The Republicans like to talk about American Exceptionalism and their policies are certainly changing our rankings in the world. (More)

A recent study showed that child poverty has risen in 38 states over the past decade:

Nearly 15 million children, or 20 percent of America’s juvenile population, were living in poverty in 2009, according to a child welfare study released Wednesday.[…]

[T]he report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which noted that the child poverty rate grew about 18 percent over the past decade.

“This is really troubling because we had made so much progress in the 1990s in reducing the percentage of children in poverty,” said Patrick McCarthy, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Essentially the recession has put us back to where we were in the early 1990s.”

What happened in the last decade?

A Republican president took office in 2001 and Republicans won the majority in the Senate in 2003 giving them control of both houses of Congress. Democrats regained majorities in Congress in 2007 but had to share control with a Republican President until 2009.

Power rested in the hands of a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President for only 2 years of the last decade.

American Exceptionalism defined:

American exceptionalism refers to the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other states. Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority, many neoconservative writers have promoted its use in that sense.

American ‘Exceptionalism’ quantified:
– Math ranking at the high school level, 25th in the world

– Science at the high school level, 17th in the world

– Number of college educated young people, 12th in the world

– Child poverty, 2nd in the world (just ahead of Russia)

– Infant mortality, 34th in the world (between Cuba and Malta)

– Firearm deaths amount children, number 1 (2.7 times higher than number 2)

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Is it exceptionally disheartening that child poverty had gone down in the 1990s only to rise again in the 2000s?

Are any of the superior policies being pursued by the 112th Congress working to improve our rankings on child poverty, infant mortality and education?

Should one be exceptionally careful when claiming to be exceptional?

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