American kids aren't well off compared to many of those overseas, and growing income inequality is largely to blame, says Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University.
"The U.S., with its cherished image as a land of opportunity, should be an inspiring example of just and enlightened treatment of children. Instead, it is a beacon of failure," he writes on Project Syndicate.
"Though an average American childhood may not be the worst in the world, the disparity between the country’s wealth and the condition of its children is unparalleled."
Our childhood poverty rate is 19.9 percent, the highest among all developed countries, except Romania.
"None of this is because Americans do not care about their children," Stiglitz says. "It is because America has embraced a policy agenda in recent decades that has caused its economy to become wildly unequal, leaving the most vulnerable segments of society further and further behind."
There's simply less money to spend on public investment for children, he notes.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan expressed concern about income inequality ina February address to the National Association of Business Economists.
"I consider income inequality the most dangerous part of what’s going on in the United States," he said.
"You can see the deteriorating impact of that on our current political system, and you cannot talk about politics without talking about its impact on the economy."
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