More than one out of 10 children in Iowa live in poverty. Almost four in 10 live in households that cannot meet basic needs. More than six out of 10 children in this state are not proficient in reading.
Yet, the bold headline on the front page of The Gazette states that Iowa children are “well off” (“Report finds Iowa children well off,” June 27). To be fair, the article says our high rankings are relative to the rest of the country and indicates that there is room for improvement.
I would say there is a huge need for improvement and, if our state is among the leaders in the U.S., this is a disturbing set of data for one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
We hear regularly about the lowest unemployment in 20 years, great jobs are opening up, how we are “winning” in so many ways, yet the reality tells a much different story. It is indicative of a society in deep decline. We cannot embellish or gloss over our glaring problems and we cannot show any degree of comfort with these numbers.
We need change, huge change and soon. We need to look past the headlines and the braggadocios tweets we get from the White House and focus on the real, pressing problems facing this nation.