Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Generation That Could Cease To Be

Site of Reference: http://society.guardian.co.uk/socialexclusion/story/0,11499,1427950,00.html

The Guardian is reporting a staggering item, “Despite government efforts to improve the living conditions of poor children, the UK still has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world, Unicef reported today.” Unicef a very trustworthy and viable entity whose only intention is to save the children of the world cannot save the children alone but it can bring attention to the worst areas of the world, but who would ever think it would be Great Britain that is one of the worst, anyone that keeps up with events in that country and certainly someone who lives there and is suffering in relative silence on the world stage. The Guardian also says, “Approximately one in seven children grow up in poverty in the UK, defined by Unicef as households with income below 50% of the national average. With 15.4% of British children falling into that category, the UK ranked seventh from bottom of a list of 24 industrialised nations studied by Unicef.”
What is most troubling is the next item in the story though it is far from shocking. The Guardian goes on with its sobering story, “Unicef said that, in the UK, the percentage of children in poverty was falling in response to government“ Children in the US and Mexico fared worst, with poverty rates of over 20%. Italy has the worst child poverty level in Europe, at 16.6%. In Mexico the poverty level is clearly understandable. Anyone who has been to Mexico or watched a documentary or spoken to someone who has been there knows of the squalor that exists right next to a hotel that caters to foreign investors efforts to reach the children of poor families. "However in 17 of the countries studied, childhood poverty was getting worse, with between 40 million and 50 million children growing up in poverty in the world's richest countries.” Bearing this in mind again we turn to the idea of Paul Wolfowitz as the head of the World Bank. Our own economy is in the worst shape it has been in since the previous President Bush was in office. The same problem has befallen the U.S. that tears the poorer countries apart. The U.S., the world’s supreme power borrows money from other countries on a regular basis and instead of trying to fix this situation engages in a unnecessary war and go further into debt. If it were their children would they act the same?

- Chris Mansel

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