Eppard and McLaughlin: The cost of child poverty is high for all of us | Chroniclers

Compared to the non-poor, poor children as a group end up with poorer education, health and economic productivity as adults. But we believe that society, and not just the poor, also bears the costs of child poverty. Our research indicates that the societal economic costs associated with child poverty cost the state of Virginia approximately $ 24 billion annually.

Like many problems in life, it is much cheaper to prevent poverty than to pay to deal with the consequences. We estimate that for every dollar spent on reducing child poverty, society saves at least seven dollars against the economic costs of poverty.

Conservatives and Liberals disagree on what causes poverty and how to deal with it. Both probably agree, however, that it is better to pay less than pay more.

Now consider the inequality. As in most states, communities in Virginia are highly unequal on a number of indicators, including socio-economic and educational profiles, degree of racial segregation, quality of institutions (including schools), stability populations, available peer networks, available adult role models and adult supervision, degree of social cohesion, prevalence of violence / gangs, predominant family structures, and local marriage and labor markets, to name a few only a few.

Conservatives and Liberals agree that no matter where you start in life, they should have access to the American Dream. Unfortunately, such community inequalities restrict this access. Studies using big data to compare the performance of American adults to characteristics of the communities in which they grew up reveal strong correlations. These data suggest that a variety of community-level characteristics influence whether or not people become successful adults.

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