The United States currently leads the developed world with the highest maternal infanticide rate (an average of 8 deaths for every 100,000 live births, more than twice the rate of Canada). In a systematic analysis of maternal infanticide in the U.S., DeAnn Gauthier and colleagues at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette concluded that this dubious honor falls on us because “extreme poverty amid extreme wealth is conducive to stress-related violence.” Consequently, the highest levels of maternal infanticide were found, not in the poorest states, but in those with the greatest disparity between wealth and poverty (such as Colorado, Oklahoma, and New York with rates 3 to 5 times the national average). According to these researchers, inequality is literally killing our kids. [emphasis mine]So, here we are, in the 21st century dystopia of escalating social inequities that are "literally killing our kids"! Yet, people who should know better, knowingly or unknowingly, continue to advocate the failed philosophy of objectivism, a system that advocates pursuit of rational self-interest, the supremacy of individual rights (selectively applied to the haves), and the cheer-leads for keeping government out of private market interactions (yeah, that worked really well with the banking industry).
But why let facts get in the way of our reality? Let me say it again: "inequality is killing our kids"! And it is doing it by relegating mothers to abuses of abject poverty, to be perpetuated by these holy "free" market forces (which incidentally are not free at all, but are sold to the highest bidder by the government, with each of us standing by eager to defend our own piece of the pie at all costs). This is not just deplorable, it is criminal. These maternal infanticide statistics, along with other less visible abuses concentrated in the socially expendable poor masses are on all our consciences. We may try to evade the crushing weight of this responsibility by robotically parroting free market mantra and personal responsibility lies. This will not change the fact of the blood on our hands.
The level of our healthcare debate is but a symptom of our willingness to walk away from this maternal holocaust. And no, this is not a socialist view, it is not a conspiratorialist view, and it is not anti-freedom view to acknowledge the moral bankruptcy of sweeping this problem, invisible to most of us privileged Americans, under the rug.
The realization is viscerally painful, yet the time has come. For those of us who need scientific evidence before we make any move to change our behaviors, there it is, for the taking. Science has spoken: "inequality is literally killing our kids". This is a call to social action. This is a call to save our future!