Joe Biden’s recent rape/blame the victim comparison blaming poor people and the middle class for destroying the world economy points to a flawed attack on teachers and social workers as the root cause of school and child protection failure is more disturbing than most of us understand.

Politicians make political hay by blaming “civil servants” for a multitude of institutional failures that they themselves are responsible for. It is a poor understanding of underlying issues and lack of concern for the children and poor families that is killing us.

I’ve met hundreds of educators, social workers, and health workers as a volunteer guardian ad-Litem, and almost every single one of them did their work to the best of their abilities and to my knowledge, none of them were in it for the money.

How dumb must we be to accept that when a baby is found in a dumpster it’s the lowly social worker at fault? Or, when attacking the profound problems of education lay our failures at the feet of lazy & overpaid teachers? The work is getting harder every years as poverty, violence, and misery affect more and more children that have to be managed by fewer and fewer teachers, social workers, and health care dollars.

There is no question that poor governance is the root cause of the dramatic collapse in the quality of life indices America has suffered these past twenty years.

The U.S. has have fallen so far that we no longer compare ourselves to the 23 other industrialized nations with 200 year old democracies. These are our peers with the infrastructure and money to provide the highest levels of education, health, and safety within our nation. We should not compare ourselves to Pakistan, Mexico, or Afghanistan, but those nations we have always measured ourselves against.

America has the highest sexually transmitted disease rates, more preteen moms, crime, poverty and criminals than any other industrialized nation.

As a baby boomer that grew up in new schools with good health care and safe streets, it hurts me terribly to see the lack of support for at risk children, education, and healthcare that are necessary to make today’s youth capable of leading productive lives.

*Instead of investing and facilitating progressive programs, our courts and justice system have become our short sighted answer to everything.

This criminal justice policymaking has brought immense suffering to our cities, 13 million prison/jail releases and over 1 trillion dollars in insurance estimates of crime costs last year alone.

We are jailing eleven year olds as adults, denying health care to poor families and seriously troubled children, and trailing the industrialized world in almost all quality of life indices.

In Minnesota, we don’t have six billion dollars for infrastructure and support for social programs over the next two years, but we will pay our share of the Afgan and Iraq wars (sixty billion dollars will be paid by MN taxpayers over the next two years).

Support the people, programs, and policies that bring positive change to our nations youth and stop blaming the people doing the work for the problems of poor governance. Always Vote (it really matters).

Pass this onto people that need to know.

*Terrific article on American prisons from Aljazeera