I’d like to think that most Americans are just too insular to realize that our child poverty rate is absolutely off the charts in international terms, even when compared to other high-immigration Anglophone countries, to say nothing of the Nordics:
The alternative to people just not knowing is the idea that people just don’t care which, frankly, is an upsetting possibility I’d prefer not to believe in.
Note that if we allow this to continue, we’re going to keep slipping in terms of our relative educational attainment, and over the long run average American living standards will slip further and further behind those in northern Europe (and depending on how you look at leisure time, the rest of Europe as well). There are things we could do to get more out of our school system, but ultimately it’s inconceivable to me that we’ll ever get a first-rate levels of educational attainment with these kind of child poverty rate — it basically guarantees that portions of the system will be overburdened by too many children with too many problems. That’ll be fine for those getting the long end of the hyperinequality, but it’s sad to see the extent to which we’re slouching toward that future without any public acknowledgment of it or debate about the wisdom of our priorities. You would think that something like being by far the world leader in child poverty would dominate the political agenda — instead you never see it mentioned.
Time for a link to half in ten.