that children in poverty have smaller brains than children raised in better economic circumstances. I think we can be fairly certain that malnutrition plays a big role in the underdevelopment of brain function and size in children, and that epigenetic factors like the stresses of poverty (and the stress of a child's parents), factor into this dismaying discovery.
This is why I border on fury with these debates on food assistance in a country where one in five kids last year were on food assistance. (I touched briefly on how almost Puritanical new Kansas welfare regs seem to be in my last post near the end). People who are against government food assistance seem to think that going to bed hungry builds character and turns people into go-getters. What it actually does is cause developmental delays in children and set them up for continued set-backs as an adult, if not encourage generation to generation poverty. When I see a scheme to restrict the kinds of food purchased with food stamps by eliminating classes of healthful proteins like fish and steak (like cans of tuna? skirts steaks? those aren't luxury items), I simply imagine an actual hostility towards the people on this kind of assistance. There is actually little abuse in these programs at all, and if a parent wants to treat their toddler to fishsticks, some high and mighty state legislator shouldn't considering it a sumptuary violation.
Also consider, a lot of people receiving food assistance do work, they just don't make enough to make rent, utilities, and still feed themselves. Is anyone at all confused about food being the fuel humans need to work? So if there really is a bias against food handouts, wouldn't the proper solution be making work pay enough that people could eat decently on their wages?
But it is something to think about. It makes you wonder--or it doesn't--when people who rail against the unfairness of something like the estate tax to the children of the wealthy on one hand, want to cut back on the food going into the mouths of the poor on the other. And that is why I call these blog posts: "Know Your Class War".