I'm a person who likes to stay current on the news. I ran across an article this evening that kind of saddened my spirit. Take a look at it for yourselves......
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hard economic times are hitting the United States' youngest citizens, threatening to roll back decades worth of gains in health, safety and education, according to a report released on Monday.
It suggests the country's most severe recession in a generation, which has cost more than 5 million American jobs since it began in late 2007, is having a drastic impact on children.
"Our projections show that virtually all the progress made in family economic well-being since 1975 will be wiped out," Ken Land of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues wrote in 2009 Child Well-Being Index and Special Focus Report.
The annual report, sponsored by the Foundation for Child Development, a private child advocacy group, measures economic, health, safety and social factors affecting children and teens.
Based on current estimates, the report projects that the current recession will pare median annual family incomes back to $55,700 by 2010, down from $59,200 in 2007.
Households run by single women will see their annual incomes fall to $23,000 in 2010, down from $24,950 in 2007.
But the steepest drop will be among single households headed by men, where median annual family income is expected to drop to $33,300 in 2010, from $38,100 in 2007.
These declines in family income will affect many other aspects of life for children in America.
"Many families that have built a life around two-earner incomes now have one income or perhaps no income, so children in those families are being impacted by the current economic environment," Land said in a telephone interview.
He said the percentage of children in poverty will rise to 21 percent in 2010, up from about 17 percent in 2006.
BLACK, LATINO CHILDREN AFFECTED MOST
The researchers said the housing crisis will disrupt social relationships for children, as job losses cause families to uproot in search of work and less-costly housing. Many families are at greater risk of homelessness.
Children's health also will suffer, they said.
They foresee increases in an already growing obesity epidemic as parents turn to cheap fast food to feed their families.
One bright spot, they said, is the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which will at least ensure that many poor children get needed health care.
Based on trends in prior recessions, they said rates of violent crime will likely rise, hurt by police force cuts and cuts in juvenile crime prevention programs.
They also predict fewer children will be taking part in early childhood education programs, which are known to raise student test scores.
Black and Latino children, whose communities tend to be more sensitive to economic fluctuations, will be affected most by these changes.
"When the economy is doing well, their well-being gains are more dramatic. When the economy slumps, they are harder hit than their white counterparts because more children of color live in poverty to begin with," Ruby Takanishi, president of the foundation, said in a statement.
This is so ridiculous!! All of these families that are already struggling to make ends meet as it is, now by next year they will be taking major pay cuts that they can't afford to take. The worst part is that children will be affected in an enormous way. So what does the government plan to do about this? I'm not a parent myself, but I have first hand seen how upsetting it is for a parent not to be capable of providing for their child. Healthcare has always been an issue, but it seems like things are becoming far worse before they are getting better. It's a shame that a child's health will have to suffer for the government's mistakes with our economy. But yet, they want us to bail out all of these auto dealerships and financial institutions? Seriously, what kind of crack are they smoking??!!!! Instead of giving these CEOs and Presidents of these Fortune 500 companies all these million dollar bonuses so they can fly in their private jets and vacation on lavish islands how about they take that money and make better use of it? Give it to these struggling families who have to stretch the pennies to put food on the table. What about giving it to those families who are one mortgage payment short of being homeless?? What about those parents with very ill children, but can't afford to get the treatment needed because healthcare costs an arm and two legs?? What about those elderly people who can't work and are on a very small fixed income?? You have to forgive me. I'm a bit on the pissed off side right now. But this is the hood so it's okay. I mean don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with having private jets and vacationing on lavish islands, but not at a time like we're in now. The middle class demographic is on the verge of being...well wiped out I guess you can say. So far, in my opinion, the government's answers to everything have been insufficient and I think they need to explore different avenues other than what has been done. Obviously what's been done hasn't worked. I know things aren't going to change overnight, but they need to get a move on because these children are suffering in an unimaginable way. Just my thoughts.