More than 10 million American children lived below the poverty line before the COVID-19 crisis, and now, with months of school closures, rising food insecurity and increasing unemployment, the situation has become even more dire for low-income families.
Federal spending on children in the US has lagged well behind other wealthy nations for years, and the country has not done nearly enough to fight child poverty, according to Melissa Kearney, a professor of economics at The University of Maryland and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kearney has a bold idea about how to turn the tide, though. If every needy youngster was given the average Social Security benefit (normally distributed to just those 65 and older), we could eradicate child poverty in America — all it would require is the political will, she says.
Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.