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Poverty must be eradicated for kids to have a chance

Harold Mandel's picture
A kid caught in poverty

Researchers say that deep poverty places young kids at high risk for poor health and development.


Far too often people who are personally removed from the true facts about the horrible pain and suffering associated with poverty insist the poor are simply lazy and do not deserve any special consideration to help them get ahead in life. This is simply not true. Being caught in poverty is like sinking in deadly quicksand and it takes a lot of outside help to be lifted out of that.

One of the largest promoters of poverty in the United States and elsewhere are the psychiatrists

One of the largest promoters of poverty in the United States and elsewhere are the psychiatrists whose dark ages attitudes and practices steal all potential from people instead of nurturing that potential. Things are so horrible with the psychiatric monopoly on what the psychiatrists insist is mental health care that the United Nations has blasted excessive medicalizing and torture by psychiatrists. This is not a joke. Poverty is associated with increased rates of child abuse and is a number 1 killer.

The National Center for Children in Poverty reports about 15 million kids in the United States, which is 21 percent of all children in the country, live in families who have incomes which is below the federal poverty threshold. About 43 percent of American children in a country known as being a center of great wealth live in families with low incomes.

A child's ability to learn can be hit hard by poverty

The majority of the kids living in poverty have parents who work. However low wages and employment which is unstable leaves their families struggling on the fringes of society. A child's ability to learn can be hit hard by poverty which can contribute to serious social, emotional, and behavioral problems. There is an association between poverty and poor health and mental health. Poverty actually represents the single greatest threat to the well-being of children.

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It has been reported by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health that there is risk for poor health and development for young kids in deep poverty. According to a study which has been released by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, kids caught in deep poverty, wherein their family income is less than 50 percent of the federal poverty line, do even worse on health and development indicators than other kids in poverty.

There are a higher percent of young kids who are in deep poverty who suffer from obesity and increased blood lead levels. It has been determined that the percent of young kids in deep poverty who have increased lead levels is three times higher than the portion which is seen in poor children, and greater than 17 times higher than in non-poor children. This is associated with learning and behavior problems.

The researchers also say they found a higher percentage of young kids in deep poverty in comparison to kids in poverty with parents in poor or fair health or mental health. There is increased parenting stress in these families and a perception of a lack of social support and security in the neighborhoods where they live.

A lower number of kids in deep poverty were judged by their parents as flourishing

A lower number of kids who are living in deep poverty were judged by their parents as flourishing in comparison to other kids in poverty. Flourishing refers to a composite measure which is a reflection of parents’ view of the child’s resilience, affection, curiosity, and positive mood. Sheila Smith, PhD, director, Early Childhood at NCCP, says that deep poverty clearly makes large numbers of American kids vulnerable to health and developmental problems which limit their opportunities in life.

Poverty really is a killer which stops the lives of children from progressing before they ever have a chance to get started. It's a fantastic sociopolitical concept to envision all kids and their families having equal opportunities to get ahead in life with no need for outside assistance. However, this becomes a delusional concept when kids and others are stabbed in the back with poverty.

Acts of omission in dealing with this serious problem of poverty are as serious as acts of commission. The United States has the potential to be a great nation because of its inherent potential to allow individuals to generate great wealth. However, unless unjust roadblocks, such as poverty, to having a chance to become a part of the American dream of being wealthy are lifted the country simply will not be a great country. No country with so many wasted lives from poverty can claim it is actually great.