Jacology: We’re #31

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(KPLR) - If running your mouth counted, the United States should be the best country in the world for children. Our politicos love to blather about family values.  They talk about things being family friendly. They keep introducing legislation to protect kids before they're even born. So we care deeply about kids, apparently right up until the moment when they pop out of the womb. After that, sorry kid; you're on your own.

I mention that because the Save The Children Foundation, which works on behalf of children around the world, is out with its latest rankings for kid's welfare. Their children's index is actually pretty simple. It asks three questions. How many kids per one thousand die before age five? How many kids are enrolled in pre-school before kindergarten? How many kids are enrolled in primary and secondary schools?  That's it.

And out of the world's 44 most developed countries, how did kids in America rank? Don't ask. We came in at number 31. According to their index, children in most developed countries are healthier, safer and better educated than American kids. Among them, Croatia, which was ripped apart by war 20 years ago. Belarus, a former Soviet Republic covered with radiation by the Chernobyl meltdown. Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Greece are all better places for kids than the U.S.

So what makes a good place for kids? Ready? Socialism. At least that's what opponents call it when countries have government-funded pediatric and pre-natal care. Where moms get paid maternity leave. But here, we'd never think of blaming kids problems on lousy social policy. We just say it’s because of bad parents. It's easier that way.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.