Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical service, published data on poverty and social exclusion risks for EU citizens in 2011, showing completely disappointing results. The interesting thing, however, is that Eurostat didn’t release similar data for previous years for comparison reasons. Given that the much-advertised by the Brussels EU bureaucracy, “Europe 2020 strategy”, has set as its main target the reduction of the number of persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU, this could lead a suspicious researcher to think that this strategy is a complete failure.
If this is the case, the European Commission must be held responsible for withholding vital information over a crucial issue, by not publishing older data permitting time comparisons. The same suspicious researcher could think that this quite unacceptable practice of hiding statistical data could be related to a severe deterioration of the poverty and social exclusion risks during the past few years.
Obviously, this deplorable development may be related to the other completely failed strategy imposed by the Commission on many EU member states and more so in those countries under direct Commission’s guidance, namely Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. Obviously, the front loaded fiscal correction programmes imposed by Brussels and Berlin with an iron hand on many EU countries, is leading to a severe deterioration of poverty and social exclusion data. It is probably exactly this Eurostat wants to hide from the eyes of journalists and researches.
Let’s return, however, to the data for 2011 and their presentation as released by Eurostat. The conclusion Eurostat chooses to promote as its most important observation is the fact, which the risks of poverty and social exclusion for children less than 18 years of age are decreasing with the educational level of their parents. As if such a costly operation was needed, for a sound minded statistician, to arrive at this conclusion.
Eurostat promotes ideology?
Seemingly, Eurostat follows in this affair the ideological guidelines of Commission’s leadership, to advertise the rightfulness of the prerogative of the upper and more educated classes. The problem is, however, that Eurostat tells nothing about the inverse relationship that is between education attainments and parents’ income. In short, Eurostat again is caught not to tell the whole truth, because it hides the well-known and long-established by educational economists positive relation between parents’ income and education achievements.
In short, the grand parents’ income defined the risks of poverty and social exclusion of today’s children of less than 18 years of age, through the strong relation between their grand-parents income and the educational level of their parents. Yes, Mr Ollie Rehn, in our brave new world the basic variable is the income and not the educational level, as you want to make us believe.
Let’s now give the floor to Eurostat. The most important parts of its press release go as follows: “In the EU27 in 2011, 27% of children aged less than 18 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Risk of poverty decreases with increasing education level of parents…compared with 24% of adults (aged 18-64) and 21% of the elderly (aged 65 and over). Persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion are those who are at least in one of the following three conditions: living with disposable income below 60% of the national median or being severely materially deprived or live in households with very low work intensity.
In 2011, the highest shares of those age d less than 18 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion were registered in Bulgaria (52%), Romania (49%), Latvia (44%), Hungary (40%) and Ireland (38% in 2010), and the lowest in Sweden, Denmark and Finland (all 16%), followed by Slovenia (17%), the Netherlands (18%) and Austria (19%)”.
Eurostat keeps relating parents’ educational level with the risks of poverty and social exclusion for children under 18 as follows: “Looking in more detail at monetary poverty, almost half of all children whose parents had a low education level (at the most lower secondary education) were at risk of poverty in the EU27 in 2011, compared with 22% of children residing with parents who had a median education level (at the most upper secondary education) and 7% of children with parents with a higher education level (tertiary education)”.
The insistence of Eurostat to relate parents’ income with the risk of poverty and social exclusion of children is an infallible witness that this is an ideologically imposed tactic. As we proved above, family income is the first and prime causality for children’s welfare and not parents’ education. The educational level is just an interfering variable, which transmit the prerogative of wealth through education. If there were a better way to transmit this prerogative, the wealthy people would have chosen that one. Isn’t it like that Mr Rehn? Think about your parents and grand-parents.