Why is America so deadly for children?

It doesn’t have to be.  It’s the policy choices we make.  David Leonhardt today:

It’s hard to imagine a worse distinction for a country to hold. A recent study in the journal Health Affairs concluded that the United States has become “the most dangerous of wealthy nations for a child to be born into.”

Perhaps most damning, our country didn’t used to hold this status. In the 1960s, the death rate of American children was slightly lower than in other affluent nations. But three factors have changed that:

1. Other countries have had far more success reducing infant mortality. The reasons aren’t fully known, but the uneven American social safety net seems to play a role.

2. Other countries have more sharply reduced vehicle deaths, which are a particular scourge for teenagers. (The United States could easily do the same, as I explained in a recent column.)

3. The United States suffers from an epidemic of shooting deaths, which are nearly nonexistent elsewhere. The gun homicide rate in this country is 49 times higher than in other rich countries, according to the Health Affairs study.

Yep.  This is choices.  And our country is making the wrong ones.  And, to go ahead and politicize this, there’s one political party making it much more difficult for us to bring about the needed changes if we really cared about kids’ lives instead of misconceptions of “freedom!”

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: