Alabama is one of the worst places to grow up as a child in poverty, according to a list published at Salon.com.
The list is generated by ranking the states according to child poverty rates. Then the article’s author, AlterNet deputy managing editor Tana Ganeva, identifies what she calls “some of the unhelpful policy decisions” put into force by governments in each state.
(The ranking by child poverty rate essentially mirrors the list generated by kidscount.org, which is based on Census data.)
In Alabama, an estimated 27.5 percent of children live in poverty, Ganeva says.
Ganeva gives Gov. Robert Bentley credit for being aware of the situation. In fact, the Alabama’s struggle with poverty was mentioned in the fourth sentence of the governor’s recent State of the State address.
“Everyone in this room knows Alabama is one of the poorest states in America, where one in four children live in poverty,” he said.
But Ganeva diverges with the governor when it comes to explaining why Alabama’s kids are so often poor. In his state address, Bentley cited Ronald Reagan, attributing the state’s problems to what the 40th president of the United States called the “spider’s web of dependency.”
Ganeva disputes that, saying that many Alabamians who receive benefits assistance from the government are also working. In her own story she cites a column submitted by Kimble Forrester, executive director of the Arise Citiezns’ Policy Project in Alabama, to AL.com.
“Though most of Alabama’s state ‘poverty dollars’ go to children or senior citizens who can’t work, the next largest amount goes to workers who cannot survive on their paychecks alone,” Forrester wrote.