Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cleaning Up the Blood After Republican Spending Cuts

One Child Every Seven Hours

To bring this home, we have to indulge in a dark little MeanMesa fantasy, play along.

You are two years old.  Your single mother drinks a bit, but her boyfriend has a few other habits, too.  He likes for the house to be quiet while he and your mother are spending some "together time."

Unfortunately, at two years old, you have not yet been able to quite understand this.  You foolishly assume that your mother will come to help you when you cry.  You're hungry, your diapers are wet and you're getting cold because the place is barely heated.  In your two year old mind, these are exactly the sorts of things that mothers can solve.

You cry.  You can't really talk much, or, for that matter, even walk particularly well.  So, you cry.

However, instead of your mother, the boy friend comes barrelling out of the bedroom where you would usually sleep.  You look up at him.  He is huge.

Worse, he is mad.

He slaps you across the room.  You land on your head.  He is yelling something at you, but you can't understand him.  You cry some more.

This time he picks you by your arm.  It hurts all the way across your chest.  You are terrified.  You cry some more.

Now, he screams at you and slaps you again.  This time, your whole head is on fire and your back hurts -- really, really bad.  You cry some more.

You see a giant fist speeding toward your face.

Then you see nothing.  At first, it's like falling asleep.  Then it's over.


This happens on an average of every five hours in the United States. 

This happens on average 2,500 times each year.  Reduced to "incidence per 100,000" children in the United States, the average is 3 time that of Canada, 4 times that of the United Kingdom and 11 times that of Italy.

Annually, the United States creates 4 times more corpses in this manner than two wars do.
Causes and Spending Cuts

The statistics folks have worked out most of the details about why this happens and how it can be prevented.  The lists hold no surprises.  The statistics are getting worse.

15 million -- 21% of US children live in poverty.

There are 2 million Americans in jail.  There are 7 million Americans on parole or probation.  Most are men.  Some are fathers, some are boyfriends.  Most are broke or nearly broke.

The United States accounts for the consumption of 94% of the illegal drugs sold in the world, not including alcohol.

The parents of between 1/4 and 1/3 of US children have no health insurance.

50%+ of the children born by women under 30 years of age enter single parent homes.  The poverty rate in such homes is astronomical.  65% of them rely on government assistance of one type or another.  About 1 million teen age girls get pregnant each year.  About 15% have abortions.  In New Mexico, 97 per 1,000 teen age girls will get pregnant each year.

Programs which locate and intervene in child abuse cases are effective.  They could be better, but they have shown that they are effective just the way they are.  In the current economic collapse, many state child protective intervention workers have 60 or more cases at any given time.

These safety nets are largely conducted as state business, not as uniform federal regulations.  Many states have no problem sacrificing child safety for budget cuts and state rights.

The Point?

The Republicans are imposing all sorts of their weird religious agendas in programs exactly like this one, usually disguised as ways to cut spending.

American tax payers want their tax money spent to save children, not given to "job creators."

All Better Now - painting by S.L.B. Hanson (image source)

No comments:

Post a Comment