Monday, April 03, 2006

Concerns about poverty's impact on children in Finland

Finland is a country of some 4 million people, so news that 100,000 children are living below the poverty line (though I'm not sure what the 'poverty line' measure is) catches the attention of many. A lively discussion carried out on the Finland for Thought blog.

In a socialist country, the biggest concern is how being economically underprivileged negatively impacts the future of these children:

Children and the youth are evermore clearly divided into the offspring of the well-off and the poor, claims professor Veli-Matti Ritakallio from the University of Turku

Today, 100,000 Finnish children live below the poverty line. The situation for families dependent on subsistence support has worsened in the past ten years. A person on subsistence support has to get by with 11 euros per day.
This trend also holds in the US. Sure, there is the 'American Dream' and the belief that if you do your best, it is possible to improve yourself. Yes, I do believe it is, but you are certainly starting with a major handicap if you are not economically well off.


Maiju said...

There are over 5 million people living in Finland and i wouldn't call Finland a socialist country.

Peanut's Mom said...

You're right Maiju on both points - more people and social democracy would be more accurate.

I had meant more of a socially minded society which is concerned about the welfare of the entire population and seeks to maintain an even distribution of wealth and its privileges.

Rowan said...

The problem with the "American Dream" in the US is that the government is less willingly to help those that really need it and, IMO, give too much help to those that don't.

But this is probably the same everywhere.

Granted, I think hard work pays off usually, but sometimes not even hard work is enough to make ends meet, you know?