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Fri Aug 22, 2014, 07:41 AM


THE STATE OF AMERICA’S CHILDREN - Still Better Than Romania!

The U.S. is first among industrialized nations in military spending and number of billionaires, and second from the BOTTOM in child poverty rates (only Romania is worse).


Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, the United States is still not a fair
playing field for millions of children afflicted by preventable poverty, hunger, homelessness, sickness, poor
education and violence in the world’s richest economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $15.7 trillion.

Every fifth child (16.1 million) is poor, and every tenth child (7.1 million) is extremely poor. Children are the
poorest age group and the younger they are the poorer they are. Every fourth infant, toddler and preschool child
(5 million) is poor; 1 in 8 is extremely poor. A majority of our one- and two-year-olds are already children of
color. In five years children of color who are disproportionately poor, nearly 1 in 3, will be a majority of all
children in America and of our future workforce, military and consumers. But millions of them are unready for
school, poorly educated and unprepared to face the future. Nearly 60 percent of all our children and more than
80 percent of our Black and nearly 75 percent of our Latino children cannot read or compute at grade level in
fourth and eighth grade and so many drop out of school before graduating. Seventy-five percent of young
people ages 17-24 cannot get into the military because of poor literacy, health or prior incarceration.

The greatest threat to America’s economic, military and national security comes from no enemy without but
from our failure, unique among high income nations, to invest adequately and fairly in the health, education
and sound development of all of our young.

We call on President Obama and America’s political leaders in every party at every level to mount a long
overdue, unwavering, and persistent war to prevent and eliminate child poverty and finish the task President
Johnson and Dr. King began. Two- and three-year-olds have no politics and we must reject any leaders who for
any reason play political football with the lives of millions of our children and our nation’s future. If America is
to lead in the 21st century world, we must reset our economic and moral compass.

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