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The Lake News Online
  • Guest column: George is an exceptional child, all right

  • Last week, a lot of people were carping about the media's gaga coverage of the birth of Prince George, the newest heir to the British Crown.
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  • Last week, a lot of people were carping about the media's gaga coverage of the birth of Prince George, the newest heir to the British Crown.
    Granted, a baby-naming doesn't qualify as breaking news, as some outlets treated it, and reports that people are scrambling to buy the same kind of receiving blanket and car seat he was taken home in are too ludicrous for words.
    But really, what's so awful about being happy for a young couple who's starting a family?
    Maybe the annoyance comes from the fact that George is one of the luckiest humans on the planet.
    Not only is he already richer than you'll ever be, he also already has a job awaiting him that includes lifetime security and free food, rent and transportation.
    He could be an underachiever the likes of Bart Simpson and it wouldn't matter — all because he picked the right parents.
     
     
    GOOD ODDS
    Because little George will have automatic access to the best schools, medical facilities, child care and nutrition, his odds of becoming a successful adult are astronomical.
    Now, had he been born to a family in, say, Owsley County, Ky., he probably wouldn't have even running water or electricity.
    The median household income there is $19,351, with 40 percent of families living below the federal poverty line.
    In some parts of Appalachia, George might even have to undergo post-natal treatment to ensure he was weaned from the methamphetamine to which so many new mothers are addicted.
    Had he been born to parents living in Detroit, his mum and dad could well be unemployed, or certainly not making a livable wage.
    George probably would be wearing donated diapers and drinking formula provided by a public assistance program.
    He would be enrolled in a series of dilapidated, overcrowded and underperforming schools.
    On the way home from these schools, he might or might not be robbed or shot.
    Even then, he would be slightly better off than if he were living on some Native American reservations where the median income is zero.
     
    LAND OF ORPHANS
    And yet, even that beats a first birthday in Afghanistan, where the infant mortality rate is the world's highest at 119 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the World Health Organization.
    It's highly doubtful George will ever contract polio because he wasn't conceived in Pakistan, where some parents think vaccines are part of a nefarious, infidel plot, so kids are being crippled by a disease that has been eradicated in all but three countries over the last 60 years.
    Page 2 of 2 - His chances of becoming an orphan would be fairly high if he had taken his first breaths in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the land is pockmarked with the graves of mothers and fathers who have died from AIDS and its complications.
    If Prince George is ever hungry, it won't be because there isn't enough to eat, unlike the 870 million people around the world who don't get a proper daily meal, no matter how hard they work.
    Because the prince's energy won't be consumed with maintaining basic survival, he'll never have to hear that if he just tried a little harder, he might just get somewhere.

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