Keep in mind these are families that earn under $25,000 per year. They are poor (If you drop the threshold to less than $20,000, 16.6% of U.S. children are still poor). The other thing is that we’re not comparing the U.S. to Angola: these are relatively prosperous countries, so the canards of ‘Western people’ aren’t really poor can’t be raised here–relatively speaking, the U.S. does abysmally. And there’s a simple reason for this–our very weak safety net:
The left-hand column is childhood poverty pre-taxes and transfers, the darker blue, right-hand column is post-taxes and transfers (e.g., food stamps, etc.); data from 2007
Unlike the U.S., Canadians apparently give a shit about the needy. They actually help the needy. Instead, thanks to Clinton and the Republicans’ welfare reform (the block grants in particular), the U.S. safety net is far less capable of expanding in times of crisis.
But screw ’em, they’re just kids. It’s not like we’re going to need them to take care of us when we’re old or anything….