The ‘broken class’:
Too many American kids are set up for failure when they are born into what might be called the “broken class,” where violence, mental illness, drugs and sexual abuse infuse childhood. Yes, such young people sometimes do stupid things, but as a society, we fail them long before they fail us.
There is a semi permanent underclass in the US that just doesn’t get talked about. For conservatives it’s about pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. For liberals it’s about racial equality. Both miss the big picture and avoid talk of solutions in order to polarize their voter base.
Unless we start to have more honest conversations about poverty in the US things won’t get better. Its not about spending more money. As the article title says they’ve got tvs but don’t know how to make wise decisions. Kristoff says the Brits reduced childhood poverty from 26% to 14% in five years by implementing the right programs. We should too.
There are no silver bullets to eradicate these challenges, but there is “silver buckshot” — an array of policies that make a difference. Early childhood initiatives have a particularly good record, as do efforts to promote work, like the earned-income tax credit. Financial literacy programs help families manage money — and avoid buying large-screen TVs on credit.
It’s so easy to want to blame someone for having 3 TVs in their home but no food. Certainly some measure of personal responsibility has to be involved, but that can’t be the entirety of the conversation. We can’t be truly great without helping the least among us. Some people only need a hand up, some will need handouts forever, but we can’t help at all if we don’t extend our hand.
3 TVs and No Food: Growing Up Poor in America http://nyti.ms/2dSUdXV