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Is America Becoming a Third World Nation for Kids?

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Arianna Huffington's new book "Third World America" (out this week) paints a bleak picture of the dismantling of the middle class. In it, she explains how and why the United States is allegedly becoming a third world nation. With respect to Arianna, I don't see the future as being so dismal.

Is America Becoming a Third World Nation for Kids?
Yes, we are in a financial crisis. Yes, plenty of families are struggling -- big time. And yes, more American kids are hungry and fewer are well-educated than in the last 50 years. But I also see the silver lining: Corporate America is becoming vibrant again, as we have entered the era of "compassionate capitalism." Companies now know that doing good not only benefits the needy, but also helps the bottom line. Savvy consumers are gravitating toward brands that promote social responsibility, and studies are showing that consumers tend to stay loyal to those brands.

Recently, I spoke with some executives at T.J. Maxx. The off-price retailer has teamed with Save the Children to make the back-to-school shopping season a philanthropic experience for parents this year. In an effort to promote green fundamentals, the company is selling reusable tote bags, and the total proceeds will go to Save the Children -- a veteran charity that operates in 14 states and focuses on education, literacy, nutrition and emergency response. (Last year, Save the Children helped 60,000 American kids.) In addition to the reusable shopping bags, T.J. Maxx has spearheaded a Facebook program, too: If you post an image of the shopping bag on your Facebook page, T.J. Maxx will donate a dollar to Save the Children.

Various celebrities at the Teen Choice Awards decorated bags that are being auctioned off right now on eBay. So: Is America becoming "third world"? My hunch is no -- not as long as compassionate capitalism replaces Wall Street greed. We have plenty of children in need in this country. It's up to us to become one giant village to mother them.


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13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Me August 17, 2010, 5:51 AM

Third world country? Quite a stretch there…

anonymous August 17, 2010, 2:06 PM

Hey, how about this. When America’s children live in squalor and don’t have any food, we can call it a Third World Nation for kids. Not before then.

Ashley August 17, 2010, 3:14 PM

I really want to believe what you say is true. This country is in so much debt and Obama’s not really helping matters. The economy still seems pretty shakey. The problem is we’ve realized that ‘compassionate capitalism’ works here in the US, but what about abroad? The fact is our economy is tied to the world! If the market crashes in Japan, we feel it here. If China decides that they don’t want to loan us any more money, chances our we’ll be going bankrupt.

ashley August 18, 2010, 5:04 AM

Yeah, and just wait until we go bankrupt..then China will own us. What happens then??

Kelly August 18, 2010, 7:10 AM

I know this issue is far more in depth than this article. But to anonymous, we have people and children and families living in squalor without any food. Go to Mississippi (for example, there are many others) into their poorest counties and see how those children/families live and what is available to them.

Angel August 18, 2010, 10:45 PM

I think each comment has its value, but to blame Obama etc is not the answer. We are all reponsible for children, just look around and there are hungry children in your neigbourhood. Are you feeding them, teaching them to read? There are many many organizations doing good. No I do not believe we are becoming “the third world” but there are many homeless children who need our help. What are you doing to help?

Anonymous August 19, 2010, 3:43 AM

Kelly and Angel,

Thank you for being the voices of reason. Most comments have become nothing more than political sling shots and goofball rhetoric with no real thought to the subject matter.

cheapviagra7856 August 30, 2010, 5:22 AM
Anonymous September 15, 2010, 5:33 AM

If people put their faith in Corporate America as their savior they are sadly mistaken. The very reason why middle class Americans have no employment is due to the Business class doing what it can to outsource and make big corporate profits with no regard to the employee or community.

As for corporate social consciousness, it does not exist. It has become a big PR scam to fool the public into thinking companies ‘care’ when there is great evidence they do not. Do not be fooled by the advertising they promote.

I am somewhat shocked at the postings I am seeing everywhere on line and how misinformed people have become and how we refuse to hear the truth as it is painful. At some point the truth will be revealed and the longer it takes the more painful the outcome.

If you don’t think American can become a third world nation, then read the history books, the Chapter is called, “The Fall Of Rome”!

arob October 4, 2010, 2:19 AM

Is the author of this article crazy or stupid? “Compassionate capitalism”?

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thomas sabo charms December 20, 2010, 5:04 PM

This post was very well written, and it also contains many useful facts. I enjoyed your distinguished way of writing the post. You have made it very easy for me to understand. just stepped out of a Terminator movie, with a Bluetooth cellphone headset clipped to the ear, and talking into thin air, pretending it is the most natural thing in the world, not to mention ultrachic; perhaps they don’t realize that they look like those early adopter cell phone enthusiasts from all those years ago.

Immobilier Bretagne March 6, 2011, 8:56 PM

WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait .. …


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