Bernie Sanders is an independent, socialist Senator from Vermont. He happens to be my hero. Anyway, here he writes a letter on the recent story that the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population but nearly a quarter of its prisoners.
To the Editor:
There is an important point to add. The United States has, by far, the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country — almost 20 percent.
Unlike other industrialized countries, quality and affordable child care in our country is largely unavailable for low- and moderate-income families.
Further, many of these low-income kids attend underperforming schools and drop out of high school at very high rates. To nobody’s surprise, a lot of these ignored, jobless and poorly educated youngsters then engage in destructive and criminal activity.
Perhaps if we adequately invested in the low-income children of this country, we could produce citizens who work and pay taxes, rather than criminals who cost us $50,000 a year to incarcerate.
U.S. Senator from Vermont
Washington, April 23, 2008
I couldn’t agree more.