Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For the children

I've mocked "for the children" as a political slogan. It's just so touchy-feely.

But of course it's true that Republicans and conservatives enact policies that thin the herd. Even when those in the herd are too young to fend for themselves.

We're not talking about soft stats here, either. This is about living and dying and suffering from poverty.


daniel noe said...

I suspect it has more to do with other differences between North and South. Does anyone know the direct cause of the problem?

lovable liberal said...

Correlation isn't cause, but...

People, especially children, die from lack of health care. The Republican view that the market will provide is demonstrably false, yet they persevere in claiming it will. Meanwhile, infant mortality is much higher in the South.

Poverty kills, more slowly. The South is objectively poorer, and I could make claims about why. Lack of commitment to the commonweal, as expressed in low investment in public education is one fact that explains some of the difference. The South has an even more anti-intellectual culture than America as a whole, which says something, and what it says ain't good.

Cars kill. Child mortality is much lower now than it was in the 1960s, and the main source of decrease is auto safety, which came from government mandates mainly championed by national Democrats (and not Southerners, even though many were at the time the conservative wing of the Democratic Party).

The legacy of Jim Crow still echoes in the South. All the measures of the South's backwardness in this report are worse for black people than they are for white people. But they're still pretty bad for white people.

If you have other ideas, well, make your case. Skepticism is fine, but it can't be the whole story. What do you have to offer in explanation?

daniel noe said...

I can't think of any alternatives. I don't believe contagions are any more of a problem than in the north. I doubt there are enough cases of heatstroke to matter. Perhaps their diet differs...nah. Tornadoes?
It would help if we knew the direct causes of death and then traced them back to specific policies. This may never be possible though, since many subtle factors can decrease one's health and resilience.
I think poverty is a good guess. Could lingering racism be hurting business?