BBC: US leading wealthy nations in child abuse and neglect, caused by unwillingness to tax self
October 17, 2011
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Let’s say, hypothetically, it turns out that a Iran-supported terrorist organization has been carrying out a secret terrorist attack in the US for the last ten years: they have been killing children and making it appear that they have died of natural causes. The FBI just uncovered this plot, finding out that the terrorists have killed 20,000 children over the last ten years.
How soon would we be at war? How many trillions of dollars would we spend fighting it? What if it wasn’t Iran, but Pakistan? What if it was China? What if it was Russia? I have no doubt we’d go to nuclear war over it. Overnight. I’d support it too.
Well, according to the BBC, that has been happening, but with one exception: the 20,000 children weren’t killed by terrorists, but by abusive and neglectful parents. But not only them – they have been killed by tax-stinginess and our self-righteous refusal to sacrifice. States with better social services – and higher taxes – face less child deaths and other problems from child abuse and neglect. Children in Vermont are half as likely to die from abuse and neglect than children in Texas. American children overall are 3 times more likely to die of maltreatment than Canadian children, and 11 times more likely to die of maltreatment than Italian children.
Two points here are rather terrible: 1) why is the BBC reporting this? You can search all fucking day on CNN and not find a single article discussing the overall child abuse epidemic in the US. Sure, you’ll find plenty of articles about Casey Anthony and pedophiles, but nothing about the thousands of children dying this minute of things like not being fed, disciplinary beatings, not getting healthcare. 2) It’s getting worse. During the recession, the response from state governments dealing with less revenue has been almost uniformly to cut social services. Which social services get cut first? The ones that people think are unimportant. Child Protective Services are controversial among many conservatives (note the comments here) because they view it as the always-evil government interfering with parenting decisions. CPS has few defenders and many ardent enemies, and tends to find its way to the chopping block.
So, 20,000 dead kids over the last 10 years. Think we can double that in the next ten? Unfortunately it’s not on Intrade yet, but my money would be on yes.