June 9th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

1 in 5 U.S. children living below poverty line

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A sobering picture of what's ahead for this nation's children... more than 20 percent of them - one in five - are living below the poverty line.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/09/art.kid.jpg caption=""]
A new study shows the economic well-being of families has plummeted to levels not seen since the 1970s... thanks to the recession, job losses and declines in income.

Here are some of the very disturbing findings in the report funded by a private philanthropy group:

  • 15.6 million children are estimated to be living in poverty
  • As many as 500-thousand children may be homeless
  • 20 million children live in families where neither parent has secure employment
  • And in the last 3 years... an additional 750,000 children live in households that don't have access to enough safe and nutritious food
  • And eating more processed and fast foods means a potential increase in obesity and all the problems that go with that

As for education - which may be one of the few tickets out of poverty - there's no good news on that front either.

This report suggests the amount of time spent in school may even go down... with some states moving to shorter school weeks to save money.

Experts say that chaotic childhoods have a significant effect on health later in life - people who grow up under lots of stress have higher rates of cancer, liver disease, respiratory disease and other ailments.

How are kids expected to get a fair start with all this weighing against them?

There's one small reason to be hopeful, though. The study's authors say children's quality of life overall should start edging up... but that depends on the economy.

Here’s my question to you: What does the future hold if more than 1 in 5 American children are living below the poverty line?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave writes:
It's truly sad. So many good jobs sent overseas, and worse where I work: More than half of the employees are folks from India brought over to work cheaply. We are selling out the middle class and soon there will only be rich and poor. Those statistics on children will only get worse. Corporations have no souls.

Mark writes:
Jack, As a teacher, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the cycle of poverty is perpetuated by lazy, uninterested, uneducated parents who don't seem to care if their kids do any better in life than they have. And THAT is our biggest problem in public education.

Joe writes:
We must rebuild our manufacturing sector. America has got to make things to sell other countries. For years, the only jobs I have seen in my home in Peoria, Arizona is restaurant and retail jobs. These will not grow a middle class. America peaked and is in decline. I agree with the sentiment of term limits and kicking out the current career politicians in both parties. And for God sakes, we have to stop spending money.

Jim in Colorado writes:
While the effects on children are probably most important, this is just a subset of the extreme disparity in income in America. Bring up wealth redistribution and some people think that you are attacking the foundations of America - the same America founded with the words, "all men are created equal." While I certainly don't suggest going to the extreme proposed by Karl Marx, it is absurd that money changers take home hundreds of millions of dollars a year while hundreds of thousands of children are hungry.

Ralph in Chicago writes:
In this great country, a single mother can raise a diverse son without the help of the father and that son can become president of the United States. It's not the size of your wallet but the sensibility in your heart.

Filed under: Children
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    The US in a rapid state of decline, and is accelerating in the wrong direction.

    If I were a young person, now, I would be learning the language for an alternative country to live and work in.

    The US will offer little opportunity in the near future, for certain, and the US may never regain its position in the world order.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    Until the USA goes back to it's principles of free markets, and minimal government, not many children are going to find much to crow about. They'll have just another third world country to enjoy...

    June 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  3. Dennis north Carolina

    We will all be below the poverty line in the near future so there is no future,

    June 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  4. Fran, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    We stopped being the greatest country on earth a long time ago, and if we don't shape up, we're going to be a third world country in the relatively near future.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  5. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It holds that they will have lots more company in the future as all we working slobs wind up below the poverty line. Sooner or later China will want to be paid back and we just don’t have the money or any industries left that can provide it. We will be sold to the highest bidder.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  6. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    One in five sounds like 20% to me. If 1 in 5 kids are living below the poverty level then so are their parents. If the majority of Americans determine how well they're doing in life by how impovershed the lowest 20% are doing we have failed as one Nation under God. If we pride ourselves as a Democracy that also represents the needs of minorities then the lowest 20% also deserve a fair slice of the American Dream pie.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Kevin of SD CA

    More Socialism, Jerry Springer, and reality television to pacify the ignorance that created the poverty in the first place!

    June 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  8. riley oday

    The one in five children living below poverty will soon have more company as parents remain unemployed in the future.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  9. Steve in Michigan

    More government. More taxes. More debt.

    Any questions?

    June 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  10. Randy

    Well, you can count on one thing -more war! The bankers require more war to make more money and these poor kids won't have anything else to do except to into the army.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  11. RickFromDetroit

    1 in 5 children living below poverty means that our distribution of wealth is a complete failure and this is also reflected by our large number of wealthy.

    This type of monetary policy also effects tax revenues and consumer spending and this is reflected by the large national debt and the sluggish economy.

    The wealthy have too much money hidden in tax deferred investments while the consumer spending that is needed to move the economy out of recession is slow to come. This consumer spending, that is generated by higher wages, also results in additional tax revenue collected by the government.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Peg from N.Y.

    More starvation and poverty to come for the endless downward spiral that was the middle class. Sad, frightening and totally unacceptable.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  13. bob z fr ,pa.

    if this gov. keeps spending half of the usa will be in poverty line

    June 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Susan Frost

    For years, the Republicans have been making a concerted effort to destroy the American middle class in order to achieve their dream of a white Protestant male aristocracy ruling over the 'little people', who would be kept in line by relentless propaganda fomenting racial, ethnic, rel;igious and gender hostility. They have just about succeeded in accomplishing their goal. If Americans had a damn bit of sense, we'd demand that the government stop killing other people's children overseas and start feeding and educating our own, but that's one Hell of an "IF".

    Tuscaloosa AL

    June 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Joe R - Houston

    Growing up below the poverty line didn't adversely affect me, although I had the advantage of living on a small farm instead of in a city where the use of your own property is limited by government prohibitions against raising food for personal consumption or sale.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  16. Willow

    Its definitely scarey and I sure don't know what the future holds. When I was growing up, a Father could work at a family shoe store, or in a grocery store and support a family of 4 or 5, while his wife stayed home. Since all the outsourcing to other countries of our manufacturing, and the pay scale staying low and not supporting families anymore, nobody knows what the future holds.

    There are many single parents,, kids that won't every go to college. And college kids that graduate and can't find a job.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  17. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Jack Cafferty and CNN friends,

    I am not worried about the future,
    because United States of America is a member of the United Nations.
    The United Nations World Bank provides leveraged loans to countries to REDUCE POVERTY!

    Jurgen R. Brul

    June 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  18. John from Alabama

    Jack: What else is new? Since the 1960's, 20% or 1 out 5 children have been below the poverty level. The Democrats want to educate you out of poverty, the Republicans believe trickle down economics will pull people above the poverty line. Fat chance, Jack. People who are willing to sacrifice for others will pull people above the poverty line. Political parties, government programs, and social programs all mean well, but it is individuals who love their fellow man that might be able to make a poor kid better off in the long run.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Greg in PA

    That 20% of future adults lived below the poverty line when they were kids.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  20. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    it means that we will rapidly sink into "third world" status as a country unless we can educate the poor childern to where they have a chance to break the cycle of poverty.

    we can CHOSE to bulid more and better schools OR be FORCED to build more prisons.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  21. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It says to me that we need to stop taking in the world's poor, because we already have problems. My guess is, your statistic is scewed because of all the impoverished illegal alien children out there. It also shows the loss of the domestic manfacturing base hurts the poor since they can't get a decent paying job without education. It shows that unless we scale back government and give busiensses a reason to put people to work here, 20% of our population will struggle mightily to succeed.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  22. Steve, NY

    Why is it the children? How about their parents. If the children are in poverty, then the parents are also. Can't the press be more forthright?
    Does that mean 2 ot of 5 parents are in poverty or is 1 out of 10, because the average is 2 children per family. CNN can research the statistics.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  23. Mark, from Las Vegas

    Not my problem Jack! It's called personal responsibility, i.e., having and raising children. If you can't afford a family then don't have them. Pretty easy to figure it out.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  24. Greg, Ontario

    Talk about seeing the glass half empty. That means 80% of them are living above the poverty line and if needed 10% of them could probably pay to bring up that 20% above the line. The problem is how do you do it and call yourself a free market society? Are you telling us Jack that the self labeled greatest nation on the planet can't do anything to help these 20% of the children?

    June 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  25. Stan

    Simple Jack, if nothing is done now to combat this situation of starvation/poverty, there will be no future. We might as well start preparing for the extinction of the human race, because then it will become a difficult situation where only the fittest will survive'.

    Little Rock, AR

    June 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  26. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, more and more families are living below the poverty line everyday. But at the same time there's more billionaires than ever before. That should be proof that we are becoming a two class nation. The middle class is declining. And to have a healthy economy you need a strong middle class. We have been going backwards for quite awhile and now we're seeing the affects of it. For the first time a younger generation will be able to say we lived in a much better time than they are living in.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  27. Richard, in Kansas

    Jack, we are quickly becoming a nation of haves and have nots. The gap between rich and poor is larger than ever and the middle class is eroding away. All of this because we live with a system that favors those with money above all else. If we continue down this path eventually the majority of Americans will be disenfranchised and have little or no interest in the survival of or nation and that will be our downfall.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  28. Gerry

    If one in five children are living below the poverty line so are their parents. You can probably include over one in five seniors in the same catagory. The future doesn't look any better for either catagory of the population. Government's philosophy on the economy is to strangle the chicken to increase egg production.

    Ash Fork, Az.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  29. in Woodstock GA

    Unless they have some amazing talent or are in some way able to get a GREAT education, NOTHING!

    And it is a national disgrace that this should be true.

    Another national disgrace? Probably a similar number (if not more) of the elderly, who have worked their entire lives as productive citizens, are in the same boat.

    We should hang our heads in shame!

    June 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  30. John Minnesota

    Being an old geezer – our country has FAILED to take care of its citizens. Like you, I was born when FDR was President. Congress hasn't "fixed" this problem, never will, poor don't vote nor contribute to Congressional elections – they are trying to find food, clothes and shelter. What else is new! Remove Congress, by force if necessary, otherwise it will only get worse and worse.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  31. gary saari

    Most corporate CEOs only care about the profits of their stockholders and their bonuses, not the welfare of the American working class. If 1 in 5 children are now living below the poverty level they could care less. The future of our country could be very bleak if our government doesn't have the guts to step on some corporate toes or as Obama says he needs to know whose ass to kick. If Obama has a big enough boot maybe some of the profits can trickle down to some of the people living below the poverty level. Reagan's "trickle down theory" hasn't worked yet to make sure everyone has a living wage, but maybe a large foot impression on the back side of some corporations and their political lackeys could improve our economy.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  32. JOE CE

    Unrest, war, and rebellion = this is no real change from the past.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  33. naqibham

    If nobody lived below the poverty line... then the line would increase... making more people live under the poverty line...

    Kind of a trick question....

    June 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  34. Tina Tx

    I am surprised it is this low. We never learn by past mistakes. We need to end the spending of the wars and use that money to help feed Americans.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  35. Jayne

    We've been on a race to the bottom since the Reagan years. Now our jobs have been sent to China and few can afford an education to better themselves. The future of this nation is in peril. Our democracy is being ceded to the corporations and a handful of megawealthy individuals who seem to run things. I hate to parrot the tea party, but we need to take our country back before it's an oligarchy.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  36. Dale from Michigan

    It tells me that one of two things is happening. Either children are primarily being conceived by poor people or having children will make you poor. Either one does not bode well for the country. I am sure that our liberal lawmakers will find a solution for this delemma. They can simply require that the rich pay for the support of the children of poor families. Oh, wait a minute, they already do. Now it all makes sense, if someone else is paying to support your family, you might as well have a large one.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  37. B.J., Quincy, Il

    You're going to have more crime, more violence,and it could even spark a revolution if it gets bad enough. There are already signs of it coming.
    I have a partial solution for more jobs but because I'm disabled nobody wants to hear it. It can create many jobs in rural areas since not everyone is a constrution worker. We need jobs and there is a way.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  38. Don (Ottawa)

    I hate to say it, but the future is bleak Jack. We better start getting used to developing country status and hope that the Chinese have a good aid program.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  39. Charles of Eugene [OR]

    This is another fact one could use in arguing that our USA is on the decline, right after mentioning our infant mortality rate in comparison with other developed nations.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  40. Pete from Georgia

    Jack let's get "real" here.
    America doesn't know what real poverty is. Most Americans have never been to India, Africa, or China where just seeing real poverty will make one ill.
    Low income American children walking around in the latest fad clothing texting with their own cell phones..................all provided by Uncle Sam hand outs is something far different than third world poverty.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  41. Emily

    It's a future of poor diets, obesity & disease (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.)

    June 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  42. Richard Green

    The future doesn't hold much, Jack. We give Israel several billion dollars a year in aid. With that money they provide universal healthcare, college educations, vacations, and real support for their people. The future doesn't hold much when our nation provides for others the very things our nation denies its own people.

    San Clemente, Ca.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  43. Kenneth Jehling, Frisco, Texas

    The future holds very bad things if this continues-fix the economy stupid, that's the way out of hard times for everyone. Ken thinks that this business of cutting the pieces of the pie smaller and smaller is rediculous. This is America. We can bake giganitic pies. Unleash the free enterprise system and lets start shoveling flour so everyone can eat-tax cuts would be a real good start. Remember a rising tide lifts all boats.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  44. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Many troubled adults. Those who are made of stern stuff, will be able to rise above it all, to greater things.

    There are many who have done this, most without recognition, but there are countless examples we have all heard about. One who springs to mind is George Foreman. Another, who didn't have it as tough as did Mr. Foreman, but had to depend on food stamps, is Barack Obama.

    Republicans, who can never be rich enough, or have enough houses, won't agree, (believing it to be communism), but we must do more to help hungry children. The staggering quantities of good food that is thrown away in America every day are disgraceful, especially when there are so many people who are in need. The fact that there are ANY hungry people in this Country, is disgraceful, & is the direct result of cutting taxes for the very wealthy, deregulating Big Business, & letting insurance companies, especially health insurance, get away with murder. Thank you George W. Bush.

    Fortunately, now every American will be able to go to the doctor, and receive good health care. Even children with very serious preexisting conditions can now have health insurance, go the the doctor, and have their lives changed forever. Maybe one of these children, who have grown up, until now, knowing only poverty & pain, will grow up to be President.

    Thank you President Obama. Health care reform was, shamefully, decades overdue, & you got it done for us. We all owe you a debt of gratitude.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  45. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Think we need to assess what caused this situation. Why was there such a transfer of wealth from the lower and middle class to the wealthiest Americans & corporation, and to various countries around the world. There needs to be industry in this country to support it ... that's just the way it is. There needs to be regulation on finance & big business, & an equitable tax structure that everyone pays to support the country.
    "It's the economy ......."

    June 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  46. Judy - California

    Sounds like "Mission Accomplished" for Geo Bush. His administration and policies were designed to wipe out the middle class. Say it isn't so.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  47. Melissa

    You see, this is what happens when Republicans get into power and when the Republican mindset prevails. What does it mean? It means we need to stop kissing Republican butt and start forcing regulations to bring peoples standard of living up higher so the corporations keep less of the money they make and have to give people a living wage. Corporations don't need to be gluttons, they just are being allowed to be gluttons by a corrupt government brought nearly to a standstill by childish fearmongers.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  48. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    I lived in poverty as a child. What does poverty do to a child? It would surprise you! I grew up listening to my parents fight about money, which ended in bitter divorce. I was used by each parent as either a financial weapon, or liability! When I was about 7 years old I started waking up with fat lips and bruises on my face, because of the guilt I felt from being a burden to them. I was punching myself in my sleep almost nightly til they divorced. If you're poor, please remind your children that it isn't their fault!

    June 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  49. Missy M.

    Childhood poverty and hunger rates in the United States has always been a disgrace. Poverty and hunger go hand-in-hand and they impact so many parts of society – affecting a child's ability to learn, cope and become a productive member of society. I think it's shameful that the president and congress put health care above the issue of childhood hunger and poverty - just imagine the impact on our health care system (not to mention educational system) if every child was guaranteed three healthy meals each day or if Congress decided to spend money ensuring that the nation's hungry received regular supplies of rice, potatoes, milk, flour, cheese and apples.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  50. Gregory Tripp, Mechanicsburg, PA

    The future looks bleak. Jack, that number is only going to go up. Our economy is making it ever more difficult for working families to make ends meet. When I was a kid, my dad worked and my mom stayed home and raised three kids. People say our society is in decline and there is no wonder why. Both parents need to hold down at least a job a piece, and some parents need multiple part-time jobs because no employer wants to make a long-term commitment or pay health insurance if they can get away with it–and part timers rarely have any benefits other than a paycheck. So who's raising the kids? Grandparents? In today's mobile society its getting rare that grandparents live near enough to grandchildren to lend a hand. Older siblings? More likely gangs and the TV are the parent substitute of choice. That is sad, sad, sad.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  51. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, looking at this optimistically, proverty is often an incentive, if the parent(s) can be an example of striving to better themselves and raise their childern with the idea that THEY can be different. Children of proverty can work their way out of the ghettos/barrios/slums, I know, I did. The problem is today's parents are too often part of the problem, not part of the solution. They inspire their children to fail, by being satisfied with their own shortcomings, and relying on the government to subsidize their lack of personal pride with welfare. The future? The future will be 1 in 2 in 20 years, as long as the government keeps subsidizing laziness, lack of personal pride, and encouraging the welfare society to just sit back and be taken care of by taxpayers dollars.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  52. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, what the future holds is that Democrats have an issue to PROMISE to fix, rather than actually fixing! If they ever delivered on a critical campaign promise, they would have to run as themselves. And that's what people do not want more of from this Congress, a Democrat majority doing little of what the people want such as jobs, and a true economic stimulus to create those jobs.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  53. Joe


    Our society truly is becoming a two-class society. Unfortunately, I am poor and really do not expect much better results, because the reality is that a few people earn their way to wealth, but the majority already know someone to network toward wealth, inherit the money and power, or simply steal the money and then are so wealthy.

    Jack, a partial quote from the movie "Tulsa" with Susan Hayward:
    "It must be wonderful to be rich and powerful enough to step-on people, and to be respected for it."
    Meaning the Skull and Bones Society rules our federal reserve, etc..

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    June 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  54. DJ

    It just means yet another country who cant stand us are taken care of...its funny where supposed to be the greatest country on the globe yet we put our own people last...

    June 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  55. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    We have heard the rage about a law that would tax those poor souls who inherit billions. You know, THE DEATH TAX. And just ask Joe the plumber about how REAL Americans think about redistributing the wealth. After all, people could just work harder. So why in a nation known for its large proportion of plump people would any of us worry about children getting enough to eat?

    Didn’t Marie Antoinette have something to say about this?

    June 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  56. Bertina

    Does it really matter when we're just going to go back to the republican style of ignoring problems until they are too big to ignore?

    June 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  57. Thomas in Texas

    The future does not look very bright .There will be no real middle class unless or until Congress passes legislation to encourage American businesses to return from overseas. Otherwise, ALL of our kids will be working at Walmart , selling Made in China (sometimes subpar or even tainted) products.It scares me to death that I -not even very smart- can see this and our lawmakers cannot.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  58. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The poverty line is articial. It is the standard for eligibility for government aid, not a measure of actual poverty. It would be more productive to count all income sources and compare that with local measures of the standard of living based on housing and rental prices. The meaning is that we try to program poverty, rather than providing for a real living wage by offerring a substantial tax credit to families with children as part of their employers' business income tax filing (or in addition to any training stipend for adults seeking literacy or young families finishing high school and college).

    June 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  59. pat in michigan

    Are you talking legal American children?Has that number increased from before when the economy was good?
    Most likely more of the same.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  60. Maria

    For now, they are hungry, unhealthy, tired, angry,helpless, poorly clothed and poorly schooled. For some, they will never climb above where they are now. Some will make it. But lest we forget, for all those children below the povertty line in this country, so are there adults...who also are in the same boat and sinking just as fast.



    June 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  61. Kevin in Dallas

    The future holds bankruptcy. The top 10% holds 71% of the country's wealth, and they're also pretty good at figuring out how to avoid paying taxes. Social Security + Tax Evasion = Bankrupt Nation.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  62. Laura

    Third world country, here we come! I'm moving to Norway, or Sweden, they have amazing preschools. If only the weather in California weren't so wonderful, I would be there now.
    Hollister, CA

    June 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  63. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack 100 years ago we were in world war one. Had an immigration problem. Poverty and labor problems. We had work safety problems and many of the exact same problems that we have today. Our National debt was $ 1.15 billion and the population was 92,407,000 people. The average salary was $ 750 a year.
    Our government has had 100 years to mold, craft and shape America but instead it has squandered that time away producing nothing but self serving career politicians and debt. If our government does not get it soon then there will be no future for our children.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  64. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Third World move over, here comes the Dilapidated States of America!

    June 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  65. James in North Carolina

    I grew up poor. We did not know we were poor because I don't believe a poverty line had been drawn. I worked hard and am no longer poor. The state cannot make someone successful. Hopefully we will teach children to rely on themselves and not government handouts.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  66. honest john in vermont

    The numbers are staggering for a first world country and we are in bleak economic times right now, especially for the poor and the unemployed. The answer is not to throw more money which only encourages the cycle, but to have meaningful programs for job training, education, and job creation. We need to provide the tools to help workers get back on their feet.

    Nobody wants poverty. We have to give a helping hand to enable people to have a job that pays a decent wage.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  67. JENNA

    What does the future hold if more than 1 in 5 American children are living below the poverty line?

    That depends on who is in control.

    If Republicans are in control then their future is bleak. All we will here is how they shouldn't have been born if their parents couldn't afford to take care of them. You know that Compassionate Conservative crowd.

    If Democrats are in power these children will actually have a chance. Democrats will work to get their parents employed, make sure that schools are serving free lunches to those that need them. They will also ensure that there is a safety net to protect them. After all Americas children are OUR nations future.

    Just one more reason to not only keep Democrats in control but ensure that they get that fillabuster proof majority so they can get the job done without all those Compassionate Conservatives standing in their way.

    Roseville CA

    June 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  68. Ralph Spyer

    In this great country a single mother can raise a diverse son with out the help of the father and that son can become president of America. It not the size of your wallet but the sensibility in your heart.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  69. A J

    More than 1 in 5 children below the poverty line! Wow, that means no college degrees in their future? I am proud to be an American, but I can see the American dream is out of reach for most of us, even though my husband and I work a combined 90hrs per week we just get by. The profits made from the work we do is kept at the top of the corporate tower. We try to save enough to retire but it too falls short, then looking at the retirement savings we do have, every entity involved in the handling of the funds got paid, and the owner of the money (us) get nothing in return. Trickle down economics don't work without regulation to insure the trickle down effect. The blue collar workers are the ONLY ones that spend the money to get the economic engines roaring and their not paid enough to do it.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  70. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    The future leads to the death of the American Dream. As the middle class shrinks the rich will stay rich and the expanding poor will become more desperate. The nightmare scenario is when the shrinking tax base bankrupts the country and the economy collapses.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  71. Carl

    Mr Cafferty
    My Mothers and Fathers where rise in pretty much the same chaotic childhoods, but they work hard and paid more than thier share of taxes to make sure thier children did have to live this way. these days we don`t want to pay more taxes to help any one even a childred. we have become a nation that all about me, and what i can buy, not what can I do to make things better for some one else. as for my self i work with many NGO tring to make differance in a childs life, only hope that I have done so, We need more people to work at thier local level to make a differance and yes we need to pay more than our far share of the taxes to help if we ever what to become the Nation we think we are.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  72. Bill from Baltimore

    Welcome to Right Wing World...After GOP control of the White House for 20 of the past 30 years and GOP control of Congress for 16 of the past 20 years...

    June 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  73. Greg Turman

    The state of Texas set aside huge amounts of land in remote west Texas back in the 1800's for public education. That land now has huge amounts of oil which has been given to the state in the name of education, i.e. land grant colleges such as Texas A&M, University of Texas and Texas Tech. These colleges have prospered and have the lowest tuition rates in the nation.
    The federal government owns much of Alaska. Perhaps the feds should set aside the very remote area of Anwar to drill oil and give this money to higher education like the state lands of Texas.
    Education is the key to helping the poor.
    This has always been the land of opportunity. Let's keep it going forward.
    Gregory Turman

    June 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  74. Judie Wm's -- El Lago TX


    The future appears to be bleak if the trend continues. The social agencies are stressed to the max as the number of applicants increase. With the economy folks are not able to donate as they once did. Grandparents living on a fixed income are raising their childrens children, and this country is no longer a land of plenty. How did we get here?

    Of the 1 out of 5 ? What about THEIR children ? The other side of the coin are the over indulged children and the "me, my and I" mentality, and will they become our leaders with no regard for others?

    Heaven help us.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  75. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Simply this Jack, young people living at or below the poverty line who make the decision to set lofty goals, and work hard at achieving those goals, will leave the others in poverty dust. People can achieve whatever they want if they opt to work and work hard. Just because young people live at this level does not mean they will remain at that level. They have choices. In fact all of us have choices. Sorry to be so hard, but life is often hard.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  76. Bob in Tampa, Fl

    When you consider that more than half the people in this Country don't earn enough to have an Income Tax bill, we have a severe problem. The statistic you cite, is very indicative of that problem.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  77. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Sad to say but they will get left behind and their future is not very bright. We should be taking the money we are spending on a worthless war in Afgan and funnel it to the school systems to insure that the children in America get the education they need and deserve.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  78. KDS Irvine, CA

    It means that the next generation to hit the work force will have less education than my generation. The facts don't lie. Children today who are growing up in middle to upper class households, are more likely to graduate from College and get a good paying job compared to those who grow up in poverty.

    It's a sad thing Jack really.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  79. Annie, Atlanta

    They have no future. Join the club, kids. Just think of the future this country could have if we took the money spent on endless wars and invested it in our kids instead. Didn’t President Eisenhower warn about the Military Industrial Complex? We should have listened.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  80. Bill in PA


    A little arithmetic is needed here. Ten percent of the U. S. population owns more than 95% of all the wealth. They are quite secure and do not plan to support the policies that would bring back the middle class and add people to it. They own the corporate "persons" and control untold wealth and power; and our legislators.

    As a nation we have become mean spirited, spoiled brats who are borrowing rather than paying the taxes needed to support our two wars for oil and gas pipe lines.

    More police, jails and prisons are in our future. We already have a large percentage of our population in jail/prison.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  81. Randy

    The future holds uncertainty and gloom for those not in the so called elite and chosen people categories. The republicrat/fascist country that the rich has fought for since the last depression has finally come to pass. And you can't blink without some unemployed conservatard on the internet message boards ignorantly proclaiming that some billionaire "earned" tons of money and deserves not to pay taxes. This country is stuck on stupid.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  82. Rick Medina,OH


    This is absolutely nuts, and very saddening. There are great minds in these battered bodies, which America will never benefit from unless we find a means of support. Maybe, if we spent a few less billions on two unpopular wars, we could find the means.

    Medina, OH

    June 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  83. Brock

    Actually the American public is being lied to and manipulated over Obesity. The obesity index is flawed and being used to bash foods and force peoples food choices. People are no more fatyer or healthier or less healthy than anyoher period of time. Just like fashion changes so do people andwhat they think is pretty. Our country has been on a thinn , chic look. We shouldnt label foods as good or bad but just a choice. People bash burgers and fries yet go to expensive restaurabts and eat twice the amount of fat and calories than At McDonalds. Let our food choice be free, keep away from the food police who pose ad medical, reps who fake care about anything but getting the public hooked more on drugs and bring controlled. Don't tell me what i cant eat. I will eat anything i want.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  84. Bruce

    It is only the poverty line by our materialistic standards. Poor kids have far better values than these rich aimless kids of the middle/upper class.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  85. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Well, if it's all going to hinge on the economy, I'd have to say that these, and a lot more kids, are going to have a pretty bleak future. You, Wolf, and any others can cheerlead all you want, but the truth is that we are ALL in a lot of trouble down the road(see National Debt). Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  86. southerncousin

    And that is after we poured over a trillion dollars into the liberal "Great Society" programs. Of course I realize most of that money went and is still going to the unions and poverty pimp libs like Jesse Jackson and the Reverand Al. But until the union corruption and ineffectiveness is addressed these funds will never be used for the good of these children.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  87. Gigi Oregon

    Your guess is as good as mine. I do know and understand that the tax cuts to the rich plays a big part in this. Our taxes system is hurting the lower income and middle class. When population increases with less jobs and a bad economy due to corporate America, something is going to give. This effects the lower and middle class and their families. When the Republican party gave tax cuts to the rich that meant higher taxes for us. When the rich sent their jobs overseas for lower cost and bigger profits for themselves and higher prices for us, that hurt the lower and middle class. When the middle class bailed out corporate America, imposed on them by big government, well it gets confusing here. While the Republican party wants less government they sure don't mind using big powerful government to bail themselves out... And here the circle continues the poor get poorer and the rich, richer. Until a flat and fair tax is adopted it looks pretty bleak to me for our grandchildren and their children.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  88. Steve

    Its a sad commentary on our society as a whole..You cannot even find a reasonable explanation for this...anywhere..I'm surprised to read you haven't tried to blame this on the President..

    June 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  89. katiec Pekin, IL

    It will get better, Jack. We have a president that truly cares about the American people and, even with the obstructive republicans, is getting our country back on the road to recovery.
    When for eight years anything to help middle class, the less fortunate, disabled, women, senior citizens and our service men and women was voted down, in favor of giving perks, full control to big business, the American people became victims and will be for some time to come.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  90. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    18% of families are unsure where they will obtain food and an estimated 500,000 children are homeless. As always, poverty and health problems go hand in hand. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Family poverty increases many risks for children, including low birth weight, premature delivery, learning problems, asthma and other health problems.” That is their future.

    As Americans struggle together through the recession, these results bring to mind the obvious question—what are we, as a country, going to do about this? Stimulate big bankers? Subsidize big business with tax breaks? Spend our treasure on defense contractors and two wars? These fat cats are the most entitled welfare queens of all time!!

    People are broke, frustrated and angry, and with good reason. Yes, it can be unbelievably frustrating as a working person struggling to get by. There are so many government cut backs happening this year that will negatively affect our children such as decreasing monies to schools and cutting free lunch programs (for many of the children in the community where I live, free school lunch is often the only meal these children will have all day.) someone needs to be a voice for the children of poverty. As Americans, as a people, someone needs to answer the question—what are we going to do about this??

    June 9, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  91. Janice From Delaware

    Why don't you ask those two chicks in California that spent over $100 million dollars on their election? This is what America has turned into. Should any child in America go hungry when we pay ball players $15 million dollars a year to play a game for 4 months a year? Ashame on you America !!

    June 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  92. Mark

    Jack, as a teacher I can tell you from first hand experience that the cycle of poverty is perpetuated by lazy, uninterested, uneducated parents who don't seem to care if there kids do any better in life than they have. And THAT is our biggest problem in public education. You can't convince kids that education is important when their parents are on drugs, in jail or are always berating teachers right in front of their kids. Let's see the government fix that.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  93. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    The future is bleak for America if it insists on wasting money on useless wars all over the globe.
    If President Obama can get America out of Iraq and Afghanistan by next summer as promised, then all that wasted war money can be used to help Americans in America. There would be plenty to go around to lift every child out of poverty, and then some.
    American military spending must be cut by 75% for its citizens to really prosper.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  94. Phyllis Prigge

    The children In American will never get out of poverty because our President Obama keeps giving our money away. He is giving 400 million to Pakistan when he could be using it for a better cause in America. Where is he getting 400 million when America is so in debt??
    cactusphyl in Texas

    June 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  95. Brian, Grambling, LA

    If people didn't have children they couldn't afford to raise, we wouldn't have all these problems.

    The taxpayers are not responsible for raising children.

    The parents are.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  96. win

    Then stop immigration for people without a higher education and enforce the immigration laws. Otherwise don't expect people that pay taxes to continue to support the never ending stream of those that are "in poverty".

    Expect those that are here legally to get an education and to work instead of continuous excuses of blame on others or society.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  97. james

    It means that this country will be one big walmart. I help to teach kids when I went unemployed and it is real sad. The schools computers are from the late 1990s. The schools are also overrun with children of illegal immigrants who function at several grades below others and require more time to try to "integrate" them. The country will find itself in a complete economic collapse since most of these kids will be on welfare , jail, or menial jobs that pay nothing. manufacturing jobs are where these 1/5th should be able to go and do, but we have outsourced everything. I am well educated and have 2 college degrees and my wife and I are barely middle class. The same 2000 rich people that they let control the rest of us are to blame for this. Our football stadiums and walmarts get subsidized and tax breaks , while real people get brushed under the rug. Watch " Road Warrior" tonight, that is where they are headed.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  98. Burbank

    It means people that don't have a reasonable expectation of supporting and educating a child until they are age 18 should either practice birth control or abstinence according to their religious beliefs. It's wrong, in other words a big whopping SIN, to bring a child into the world that you cannot feed or afford to care for. It's a form of child abuse, plain and simple.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  99. Dave

    It's truly sad. So many good jobs sent overseas, and worse where I work more than half of the employees are folks from India brought over to work cheaply.

    We are selling out the middle class and soon there will only be rich and poor. Those statistics on children will only get worse. Corporations have no souls.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  100. John from San Antonio

    Today the number living in poverty is the minority. The future will move them into the majority.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  101. Kenny in the High Desert of California

    It looks real tough for those without an education, a problem prevalent among the poor. It might not be so gloomy if our manufacturing industry hadn't been exported out of the country with millions of jobs. As a child in the thirties, poverty was a way of life. When things picked up you could always get a job in a shop with an eight grade education. We don't have enough jobs where we work with our hands, and the jobs that support those products working hands make. Our lost jobs certainly have elevated the poor in other countries.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  102. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Very sad facts. Sounds more like a depression to me. In this day and age children are living at levels that were not good forty years ago. These children are our future and from the way things are going it says to me that this country is headed to being a second class nation with many uneducated people. Edging all the more to a Haves and Haves Not society.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  103. Midwest Jim

    The Congress and states keep cutting funding for school teachers and their students. Illinois alone will lose between 9,000 and 20,000 educators next year. Check with those nations that are "out-performing" the USA and you'll find they spend more on schools, families and kids than we do. Yeah, money matters.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  104. Jim


    What a sad state of affairs in America! The Government has tried to help in he past with welfare, school lunch programs, etc. but the problem of childhood poverty persists. Jobs will eventually help, of course, for children of parents who are willing and able to work. But there will always be those unfortunate youngsters who have nobody to care for them. Their future, as always, will be a grim witches brew of filth, deprivation, hunger, abuse, and humiliation. We could help them. We have the means. But we won't. Somehow that just never seems to be a high enough priority.

    Reno, Nevada

    June 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  105. Marty W.

    It simply means that a revolution will come sooner rather than later.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  106. Lyn

    If you think it is bad now go ahead and push for the Republicans to get in office and there will be many many more children living in cars and in food lines. Poverty line or not, there are Republicans running that want to do away with the public school system. That means that the rich will get all the education in their private schools. The middle and poor class will be like it was in the 1940's and 1950's and before, no chance for a better life..
    I know you won't leave this on as usual, for people to read, but at least read it yourself and see the poorer side of life. Those rich people wouldn't even feed "you" if your were hungry, Jack

    June 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  107. Ernie Naples Fl

    Well look at it this way Jack, they may be starving because their parents are out of work, but at least they have free healthcare.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  108. Emily

    A future of poor diets, obesity & disease (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.)

    June 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  109. Sly, Alpena, Michigan

    Jack you mean to tell me that you did know that soon, we (the United States) will soon be a third world country?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  110. Stacy

    I'd like to see it compared to past statistics. I grew up as one of those children...now 23, I'm currently a full time college student working hard to make sure that my children don't become another statistic. It's not all bad; living a "simple" life could motivate others to break through the stereotype and become something amazing. It's all about what you make of yourself; always remember where you came from, but don't let it hinder you from where you can go!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  111. old shoe

    the ex CEO of eBay just spent 55 million Dollars on a political campaign
    do really think this type of excess is helping Poverty ??

    June 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  112. Michael in Phoenix

    I believe that more are living below the poverty line. one person in a household in in poverty if they make 10k or less. Really? Try living making less than 15k. So what does the future hold? Revolution. At some point the people are going to see that they are getting poorer, the government is raising taxes and the people in the government are rich. I wonder if anyone in our government ever hear of the french revolution?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  113. Stephen Charchuk

    This is what happens when you put standard of living over quality of life (No, they aren't the same thing). The USA has a higher standard of living than Canada, but our quality of life is higher. In other words I rather be poor in Canada than in America.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  114. Tom - North Carolina

    Poverty by US standards, luxury by international standards.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  115. Sara in North Dakota

    If they'd only get up off of their lazy butts and pull themselves up by their bootstraps! Why should the filthy-rich pay more taxes to support those dirty little bottom feeders? Capitalism; unregulated, unmitigated, unrepentant capitalism is the answer.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  116. Phillip Castaneda - Houston TX

    We are too advanced as a country, too smart, and too creative to allow this sad state of affairs. I voted last election for a Domestic President. Despite all the many legitimate issues in the word we need our politicans to truly focus on AMERICA.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  117. Smith in Oregon

    It is entirely predictable Jack Cafferty when former President Reagan promoted the 'me first' mantra for Republican led corporations who shut down their manufacturing plants here in America in MASS and moved them ALL overseas, creating huge ghetto's in America's inter-city's.

    The two largest banking fiasco's where taxpayers were left on the hook for Billions of dollars came under Bush sr. (Texas Saving's and Loan Failures) and Bush jr. (Mass default of hundreds of banks).

    Thankfully Hispanics will no longer be a minority population in the next decade and America can crawl out of the dark place that Republican lawmakers has placed them into. Corporate American work practices are among the most draconian in the entire world and Republican led corporations are the pariah's of the world, go figure!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  118. Sly, Alpena, Michigan

    Jack, You mean to tell me that you did not know that soon, we (The United States) will be a "Third World Country"?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  119. Joe

    I think it is aweful that 1 in 5 kids live below poverty level. What concerns me more is that taking from the rich to try to elevate the peverty stricken won't solve our problem. It will only force down those who are prosperous, thereby driving more into poverty.

    We must rebuild our manufacturing sector. America has got to make things to sell other countries. For years the only jobs I have seen in my home in Peoria, AZ is restaurant and retail jobs. These will not grow a middle class.

    America peaked and is in decline. I agree with the sentiment of term limits and kicking out the current career politicians in both parties. And for God sakes, we have to stop spending money.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  120. Enrique

    It is sad that so many children live below the poverty line, but parents have to be responsible. Life is tough and parents should be stable before bringing children into the world. .

    June 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  121. Darlene-Salt Lake City

    Close Guantanemo Bay Prison, Give Iraq their country back, scale down in Afghanistan, decrease military spending, especially the billions given to Israel...increase domestic programs especially money for education and the public-option for health-care. Problem solved. The US would finally begin to take care of its own as well as it take care of others.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  122. Pam

    I grew up poor. We did not know we were poor cause we were all in the same boat. But what we did know is that if we worked to better ourselves through education (no student loans) and worked hard we would have a better life. I don't think so today unless the direction of this country changes. No socialism.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  123. Judy Mascolino

    Yes, it is a very sad truth about children living in poverty and it's getting worse. Just think, we're in a deep recession and it looks like we're going to double dip and, worst of all, in the US, 90% of the wealth belongs to 10% of the population. The rich and powerful fight hard to keep what they have and get more. They scream socialism and hand-outs when this lowly 90% of the population receives anything that would help level the playing field just a little bit. Obama is our best hope to break through this very strong wall of resistance.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  124. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    It's no joke – we need a real swap called "Trading Places"!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  125. Jim Blevins

    While the effects on children are probably most important, this is just a subset of the extreme disparity in income in America. Bring up wealth redistribution and some people think that you are attacking the foundations of America - the same America founded with the words, "all men are created equal". While I certainly don't suggest going to the extreme proposed by Karl Marx, it is absurd that money changers take home hundreds of millions of dollars a year while hundreds of thousands of children are hungry.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  126. barbara rees

    Jack: 1 in 5 children living below the poverty level is appalling for the super power that the US is. As an educator, I worry about children daily. They are our future and from this statistic it looks like we are headed down the toilet! Let's work in the direction of putting more money in their direction for education and less towards war and government waste.
    Thanks for keeping this issue in the face of all Americans.
    BJ, Salida, CO

    June 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  127. Travis in Tokyo

    It means more people looking to religion as to why their lives aren't as good as others.
    It means more people will vote "Joe 6-packs" instead of actual intelligent people and then they will complain that the government is so stupid that they cant get anything done... duh, you've voted for people like M.Bachman, or S.Palen... stupid people need to stay in the back water BFE towns that they came from... just because you have charisma and can pull hoods over stupid people's faces, does not mean you can run a state, much less a country.

    if this continues, the US will fall off the seat as the worlds hegemonic power

    June 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  128. A. Shah

    This is simply a disgrace that a country that is supposed to be the most advanced in the world can't even provide basic needs to the future of the country. Not to mention that we have 14-Trillion dollar debt that we plan to give to these same kids as their welcome present and expect them to "bail" out the bad policies of past and current administrations. We seriously need to get out of the conflicts and spend that money at home to fix just these very things. we are working to help other countries and fix their problems but will those same countries come and fix ours when we are a mess in next 10 years?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  129. bobby

    jack my wife is a teacher here in new york city and we see it every day kid's coming to school hungry and sleepy and some time she need to take them to the bathroom to wash up and this is at the star of the day
    i just think we need to have a way to safe our kid's because they grow up
    and there mad
    let's all help our kid's no matter what color they are and we could do it by giving there parents JOBS

    June 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  130. Jonathan

    It means continued government deficit spending as these impoverished families rightly collect government entitlement benefits just to survive. It's been rightly said that the deficit can't be brought under control without bringing entitlement programs under control, but with 20% of our children in poverty, that just can't happen.

    Scranton, PA

    June 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  131. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    It means my voluntary job after retirement – assisting at soup kitchens – is guaranteed job security.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  132. Mark from Boston


    It holds the "New Normal"...
    We've called our elders and pleaded with them to save us a piece of the "pie" we helped pay for. With a mouth full they respond, "you'd better hurry it's almost gone." The only people not suffering "as much" in this depression are those receiving "entitlements" . Since they helped pay for it, some of them feel they're entitled to eat it all while our generation will be left to starve. They hold T-Parties one day and cash their entitlement checks the next.

    Pardon us if we hope you choke.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  133. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Not much unless we take religion out of politics and allow all forms of birth control (including abortion) to be absolutely free and reduce our population growth so that there will be more resources for each person.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  134. Renee

    Would you please post or email me the name of the organization that did the study? The issue of decreasing education for our kids is really important to us as we're working to improve kid's literacy.



    June 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  135. Lyndsay

    And now due to the oil spill caused by corporate greed and shortcuts, there will be more people filing for welfare and food stamps. Until we stop companies from unscrupulous practices by taking their lobbying money, we will can continue to spiral downward. The problem is we just don't care about our fellow man anymore. It is everyone out for themselves. I don't have a penny to my name and work a 8.50 an hour job. But everytime my company does a chairity drive, I will give no matter what. You would be suprised how many people who will spend hundreds of dollars in filet mignons and lobster tails, can't even contribute 1.00 to help hungry kids when asked at the check out. It's all greed pure and simple.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  136. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    allow me to be cynical here with clarity as you write : A new study shows the economic well-being of families has plummeted to levels not seen since the 1970s... thanks to the recession, job losses and declines in income.

    So Jack, how has the economic policies and the attitudes and judgments in regards to the sick and to the poor since the 70s has worked for the majority of people for the long term and for future generations for that every child out of 5...I would even question that number!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  137. Ken in NC

    I would say the future holds about 20% less of a chance for kids today than it did for kids when I came along. What worries me is that we grew up poor and all had to work and share everything and the kids of middle class families that fall on hard times today will not be able to cope because they have never been poor. They will really suffer.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  138. Overby from Melbourne

    One in five children in poverty? The Gulf ruined? Five U.S. states being ruined? The millions of Americans in those states having their lives ruined? What's it matter as long as we can watch the Prez and his wife grooving and swaying and soaking up all that excess and self-indulgence with a private Paul McCartney concert....all is well with him, and that's what counts.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  139. Pat G - hopeful


    This is terribly depressing news. I'm a mother of 4 teen/young adults. I am also an unemployed college graduate in NH, but I am trying, with all my resilient being, to remain hopeful.

    take care,


    June 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  140. joe

    What is the future?More outsourcing of good paying jobs,and more illegal aliens,and any other thing buisness can think of to push wages down.But hey its just buisness as they say.Gotta get that low cost provider.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  141. frankie

    There should not be one single public school in any city or state, where the wealthiest and most successful people in that city or state would not want to send their children. It was terrifying to me to hear Rand Paul say that offering everyone "school choice" would answer this problem. He probably thought the poorest residents of New Orleans should have been able to swim away to safety by themselves. Life for all American children will only improve when America has the will to improve life for everyone rather than a fear of "sharing the wealth."

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  142. Nikki

    The future still holds promise. If you have only lemons.. make lemonade. All across our country there are poverty stricken areas. Each person has potential and power to change their situation.
    Our country is one of faith, integrity and ingenuity! We will defy the odds in time!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  143. Jessica

    I grew up in what is called a working poor family. It instilled in me a drive to do better. I am 29 now with no kids and it looks like it will remain that way. Our economy is too unstable for me to even consider having a child. Regardless of whether you have a job or not kids still have to be fed.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  144. concernedvoter

    We as Americans must repent and trull become a country of God,,instaed of hypocrites such as the Republican agenda. Foxnews is part of the blame for the confusion

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  145. Jim

    What the poor tax paying families should do is go to Mexico and become citizens of Mexico,Then sneek in the USA and get everything for free and you don't even have to pay taxes.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  146. Greg from Austin

    It is means that there will be more single parent births, yet another crime wave leveled by additional draconian laws and new prisons to be built. This time we will build more security gates around our existing gates, as arbitrated by our personal wealth; just like Manhattan has already become. What shame this great nation; let them eat cake.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  147. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    At least this time, we've got a right to bear arms. Get ready for the second Revolutionary War!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  148. RanDe

    Not since the 70s you mean not since Jimmy Carter was president have things been so bad, poverty can only be arrested by private interprise jobs not government jobs, and less goernment not more. Things will only get worst until the socialistic loving democrats are voted out.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  149. Myles

    What does it all mean? It means a future generation filled with stories of perseverance. Look at the history of America and you will find thousands of stories of people beating the odds and lifting themselves up by their bootstraps. When the going gets tough the tough get going. Get going.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  150. Rob Florida

    This is exactly where the unregulated capitalists wants its future citizens, uneducated, poor, desperate, and easy to control. Private industry now run our schools, prisons, and everything else. This is part of the plan.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  151. Caryl Zook

    This is not a new phenomenon. Right wingers cry socialism, but in Europe, children and families get the support of the societies in which they live. Less stress = better healthy, more productivity, fewer family distress. The ONLY REASON we here in the US have substandard housing, education, healthcare, elder care, child care, environmental protection, fair lending protection, sustainable energy innovation is because OUR representatives are corporate owned. Profit is all they care about, while the rest of work two jobs and can never get ahead.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  152. sensiblevoter

    Big I's and little you's are the problem.When something is done to help the poorwe holler not with my taxes

    June 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  153. Angela Charlotte, NC

    I hate to mention the words Third World Country Jack, but having lived in Europe for many years, one cannot help but notice the difference in health care, social services and employment laws. For instance, no company in Europe would dare fire a person without due process. The laws here are Draconian.
    Some employers continue to pay low wages, with no benefits, and are now getting around existing laws with only employing part timers to whom they offer no benfits.
    It will take a social revolution to improve the lot of middle and working America. Costs will continue to rise, companies will continue to go overseas to cheaper labor, wages will be kept down, and the gap between the have's and the have nots will rise. Politicians under the influence of lobbyists will continue to avoid the necessary legislation to change things. What else can I say?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  154. Tom in Soquel CA

    It is time to hold the wealthy 1%'s feet to the fire. They enjoy the protections of society as they stand on the backs of the working class. They have manipulated the government to their gain, taking advantage of the law and throwing money at issues that are only advantageous to the themselves. The rich are the downfall of the American dream, as they are the ones perpetuating the belief that greed is good. I say to all the wealthy people out there, that it is time for you to step-up and be a good American, and do what is best for your nation.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  155. Patrick

    I work in education and see the effects of children living in poverty everyday. There are some horrible stories that sound like situations a person would find in a "3rd world country". I serve a rural school district in Alabama where the jobless rate is 20%. There are no jobs and no hope to have jobs. Assessed property values are plumeting dwindling our local funding streams to nothing. The truly remarkable part: our teachers are still meeting and exceeding academic standards set by NCLB. The Feds are not relaxing standards because we are suffering–they are actually raising accountability measures. Where is the justice in that?

    June 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  156. Mike

    As I read this headline today I wonder how many mre children will be added to the poverty rolls? As we give more jobs away.

    "GM, Ford Boost Mexico Output With $26-a-Day Workers"
    Mexico’s gains will come at the expense of workers in the U.S. and Canada, said Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consulting Inc

    June 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  157. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    It means that since the evolution of mankind that all great societies based on greed, absolute power, and instant gratification always fall in the end But those societies based on compassion, gratitude, and love always seem to go on.

    Tens of thousands of years and we have yet to figure this out.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  158. Stephen Charchuk

    The right-wingers' solution? More of the same dysfunctional policies which created this mess.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  159. Linda in Arizona

    What does the future hold in any case? Let's look at it this way: anywhere you look, it doesn't look good.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  160. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    It shows we cannot employ, n or take care of the world! WE ARE BROKE!!

    June 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  161. Brian Cowen

    The fact that any child in the world living in poverty is very heartbreaking, but knowing that 1/5 of America's children alone live in poverty is astronomical, and unexceptable. This is going back to the financial crisis when corporate executives are spending their money on private planes and yachts, instead of worrying about the future of our children. But in the end we have nobody else to blame but ourselves. We've lost sight of the fact that poverty exists in America, and the children and their families are suffering the consequences. Along with helping already existing organizations, we need to start forming new organizations on helping families living in harsh conditions getting secure jobs, better housing, healthy living habbits, but most importantly, ensuring that the children recieve a full education system that would help them live a better life style in their future. After all, the future of America depends on our childrens future.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  162. Ron in Sequim, WA

    I grew up under the poverty level in the 60’s, 70’s & early 80’s; at times we were forced to seek financial assistance but I never lacked for love or good ole fashioned values. I went on to graduate college, serve my country and earn a pretty decent living ($90K+). I don’t begrudge my early financial status at all – just the opposite – it taught me the value of a $, a strong work ethic and to be thankful for what I had. My kids are learning the same ethos – they are not needy but not spoiled either – a little austerity can spur one on to great things – have faith.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  163. Jerry Durnil

    Poverty, hunger, and low wages are all a planned process to turn the United states into a third world country. A very wealthy upper class and a very impoverished lower class. It all started with the movement of jobs overseas. he breaking up of the unions was the next step. This all leads back to a business model being taught in our business schools. The bottom line is the most important aspect of our current economic model. Disregard any moral implication this system may expose. Raise the fear of job loss to keep protest to minimum. keep the majority of people off balance with economic and environmental chaos. Would you rather have 3 billion consumers making an average of $25,000.00 a year or have 300,000,000 making $70,000.00 per year. Sounds like a conspiracy theory ? Show me which facts are wrong.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  164. Tavora

    My heart breaks but I know this experience all too well. They will struggle....and struggle HARD. They will see that there is the potential out there to grow and be successful in this world (particularly in America) but its more a question of will they have the CONFIDENCE to know (and believe) that they deserve the things they wish/desire to gain in this life (despite the challenges/obstacles they're up against). If they can ignore the labels, tune out the naysayers and find the resolve (and strength) to utilize every bit of resource out there......there will be a silver lining....but its an incredible shame that we (US) has been negligent as a country.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  165. Richard Green

    It means we're coming out of 8 years of Bush handouts to the rich. Real income for the middle class went nowhere during his time in office, the number in poverty increased, and he left us a crater of debt we'll never be able to fill. Why anyone would want to put the same party back in power that did this to us is beyond me. We've got a long row to hoe.

    San Clemente, Ca

    June 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  166. Antonia

    If I recall correctly Jimmy Carter said this was the path we were on...I also remember him putting solar panels on the Whitehouse.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  167. Karl from SF, CA

    The starving kids in those ads will soon our own.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  168. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We won't be seeing ads saying $1 will feed a child for a year in this country.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  169. Scott Stodden

    Jack I live in the projects where I live and I see children everyday living in poverty! There parents don't care about them, they don't eat nuturitous food, there always getting kicked out of school and nobody cares, if the economy dosen't change and fast it simply means the children of the future will have a long hard life to live and quite possibly never have a chance at life-its sad and disgusting!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    June 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  170. Duop Chak, Colorado

    This is a worrisome turn heading toward non-American tradition.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  171. Olga O. Pina

    If we don't take care of our own children, the future is dismal.

    Charity begins at home.

    Austin, Texas

    June 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm |