There’s a lot of talk about America’s future in the race for president these days.
For some, the country is headed in the wrong direction. For others, we’re on the right track.
Much of the debate has centered around the economy, ISIS, immigration, international trade and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Depending on your political bent, we’re either doomed to destruction or destined for greatness.
Never miss a local story.
But what I don’t hear being discussed is how to better invest in our children. And that goes for both Republicans and Democrats.
President John F. Kennedy once said: “Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
So, tell me, why does the United States rank ninth among 19 of the world’s wealthiest nations when it comes to child wellbeing?
That finding was recently released by an organization called Save the Children, which produces an annual Child Prosperity Index based on health, education, income, safety, employment, gender equality, infrastructure and environment.
Save the Children released the index in preparation for a G20 summit that will be held in China this September. Germany ranked number one for child wellbeing for the second year in a row, followed by France and Japan.
The U.S. scored below average on environment, health and gender equality, and came in 10th on safety because of high homicide rates.
When it came to education, the U.S. was outranked by China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Canada, Germany , Australia, the UK and France.
The U.S. did best in the income category, but the news wasn’t great there either. While we had the highest per capita income among the 19 countries, we only ranked fifth for income due to income inequality. Go figure.
“The United States may be the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world,” said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. ”But we are far from number one in helping children realize their full potential. Millions of children are paying the price and we must do better.”
Miles said the index also reflects some great advancements in child wellbeing around the world, such as the dramatic increase in school attendance and reductions in child mortality rates in India.
“But the poorest children in both wealthy and developing nations still face unacceptable risks of preventable death and educational and economic exclusion,” she said. The United States is no exception.
So, while Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump slug it out on the campaign trail, I want to hear more about what they plan to do to fix our nation’s educational system so every child has a fighting chance. I want know how they plan to reduce a homicide rate that robs us of so much human potential. I want to know what will be done about employment opportunities for the next generation.
It may be wishful thinking, but our future is at stake.