Is there any statistic more illustrative of the nature of contemporary capitalism—especially the effects of the global financial crash and of the so-called recovery—than the rate of child poverty?
According to the most recent UNICEF report (pdf),
The number of children entering into poverty during the recession is 2.6 million higher than the number that have been able to escape from it since 2008 (6.6 million, as against 4 million). Around 76.5 million children live in poverty in the 41 most affluent countries.
In Greece, the child poverty rate almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, from 23 to 40.5 percent! (No doubt it is higher today.)
Not only have the rate and absolute number of poor Greek children risen dramatically, but they have done so in the context of increased severe material deprivation. The proportion of children who are income poor and severely deprived has tripled in Greece between 2008 and 2012.
There ‘s been a great deal of moralizing about Greek debt in recent years. Any new deal for Greece that does not attempt to mitigate the effects of the current crisis on its children fails the most basic test of economic morality.