Little children suffering

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By Timothy Collins

There is no other way to say this. Poverty figures for the United States are horrendous.

Child poverty figures are an outrage.

According to a recent issue of Amber Waves from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • On average, more than 1 in 4 rural children are living in poor families, up from 1 in 5 in 1999.

  • Counties with high vulnerability to child poverty—those with both low young adult education levels and high proportions of children in single-parent families—were generally hardest hit by the recession of the past decade, with substantial increases in already high child poverty rates that tend to exceed urban areas.

  • Along with the recession, an increase in rural children in single-parent households, continuing from the 1990s, was a major contributor to increased child poverty after 2000.

A 2014 report from UNICEF reported in the Washington Post places the United States at 36th out of 41 industrialized nations, with almost a third of our children living in families earning less than $18,600 in annual income.

The situation is not improving. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2015 Kids Count report, the number of children living in poverty in poor working families has continued to increase, even though the Great Recession of 2007 reportedly has ended.

Well, the slickly named Great Recession hasn’t ended for everyone. The repercussions continue, and the gross injustice done to the little ones in our midst will continue to be felt in future generations.

There’s an old country saying for this:

We are eating our seed corn.

It will be a sad future for all of us as a result.

Bushnell, IL

July 27, 2015

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Simply Rural

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