We’re Still #1… in Infant Mortality

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Last Mother’s Day, Save the Children released some statistics noting that infant mortality rates in the United States were ridiculously high compared to other “developed” countries, especially if you just look at infant mortality rates among African-Americans or Native Americans.

Now for a long time, many critics of these numbers have suggested that it’s all a mirage, a trick of accounting, supposedly caused by the fact that other countries don’t try to save as many babies as we do and hence count all those extra deaths as stillbirths. But over at Alas, a Blog, Ampersand looks at this claim and finds that it’s quite wrong; the United States really does have a much higher infant mortality rate than other industrialized countries. Whether that’s because of our inequitable health care system or environmental factors or pervasive poverty is up in the air, but there’s no question that the problem exists.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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