News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The Wound that Festers

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Wound that Festers

What Katrina did was far more than display to the world that bureaucratic ineptitude is a universal. The storm in the Gulf of Mexico also shred the thick curtain that hid an ugly truth about the USA: while many gorge themselves on the riches of the world, a significant minority live in a poverty that many Americans do not want to know about. Until Americans wake up to this fact, no solemn hymns to God and self-righteous platitudes about spreading freedom to the world will be heard without many hearing the hollow sound of hypocrisy.

The United Nations has recently documented this fact of life that many American know first-hand but which many other Americans would rather shut up in a closet like an abused child.

The embarrassing facts that you might not want to see include the following:

* Child mortality is on the rise in the United States

* The infant mortality rate in the US is now the same as in Malaysia

* Blacks in Washington DC have a higher infant death rate than people in the Indian state of Kerala

* Hispanic Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to have no health cover

* More than a third of the uninsured say that they went without medical care last year because of cost

* Child poverty rates in the United States are now more than 20 per cent

No comments: