13 December 2010

The Children that Fortune Forget

UNICEF released a report titled The Children Left Behind: A League Table of Inequality in Child Well-Being in the World's Richest Countries that is summed up in the graph below.  It is not too shocking to see that the United States sits right at the bottom of the OECD nations.  I wish that there was an additional column in health well-being that addressed mental health (aka happiness).

What does this all mean and why worry about "first world problems?"

This blog looks to bring about ways to improve the conversation surrounding development and aid with a focus on international programs.  One frustration is that things are often simplified to the extent that real education becomes nearly impossible to attain.  What this paper shows is the fact that the lack of understanding is not limited to international poverty.  The richest nation in the world (for now) is also the one with significant disparity between the top and the bottom.  Above all else, the characterizations about the American poor being 'lazy' must come to an end.  It has contributed to a growing misunderstanding of poverty that has global implications (ie. American aid and welfare policies).