A conventional if shocking estimate is that one in five American children live in poverty, but we will argue even this measure is inaccurate. The true number is undoubtedly considerably higher, closer to two in five. We already know that even by conventional measures, one in three of our children live in poverty some part of the year. For the outright poor, and and others who live in near poverty, this rock-bottom level of cash means a life of persistent hunger, personal shame, crowded and dilapidated housing, inadequate education, inattention to medical treatments, and little faith in the future. In many other rich nations, closer to one or two in twenty children are poor.
“We must develop an appreciation of the potential of poor Americans. That the United States refuses to raise those in poverty to a decent life reflects a mean-spirited and destructive prejudice against the poor, underlined by racism and a sense of class superiority. It’s time to reeducate ourselves. As one of Amartya Sen’s acolytes has put it, Sen believes ‘poverty is unfreedom.’”
Our podcast asks why these scandalous numbers, and what can we do change them. We talk with policy makers, researchers and famlies to come up with some answers to the questions—and solutions to the problems. Together, we can end hunger and deprivation for the most vulnerable of us.