Recently I read an article that said the number of American children living in poverty placed us 34th among 35 countries. If the writer really wanted to juice things up, he could have said we weren’t even among the top 25.
Either way, the statement rapidly loses impact when you consider two relevant factors. First, by most accounts there are 196 countries in the world, so 34th isn’t all that bad … and my guess is, not all that true, either. Second, what we call poverty in America, the poor people in many other countries would view as being rich.
Want to see serious poverty? Go to Africa, India, China or most of the Middle Eastern nations. Those kids don’t have indoor plumbing, flat screen TVs, Game Boys, cell phones or sneakers that flash when they walk. They don’t have designer tee-shirts, computers, Barbie Dolls, skateboards or basketballs. Their folks don’t have cars, cigarettes, washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, air conditioning or tattoos … and there are no food stamps. Sometimes there’s no food!
That’s not to say that being poor in America is any picnic, but if you happen to be poor, this is the place to be. If just one child goes to bed hungry, or cold, or sick, in this or any other country, it’s one too many. But instead of agenda-driven politicians and their media lackies using poor kids as statistical pawns to slander America, how about putting their shoulders against the wheel to help solve the problem? For the record, it isn’t how we compare with the rest of the world, rather that we have anyone living in poverty to begin with, in the richest, most prosperous country of all!