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Forum Post: Child Poverty: Obama Goes on Record

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 20, 2012, 8:05 a.m. EST by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

“At the Maryland Hunger Solutions annual conference in Baltimore this week, keynote speaker Dr. Michael Reisch, a leading social work educator in the United States and Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland, said, “Children constitute the demographic cohort most likely to be poor, a phenomenon unprecedented in industrialized nations.”

Indeed there are 16 million children in poverty—22 percent of all kids—including more than one in three African-American and Latino children, and one in four children under age 6 from all backgrounds.

So it was very timely that the leaders of six child advocacy organizations wrote letters to President Obama and Governor Romney asking each candidate what he would do to address child poverty in America. There were three questions, including one that has been pushed for months by the #TalkPoverty movement: “What will you pledge to do in your first 100 days to address childhood poverty?” The other two focused on ensuring comprehensive healthcare, quality educational opportunities starting with Pre-K, and food security; and describing a “vision for how to permanently ensure that future generations of children will not have to face the specter of crushing poverty.”

In a detailed response, Obama wrote of the importance of the Affordable Care Act in covering tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans and providing children with preventative care. He singled out the importance of Head Start, public and private Pre-K, and childcare in providing “children from disadvantaged backgrounds with a strong start and a foundation for school success.” He described the importance of extending tax cuts for working families included in the Recovery Act, such as the expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which benefit people with low-wage jobs. He pushed for infrastructure investments “to repair crumbling schools, roads, and bridges,” and passing the American Jobs Act to create 1 million jobs, and “help states keep up to 325,000 teachers.”

Obama’s long-term vision includes transforming “high-poverty neighborhoods with distressed public housing and crumbling schools into communities that are sustainable for the growth of our children.” He cited the Choice Neighborhoods programs to address housing, crime and transportation in a comprehensive way; and the Promise Neighborhoods program—modeled after the successful Harlem Children’s Zone—“where 37 communities in 18 different states already have plans in place to put education at the center of combating poverty.”

The Romney campaign informed the authors of the letter that their candidate wouldn’t respond in writing. So we’re left with—as far as the Romney-Ryan record goes—the observation that poverty is up; that there are more women in poverty now; that people in poverty are “our brothers and sisters”; and the big fat lie that Obama is “gutting the work requirement” so those very same “bothers and sisters” just get a “welfare check.”

Kudos to these six organizations for getting the most substantive comments yet about child poverty from at least one of the candidates.

The third and final presidential debate on Monday will focus on foreign policy. Child poverty is definitely a foreign policy issue as it relates to economic competitiveness and how America is viewed by the world.

As Dr. Greg Duncan—an economist and widely respected researcher on the consequences of childhood poverty—recently told me: “What’s at stake is whether America will be able to maintain its position as a leading economic power in the next generations. Not to mention that America prides itself on offering people at all levels a chance for success. Rising income inequality over the past thirty years and its attendant increases in poverty should worry not only advocates for poor people but also anyone else concerned about the future of the country.””

I thought this was worth putting up, here’s the link:




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[-] 2 points by grapes (3257) 2 years ago

Pre-K education is a waste of human creativity and money. Children are much better off having the time to imagine, to create, or simply to daydream and do nothing visible. Structured environments such as pre-K education produce students who are unimaginative, who look up to authority figures for directions, and who become passive and acquiescent, just another cog in our "matrix." Some children are simply not developed enough to handle well the rigors of regimented schooling. Why should we separate young children from their parent(s)/guardian(s) at earlier and earlier age to give a talking point to politicians? Show me a study of the benefits of Pre-K education first, especially in alleviating poverty.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago


One Google search first hit, the GOP must hate Google, I know a manager at PVNGS sure did the day I brought in the state law about voting, it was like he could tell that just telling lies wasn't going to work anymore.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I could offer myself as a "case study" but I think this might take three minutes let me look.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Where did you get your PhD in children's education?

[-] 1 points by grapes (3257) 2 years ago

From the school of my own life and observing firsthand very young children in school setting. We need to put everything in context to determine its significance and meaning. We CAN improve the lives of the more deprived children if we provide an optional enriched environment but the structure and rigors of school life and worst of all its being subject to societal political ideologies and industrial production schedules can make children dull and submissive. Frankly as a child, I enjoyed reading my own book better than doing the structured activities of required school curriculum to score a tick mark on a school administrator's accounting book. The key is access, enriched cultural environment, and adult modeling. Early introduction to books and libraries can do wonders although I understand that many families with really fancy televisions may not have tons of books lying around. Having children play together in UNSTRUCTURED activities can be helpful because they can invent their own rules for their games. Schooling can squelch the creativity and imagination of young Einsteins so we all need to act with restraints in early childhood education. Childhood is precious and it is ridiculous to make children spend it in endless coloring activities to please adults in their misguided belief that early academic achievement is school's responsibility only (yes, family environment of the children and the parental models can be far more important).

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

In that case from my own life (and backed by the research) I can say that early education is a great asset and very helpful in lifting one from poverty.

[-] 0 points by grapes (3257) 2 years ago

Both of us can be correct. We may simply be looking at different facets of early childhood education and emphasizing different things coming from different backgrounds. I liked playing with my guppies and discovering Archimedes' principle better than coloring pictures (purportedly to develop "fine-motor skills") for school. I learned reading mostly by myself, having discovered the world of books early. Yes, what are all of these things that adults are so engrossed in? I wonder why educational book authors and "PhD's" hold so much sway over schooling. School teachers must lack imaginations and be degree/prestige conscious.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

And to follow up on that thought, why are doctors so involved in health care?

[-] 0 points by grapes (3257) 2 years ago

It is because doctors got a union (the American Medical Association) and strong lobbying group going in controlling and influencing health care. Ditto for teachers. They all put up high barriers of entry in the name of "professionalism." Most people are not up to the task of taking care of themselves in health care without some authority figure holding their shaking hands. We can easily eliminate most of the degenerative diseases and more than half of cancers if people simply apply the epidemiological information already available actively in their lives but people still hope for the mirage wonder pills from the authority figures.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I do know what you mean about these "professionals" my mechanic says I should change my oil but I know he's full of shit.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

Some of us can learn more about particular subject than the supposedly "professionals" because we can be extremely narrow-focused. With so much information available from the Internet, anyone possessing good reading and critical thinking skills can surpass the "professionals" in specific subject if they apply themselves.

I CAN learn more about oil than my mechanic. I am NOT saying that my mechanic is full of it but I am saying that I can home in and exceed his level of knowledge because of my intense interest.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

But those that obtain PhDs can't? You think that public policy should be based on the thoughts of one self taught person and not the collective opinion of those who have spent their lives studying the subject?

[-] 1 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

Alright, I will paraphrase what Donald Rumsfeld said: we have four classes of people - those who don't know what they don't know, those who don't know what they know, those who know what they don't know, and those who know what they know. Match those with labels such as "wise fools", "experts", "wise ones", and "complacent fools." Take your picks.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

I suppose you would recommend just staying out of doctors offices completely then?

[-] 1 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

Ahh! There it goes again, another victim of extremism and "black and white" dichotomy devoid of the all-important context. As a matter of fact, even at my age, I was able to stay out of doctors' offices for many years because I did not have any health trouble. Of course, I do not think having a checkup from time to time with a doctor is a bad idea because of the comprehensive coverage that it can provide. Remember though that I know the signals from my body firsthand better than any doctor can. Judicious judgment is necessary in the management of my body, too. Nutritionists can probably do more good in terms of patient health than heart surgeons if people take their advice seriously. My epiphany came when I decided to take care of my own health by improving my habits. It has worked well up to now!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

So the person that wants to end all early education in spite of all evidence to the contrary is calling me an extremist, well you know what they say about those that know.... one....

[-] 0 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

Early education has its proper place such as in playgroups where there are both structured and unstructured activities freely chosen by the kids. Mandatory attendance there should not be more than a few hours in a week. Of course, some parents should have the option of enrolling their kids for more than that minimum but that should be on an individual assessment basis with the consent of their kids. Yes, I want the insane asylum patients to help run the insane asylum. Earlier and earlier mandatory education by the state is the wrong way. More (state or church, synagogue, mosque, temple - I am NOT against religious groups) support to families to alleviate economic stress to take care of their very young children well is the right way to go.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

You have fallen through the rabbit hole set up by the establishment and become credential conscious. Those who have obtained PhDs can dig deeply (yes, there IS often but NOT always a correlation of educational attainment and intellectual capacity) but they may NOT have the intense interest or the time to dig into the pet-peeve subjects that I or any lesser-credentialed person may focus on. Those who have been reared in cages to attain a PhD may have been poisoned by the establishment-controlled "education." Only free-range souls have much better chance of seeing the incongruities. ALL breakthroughs come from outside established dogmas because by definition the established search process is filtered by the establishment. The collective opinions of those who have spent their lives studying the subject can just be WRONG because of their needs to conform. I heard about how stomach ulcers were caused by stress, acid foods, spicy foods, etc. Some people even told me that H. Pylori aided digestion. Until someone says it looks like an infection and it quacks like an infection. Maybe I SHOULD treat it AS an infection and voila!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Perhaps you should look at that ego problem too.

[-] 1 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

It is not my ego problem. I dug into history and found out that while there were those with great credentials who made great progress they were also very much responsible for BLOCKING great progress. Yes, some of them were wise ones who knew what they didn't know and were humble enough to face facts, regardless of their brands, but many simply dismissed facts for years, decades, and sometimes centuries. Behold the power of the establishment to censor non-conforming facts!

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

Life is messy, it is hard to know what is best, seems you don't have that problem.

[-] 0 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

Life is indeed messy. What is best usually depends on so many things. Often they are even outside of our consciousness. Expanding what we consciously know at every opportunity helps minimize potential errors but we need to be psychologically prepared to discard everything that we know of an issue so far in the face of incontrovertible and corroborated facts.

Credentials of the people offering information are admissible for assessing the dependability of the information but their motivations in context may be even more important. In any case, the Truth is independent of who utters it or what degrees of education they have attained. It needs hard work to get to and it is nearly impossible to be finished.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

my neighbor needs a bypass, i think i'll do it, what the heck...

[-] 0 points by grapes (3257) 1 year ago

Basic rule of prudence applies here: Know thyself well. "Man's got to know his limits."

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 1 year ago

words to the wise


[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Maybe willard wont go on record because -
after stating "corporations are people"
the learned how dangerous his mounth can be

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Romney wants the 53% of Americans that are worth a shit to know that he's got their back.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

This is where our politics radically diverge; you seek a greater handout from government; the working and middle class seek greater opportunity.

In New York job fairs and employment agencies now hand us paper work for welfare, that is the standard response, the standard procedure, the new and improved governmental approach to aiding those who seek employment. You have to wonder who is heading these agencies.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I just wish American children could get as good a break as Italian children do.

[-] -2 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

It's too late; we've grown government to the point of collapse. And the madness continues.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (6616) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Really? Taxes are the lowest, for the wealthy, than before the Great Depression, and you think our problem is we tax them too much? and yet when we look around everybody who is taxing their wealthy the most are doing the best.


[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 2 years ago

You're not taxing the wealthy; it's the equivalent of saying Medicare reform as efficiency will not impact the elderly.

[-] 0 points by mideast (506) 2 years ago

Are you saying we can't trust willard ‼?‼?‼?‼?‼?‼?‼?‼?‼
thousands of Chinese trust willard
why shouldn't we ?????????????????

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 1 year ago

Any money will be wasted unless we cn convince people not to have children out of wedlock.

Its not my responsibilty to help pay for child care costs of lazy folks who cant wear a condom. Children raised without a dedicated father and mother will be handicapped and a large percentage will likely end up housed in prison, safely removed from society.