Saturday, January 21, 2012

The struggle to overcome

Are we all born equal? Is a child a "clean slate"? If poor children are given the right educational opportunities will they flourish? How does one break cycles of poverty? Does early childhood trauma have long term effects (esp. on brain hardware?)

My darling wife brought to my attention a fascinating New Times Op-Ed piece about a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediactrics. Here is an extract:
This new research addresses an uncomfortable truth: Poverty is difficult to overcome partly because of self-destructive behaviors. Children from poor homes often shine, but others may skip school, abuse narcotics, break the law, and have trouble settling down in a marriage and a job. Then their children may replicate this pattern. 
Liberals sometimes ignore these self-destructive pathologies. Conservatives sometimes rely on them to blame poverty on the poor.
I think there are also issues here for Christians, particularly those who want to reduce everything to a spiritual battle.

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