Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Child Poverty On the Rise in Michigan

The new Kids Count report by the Michigan League of Human Services and the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that Michigan's child poverty increased by 64%, compared to the rest of the country where it's gone up by 18%. Michigan now has over 500,000 children in poverty whose average age is 7.

Michigan dropped to 30th place in the nation for Child Well Being after being among the best states in America for quality of life. And on the measure of secure parental employment, Michigan ranked 47th -- near the bottom. What's more, 36% of Michigan's children in 2009 lived in households where none of the caretakers had employment.

Michigan ranked No. 30th this year (No. 1 is best) for child well-being. On the measure of secure parental employment, Michigan ranked near the bottom — 47th. Unfortunately, state policymakers are making cuts to programs that will move our state in the wrong direction.

These numbers are from two years ago and are likely only to have increased since then...and of course Michigan's political figures have since then slashed the Michigan earned income tax credit for lower income workers, they've removed the child tax credit, and they've limited welfare help to 4 years RETROACTIVE to 2006. As of September this year, over 30,000 more people will be shoved out on the street, most of whom are children.

For those who callously shrug these figures off as some unfortunate grim reality needed to make Michigan a more economically competitive state...child poverty does not bode well for a strong economic climate.

I've reported before about how child poverty in America is a tremendous drag on America's economic potential, costing us as much as 4% of unearned GDP since many children born into poverty tend to have long term health problems, they rarely achieve the education required to compete in a modern economy, and a larger percent turn to crime and end up costing the system money in lost potential talent as well as the cost of locking up these people.

Michigan's child poverty numbers are a horrible harbinger of long term economic decline, and a moral stain on a state that doesn't give a crap about innocent people who cannot fend for themselves or care for themselves.

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