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U.S., Britain rank the lowest in child welfare

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by thadeus, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Member

    Nov 25, 1999
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    That is awesome. So many people, say they want to help but never get around to it. (myself included) Congratulations.
  2. Brad

    Brad Member

    Jul 30, 1999
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  3. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker Contributing Member

    Jul 18, 2001
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    Well, generally it is the parents that determine the welfare of a child. Parents having more money, on average, means more money for the children. Parents being better educated means children are more likely to become educated. I don't see how those are WORSE measures that kids who live with a step-parent, kids who eat their meal in front of the TV, etc.
    That was my point. If you pick things that you know a country is good at, it will come out on top. If you pick things that you know a country is bad at, they will come out on the bottom. Is it really a shock to anyone that America has more single parent homes than most European countries? It isn't so much that I want them to do it differently (I really don't care if they do the study at all, if they mark a country down for having a head of State whose last name begins with B, or whatever else they want to do, it really has no effect on me and little effect on anyone), I was only pointing out that the way they designed the study seemed biased to me.
    I know what was posted in the article (for some reason I can't open the pdf of the actual study. Access to healthcare is always going to put the US near the bottom of industrialized countries because we have not nationalized our health care system. At least that is a good metric to use in doing a study on child welfare, but I would argue that the rest of the world benefits from the US healthcare system. Access to daycare is an okay metric, though official daycare services are not a necessity in many cases. Unequal distribution of wealth is a natural result of our capitalist system and that would obviously favor the socialist countries that top the list.
    There was an article posted here not too long ago (within the last year) that showed that purchasing power of the lower class is the same now as it was in the '80s or '70s, somewhere around there (it was in a discussion of the stratification of wealth, don't feel like searching for it). Maybe they got better and now are dropping off, I don't know. The point is, most of the wealth gap is not from people losing 1% and the bottom, it is from the very top people gaining much much more. Even granting that what you say is true, that does not refute my earlier statement that the wealth gap is largely (that does not mean exclusively) a result of the rich getting richer, and not of the poor getting poorer.
  4. Sishir Chang

    Sishir Chang Contributing Member

    Nov 12, 2000
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    Considering the amount of emphasis put on two parent families by politicians and others in this culture this is somewhat surprising. We constantly here about how things like gay marriage and the tolerence of alternative lifestyles will destroy traditional families yet a few European countries allow gay marriage and I believe most have some sort of domestic partner arrangement and we see tat they have less single parent homes than the US.

    That said though I am also somewhat skeptical about parts of the study. I thnk the metric regarding what they considered the poverty level is important since the cost of living varies widely in the US what might be considered poverty in NYC might be OK in North Dakota.
  5. Phi83

    Phi83 Contributing Member

    May 20, 2002
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    This may add something to this debate...


    One in six Europeans living below poverty threshold: study

    Feb 19 2:08 PM US/Eastern

    One in six Europeans is living below national poverty thresholds, with children particularly vulnerable, according to the results of an official study.
    The European Commission's annual report on "social protection and social inclusion" also found 10 percent of people living in households without anybody working as well as wide discrepancies between life expectancies between EU member states.

    "Recent reforms to make national systems more fiscally and socially sustainable are encouraging, but there are still big challenges ahead," said EU Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimir Spidla.

    "The facts are clear, 16 percent of Europeans remain at risk of poverty and 10 percent live in jobless households," he said of the data which will be formally presented to EU leaders at a summit in Brussels next month.

    The study shows a 13-year gap between the highest and lowest life expectancies for men, and spending on health and long-term care in the EU ranging from five percent of GDP to 11 percent.

    "But through mutual learning and by stimulating countries to set common goals, Europe can bring a real added value to national efforts to reinforce social cohesion," said Spidla.

    In 2004, 16 percent of EU citizens lived under the poverty threshold defined as 60 percent of their country's median income, "a situation likely to hamper their capacity to fully participate in society."

    The rate ranged from 9-10 percent in Sweden and the Czech Republic to 21 percent in Lithuania and Poland.

    The figures, most from 2004, do not include Romania and Bulgaria which joined the EU last month.

    Children are often at greater risk-of-poverty than the rest of the population, with 19 percent below the poverty threshold, according to the study results.

    The share of children living in jobless households varies greatly across member states, ranging from less than three percent in Luxembourg to 14 percent or more in Britain and Bulgaria.

    "Living in a household where no one works affects both children's current living conditions, and the conditions in which they develop by lack of an appropriate role model," according to the study.

    Neither does having a job always protect people from the risk of poverty. In 2004 eight percent of EU workers lived under the poverty threshold, "thereby facing difficulties in participating fully in society."

    European life expectancy levels have "increased spectacularly in the last half century," according to the report.

    However, there are currently wide disparities, with men's life expectancies ranging from 65.4 (Lithuania) to 78.4 years (Sweden) and those of women from 75.4 (Romania) to 83.9 (Spain).

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