, we mustn’t make it worse.
CHART: ”The Children That Fortune Forgot” Rankings of child well-being among 24 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (Source: ”The Children Left Behind,” UNICEF)
Charles M. Blow is a New York Times Columnist and nationally-known commentator: “I invite you to visit my blog By The Numbers, join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”