"As we look around the world today, we're confronted with an uncomfortable but undeniable truth: Millions of children's lives are blighted, for no other reason than the country, the community, the gender or the circumstances into which they are born," UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake writes in his introduction to the report (pdf).All true. But you have to have children experiencing childhood differently in order to see blighted lives, opportunities to earn a decent living, and the rest.
"Before they draw their first breath," he continues, "the life chances of poor and excluded children are often being shaped by inequities. Disadvantage and discrimination against their communities and families will help determine whether they live or die, whether they have a chance to learn and later earn a decent living. Conflicts, crises and climate-related disasters deepen their deprivation and diminish their potential."
"Taken together," the report reads, "these deprivations effectively cut childhood short, robbing millions of children of the very things that define what it is to be a child: play, laughter, growth and learning."That used to be the reality for children everywhere. At best, a few opportunities to mess about with a hoop and a stick, or to hang out whilst fetching water. Neither the Common Dreams article nor the home page for the UN report get into policy implications.
That's my job. We have some children able to be children (that is, if their parents don't overschedule them) because some children grow up in productive economies and some don't. But it's going to take a great intellectual transformation for the people at Common Dreams and in the United Nations to start encouraging people in the third world to thrive in bourgeois society rather than agitating to wreck it. Thus Knowledge Problem.
Market processes and the price system enable people pursuing their own life projects to coordinate their actions and plans in ways that allocate the resources that enable people to fulfill those projects. That’s how we flourish. That’s part of how we lead fulfilling lives. That’s a big part of how we live together in peace.Yes, and market processes reduce global poverty and lift up the middle class. More on that in a few days.