ONTD Political

Does America Hate Its Children?

10:11 am - 12/18/2012
America’s children seem to be shortchanged on almost every issue we face as a society.

Not only are we failing to protect our children from deranged people wielding semi-automatic guns.

We’re not protecting them from poverty. The rate of child poverty keeps rising – even faster than the rate of adult poverty.

And we’re not protecting their health. Rates of child diabetes and asthma continue to climb.

If we go over the “fiscal cliff” without a budget deal, several programs focused on the well-being of children will be axed — education, child nutrition, school lunches, children’s health, Head Start. Even if we avoid the cliff, any “grand bargain” to tame the deficit is likely to jeopardize them.

At the same time, states and localities have been slashing preschool and after-school programs, child care, family services, recreation, and mental-health services.

Why?

Conservatives want to blame parents for not doing their job. But this ignores politics.

The NRA, for example, is one of the most powerful lobbies in America – so powerful, in fact, that our leaders rarely have the courage even to utter the words “gun control.”

A few come forth after a massacre such as occurred in Connecticut to suggest that maybe we could make it slightly more difficult for the mentally ill to obtain assault weapons. But the gun lobby and gun manufacturers routinely count on America’s (and media’s) short attention span to prevent even modest reform.

The AARP is also among the most powerful lobbies, especially when it comes to preserving programs that benefit seniors.

We shouldn’t have to choose between our seniors and children — I’d rather focus on jobs and growth rather than deficit reduction, and sooner cut corporate welfare and defense spending than anything else. But the brute fact is America’s seniors have political clout that matters when spending is being cut, while children don’t.

At the same time, big corporations and the wealthy know how to get and keep tax cuts that are starving federal and state budgets of revenues needed to finance what our children need. Corporations systematically play off one state or city against another for tax concessions and subsidies to stay or move elsewhere, further shrinking revenues available for education, recreation, mental health, and family services.

Meanwhile, advertisers and marketers of junk foods and violent video games have the political heft to ward off regulations designed to protect children from their depredations. The result is an epidemic of childhood diabetes, as well as video mayhem that may harm young minds.

Most parents can’t protect their children from all this. They have all they can do to pay the bills. The median wage keeps falling (adjusted for inflation), benefits are evaporating, job security has disappeared, and even work hours are less predictable.

It seems as if every major interest has political clout – except children. They can’t vote. They don’t make major campaign donations. They can’t hire fleets of lobbyists.

Yet they’re America’s future.

Their parents and grandparents care, of course, as do many other private citizens. But we’re no match for the entrenched interests that dominate American politics.

Whether it’s fighting for reasonable gun regulation, child health and safety overall, or good schools and family services – we can’t have a fair fight as long as special-interest money continues to poison our politics.

Source:  Salon

Note:  First post, so please let me know if I've screwed up something and I will edit.
luminescnece 18th-Dec-2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
Reasons I'm not bearing children until I know I have enough money to avoid putting them in the same situations I was in: all of this.

mutive 18th-Dec-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's all really sad to me. Because kids can't vote and don't have lobbies, we (the collective, not the individual) choose to short-change them. And we do so little to help out struggling parents.

It always bothers me when people go on and on about how "children are the future" without taking a serious look at how badly we (as a society) treat them.
furrygreen 18th-Dec-2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
Does America Hate Its Children?

Yes.

Oh, wait. Was this a rhetorical question?
ragnor144 18th-Dec-2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Considering how much time people, especially social conservatives, spend clutching their pearls wailing, "Think of the children!" you would think that the answer to this would be a resounding "no" but that is obviously not the case. I just wish that the response to people that want to cut social programs, education and block gun control was, "Why do you hate children?"
kitanabychoice 18th-Dec-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
If only they'd left video games out of this, I'd be 100% behind this piece. Parents can still choose whether their children play video games and get exposed to varying levels of violence, ffffffss.

Other than that, yeah, I agree with this. Everybody is suffering for the sake of a few people's pockets. It's sickening.
mutive 18th-Dec-2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
I agree on one hand. On the other, I do think that advertisers have waaay more power than they should. And that it's really difficult as a parent to tell your kid, "Yes, every other kid in your class is playing Grand Theft Auto. But because I believe that it's a racist, sexist game that glorifies violence, NO."

Parents are fully able to tell their kids that. (And I think that people should be free to play GTA - I've enjoyed tooling around with it.) But I can see why someone might be concerned about advertising for violence filled TV, movies, and video games. Yeah, kids might not be able to (easily) get their little mitts on them without parental approval. But they can still whine, guilt trip, and often win. And even if they lose, you've just made it so that you have a little kid feeling incredibly resentful that he didn't get to, say, have sex with a prostitute before killing her to get his money back.
missjersey 18th-Dec-2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Children are so screwed if things don't change tbh. It's gunna start (and somewhat has already started) with our generation.
aviv_b 19th-Dec-2012 03:49 am (UTC)
If I had children there is no way I'd raise them in the U.S. We love our own children but apparently DGAF about anyone else's. At least that what our policies say.
romp 19th-Dec-2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Well, yes. Not just because children make up many of the people living in poverty. There are smaller signs like how often people complain about children behaving age appropriately in public. I see it to a lesser degree in Canada and saw a bit in England. IDK if it's from the culture or just a sign of entitlement.
mutive 19th-Dec-2012 01:12 pm (UTC)
To be fair, some of the age appropriate stuff is people complaining about children being places where they traditionally wouldn't be. (Five star restaurants.) But I do agree that people complaining about kids running around a supermarket or play ground while acting like kids is pretty eye rolly. (Not to mention the cafes that will allow dogs but not children. I believe that would be Germany, though, not the US.)
crooked_halo 20th-Dec-2012 03:20 am (UTC)
Welcome to the community and what a great first post!

The short answer to the not so rhetorical question is "yes."

Beyond the excellent points made in this article, there is little to no support for parents and our culture/economy is structured in such a way that both parents have to work at least 40 hours a week, leaving very little time and energy for active parenting of their children.

And I will spare you all my rant on how demonized co-sleeping is (based on studies paid for by crib manufacturers) and how that actually might lead to more SIDS deaths.

Long comment summed up-being a parent in this country is extremely frustrating and that's one of the reasons why politics is so important to me because as mentioned in this article, children don't have a group advocating for them which is really unfortunate because we're all losing out by not giving our next generation their best chance for success.
mutive 20th-Dec-2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you. I've been in the comm a bit, but first post to it. (Vs. comment.)

It does bother me more than a little that children have no advocates. (And that parents seem to spend an awful lot of their time bickering about co-sleeping and breast feeding, rather than about things like "how do we pay for college without bankrupting our children?" and "how do we put in an adequate safety net so that if one of us is laid off or dies that the kids don't starve on the street?"

It's so sad to me. We like to claim that children are our future. But federal spending on education (vs. defense, social security, medicare, and medicaid) tell a different story. (As does that we have very lousy programs for making sure that kids get fed + medical treatment.) A few thousand in tax credits doesn't pay the cost of kids by a long shot.
roseofjuly 22nd-Dec-2012 06:40 am (UTC)
First of all, just let me say that I hate the words we've been using to describe Adam Lanza? Deranged, crazy, disturbed, troubled, etc. We don't know anything about the young man aside from what unnamed "family friends" quoted in tabloids have said, and distant family members who haven't spoken to him in years. Besides, the focus seems to be on his potential illness instead of the magnitude of what he did. I notice that this rhetoric happens very often with young white male killers - happened in Columbine, and Aurora, now this - they are portrayed as young men who were mentally disturbed and/or tortured by others who just snapped one day, and how sad it was that they fell through the cracks. The discourse around the Virginia Tech shooter, and other shooters of color (DC Beltway comes to mind) were very very very different.

But no, America doesn't hate its children. America hates poor people. The cuts that are cited are all targeted towards keeping wealth with the wealthy and cutting low-income people out of the prosperity. Children are casualties of it but so are women.
mutive 22nd-Dec-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not very pleased with it, either. We keep trying to diagnose a root cause (and make it match our own desires for what we think needs to be changed) without knowing it. It's pretty disgusting.

Eh, we help the poor elderly more than we do poor children. And rich children can become poor (not that it often happens, but still.). So I'm willing to say we hate our children. Our poor too. But we hate poor children in a way that we don't seem to hate poor pensioners.
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