Shocking Report: The One Percent’s Greed Is Literally Killing Our Children

As pundits express shock and dismay over unrest in cities across the U.S., a shocking new report sheds a whole new light on income inequality and its effects on child poverty. As the world’s one percent uses its vast wealth, power and influence to take more for itself, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and more of us become poor.

Over half the world’s population now live in urban areas, and — since cities are expensive — this trend may be making the problem even worse. Save the Children‘s 2015 annual report finds that income inequality and child poverty rates in urban areas around the world are so high that the lowest income children are at least twice as likely to die before the age of five than their wealthy peers.

Child poverty kills.

According to Save the Children’s Urban Child Survival Gap Scorecard, child poverty doesn’t just put the poorest infants and young children at a disadvantage– It kills. The report attributes these grim infant and child mortality rates among the poor to lack of access to healthcare, systemic poverty, discrimination, and disadvantage in slums around the world.

Children fare the worst in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, where three out of five may die. But the U.S. has no reason to pat itself on the back. In a comparison of capital cities in allegedly “advanced” nations, guess which one combines the highest risk of infant deaths with unacceptably high levels of income inequality and child poverty? Washington, D.C. of course.

Save the Children examined infant mortality rates in 25 capital cities of wealthy countries and found that Washington, DC had the highest infant mortality rate at 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013. While this rate is an all-time low for the District of Columbia, it is still 3 times the rates found in Tokyo and Stockholm.

The report also finds a strong correlation between child poverty and income inequality.

There are also huge gaps between rich and poor in Washington. Babies in Ward 8, where over half of all children live in poverty, are about 10 times as likely as babies in Ward 3, the richest part of the city, to die before their first birthday.

The New York Times grimly adds

In the United States, which slipped in the rankings to 33rd from 31st a year ago, a child is just as likely to die as a child in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Serbia.

That’s right. Here in the U.S. our child mortality rate ranks among the highest in the developed world.

Child poverty in the U.S.

This report comes on the heels of a damning report on child poverty in the U.S. that UNICEF released in April. According to Reverb Press, we rank 26 among 29 so-called “advanced” nations when it comes to child poverty.

In UNICEF’s survey of “advanced” nations  (OECD countries), America ranks an appalling 26 out of 29 when it comes to the material well-being of our children . Only the far less advantaged former Eastern Bloc countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania lag behind us in providing the wherewithal for children to grow up into healthy, educated, and productive adults.

Here are just a few alarming facts on child poverty in the U.S.

  • As of 2012, 24.2 million American children were living in poverty, 1.7 million more than in 2008.
  • 18 countries managed to reduce their child poverty rates from 2008-2012, while our nation did the opposite.
  • The UNICEF report states “of all newly poor children in the OECD and/or EU, about a third are in the United States.”
  • Child poverty rates are highest in the South, plus California and Michigan (states many see as left-leaning with many programs to help the poor, but…it’s complicated).

Yet, despite being among the worst OECD countries in the world for income inequality, infant mortality, and child poverty, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on budget cuts so we can starve our children to give more tax cuts to the rich.

Featured image with child poverty and the one percent: Sodahead.