The U.S. Economy Does Not Value Caregivers
This article is from The Atlantic and can be viewed here with images and intended formatting: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/01/the-us-economy-does-not-value-caregivers/282887/
Single mother Dee St. Franc works two jobs and raises her 5-year old daughter. (Barbara Ries)
Throughout its history, America has continued to reinvent itself, each time producing a better society for more of us than the one that preceded it. Reconstruction improved on the pre-Civil War republic. The New Deal created a “new America” that was a great improvement on the Gilded Age. The civil rights movement generated legislation guaranteeing the equality promised in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
This constant reinvention is fueled by what I call “the idea that is America”—the principles of liberty, democracy, equality, justice, tolerance, humility, and faith on which our country was founded. As I’ve written, our history is a continual “process of trying to live up to our ideals, falling short, succeeding in some places, and trying again in others.”
The United States has among the highest child poverty rates of any developed economy.
The next period of American renewal cannot come fast enough. The gap between the richest and poorest Americans is growing wider. In fact, the top 10 percent took in more than half of all income in 2012, the highest share since the data series started.
Yet the United States has among the highest child poverty rates of any developed economy. We spend more but get less for our healthcare and education dollars than Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and other nations. We are falling behind on these important measures of human progress in the world—but even more importantly, we are falling behind in terms of our ability to live up to our own values.