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Thread: America's child death shame

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    America's child death shame

    Why is the problem of violence against children so much more acute in the US than anywhere else in the industrialized world, asks Michael Petit, President of Every Child Matters.

    Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The child maltreatment death rate in the US is triple Canada's and 11 times that of Italy. Millions of children are reported as abused and neglected every year. Why is that?

    Part of the answer is that teen pregnancy, high-school dropout, violent crime, imprisonment, and poverty - factors associated with abuse and neglect - are generally much higher in the US.
    Further, other rich nations have social policies that provide child care, universal health insurance, pre-school, parental leave and visiting nurses to virtually all in need.
    In the US, when children are born into young families not prepared to receive them, local social safety nets may be frayed, or non-existent. As a result, they are unable to compensate for the household stress the child must endure.........

    Geography matters a lot in determining child well-being. Take the examples of Texas and Vermont.
    Texas prides itself in being a low tax, low service state. Its per capita income places it in the middle of the states, while its total tax burden - its willingness to tax itself - is near the bottom.
    Vermont, in contrast, is at the other extreme. It is a high-tax, high-service state.

    In looking at key indicators of well-being, children from Texas are twice as likely to drop out of high school as children from Vermont. They are four times more likely to be uninsured, four times more likely to be incarcerated, and nearly twice as likely to die from abuse and neglect.

    In Texas, a combination of elements add to the mix of risks that a child faces. These include a higher poverty rate in Texas, higher proportions of minority children, lower levels of educational attainment, and a political culture which holds a narrower view of the role of government in addressing social issues. Texas, like many other traditionally conservative states, is likely to have a weaker response to families that need help in the first place, and be less efficient in protecting children after abuse occurs.
    BBC News - Michael Petit: Why child abuse is so acute in the US
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    Re: America's child death shame

    We have a weird notion in this country that having sex makes one qualified to care for children. And that it's a good idea for those fornicators to be the ONLY people who can have any input on that child. We have given up using the community as a tool for properly raising children. This is the result when there are no outside influences to smooth out the shortcomings of individual parents, and when we declare that only those specific physical relations have any business even knowing about the welfare of a child, let alone having any input. With no outside force to keep bad parents in check, this is the result.
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    Re: America's child death shame

    The problem of violence against children in this country has a couple of pieces to it. In descending order of importance:

    1. Loss of the Traditional Nuclear Family and the morals/values that were inherent to that system. As we move further and further away from the idea that there is a proper structure to society, we end up with more common situations where things that almost never would have happened in the past are now commonplace. Men being the primary childcare parent; unwed parents; single parent families; children having children. We've also moved away from the idea of a basic family structure. As these basic principles falter, the society that was built on them collapses as well.

    2. Re-definition of "child abuse". The redefining of the phrase "child abuse" is also a major player in this drama. It's now considered abuse by some to discipline a child in any way, shape, manner or form for any reason. This means that the good, swift swats on the ass that remedied most of my childhood issues are now classified as "abuse" in many cases.

    3. Elimination of the societal norm that children are expected to be respectful and deferential to their elders/betters.

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    Re: America's child death shame

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    We have a weird notion in this country that having sex makes one qualified to care for children. And that it's a good idea for those fornicators to be the ONLY people who can have any input on that child. We have given up using the community as a tool for properly raising children. This is the result when there are no outside influences to smooth out the shortcomings of individual parents, and when we declare that only those specific physical relations have any business even knowing about the welfare of a child, let alone having any input. With no outside force to keep bad parents in check, this is the result.
    The scary party is you believe this to be a problem, that parents have rights. And let's be honest here, insert the word "Government" into your above, and then your statement is accurate in so far as your actual beliefs.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: America's child death shame

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    The scary party is you believe this to be a problem, that parents have rights. And let's be honest here, insert the word "Government" into your above, and then your statement is accurate in so far as your actual beliefs.
    No, the problem is that parents care more about their right to be bad parents than the well-being of their children. Their own prideful notions that they and only they should have any input in the development of a child are stunting those children. It has nothing to do with rights, anyway. It has to do with stupid people not relying on the resources around them. Nor does what I said have anything to do with government. It's about community. And the idiotic mentality that says community is a danger to children. The same stupidity that makes paranoid parents think that kidnappers and rapists lurk around every corner keeps us from teaching children to be part of the community. Isolation is a poor alternative to community.

    Besides, all this "parental right" crap and the factually incorrect notion about "traditional nuclear families" only started when affluent white people fled to the suburbs to keep away from all the black people moving into the cities. People became physically more distant. Kids in the 40s walked to school in the city. Kids in the 50s rode the bus to the school in suburbs. In a suburb, you and your neighbors are shut up inside your houses. People are out on the street in cities, all the time. Neighbors actually get to know and trust each other. You can be one big extended family, and that's the way human beings have operated for most of our history. We didn't sequester people off in small families, we had clans. Yes, ultimately the parents were responsible for their children, but the rest of the clan helped raise them. Now we see the rest of the clan as a dangerous outside influence, rather than the positive and necessary element that it is.

    But parents right now only care about being able to exercise absolute authority over their children, not what's actually best for them.

    Also, don't presume to put words in my mouth. I'm talking about neighbors, not government. I'm talking about behavior, not regulation. But how can you change behavior without regulation, you ask. And regulating behavior is wrong, right? So stop this foolish narrative about stranger danger, move out of the isolationist suburbs and get away from the racism that informs them, and learn to love your neighbors. They're a lot nicer than you think.
    Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

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    Re: America's child death shame

    How about comparing Vermont to any violent, though high taxed urban area of the country like DC, Chicago, or Milwaukee?

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    Re: America's child death shame

    I can not speak for the entire U.S. but here we have nearly all of this.

    Further, other rich nations have social policies that provide child care, universal health insurance, pre-school, parental leave and visiting nurses to virtually all in need.


    We have child care and it's covered for those who can not afford it. Every kid is covered with insurance here. We have pre-school. There are nurses in schools, so perhaps that is covered.

    All that is left is parental leave. Some have it, some don't but many of the places that do offer it are on the verge of going under and will not be able to continue to offer it.

    One big one was left off the list. Drug abuse.

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    Re: America's child death shame

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    The scary party is you believe this to be a problem, that parents have rights. And let's be honest here, insert the word "Government" into your above, and then your statement is accurate in so far as your actual beliefs.
    That... isn't what he said.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: America's child death shame

    I don't mean to sound pessimistic because I DO think things are going to change for the better, but I do believe that our society has socially degenerated in the past 30-40 years, mostly due to declines in education, health care, healthy food supplies, and laziness. We're seeing a lot of rationality being put on the backburner in favor of impulsive responses. I don't think that children are considered as precious as they once were, and modern stresses have reduced conscious behaviors in parents.

    The government should never have a say in whether or not people can have kids. We should instead compel government to put more money into education, eliminate the tenure system for teachers, increase health care, and put the focus on social well being and Gross National Happiness than GDP and war.

    Children are dying because America's priorities have gone astray.

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    Re: America's child death shame

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    That... isn't what he said.
    Yes it is, and he re-iterated it. It's one step from saying that "Children are a national resource" and taking the decision making about their lives from the parents and handing it over to the Government.
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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