Whoo hooo. I installed XP SP2, and my computer and my wireless connection are both still functional.
Jen asked the darn good question of why the US doesn't do more about child poverty. Is it just that children don't vote (and old people do)?
I think that's part of the story, but only a part. After all, children don't vote in Europe either, and almost all European countries have a much more extensive safety net. And middle-class children are subsidized through the tax system, especially in the wake of the Bush tax cuts.
So what's going on?
In particular, I wonder why there's essentially no discussion in the US about a universal child stipend, available to upper income families as well as poor families, as many European countries have. Some liberal policy wonks have circulated a proposal for universal child credit through the tax system, but it doesn't seem to have gotten any serious public attention.
My cynical thought is that the countries that have more pro-child policies are less ethnically and racially diverse, and so there's more of a willingness to subsidize other people's kids, but I haven't looked at the data to see if that's true.
It's also worth noting one major exception to the overall trend: Over the past 6 or so years, almost all low-income children have become eligible for public health insurance. Children are actually quite inexpensive to insure, so it didn't cost a ton of money, and it's such an obviously good idea that Congress was willing to do it, even without a huge public outcry demanding it.