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The Failure of the War on Poverty

Stherngntlmn

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Wow.. really good article.. I'd appreciate discussing any insightful comments or opinions you might have on the topic.

http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=4209

Well, it’s now official: the war on poverty was a costly, tragic mistake. Ordinary people have suspected that for decades, of course, but we had to wait for the New York Times to decide this news was fit to print—which it finally did on February 9, 1998. In a front-page story on poverty in rural Kentucky, Michael Janofsky detailed the failure of this effort in the one region that was supposed to be the centerpiece of reform. “Federal and state agencies have plowed billions of dollars into Appalachia,” he wrote, yet the area “looks much as it did 30 years ago, when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty, taking special aim at the rural decay.”[1]

Janofsky visited Owsley County, Kentucky, and found a poverty rate of over 46 percent, with over half the adults illiterate and half unemployed. “Feelings of hopelessness have become so deeply entrenched,” he reported, “that many residents have long forsaken any expectation of bettering themselves.” For years, the government has been trying to treat the despair with welfare programs: two-thirds of the inhabitants receive federal assistance, including food stamps, AFDC, and SSI disability payments. This, it now appears, is part of the area’s problems.

“The war on poverty was the worst thing that ever happened to Appalachia,” Janofsky quotes one resident as saying. “It gave people a way to get by without having to do any work.” Local officials told him that “many parents urge their children to try to go to special education classes at school as a way to prove they are eligible for [SSI] disability benefits.” (The senior class at the local high school picked as its motto, “I came, I slept, I graduated.”)

Why did the war on poverty fail? What was wrong with the programs under which the nation spent over $5 trillion attempting to solve the problems of the poor, only to come up empty? It’s an important question to ask in these days of welfare reform. The first step toward a sound policy ought to be to identify the errors of the past.

Perhaps the best way to answer the question is to take a close look at the book that inspired the war on poverty, Michael Harrington’s The Other America, published in 1962. (Harrington died in 1989.) Possibly the most influential policy book in history, The Other America was cited again and again by the politicians, activists, and administrators who set up welfare programs in the 1960s. In it we find the fallacies that sent reformers down dark and tangled paths into today’s social tragedies.

Curing Poverty Through Algebra

Though social workers and welfare administrators embraced Harrington’s account, neither he nor they realized how distinctive, even bizarre, was the theory of poverty that it contained. Harrington’s premise was that poverty is a purely economic problem: the needy simply lack the material resources to lead productive, happy lives. Supply these resources, the theory runs, and you will have solved the problem of poverty. “The means are at hand,” declared Harrington, “to fulfill the age-old dream: poverty can now be abolished.”[2] This theme was repeated up and down the welfare establishment. Sargent Shriver, the administration’s leading anti-poverty warrior, told Congress that the nation had “both the resources and the know-how to eliminate grinding poverty in the United States.” President Lyndon Johnson echoed the claim. “For the first time in our history,” he declared, “it is possible to conquer poverty.”

To most people, these claims seemed incredibly naïve. While the state of neediness we call poverty does involve a lack of material resources, it also involves a mass of psychological and moral problems, including weak motivation, lack of trust in others, ignorance, irresponsibility, self-destructiveness, short-sightedness, alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity, and violence. To say that all these behavioral and psychological problems can be “abolished” seems a denial of the common-sense Biblical teaching that the poor will always be with us.

Abolishing poverty did not seem far-fetched to the activists, however. Indeed, one book from that era boldly challenged the Biblical wisdom with its title: The Poor Ye Need Not Have With You. This 1970 volume was written by Robert Levine, who had served in the Office of Economic Opportunity, the federal government’s anti-poverty agency. His book was also supported by the Ford Foundation and the Urban Institute, two principal backers of the war on poverty. Levine adhered to the simple materialistic view of poverty. “Even a quick look can convince us that poverty as it is currently defined in the United States is a completely solvable problem,” he wrote. “If we were to provide every last poor family and individual in the United States with enough income to bring them above the level of poverty, the required outlay would be less than $10 billion a year.”[3] In this perspective, curing poverty was simple algebra: add government’s x dollars to the poor’s y dollars and the result would be the end to poverty.

It was a perspective that led to intolerance. Since poverty was so simple to remedy—the activists reasoned—it was unethical not to act. “In a nation with a technology that could provide every citizen with a decent life,” Harrington thundered, “it is an outrage and a scandal that there should be such social misery.”[4] For the activists, welfare programs did not involve complex relationships and intractable problems about which honest people could disagree. They were simple moral imperatives, and anyone who opposed them was seen as selfish and insensitive. (This dogmatic view has by no means disappeared from so-called liberal circles.)

The Ideology of Handouts

The simple economic theory of poverty led to a single underlying principle for welfare programs. Since the needy just lacked goods and services to become productive members of the community, it followed that all you had to do was give them these things. You didn’t have to see that they stopped engaging in the behavior that plunged them into neediness. You didn’t have to ask them to apply themselves, or to work, or to save, or to stop using drugs, or to stop having babies they couldn’t support, or to make any other kind of effort to improve themselves. In other words, the welfare programs the war-on-poverty activists designed embodied something-for-nothing giving, or what we usually call “handouts.”
 

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[/quote]The handout feature characterized not only the programs that gave away cash and material resources like food and housing; it was also incorporated in programs that provided training, education, and rehabilitation. Recipients did not have to make any significant sacrifice to be admitted to them, and they did not have to make any significant effort to stay in them. Swept up by the rhetoric of the day, program organizers simply assumed that all that recipients needed was “opportunity,” especially the opportunity to learn a trade and to get a job.

Alas, this was mainly untrue. One of the first things the needy lack is motivation; that is, they lack the ability to sacrifice and to discipline themselves, to defer present gratification for future benefit. Most of the recipients in the anti-poverty training and education programs were poorly motivated, and their lack of commitment meant that they couldn’t make good use of the opportunities put before them. Worse, they dragged down the morale of teachers and those recipients prepared to apply themselves. What were administrators to do? If they required a strong commitment to the task of self-improvement, this would mean turning away most of the applicants—and watching their welfare empires collapse. Not surprisingly, officials were inclined to relax standards and let education and training programs become giveaways.

For example, in the early 1980s, the Manpower Development Research Corporation (MDRC) ran a number of “supported work” programs for disadvantaged youths financed by the federal government. The aim, as an MDRC vice-president told a Senate subcommittee, was a program “for instilling positive work habits and attitudes.”[5] To implement this goal, attendance standards were announced: no more than three unexcused absences or five unexcused latenesses in the first ten weeks of training class. Reporter Ken Auletta attended one of these courses in New York City and discovered that even these modest rules were not being applied. Students were allowed to come and go as they wished, even to sleep or read the newspaper in class.[6] The trainer in charge explained that if the rules were applied, “we’d lose just about everyone in the class.”[7] The overall effect of this indulgent approach in job training programs has been to “train” participants in irresponsibility: they learn that the world will keep rewarding them even when they don’t live up to their obligations.

Head Start is another case where the giveaway approach has undermined the effectiveness of the program. The original idea behind Head Start was to give poverty-level preschoolers social and educational enrichment that would help them succeed in school. Since the children are in class only a few hours a week, it is vital that anything learned be reinforced at home by parents. That means, as Head Start’s own promoters insist, that parent participation is crucial to the success of early intervention.[8] Logically, then, parental involvement should be required as a condition of the program. Unfortunately, the idea of a requirement goes against the agency’s handout principle. “Head Start cannot threaten to dismiss a child for non-performance of either parent or child,” says one pamphlet extolling the program. “It can only offer to help.”[9]

This indulgent approach has meant that most parents have no significant involvement with the Head Start program, and for them and their children it is little more than a baby-sitting service. In the Head Start office in Sandpoint, Idaho, I asked a teacher how often parents volunteered to be in the classroom with their children. “We’d like them to come in once a month,” she replied. The emphasis she put on “like” indicated that she understood even this minuscule level of parental involvement was an unrealistic hope. I happened to see the roll and time sheet for one class: it showed that not one parent of the 18 children had volunteered in the entire month.

The Healthy Way to Give

In adopting the handout approach for their programs, the war-on-poverty activists failed to notice—or failed to care—that they were ignoring over a century of theory and experience in the social welfare field. Charity leaders of the nineteenth century had lived with the poor and had analyzed the effects of different kinds of aid. They discovered that almsgiving—that is, something for nothing—actually hurt the poor. First, it weakened them by undermining their motivation to improve themselves. If you kept giving a man food when he was hungry, you undermined his incentive to look for a way to feed himself. Second, handouts encouraged self-destructive vices by softening the natural penalties for irresponsible and socially harmful behavior. If you gave a man coal who had wasted his money on drink, you encouraged him to drink away next month’s coal money, too. Finally, the nineteenth-century experts argued, handouts were self-defeating. People became dependent on them, and new recipients were attracted to them. So this type of aid could never reduce the size of the needy population. With handouts, the more you gave, the more you had to give.

The correct way to help the needy, they said, was to expect something of recipients in return for what was given them. Instead of giving poor people what they needed, the charity leaders organized programs that enabled the needy to supply their own wants. They weren’t given money, but were counseled to find employment; they weren’t given apartments, but were rented, at cost, healthy dwellings managed by charities; they weren’t given food, but learned to grow their own food at garden clubs developed for that purpose. The great English charity leader Octavia Hill, who worked all her life among the poor, summed up the nineteenth-century social workers’ position on handouts: “I proclaim that I myself have no belief whatever in the poor being one atom richer or better for the alms that reach them, that they are very distinctly worse, and that I give literally no such alms myself.”[10]

Failing in the Field

The war-on-poverty activists not only ignored the lessons of the past on the subject of handouts; they also ignored their own experience with the poor. The case of Harrington himself is especially revealing.

In the early 1950s Harrington worked at the St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, a shelter for the homeless in New York’s Bowery district. The philosophy of the shelter was pure handout. Beds, food, and clothing were given out, as Harrington proudly reported, on a “first come, first served” basis. The shelter didn’t require anything in return: not small amounts of money, not work, not any effort at self-improvement. In The Other America Harrington described at length the tragic lives of the alcoholics served by the shelter, the degradation, exposure, disease, theft, and violence that made up their lives. Yet he didn’t report having any strategy to uplift them, and didn’t report rehabilitating a single one. Though he became friendly with some of the street alcoholics, he never saw his friendship as a platform for mentoring them, as a way of guiding them to recovery. He simply watched these suffering men go in and out of their drunks, and gave them handouts as they went along. Summarizing his experience, he concluded that alcoholic poverty was not an economic problem but “deeply a matter of personality.” In a revealing aside, he added, “One hardly knows where to begin.”[11]

For someone so ready to hector others about how easily poverty could be “abolished,” Harrington was astonishingly unreflective about his own performance. His failure as a social worker among the homeless never led him to question his handout approach, and his personal knowledge that poverty was not an economic problem never shook his ideological conviction that it was. The rest, as they say, is history. The man who “hardly knew where to begin” in treating the problems of poverty—and who failed when he tried—became the guru for a massive array of government handout programs that, as even the New York Times now concedes, only deepened the culture of poverty.

The Road Back to Common Sense

In the 1996 welfare reform, the nation began to undo the damage caused by the war on poverty’s misguided approach. Most lawmakers finally grasped the point that handout programs are harmful and self-defeating. They began to see that welfare programs need requirements, that recipients have to be asked to take steps toward self-improvement and self-sufficiency.

It has not been easy to implement this concept, however. Lawmakers have yet to discover that government agencies are ill-suited to carry out the subtle task of personal uplift. This mission requires helpers who become personally involved in the lives of their clients. It requires that helpers be mentors who project healthy values. It also requires treating each client as an individual, subject to a different set of expectations and rewards. All this runs against the grain in government, where the pressures of law and regulation push agencies toward behaving in an impersonal, value-free, and uniform manner. In the long run, this leads to handout programs, because handouts are impersonal, value-free, and uniform.[/quote]
 

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The nineteenth-century charity leaders were familiar with the drawbacks of government assistance. Mary Richmond, one of the founders of American social work, condemned public relief in no uncertain terms: “The most experienced charity workers regard it as a source of demoralization both to the poor and the charitable. No public agency can supply the devoted, friendly, and intensely personal relation so necessary in charity. It can supply the gift, but it cannot supply the giver, for the giver is a compulsory tax rate.”[12]

The 1996 welfare reform was therefore just a first step in undoing the harmful anti-poverty policies of the 1960s. It did introduce the idea that handouts are wrong. But it missed the deeper point that, in the long run, government agencies aren’t very good at anything but handouts. It remains for future generations to lay the government programs entirely aside and to promote the personal, voluntary arrangements that make for truly effective social assistance.

*sorry, long article
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Stherngntlmn said:
bump, cause it should be read
LBJ's Great Society and its war on poverty cut the nation's poverty rate in half in just 4 years. I can't see how that is a failure.
 

Stherngntlmn

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SouthernDemocrat said:
LBJ's Great Society and its war on poverty cut the nation's poverty rate in half in just 4 years. I can't see how that is a failure.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/histpov/hstpov13.html

Quit spoutin off false rhetoric. Take a look around we've had the same exact poverty rate for the past 25 years, despite adding in new "entitlement" programs, and "education entitlements". Entitlements AREN'T working. there are more families living below the poverty rate today than there were before Johnson even mentioned the "Great Society".
 

SouthernDemocrat

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Stherngntlmn said:
http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/histpov/hstpov13.html

Quit spoutin off false rhetoric. Take a look around we've had the same exact poverty rate for the past 25 years, despite adding in new "entitlement" programs, and "education entitlements". Entitlements AREN'T working. there are more families living below the poverty rate today than there were before Johnson even mentioned the "Great Society".
25 years ago is not far back enough to judge the effectiveness of the Great Society programs. When Johnson took office, the poverty rate was 22%. It was 22% right until 1964. When Johnson left office in 1968, the poverty rate was 13%. With the exception of a small drop in the Clinton years, and an increase in the poverty rate since Bush took office, the poverty rate has remained the same ever since.
 
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Stherngntlmn

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You obviously didn't even pay attention to the link I posted..

You're figures are entirely wrong.. the poverty rate hasn't been 22% since the great depression. Exactly, poverty has remained the same.. after multiple generations, Johnson's "Great Society" has not only failed to lift people out of poverty, it has created a totally dependant mentality on entitlement programs. To the point where now people would refuse to support themselves without government money.
 

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Stherngntlmn said:
You obviously didn't even pay attention to the link I posted..

You're figures are entirely wrong.. the poverty rate hasn't been 22% since the great depression. Exactly, poverty has remained the same.. after multiple generations, Johnson's "Great Society" has not only failed to lift people out of poverty, it has created a totally dependant mentality on entitlement programs. To the point where now people would refuse to support themselves without government money.
Your table does not show that. Your table is a family poverty rate. The table that shows actual poverty rates is here:

http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html

In 1960, the poverty rate was 22.2%

In 1968, the poverty rate was 12.8%

Look at the time the Great Society legislation was all enacted, and the sharp drop in poverty rates in the years right after.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
25 years ago is not far back enough to judge the effectiveness of the Great Society programs. When Johnson took office, the poverty rate was 22%. It was 22% right until 1964. When Johnson left office in 1968, the poverty rate was 13%. With the exception of a small drop in the Clinton years, and an increase in the poverty rate since Bush took office, the poverty rate has remained the same ever since.
You must also remember that the 1960's experienced one of America's greatest economic expansions. There is very little evidence for a direct correlation between welfare expenditures and the poverty rate. In fact, Bill Clinton's reform law reduced welfare caseloads, and at the same time the poverty rate continued falling. It is an essential truth that economic progression raises standards of living, not government programs.

So I wouldn't say the War on Poverty was a "failure". We can't really know that. I'm just skeptical of any claims that it cut poverty down substantially.
 

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Ether said:
You must also remember that the 1960's experienced one of America's greatest economic expansions. There is very little evidence for a direct correlation between welfare expenditures and the poverty rate. In fact, Bill Clinton's reform law reduced welfare caseloads, and at the same time the poverty rate continued falling. It is an essential truth that economic progression raises standards of living, not government programs.

So I wouldn't say the War on Poverty was a "failure". We can't really know that. I'm just skeptical of any claims that it cut poverty down substantially.
Of course poverty rates fall when the economy expands. That is except durring most of the Reagan years and the last 5 years. So I guess its more correct to say that when a Democrat is in office, the poverty rate drops as the economy expands. A rising tide lifts all boats.

That said, the poverty rates dropped at a much higher rate as proportional to economic growth durring the 60s than any other time. It would difficult for one to not at least pin some of that on Johnson's war on poverty.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
Of course poverty rates fall when the economy expands. That is except durring most of the Reagan years and the last 5 years. So I guess its more correct to say that when a Democrat is in office, the poverty rate drops as the economy expands. A rising tide lifts all boats.

That said, the poverty rates dropped at a much higher rate as proportional to economic growth durring the 60s than any other time. It would difficult for one to not at least pin some of that on Johnson's war on poverty.
Under Reagan, the poverty rate peaked in 1983 and fell for the rest of his term. I believe 1983 is also the year when the recession ended.

Even then, it is empirically incorrect to claim that social programs are a panacea for poverty. Bill Clinton has proven that economic growth is the overriding factor in raising the standard of living. During his term, welfare caseloads substantially decreased, and yet the poverty rate continued to decline. This is as opposed to the previous 30 years or so, when welfare caseloads either remained the same or increased during times of economic expansion.

Also, immigration from poor countries was not as prevalent in the 1960's as it was during the past couple decades. How does this factor into your analysis?
 

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Ether said:
Under Reagan, the poverty rate peaked in 1983 and fell for the rest of his term. I believe 1983 is also the year when the recession ended.

Even then, it is empirically incorrect to claim that social programs are a panacea for poverty. Bill Clinton has proven that economic growth is the overriding factor in raising the standard of living. During his term, welfare caseloads substantially decreased, and yet the poverty rate continued to decline. This is as opposed to the previous 30 years or so, when welfare caseloads either remained the same or increased during times of economic expansion.

Also, immigration from poor countries was not as prevalent in the 1960's as it was during the past couple decades. How does this factor into your analysis?
The ratio of immigration from poor countries in the 60s was just as high as it is today. Immigration rates were not quite as high, but they still were fairly high.

That is true about poverty rates in the Reagan years. Poverty rates always drop during periods of Economic Expansion. That’s a given. However, they dropped at faster rate during the Johnson years than at any other time.

Poverty is not a problem that can be solved by economic expansion alone. However, economic expansion is a necessity to reduce poverty levels. I don’t think that social programs can eliminate poverty either, but they are a piece to the puzzle. Economic expansions never significantly reduced poverty levels until there were progressive social programs in place. It’s a delicate balance, on one hand, social programs do tend to help people get out of poverty, on the other, they cannot be so expensive that they place an unsustainable burden on economic growth as economic growth is key to reducing poverty levels.

You have to also remember that social programs at the very least have completely transformed the demographics of those living in poverty. Prior to the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society, the largest demographic living in poverty was seniors. Today, seniors are the wealthiest demographic.
 

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The social security program, for all its faults, has certainly had an effect on poverty among the elderly. You don't see too many old folks begging in the streets. Arguably too much, they are now (asset wise) the richest age category of Americans, the beneficiaries of a massive intergenerational transfer or wealth from younger workers to older retirees.
 

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SouthernDemocrat said:
The ratio of immigration from poor countries in the 60s was just as high as it is today. Immigration rates were not quite as high, but they still were fairly high.

That is true about poverty rates in the Reagan years. Poverty rates always drop during periods of Economic Expansion. That’s a given. However, they dropped at faster rate during the Johnson years than at any other time.

Poverty is not a problem that can be solved by economic expansion alone. However, economic expansion is a necessity to reduce poverty levels. I don’t think that social programs can eliminate poverty either, but they are a piece to the puzzle. Economic expansions never significantly reduced poverty levels until there were progressive social programs in place. It’s a delicate balance, on one hand, social programs do tend to help people get out of poverty, on the other, they cannot be so expensive that they place an unsustainable burden on economic growth as economic growth is key to reducing poverty levels.

You have to also remember that social programs at the very least have completely transformed the demographics of those living in poverty. Prior to the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society, the largest demographic living in poverty was seniors. Today, seniors are the wealthiest demographic.
Under your logic, we shouldn't have any poverty at all. You do realize we've had $9 trillion dollars of anti-poverty spending in the past forty years? Or are you arguing that the rate will substantially decrease only when a Democrat spends the money? Judging by your screen name, I wouldn't put such a ridiculous claim past you. Again, during Clinton's years in office welfare caseloads declined dramatically and yet the poverty rate followed suit. There is very little empirical evidence that Johnson's social programs were effective.
 

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Ether said:
Under your logic, we shouldn't have any poverty at all. You do realize we've had $9 trillion dollars of anti-poverty spending in the past forty years? Or are you arguing that the rate will substantially decrease only when a Democrat spends the money? Judging by your screen name, I wouldn't put such a ridiculous claim past you. Again, during Clinton's years in office welfare caseloads declined dramatically and yet the poverty rate followed suit. There is very little empirical evidence that Johnson's social programs were effective.
I dint think that welfare is a poverty reducing program. It is instead just a social safety net. Who spends the money on social programs is immaterial. More could be said that pro-labor policies are bigger poverty reducers than pro-business ones. That of course is debatable as well. Just the same I stand behind my original point, the causes of poverty is not just economics, there are lots of social issues at work as well that is why economic growth without some social investments does not reduce the poverty levels substantially.
 

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In The Secret Places Of The World

She had large eyes and horns on her head
Fire and smoke came from her mouth
An anxious roar, as she saw me approach
She guarded a great clutch of blue speckled eggs

I approached even closer, unsure of her
I waited as she moved from the eggs, to block
she spoke. “Come no further, foolish man”
“I mean you know harm, great lady,” I said.

“I saw in a vision, that you were here waiting
The last of your kind on Earth, waiting in secret
bringing your eggs to the time of hatching
I had to know, will you return to destroy us?” I asked.

“In the secret and mystical places of the world,
Dragons of different colors and shapes are born
every ten thousand years, Dragon folk come forth
To watch and to judge, the work’s of mankind,” she said

“If our Master approves of what we see, we are known to very few
If Mankind, is being evil, wicked, and greedy, and
if majority are downtrodden for the sake of the few,
we await our Master’s instruction, then we act.”

“Sometimes we loose our fury and magic on the world
Remember Sodom, Gomorrah, and the Island of Atlantis
Remember the fate of the Elves, and the Fairy Folk
Beware of those who act only for themselves and the few.”

The Master will see through the eyes of his Dragons
wars, greed, unheeded pestilence, and famine
personal rewards, chosen over the needs of the world
The Great One waits, while his Dragons mature.


The war on poverty was certainly not a failure. In fact it was a great success that was stopped before it truly fulfilled it's promise. Ask the Black teachers, judges, police, attorney, and business people who benefitted from a chance to go to college, and advance themselves. Ask the poor parents that found that their children suddenly had opportunities for advancement. Look at the School records all over the country that show poor children of all races graduating from high school. Ask the Black soldiers who serve our country, proudly and don't have to work in military kitchens because they were not given the chance to advance and grow. Look at news Anchors on television shows and see blacks and hispanics. Look at the corporations that showed huge profits because the poor started buying houses, cars, washing machines etc, etc,

The problem with the war on poverty,, is that it has been stopped before it could bring equality and prosperity to all those who needed it's support. Our corporations truly benefitted from the war on poverty, and all one has to do is access public records of growth and profit of big and little business all over the country. For a while some Americans that came from
poor backgrounds found themselves with hope for the future., and gap between the rich and the poor was made smaller. Now under Bush the gap between the rich and the poor . Poor children will remain poor, and become uneducated again. The Sick and the elderly will die from lack of medical care, schools are getting worse and worse. The Bush and his Corporate lovers, don't pay taxes, and only take from the united State. The NOn tax paying corporations are sending this saved money to Asia for investment, and gradually destroying the united States.

After World war 2, and through the cold war, people all over the world liked and appreciated America. Now we are the hated, We are now the Mobsters of the world stage, that use belong to Stalin and Hitler. Shall we goose step and say,Sig Heil Bush.

Now the far right Neo Facists, in the government, and in congress have ended the war on poverty. and what are we seeing. The end of prosperity,
thousands of jobs in America outsourced to Asia each month. Company all over the United States are closing. Workers are being cheated and downgraded to the time when sweat shops ruled the working landscape.
Those American corporations that are still in business face stiff competition from Ex American corporation that now produce in Asia rather than America.

The War On Poverty destroyed the Soviet Union, and provided educated worker for new high tech jobs. At this time, as our nation declines economically and socially, it is only the fact that we had The War on Poverty and the marvelous rewards from it, that are sustaining the country now as we decline.

Just imagine the potential benefits for equality, and prosperity if the Reagan and Bush administrations, had not chickened out and lost the war on poverty.

YOu Right Wing fascist Neo Nazi types are looking to fake reasons, and telling huge frigging lies. Stop and get some Class.

The Benefits of the War On Poverty, werea help to all, and prosperity to every aspect of American Society.
 
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dragonslayer

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SouthernDemocrat said:
I dint think that welfare is a poverty reducing program. It is instead just a social safety net. Who spends the money on social programs is immaterial. More could be said that pro-labor policies are bigger poverty reducers than pro-business ones. That of course is debatable as well. Just the same I stand behind my original point, the causes of poverty is not just economics, there are lots of social issues at work as well that is why economic growth without some social investments does not reduce the poverty levels substantially.
Oh yes I agree with the Right Wing Republicans. we need to stop all medical, educational, housing, and food assistance immediately. What a waste of money. Welfare is such waste of money. We have over 30 million white folk, 10 million black folk and 15 million hispanic folk being helped and this help should stop. I agree with you, end food stamps and housing help has to cease, so the Children of poor family can starve, and be raised the back seat of old cars, Schools are not important anymore because it only the poor who will be missing school. Those dam poor folks should never be allowed any medical assistance. If they get sick, let them die. yes us republican Right wings fascists don't care about equality, or jobs. We are going to get summary execution inserted into the new Republican platform for anyone who make less than 100,000 a years, unless of course we like them.
 
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