The 50% Solution
Reading along in yet another study about creating opportunities to help people escape generational poverty, this one by the highly respected folks at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, I was stopped in my tracks by this statistic:
Nearly half of American families with children age 8 and under are low income.
How did we get to this point? What has gone so wrong with our economic and educational systems that we are consigning half of our families with young children to subsist on low-wage, low-opportunity jobs? All the statistics about low-income families–poorer health outcomes, lack of upward mobility, food and housing instability–now apply to almost 50% of our families with young children.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT program both produces statistics and suggests solutions. In this case, they propose a two-generation approach–help the kids AND help the parents at the same time. Let’s get started. This 50% is an embarrassment for a country as rich and creative as ours.