Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The cost of poverty: years lost, talent lost. And it is hurting us all.

Posted by Charles II on March 26, 2009

Every time I listen to the Conservadems talk about how they’re being the guardians of bipartisanship, I want to smack them. They are literally killing people with their $#%^ing bipartisanship. We know that 16,000 Americans die every year from lack of medical insurance. Many more die young. And the potential talent locked in millions of children is either wasted or directed into crime. To get a sense for how poverty destroys, look at this article on a study in Wales, a homogeneous population covered by National Health Care and with a centralized school system, so really the only variable is income:

Poverty alone costs people 7 or 8 years of life.

“In the area in which the Warner family live a woman can expect to live for 76.2 years and a man 72.4 years,” she said.

“Whilst this is not the lowest life expectancy in Wales, it is nonetheless significantly lower than in other areas.

“Even within Rhondda Cynon Taf itself the life expectancy in one of the least deprived wards, Llantwit Fadre, is 83 for women and 79.2 for men.

And kids?

But he [Professor David Egan] warned that nearly 70% of young people in the area would not get the qualifications normally associated with future success.

“Of these about one half – overall, a third of young people – will not have achieved a basic level of qualification. These figures are likely to include virtually all of the 30-40% of young people in the area who live in child poverty.

The consequences for these young people will almost certainly be that the poverty that they have grown up in will be something that they cannot escape and that they will pass as an undesirable legacy to their children.”

(emphasis added)

The United States is facing a long-term economic growth crisis, in large measure because it is wasting so much money and potential by abandoning the poor. There are, in fact, only three major frontiers left for increasing national productivity: healthcare, defense, and the poor. Healthcare represents a potential savings of about $650B annually. Defense could represent a savings of up to, perhaps, $300B. And remedying the problems of poverty could deliver hundreds of billions of dollars in reduced penal system costs, improved national productivity, and reduced medical costs.

What is destroying this nation is its unwillingness to fully embrace justice.

One Response to “The cost of poverty: years lost, talent lost. And it is hurting us all.”

  1. I love it when Evan Bayh — a disgrace to his father’s good name — does his “moderate” schtick, then whines when he’s called on it.

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