For the very few technicians among my few readers, this is obviously an ecological association, but still this makes a strong argument for fighting poverty seriously. Note that "relative poverty" is relative to the country's wealth (below 50% of median household income); it is not an absolute number.
The authors of the commentary,* which is the source of this note, point out that the UK, France, Australia, New Zealand and the US all have relative child poverty rates above 25% before (THAT"S THE IMPORTANT PART) any welfare benefits or effects of taxation. Now, after considering the effect of taxation and benefits [effectively socially-progressive** measures] this relative child poverty drops down as follows:
- France: from 28% to 7%;
- England, Australia and New Zealand: from about 28% to 15%; and
- US: from 27% to only 22%.
Certainly, being 'pro-life', we will pay attention to this and consider the value for a nation of actively protecting the poor and equally actively fighting poverty. (For a bit of practical thinking about poverty and 'class', read the very personal account of Robb.)
Peace / Shalom / Salaam, is also found in preserving our children from the aggression of poverty.
* Source: Relative Child Poverty, Income Inequality, Wealth, and Health. Eric Emerson. JAMA. 2009;301(4):425-426.
** The funny thing is that my readers from any country but the US just skim over a word like "socially progressive"; for Americans we're working at reintroducing a sound appreciation for well-designed and managed social programs (yes, we can?)--reversing 25 years of Reaganism and anti-poor policies.
*** Yes I'm happy to brag, when - for once - the French get it right.