Inligting

LBJ: Voor die oorlog teen armoede


LBJ het tyd deurgebring nadat hy op die grens van Texas en Mexiko verarmde Mexikaanse-Amerikaanse immigrante geleer het, 'n ervaring wat sy persoonlikheid en presidensiële ambisies gevorm het.


Alles wat u moet weet oor die oorlog teen armoede

Vyftig jaar gelede het president Lyndon Johnson vandag 'onvoorwaardelike oorlog' teen armoede verklaar. Afhangende van u ideologiese voorkeure, was die daaropvolgende poging óf ''n katastrofe' (Robert Rector van Heritage) óf 'ons beste hoop as 'n volk gestand gedoen wat die waardigheid en potensiaal van elke mens waardeer' (die persverklaring van die Withuis op herdenking). Gelukkig het ons werklike gegewens oor hierdie aangeleenthede wat verduidelik wat presies na Johnson se verklaring gebeur het, en die rol wat regeringsprogramme gespeel het. Hier is wat u moet weet.

1. Wat was die oorlog teen armoede?

Die term 'oorlog teen armoede' verwys in die algemeen na 'n stel inisiatiewe wat deur Johnson se administrasie voorgestel is, deur die kongres aanvaar is en deur sy kabinetsagentskappe geïmplementeer is. Soos Johnson dit in sy toespraak oor die staatsrede van 1964 verklaar het: "Ons doel is nie net om die simptome van armoede te verlig nie, maar om dit te genees en veral om dit te voorkom."

2. Watter programme het dit ingesluit?

Die poging was gesentreer rondom vier wetgewing:

• Die wysigings vir maatskaplike sekerheid van 1965, wat Medicare en Medicaid geskep het en ook voordele vir pensioenarisse, weduwees, gestremdes en studente op universiteitsbasis uitgebrei het, gefinansier deur 'n verhoging van die loonbelasting en -tariewe.

• Die Food Stamp Act van 1964, wat die kosstempelsprogram, toe slegs 'n loods, permanent gemaak het.

• Die Wet op Ekonomiese Geleenthede van 1964, wat die Job Corps, die VISTA-program, die federale werkstudieprogram en 'n aantal ander inisiatiewe gestig het. Dit het ook die Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) gestig, die arm van die Withuis wat verantwoordelik was vir die implementering van die oorlog teen armoede en wat die Head Start -program in die proses geskep het.

• Die Wet op Elementêre en Sekondêre Onderwys, wat in 1965 onderteken is, wat die titel I -program tot stand gebring het wat onder meer skooldistrikte met 'n groot deel van die verarmde studente subsidieer. ESEA is sedertdien weer gemagtig, mees onlangs in die No Child Left Behind Act.

3. Waarom het dit begin toe dit begin het?

Benewens Johnson se persoonlike belangstelling in die kwessie, het 'n aantal faktore 1964-65 die ideale tyd gemaak om die oorlog teen armoede te begin. Die publikasie uit 1962 van Michael Harrington se "The Other America", 'n uiteensetting wat bewys het dat armoede in Amerika veel meer voorkom as wat algemeen aanvaar word, het openbare debat oor die kwessie gefokus, net soos Dwight MacDonald se resensie-opstel oor 13 000 woorde oor die boek in The New Yorker. Baie historici, soos die Harrington-biograaf Maurice Isserman, erken Harrington en die boek (wat John F. Kennedy na bewering saam met die MacDonald-resensie gelees het) saam met die aansporing van Kennedy en daarna Johnson om 'n agenda vir armoede op te stel waarop Harrington (ondanks die lid van die Sosialistiese Party) saam met Daniel Patrick Moynihan en Sargent Shriver, hoof van die OEO, geraadpleeg.

Die burgerregtebeweging verdien ook aansienlike eer vir die optrede. Groepe soos die NAACP en die Urban League was prominente bondgenote van die Johnson -administrasie in sy strewe na die Wet op Ekonomiese Geleenthede en ander wetgewing oor die onderwerp. 'N Ander faktor is die feit dat ons net goeie data oor armoede gehad het, kort voor die begin van die oorlog, maar ons het eers teruggekeer na 1959.

4. Hoe lank het dit geduur?

Baie van die oorlog teen programme van poverty - soos Medicaid, Medicare, kosseëls, Head Start, Job Corps, VISTA en Title I - is nog steeds van toepassing. Die Nixon -administrasie het die OEO grotendeels ontbind en sy funksies aan 'n verskeidenheid ander federale agentskappe versprei, en uiteindelik is die kantoor in 1975 herdoop en daarna in 1981 vir altyd gesluit.

5. Het dit armoede eintlik verminder?

Dit het. In 'n onlangse studie van ekonome in Columbia is armoedeveranderinge uiteengesit voor en nadat die regering betrokke geraak het in die vorm van belasting en oordragte, en bevind dat armoede aansienlik afneem van 1967 tot 2012, van 26 as u die ingryping van die regering in ag neem. persent tot 16 persent:

Alhoewel dit ons nie toelaat om te sien hoe armoede verander het tussen die begin van die oorlog in 1964 en die begin van die gegewens in 1967 nie, is die opvallendste neiging hier dat die gaping tussen armoede voor en na die regering net toeneem . Sonder regeringsprogramme sou armoede eintlik toegeneem het gedurende die betrokke tydperk. Regeringsoptrede is letterlik die enigste rede waarom ons in 2012 minder armoede het as in 1967.

Boonop kan ons dit direk toeskryf aan programme wat tydens die oorlog teen armoede geskep of uitgebrei is. In 2012 het voedselstempels (sedert hernoem na die Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, of SNAP) alleen 4 miljoen mense uit armoede gehou:

En is nog belangriker in die bestryding van uiterste armoede (dit wil sê mense wat minder as $ 2 per dag leef):

In eerlikheid is SNAP nie die grootste anti-armoede-program in die boeke nie. Dit sou sosiale sekerheid wees, ook uitgebrei deur die oorlog teen armoede. Die belastingkrediet vir verdienste, wat 'n paar dekades daarna gekom het, en ander terugbetaalbare krediete is nommer 2:

Die impak van nie-oordragprogramme soos Medicare, Medicaid en Job Corps op armoede is moeiliker om te meet, maar watter aanduidings daar is, is belowend. Amy Finkelstein en Robin McKnight het bevind dat Medicare mediese uitgawes vir seniors aansienlik verminder het, wat hul werklike inkomste verhoog het. Die Oregon Medicaid -studie het bevind dat die program die finansiële swaarkry van sy begunstigdes aansienlik verminder, wat onder die destydse Oregon -geskiktheidsreëls almal onder die armoedegrens gedaal het. Uit 'n ewekansige evaluering van die Job Corps is bevind dat dit verbeterings in 'n verskeidenheid uitkomste veroorsaak het, veral 'n toename in die verdienste van deelnemers met 12 persent, maar ook 'n verlaging van die gevangenisstraf, arrestasie en skuldigbevinding.

Titel I, aan die ander kant, is in die algemeen ingestem om meer billike toekennings vir skoolfinansiering te veroorsaak, maar die bewyse oor die uitwerking daarvan op leerderprestasie is minder belowend, en baie evaluerings vind geen effek nie. 'N Gerandomiseerde evaluering van Head Start het bevind dat die gevolge daarvan vinnig verdwyn het, en dat baie kenners, veral James Heckman, baie skepties is oor die voordele van die program. Dit gesê, ander navorsers, soos Harvard se David Deming, het meer positiewe evaluerings.


Die oorlog teen armoede: toe en nou

Eindnotas en aanhalings is beskikbaar in die PDF- en Scribd -weergawes.

Hierdie administrasie verklaar vandag, hier en nou, 'n onvoorwaardelike oorlog teen armoede in Amerika. ... Dit sal nie 'n kort of maklike stryd wees nie, geen enkele wapen of strategie is voldoende nie, maar ons sal nie rus totdat die oorlog gewen is nie. Die rykste nasie op aarde kan dit bekostig om dit te wen. Ons kan dit nie bekostig om dit te verloor nie.

- President Lyndon B. Johnson, 8 Januarie 1964

Vyftig jaar het verloop sedert president Johnson die eerste keer 'n oorlog teen armoede verklaar het in sy toespraak in die staat van die Unie in 1964. Alhoewel baie van die programme wat uit hierdie nasionale verbintenis ontstaan ​​het, as vanselfsprekend aanvaar word, sou die nasie vir die meeste Amerikaners onherkenbaar wees as dit nooit uitgevaardig is nie.

Kort nadat president Johnson sy verbintenis tot armoede beëindig het, het die Kongres die tweeledige Wet op Ekonomiese Geleenthede van 1964 en kritieke burgerregtelike wetgewing goedgekeur, wat die wetgewende raamwerk geskep het om ekonomiese geleenthede uit te brei deur middel van beleid teen armoede, gesondheid, onderwys en werk. In die administrasies van Johnson en Nixon het die Oorlog teen Armoede-en die Groot Samelewing in die breë-die grondslag gelê vir ons hedendaagse veiligheidsnetwerk, insluitend die Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, oftewel SNAP, voorheen bekend as voedselstempels Medicare Medicaid Head Start en sosiale sekerheid uitgebrei.

Hierdie en ander programme met wortels in die oorlog teen armoede het miljoene gesinne uit armoede gehou, universiteitsopleiding toegankliker gemaak en die Amerikaanse droom binne bereik gebring vir diegene wat op die marges van die samelewing leef. Ons nasionale armoedesyfer het met 42 persent gedaal tydens die oorlog teen armoede, van 1964 tot 1973. En die neiging duur vandag voort: die armoedesyfer het gedaal van 26 persent in 1967 tot 16 persent in 2012 wanneer rekening gehou word met veiligheidsnetprogramme.

Aangesien armoede oor die hele land voortduur, kan kritici van ons veiligheidsnetprogramme egter sê dat ons die stryd verloor het. Maar om die oorlog teen armoede as 'n mislukking te noem, is om te sê dat die skepping van Medicare en voorsprong, die inwerkingtreding van burgerregte -wetgewing en beleggings in onderwys wat miljoene studente in staat gestel het om universiteit toe te gaan, 'n mislukking is. Trouens, sonder die veiligheidsnet, waarvan baie sy wortels in die oorlog teen armoede het, sou die armoede tans byna dubbel wees as wat dit tans is.

Die oorlog teen armoede het ons nie in die steek gelaat nie, maar ons ekonomie wel.

Ons ekonomie en sosiale struktuur het die afgelope 50 jaar aansienlik verander. Demografiese verskuiwings, stygende inkomste -ongelykheid en onvoldoende toegang tot werk en onderwys bied nuwe beleidsuitdagings. Ons openbare beleid het te dikwels nie aan die behoeftes van hierdie neigings voldoen nie.

Dit is tyd vir 'n hernieude nasionale verbintenis om armoede te verminder. Half in Ten, 'n projek van die Center for American Progress Action Fund, die Coalition on Human Needs en The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, is van mening dat ons 'n nasionale doelwit moet stel om armoede binne tien jaar te verminder. Om daar te kom, benodig ons 'n beleggingsagenda wat die behoeftes van Amerika in die 21ste eeu en die eise van 'n globale ekonomie aanspreek. Dit is tyd om die minimum loon te verhoog, die loongaping tussen geslagte te beperk en werk van beter gehalte te skep. Dit is tyd om te belê in werk en inkomste -ondersteuning wat armoede verminder en ekonomiese geleenthede vergroot, en leer uit plaaslike inisiatiewe wat op die voorpunt van armoedevermindering werk.

Deur 'n sterk ekonomie te skep waar winste meer regverdig gedeel word en toegewyd te wees aan programme en beleidsrigtings wat werk, kan ons armoede in die komende tien jaar in die helfte verminder en 'n nuwe era van gedeelde ekonomiese voorspoed inlui.

Definieer armoede

By die bespreking van armoede in die Verenigde State verwys beleidmakers dikwels na twee groot metings:

Federale armoede vlak

Die amptelike definisie van armoede gebruik inkomstedrempels wat wissel volgens gesinsgrootte en samestelling om te bepaal wie in armoede verkeer. As die totale inkomste van 'n gesin minder is as die toepaslike drempel, word die gesin en elke individu daarin beskou as in armoede. Die maatreël is bedoel om as maatstaf gebruik te word, nie 'n volledige beskrywing van wat mense en gesinne moet leef nie. Die amptelike definisie van armoede gebruik inkomste voor belasting en sluit nie kapitaalwins of nie -kontantvoordele soos openbare behuising, Medicaid en SNAP -voordele in nie. Die armoedegrens was oorspronklik gelyk aan byna 50 persent van die mediaaninkomste in die 1960's. Omdat dit slegs aangepas is vir inflasie en nie vir verhogings in lewenstandaard nie, het die armoedegrens vanaf 2010 tot net minder as 30 persent van die mediaaninkomste gedaal.

Aanvullende armoede maatreël

Die aanvullende armoedemaatreël is 'n meer omvattende mate van armoede wat bykomende items soos belastingbetalings en werkuitgawes in sy ramings vir gesinsinkomste insluit. Dit bied ook belangrike inligting oor die doeltreffendheid van werk en inkomsteondersteuning om gesinne bo die armoedegrens te lig. Drempels wat in die maatreël gebruik word, bevat data oor basiese benodigdhede - voedsel, skuiling, klere en hulpmiddels - en word aangepas vir geografiese verskille in die koste van behuising. Hierdie maatreël dien as 'n bykomende aanduiding van ekonomiese welstand en bied 'n dieper begrip van ekonomiese toestande en beleidseffekte.

Hoe verskil hulle?

Een groot verskil tussen hierdie twee maatreëls is dat die federale armoedevlak nie die impak van beleid teen armoede in ag neem nie. Gesinne wat baat by belastingmaatreëls, soos die belastingkrediet vir verdienste, of EITC, of ​​inkomsteondersteuning soos SNAP, word as beter beskou as gesinne wat nie by hierdie programme ingeskryf is nie. Dit kan die verkeerde indruk wek dat armoede ondraaglik is en sal voortduur, ongeag wat die regering doen. Volgens 'n onlangse studie van die Columbia -universiteit wat die aanvullende armoedemaatreël gebruik het, het ons veiligheidsnet die aantal Amerikaners wat in armoede leef, verminder van 26 persent in 1967 tot 16 persent in 2012. Sonder hierdie programme skat die studie dat meer Amerikaners - 29 persent - sou vandag in armoede wees. Dit is nodig om die impak wat hierdie kritieke programme op individue en gesinne het, in ag te neem om vas te stel of ons beleid teen armoede werk of nie.

Melissa Boteach is die direkteur van die Poverty to Prosperity -program by die Center for American Progress en die direkteur van die Half in Ten Education Fund. Erik Stegman is die bestuurder van die Half in Ten Education Fund. Sarah Baron is 'n spesiale assistent by die program Poverty to Prosperity by die Center for American Progress. Tracey Ross is 'n senior beleidsontleder by die program Poverty to Prosperity by die Center for American Progress. Katie Wright is 'n beleidsontleder met die Half in Ten Education Fund.


Was die oorlog in LBJ en armoede in die 60's 'n sukses?

Ek is nie seker of dit was nie. Dit lyk egter asof hierdie AP -verhaal so was.

Die verhaal handel oor toenemende armoede in die VSA en sê die slegte ekonomie is
en kwotasie van winste uit die oorlog teen armoede in die 1960's & quot. Ek is glad nie seker daarvan nie
winste plaasgevind het.

Mike McClure

Spellbanisher

Eerstens benodig ons 'n paar data om werklik te sien wat die afgelope vyftig jaar gebeur het.

Wat dit toon, is dat die armoedesyfer in die sestiger jare daal, wat deur die sewentigerjare styg, vinnig styg in die laat sewentiger-/vroeë tagtigerjare, en dan weer vinnig styg in die laat tagtiger-/vroeë negentigerjare. Dit val gedurende die negentigerjare en styg dan stadig gedurende die afgelope dekade.

Wat dit blyk te wees, is dat die federale beleid 'n lae uitwerking op die armoede het, ten goede en ten kwade. Dit neem toe in die sestigerjare, met die neiging wat voor die Great Society -programme begin as gevolg van die groeiende ekonomie. Dit val in die sewentigerjare af as gevolg van stagflasie, wat, wat u ook al dink, in baie verskillende lande voorgekom het. Die ernstige resessie in die vroeë tagtigerjare veroorsaak dat die armoedekoers weer styg, net soos laasgenoemde resessie (die feit dat die armoede blyk te styg voordat die resessie werklik begin, kan dui op gebreke in hoe ekonome resesses meet). En die oplewing van die negentigerjare korreleer dan met 'n afname in armoede. Die relatief stilstaande ekonomiese groei van die afgelope dekade het 'n geleidelik stygende armoede beteken. Dit is so eenvoudig-as die ekonomie opbloei, daal die armoedesyfer, as dit stagneer, styg die armoede.

Mike McClure

Spellbanisher

Daar is drie dekades waar die armoedekoers laer beland het as die vorige dekade: die 60's, 70's en 90's.

Daar is twee dekades waar dit hoër beland het as die vorige dekade: die 80's en 00's. In die algemeen was die korrelasie tussen ekonomiese groei en 'n dalende armoedesyfer gedurende hierdie twee dekades baie swakker as in die ander dekades. Daar moet op gelet word dat die oplewing van die tagtigerjare so lank was as die boom van die 60's en byna net so lank as die 90's. Die 60- en die 90's -oplewing korreleer die sterkste met dalende armoede, terwyl dit tydens die 80's -opbloei relatief swak gedaal het en glad nie tydens die boom van die 00's nie. In die sin kan ek verkeerd wees in my vorige bewering dat polisse nie goed of kwaad beteken nie.

Miskien moet ons dus minder kyk na die beleid van Lyndon Johnson en meer na die beleid in die daaropvolgende dekades.

Ek moet ook byvoeg:
Aantal mense onder die armoedegrens, in miljoene
1959: 39.5
1964: 36.1
1969: 24.1
1974: 23.4
1979: 26.1
1984: 33.7
1989: 31.5
1994: 38.1
1999: 32.8
2004: 37
2009: 43.6
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/historical/people.html
Tabel 2

Die grootste afname in armoede was tussen 1964-1969, die kernjare van die Great Society. As dit ook blyk dat welsynshervorming nie werk as daar geen werk is nie.

Robespierre

Head Start en Job Corps is programme wat vandag steeds in groot getalle die armes help.

Vra die bejaardes, ongeag die politieke party, hoe die oorlog teen armoede hulle gehelp het. Medicare is 'n baie gewilde program en die ondersteuning wat dit aan bejaardes bied, is van onskatbare waarde.

Dieselfde geld vir Medicaid.

Viëtnam het die nodige uitgawes vir die oorlog teen armoede gesny en gevolglik was 'n mislukking daarvan.

LBJ het in die begin probeer om 'n leë tjek vir hierdie programme te skryf. Dit was 'n tydperk van vinnige wetgewing. LBJ was van mening dat die gewildheid van liberalisme, veral as gevolg van die Suide, sou afneem en dat hy soveel gedoen moes kry as wat hy kon. Terwyl hy nog die politieke kapitaal gehad het.

Dit gekombineer met onderbefondsing het die sukses van die oorlog teen armoede baie beïnvloed.

Die oorlog teen armoede was 'n hiperboliese frase wat LBJ gebruik het. Dit is moeilik om 'n metafoor te kwantifiseer. As u deur Head Start gegaan het, voedselstempels gehad het, Medicaid of Medicare, of as u deur die Job Corps gegaan het, is dit moeilik om te sê dat dit 'n 'mislukking' was.

As u dink dat dit 'n mislukking of 'n sukses was, word u waarskynlik verblind deur ideologie en sal u nooit die lig sien nie. Die oorlog teen armoede behoort 'n breë program te wees waarna ons terugkyk. Wat het gewerk? Watter aspekte van die Office of Economic Opportunity het gewerk en wat nie?

Vir my wys The War on Poverty ons waar die federale regering kan misluk en waar dit kan slaag. Ons moet die verskil tussen hierdie twee ken. Ons moet die grense van die federale regering besef, terwyl ons terselfdertyd voortgaan met effektiewe programme.

Ons moet met mense praat. Kry geen grafieke van Wikipedia nie.

Kat pappa

Ek moet erken, ek is beïndruk met spellbanisher. Hy moet baie mee werk
al die grafieke en statistieke, want hy het altyd een om te plaas as 'n antwoord
op my vraag.

Ek dink ons ​​moet in gedagte hou dat die Viëtnam -oorlog nie die oorlog teen armoede sou seermaak nie, want ons het gewere en botter, dit wil sê IIRC.

Ek was toe nog net 'n klein kleintjie. Maar ek dink dit was die gedagte van LBJ. Ek
Gestel daar is geen waarheid in die bewering dat al die programme ontwerp is nie
om 'n afhanklikheidsklas te skep, wat stem vir 'n politikus wat beloof om die bedrag nog meer te vergroot.

Ek dink dat daar ten minste waar ek vandaan kom, die staat Michigan, 'n
afhanklikheidsklas, is daardie geslag na geslag op welsyn. Ek het opgemerk in ander state waarin ek gewoon het, soos die Volksrepubliek Kalifornië,
daar is baie mense wat nie in die VSA gebore is nie, maar tog op die spel is.

Maatskaplike werkers het agtergekom hoe om dit toe te doen. Ek leef nou
in Florida, en FL is baie moeiliker oor sulke dinge. Jy moet alles hê
u dokumente om 'n rybewys met 'n staats -ID te kry. Dit is nodig om te kry
welsynsvoordele.

Spellbanisher

Spellbanisher

Welsynsmites en -feite

Mite: Armoede is die gevolg van 'n gebrek aan verantwoordelikheid
Feit: Armoede is die gevolg van lae loon
Welsynsprogramme was die reaksie van ons land op armoede, en almal is dit eens dat hierdie programme nie die probleem opgelos het nie. Jared Bernstein (1996) van die Economic Policy Institute identifiseer loonverlaging as die deurslaggewende ekonomiese faktor wat die grootste impak op armoede in die 1980's en 1990's gehad het. Hoewel die uurlikse loon vir die meerderheid van die arbeidsmag sedert die laat sewentigerjare gedaal het, was die laagste besoldigde werknemers verreweg die grootste verlies. Volgens Bernstein (1996), tussen 1979 en 1989, het die manlike werker, byvoorbeeld, op die 10de persentiel (wat beteken dat 90 persent van die manlike arbeidsmag meer verdien) sy uurloonverlaging met 13 persent gedaal, en sedert 1989 het hy nog 6 persent verloor . Vir vroulike werkers op die 10de persentiel was die afname in die 1980's 18 persent. Die vrou met 'n lae loon het effens toegeneem sedert 1989, maar teen 1995 was haar uurloon $ 4,84, vergeleke met $ 5,82 in 1979 (alle dollars is in 1995 inflasie-aangepaste terme).

Mite: 'n groot deel van my belasting -dollar ondersteun welsynsontvangers
Feit: Welsynskoste 1 persent van die federale begroting
Wydverspreide wanpersepsie oor die omvang van welsyn vererger die probleme van armoede. Die werklike koste van welsynsprogramme-ongeveer 1 persent van die federale begroting en 2 persent van die staatsbegrotings (McLaughlin, 1997)-is proporsioneel minder as wat algemeen geglo word. Tydens die 104de kongres kom meer as 93 persent van die begrotingsvermindering in welsynsregte uit programme vir mense met 'n lae inkomste (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1996). Ironies genoeg ontvang middelklas en welgestelde Amerikaners ook "welsyn" in die vorm van belastingaftrekkings vir huisverbande, korporatiewe en plaaslike subsidies, kapitaalwinsbelasting, sosiale sekerheid, Medicare en 'n magdom ander belastingvoordele. Tog dra hierdie tipe hulp geen stigma nie en word dit selde as "welsyn" beskou (Goodgame, 1993). Dit lyk asof die sentiment teen welsyn verband hou met die houding oor klas en stereotipes oor die armes wat wyd gedeel en sosiaal gesanctioneer word. Rassisme stimuleer ook negatiewe houdings teenoor welsynsprogramme (Quadagno, 1994).

Mite: Mense oor welsyn word permanent afhanklik van die ondersteuning
Feit: Beweging van welsynsrolle kom gereeld voor
'N Algemene welsynsmite is dat vroue wat AFDC ontvang het, permanent afhanklik van openbare hulp geword het. Ontledings dui aan dat 56 persent van die AFDC -ondersteuning binne 12 maande geëindig het, 70 persent binne 24 maande en byna 85 persent binne 4 jaar (personeel van die huiskomitee oor maniere en middele, 1996). Hierdie uitgangskoerse weerspreek duidelik die wydverspreide mite dat AFDC -ontvangers op openbare hulp wil bly of dat welsynsafhanklikheid permanent is. Ongelukkig was die opbrengskoerse ook hoog, met 45 persent van die oud-ontvangers wat binne 1 jaar na AFDC teruggekeer het. Persone wat waarskynlik AFDC langer as die gemiddelde tyd sou gebruik, het minder as 12 jaar opleiding gehad, geen onlangse werkservaring nie, was nooit getroud nie, het 'n kind onder die ouderdom van 3 gehad of drie of meer kinders gehad, was Latina of Afro -Amerikaner en was jonger as 24 jaar (personeel van die huiskomitee oor maniere en middele, 1996). Hierdie risikofaktore illustreer die belangrikheid van strukturele hindernisse, soos onvoldoende kindersorg, rassisme en gebrek aan opvoeding.

Mite: Die meeste welsynsontvangers is Afro -Amerikaanse vroue
Feit: Die meeste welsynsontvangers is kinders en die meeste vroue op welsyn is wit
Kinders, nie vroue nie, is die grootste groep mense wat openbare hulp ontvang. Minder as 5 miljoen van die 14 miljoen ontvangers van openbare hulp is volwassenes, en 90 persent van die volwassenes is vroue (U.S. Bureau of Census, 1995). Die meerderheid van die ontvangers is Wit (38 persent), gevolg deur 37 persent Afro -Amerikaners en 25 persent ander minderheidsgroepe (Latino's, Inheemse Amerikaners en Asiatiese Amerikaners) (McLaughlin, 1997). Afro -Amerikaners word egter buite verhouding verteenwoordig op openbare hulp omdat hulle slegs 12 persent van die bevolking is (O'Hare, Pollard, Mann, & Kent, 1991).

Mite: Welsyn moedig buite-egtelike geboortes en groot gesinne aan
Feit: die gemiddelde welsynsgesin is nie groter as die gemiddelde nie -welsynsgesin nie
Die oortuiging dat alleenstaande vroue promiskuus is en groot gesinne het om groter voordele te ontvang, het geen grondslag vir bestaande navorsing nie, en enkelouergesinne is nie net 'n verskynsel van die armes nie (McFate, 1995). Die gemiddelde gesinsgrootte van welsynsontvangers het trouens afgeneem van vier in 1969 tot 2,8 in 1994 (Staff of House Committee on Ways and Means, 1996). In 1994 bestaan ​​43 persent van die welsynsgesinne uit een kind en 30 persent uit twee kinders. Die gemiddelde welsynsgesin is dus nie groter as die gemiddelde nie-ontvanger se gesin nie, en ten spyte van groot openbare kommer dat welsyn buite-egtelike geboortes aanmoedig, dui 'n groeiende hoeveelheid empiriese bewyse daarop dat welsynsvoordele nie 'n beduidende aansporing vir die geboorte is nie (Wilcox, Robbennolt, O'Keeffe, & Pynchon, 1997).

Mite: Welsynsgesinne gebruik hul voordele om oordadigheid te finansier

Feit: Welsynsgesinne leef ver onder die armoedegrens
Die oortuiging dat welsyn 'n belemmering vir werk bied, deur 'n goed betaalde gratis rit te bied waarmee ontvangers, gestereotipeer as 'Cadillac-koninginne', buitensporige items met hul voordele kan koop, is 'n ander mite. In werklikheid leef ontvangers aansienlik onder die armoededrempel. Ondanks verhoogde programbesteding, het die gemiddelde maandelikse gesinsvoordeel, gemeet in 1995 dollar, gedaal van $ 713 in 1970 tot $ 377 in 1995, 'n daling van 47 persent. In 26 state was AFDC -voordele alleen 64 persent minder as die 1996 -riglyne vir armoede, en die byvoeging van voedselsegmente het hierdie gaping slegs tot 35 persent verminder (Staff of House Committee on Ways and Means, 1996).
Ten spyte van die feit dat feite beskikbaar is, is mites oor welsyn steeds wydverspreid. Die media dra by tot hierdie gebrek aan inligting. Die media help om openbare persepsies oor welsynsontvangers te vorm. Die wyse waarop 'n onderwerp gerapporteer word, kan 'n neutrale leser in 'n opinievolle leser verander en die openbare mening baie beïnvloed. Alhoewel in 'n ontleding van artikels wat in Januarie 1997 tot April 1997 in 10 groot koerante gepubliseer is, die toon algemeen simpatiek was vir die armes, ontbreek werklike navorsing en feite om mites te bekamp (Wyche & amp Mattern, 1997).

Ek wil ook byvoeg dat die maksimum lewenslange welsynsvoordele wat u kan ontvang as gevolg van hervorming van welsyn 60 maande is.


LBJ: Voor die oorlog teen armoede - GESKIEDENIS

Het die Verenigde State die oorlog teen armoede verloor?

Digitale geskiedenis ONDERWERP -ID 111

Lyndon Baines Johnson het 'n visie vir Amerika gehad. Tydens die presidensiële veldtog van 1964 het hy gereeld daaroor gepraat. Hy het 'n Amerika voorgestel "waar geen kind ongesorg sal bly nie en geen jongeling ongeskool sal wees nie, waar elke kind 'n goeie onderwyser het en elke onderwyser 'n goeie salaris het, en albei goeie klaskamers het waar elke mens waardigheid is en elke werker 'n werk het." Johnson het sy visie die Great Society genoem, en hy het sy administrasie daartoe verbind om 'n 'oorlog teen armoede' te voer.

Om armoede te bekamp, ​​het die federale regering die minimum loon verhoog en 'n reeks programme opgestel om armer Amerikaners op te lei vir beter werk. Om voldoende behuising te verseker, het die regering stedelike roes aangeval, 'n program vir huursubsidies begin en 'n departement van behuising en stedelike ontwikkeling op kabinetsvlak op die been gebring. Om onderwys te bevorder, het die federale regering 'n stelsel van universiteitslenings opgestel. Om die gesondheidsbehoeftes van die land aan te spreek, het die federale regering Medicaid uitgevaardig om vir die mediese uitgawes van die armes te betaal, en Medicare, wat mediese versekering uitgebrei het na ouer Amerikaners onder die Social Security System.

Toe Lyndon Johnson in 1969 die presidentskap verlaat, het hy die nalatenskap van 'n getransformeerde federale regering agtergelaat. Aan die einde van die Eisenhower -presidentskap in 1961 was daar slegs 45 huishoudelike sosiale programme. Teen 1969 het die getal tot 435 gestyg. Federale maatskaplike uitgawes, uitgesluit sosiale sekerheid, het gestyg van $ 9,9 miljard in 1960 tot $ 25,6 miljard in 1968. Johnson se "oorlog teen armoede" was die grootste aanval wat Amerikaners ooit op die spesiale probleme ondervind het wat armes en agtergeblewe gesinne. Dit het beslis verklaar dat die probleme van die armes-probleme met behuising, inkomste, werk en gesondheid-uiteindelik 'n federale verantwoordelikheid is.

Toe Johnson sy Great Society -program in 1964 aankondig, belowe hy armoede te verminder, honger en wanvoeding te verlig, mediese sorg in die gemeenskap uit te brei, voldoende huisvesting te verskaf en die werkbaarheid van armes te verbeter. Het hy sy belofte gestand gedoen?

Toe president Johnson in die amp kom, leef 22 persent van die gesinne van die land in armoede (teenoor 30 persent in 1950). Die land se grootste programme om armes by te staan-hulp aan gesinne met afhanklike kinders, sosiale sekerheid en kosseëls-het slegs 'n geringe deel van die land se arm bevolking bevoordeel. AFDC betaal slegs $ 388 per maand (in 1980 dollar) aan 'n gesin van vier sosiale sekerheidsbetalings, gemiddeld slegs $ 184 per maand (in 1980 dollar) en kosseëls bereik slegs twee persent van die armes van die land. Medicare en medicaid het nie bestaan ​​nie. Drie en dertig miljoen arm mense het meegeding om slegs 600 000 openbare wooneenhede.

Toe Johnson sy amp verlaat, het die amptelike armoedesyfer gedaal van 22 persent in 1960 tot 13 persent - dit is waar die armoede tans bly. AFDC -betalings het gestyg tot $ 577 (in 1980 dollar). Die kindersterftes onder die armes, wat tussen 1950 en 1965 skaars afgeneem het, het in die dekade na 1965 met een derde gedaal as gevolg van die uitbreiding van federale mediese en voedingsprogramme. Voordat Medicaid en Medicare geïmplementeer is, was 20 persent van die armes nog nooit deur 'n dokter ondersoek nie, toe Johnson as president uittree, is die syfer tot 8 persent verminder. Die persentasie gesinne wat in substandaardbehuising woon-dit wil sê huisvesting sonder binnenshuise loodgieterswerk-het ook skerp gedaal, van 20 persent in 1960 tot 11 persent 'n dekade later.

Ondanks hierdie winste beweer Johnson se kritici dat "in die oorlog teen armoede armoede gewen het". Politieke konserwatiewes het aangevoer dat openbare hulp, voedselsubsidies, gesondheidsprogramme en kindersorgprogramme armer gesinne verswak. President Ronald Reagan het 'n algemene konserwatiewe standpunt uitgespreek toe hy verklaar: "Daar is geen twyfel dat baie goedbedoelde programme van die Great Society-tipe bygedra het tot gesinsverbrokkinge, welsynsafhanklikheid en 'n groot toename in geboortes buite die huwelik nie."

Om hul argumente te ondersteun, noem konserwatiewes 'n noue chronologiese verband tussen verhoogde uitgawes van die regering se welsyn en dramatiese toenames in huishoudings met 'n vrou en onwettigheid onder die armes. In 1959 het slegs tien persent van die Amerikaners met 'n lae inkomste in 'n enkelouerhuis gewoon. Teen 1980 het die syfer tot 44 persent gestyg. Terselfdertyd het die aantal buite -egtelike geboortes onder die armes aansienlik toegeneem. As die aantal enkelouergesinne op die 1970-vlak gebly het, sou die aantal arm gesinne in 1980 32 persent laer gewees het as wat dit was.

Het die uitbreiding van staatsdienste bygedra tot stygende onwettigheid en enkelouerskap? Die antwoord op hierdie vraag bly betwis. Aan die een kant is daar geen empiriese bewyse dat daar 'n verband bestaan ​​tussen die vlak van welsynsbetalings die aantal kinders in enkelouergesinne nie. Ander studies het getoon dat stygings in die lone van die armes 'n skerp daling in huishoudings met 'n vrou veroorsaak, wat daarop dui dat dit lae lone en onstabiele werk is, en nie die vlak van welsynsbetalings nie, wat die grootste bydrae tot gesinsonstabiliteit lewer.

Sommige van die oënskynlike agteruitgang in arm gesinne is illusories. As 'n groeiende deel van die armes 'n gesinshoof was, weerspieël dit deels die skerp vermindering van armoede onder ander groepe. One of the consequences of the Great Society was to dramatically alter the profile of the poor. Increases in Social Security payments sharply reduced the incidence of poverty among the elderly. The Supplemental Social Security program introduced in 1973 greatly reduced poverty among the disabled. As a result of reductions in poverty among the elderly and disabled and increases in the number of single parent, female headed households, poverty has been increasingly feminized.

And yet, if the war on poverty accomplished more than its critics charged, there can be little doubt that the Johnson administration failed to persuade Americans that it had been successful. Beginning with the Presidential election of 1988, the Republican party won five of six elections and controlled the White House for sixteen of twenty years. Hoekom?

A 1969 book entitled The Emerging Republican Majority by political commentator Kevin Phillips offered an answer. He claimed that the Great Society provoked an angry reaction among large segments of the white working class and middle class. Issues of race - such as affirmative action, school busing, residential integration, and racial preferences in job selection and government contracting - along with a reaction against the antiwar movement, cultural permissiveness, crime, cutbacks in local control of schools and neighborhoods, and liberal Supreme Court decisions on subjects ranging from pornography to the rights of criminal defendants, Phillips argued, had fractured the political coalition that had arisen during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

1. Divorce rates, illegitimacy rates, and single parenthood increased not only among the poor but among the middle class as well. How would you account for these changes in family patterns?

2. Certain structural changes in the American economy have contributed to high unemployment rates in central city areas. Identify these structural changes.

3. Why, in your view, has the poverty rate remained roughly constant since 1969?


Notas

[1] See Conversation WH6407-18-4407 .
[2] For the early part of Johnson’s presidency, see Randall B. Woods, LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (New York: Free Press, 2006), 415–500.
[3] Kent B. Germany, ed., Presidential Recordings of Lyndon B. Johnson: Civil Rights, 1964 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010) Taylor Branch, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years:1963–65 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), 361–400.
[4] John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 272–302.
[5] Thomas J. Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (New York: Random House, 2008).
[6] James T. Patterson, America’s Struggle Against Poverty, 1900–1994 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 105–11.
[7] Thomas F. Jackson, From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).
[8] Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard, eds., Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940–1980 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).
[9] “Poverty and Urban Policy: Conference Transcript of 1973 Group Discussion of the Kennedy Administration Urban Poverty Programs and Policies,” Brandeis University, 16–17 June 1973, in The John F. Kennedy Presidential Oral History Collection, pt. 1 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1988), 162–63.
[10] Transcript, Walter F. Heller Oral History Interview 1, 20 February 1970, by David McComb, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, pp. 20–21.
[11] James L. Sundquist, Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1968), 115–25 Alice O’Connor, Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 124–28 Noel A. Cazenave, Impossible Democracy: The Unlikely Success of the War on Poverty Community Action Programs (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 19–63.
[12] Peter Marris and Martin Rein, Dilemmas of Social Reform: Poverty and Community Action in the United States (New York: Atherton Press, 1967), 20–30 O’Connor, Poverty Knowledge, 127–36.
[13] “Poverty and Urban Policy,” pp. 126–28, 144–45, 172–73,177–79 Sundquist, Politics and Policy, 138–39 Allen J. Matusow, The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (New York: Harper & Rowe, 1984), 12–22.
[14] Heller Oral History Interview 1, pp. 26–28 Transcript, William Cannon Oral History Interview 1, 21 May 1982, by Michael L. Gillette, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, pp. 3–11 Matusow, The Unraveling of Amerika, 122–23.
[15] “Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union, 8 January 1964,” Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963–64 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1965), 1:114.
[16] For an insightful study of the rhetorical strategies surrounding the War on Poverty, see David Zarefsky, President Johnson’s War on Poverty: Rhetoric and History (University: University of Alabama Press, 1986).
[17] Johnson to Kermit Gordon and Robert Anderson, 10:37 A.M.., 8 January 1964, in The Presidential Recordings, Lyndon B. Johnson: The Kennedy Assassination and the Transfer of Power, November 1963– January 1964, vol. 3, January 1964, red. Kent B. Germany and Robert David Johnson (New York: Norton 2005), 275. Gareth Davies emphasizes the centrality of traditional American themes of opportunity and uplift in the initial conception of the War on Poverty. Gareth Davies, From Opportunity to Entitlement: The Transformation and Decline of Great Society Liberalism (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1996).
[18] Johnson to Walter Heller, 12:00 Bl.M.., 23 December 1964, in The Presidential Recordings, Lyndon B. Johnson: The Kennedy Assassination and the Transfer of Power, November 1963–January 1964, vol. 2, December 1963, red. Robert David Johnson and David Shreve (New York: Norton, 2005), 699.
[19] On Johnson and the NYA, see Woods, LBJ, 106–15 Sidney M. Milkis, “Lyndon Johnson, the Great Society, and the ‘Twilight’ of the Modern Presidency,” in The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism, red. Milkis and Jerome M. Mileur (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005), 3– 4, 9–13, 30–31.
[20] Richard Daley to Lyndon Johnson, 6:10 Bl.M.., 20 January 1964, in Presidential Recordings, Johnson, vol. 3 , January 1964, red. Germany and Johnson, p. 651.
[21] Roy Wilkins, 5:12 Bl.M.., 6 January 1964, ibid., pp. 193–94.
[22] See Johnson to Sargent Shriver, 1:02 Bl.M.. Sargent Shriver to Johnson, 2:25 Bl.M.. Johnson to Sargent Shriver, Time Unknown and Sargent Shriver to Johnson, 6:28 Bl.M.., all occurring on 1 February 1964, in The Presidential Recordings, Lyndon B. Johnson: Toward the Great Society, February 1, 1964May 31, 1964, vol. 4, February 1, 1964–March 8, 1964, red. Robert David Johnson and Kent B. Germany (New York: Norton, 2007), 13–25, 36–49, 55–70.
[23] Sargent Shriver to Johnson, 2:25 Bl.M.., ibid., p. 36.
[24] Transcript, Adam Yarmolinsky Oral History Interview 2, 21 October 1980, by Michael L. Gillette, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, p. 3.
[25] Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), “The Office of Economic Opportunity During the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson November 1963–January 1969,” 1969, “Volume I, Part II Narrative History” folder (1 of 3), Box 1, Special Files: Administrative Histories, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, pp. 28–29.
[26] Ibid., pp. 35–38 Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 88th Cong., 2nd sess., 1964, vol. 20 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Service, 1965), 210–12.
[27] “Poverty and Urban Policy,” p. 287. The jobs program would have been funded by a tax on tobacco products. In another account of the meeting, Yarmolinsky stated that “the President just ignored him [Wirtz]. It was a shocking demonstration of the way Johnson sometimes handled things. He didn’t even bother to respond he just went on to the next item on the agenda.” Yarmolinsky Oral History Interview 2, pp. 3–5.
[28] O’Connor, Poverty Knowledge, 121–23, 141–42, 164–65 Judith Russell, Economics, Bureaucracy, and Race: How Keynesians Misguided the War on Poverty (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004).
[29] “Poverty and Urban Policy,” pp. 243–49, 254–55 Adam Yarmolinsky Oral History Interview 1, 13 July 1970, by Paige Mulhollan, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, pp. 9–11 Yarmolinsky Oral History Interview 3, 22 October 1980, by Michael L. Gillette, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, pp. 15–17. For evidence that some of the poverty planners recognized the radical potential of maximum feasible participation, see F. O’R. Hayes, “The Role of Indigenous Organizations in Community Action Programs,” 4 May 1964, Office Files of White House Aides: Fred Bohen, Box 2, “OEO Material,” Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, p. 3 “Poverty and Urban Policy,” p. 230 Jack Conway Oral History Interview 1, 13 August 1980, by Michael L. Gillette, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, pp. 18–19, 24–25.
[30] Annelise Orleck, Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (Boston: Beacon Press, 2005) Kent B. Germany, New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship, and the Search for the Great Society (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007) Susan Youngblood Ashmore, Carry It On: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, 1964–1972 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008) Robert Bauman, Race and the War on Poverty: From Watts to East L.A. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008) Julia Rabig, The Fixers: Devolution, Development, and Civil Society in Newark, 1960–1990 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016) Michael Woodsworth, Battle for Bed-Stuy: The Long War on Poverty in New York City (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016).
[31] OEO, “The Office of Economic Opportunity during the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson,” pp. 31–33 Orville Freeman to Lyndon Johnson, 8:08 Bl.M.., 6 March 1964, in Presidential Recordings, Johnson, vol. 4, February 1, 1964–March 8, 1964, red. Johnson and Germany, pp. 958–59.
[32] “Special Message to the Congress Proposing a Nationwide War on the Sources of Poverty,” 16 March 1964, Public Papers, Johnson, 1963–64, 1:376 OEO, “The Office of Economic Opportunity during the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson,” p. 34 Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1964, vol. 20, pp. 215–22.
[33] Sundquist, Politics and Policy, 146–47.
[34] For both the Smith and Powell issues, see Sargent Shriver to Johnson, 7:38 Bl.M.., 30 April 1964, in The Presidential Recordings, Lyndon B. Johnson: Toward the Great Society, February 1, 1964–May 31, 1964, vol. 6, April 14, 1964–May 31, 1964, red. Guian A. McKee (New York: Norton, 2007), 367–75.
[35] Johnson to Bill Moyers, 6:03 Bl.M.., 23 April 1964, in ibid., pp. 191–99.
[36] Johnson to Phil Landrum, 10:00 A.M.., 14 May 1964, in ibid., pp. 708–12, and other related conversations in volume 6.
[37] Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward, Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare (New York: Random House, 1971).
[38] See Conversation WH6408-12-4815-4816-4817 between Bill Moyers and Johnson.
[39] Ibid.
[40] For Yarmolinsky’s memory of these events, see Yarmolinsky Oral History Interview 1, pp. 16–27 Yarmolinsky Oral History Interview 3, pp. 38–40 Michael L. Gillette, Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996), 134–40.
[41] Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 89th Cong., 1st sess., 1965, vol. 21 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Service, 1966), 405–6, 416–420 Robert C. Albright, “Poverty Bill Attacked by GOP as Wasteful,” Washington Post, 17 August 1965 Steven Gerstel, “Governor Veto on Poverty Aid Loses,” Washington Post, 18 August 1965 Joe Hall, “Senate Votes $1.65 Billion Poverty Bill,” Washington Post, 18 August 1965.
[42] Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 90th Cong., 1st Sess., 1967, vol. 23 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Service, 1968), 1075–81 OEO, “The Office of Economic Opportunity during the Administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson,” 598–604.
[43] For the Ribicoff hearings, and the Johnson-RFK rivalry generally, see Jeff Shesol, Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), 244–50.
[44] Annelise Orleck and Lisa Gayle Hazirjian, The War on Poverty: A New Grassroots History, 1964–1980 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011), along with the works cited in note 30 above.

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LBJ's war on poverty and its failures

Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: "We're in favor of a lot of things and we're against mighty few." This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier.

Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, "but that is just the beginning." It would "rebuild the entire urban United States" while fending off "boredom and restlessness," and enhancing "the meaning of our lives" – all by assembling "the best thought and the broadest knowledge." In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing "just about always or most of the time " today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

Barry Goldwater, Johnson's 1964 opponent who assumed that Americans would vote to have a third president in 14 months, suffered a landslide defeat. After voters rebuked FDR in 1938 for attempting to "pack" the Supreme Court, Republicans and Southern Democrats prevented any liberal legislating majority in Congress until 1965. That year, however, when 68 senators and 295 representatives were Democrats, Johnson was unfettered.

He remains, regarding government's role, much the most consequential 20th-century president. Indeed, the American Enterprise Institute's Nicholas Eberstadt, in his measured new booklet "The Great Society at Fifty: The Triumph and the Tragedy," says LBJ, more than FDR, "profoundly recast the common understanding of the ends of governance."

When Johnson became president in 1963, Social Security was America's only nationwide social program. His programs and those they subsequently legitimated put the nation on the path to the present, in which changed social norms – dependency on government has been destigmatized – have changed America's national character.

Between 1959 and 1966 – before the War on Poverty was implemented – the percentage of Americans living in poverty plunged by about one-third, from 22.4 to 14.7, slightly lower than in 2012. But, Eberstadt cautions, the poverty rate is "incorrigibly misleading" because government transfer payments have made income levels and consumption levels significantly different. Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, disability payments, heating assistance and other entitlements have, Eberstadt says, made income "a poor predictor of spending power for lower-income groups." Stark material deprivation is now rare:

"By 2011 … average per capita housing space for people in poverty was higher than the U.S. average for 1980. … 'Many' appliances were more common in officially impoverished homes in 2011 than in the typical American home of 1980. … DVD players, personal computers, and home Internet access are now typical in them – amenities not even the richest U.S. households could avail themselves of at the start of the War on Poverty."

Twenty-nine percent of Americans – about 47 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics – live in households receiving means-tested benefits. And "the proportion of men 20 and older who are employed has dramatically and almost steadily dropped since the start of the War on Poverty, falling from 80.6 percent in January 1964 to 67.6 percent 50 years later." Because work – independence, self-reliance – is essential to the culture of freedom, ominous developments have coincided with Great Society policies:

For every adult man ages 20 to 64 who is between jobs and looking for work, more than three are neither working nor seeking work, a trend that began with the Great Society. And what Eberstadt calls "the earthquake that shook family structure in the era of expansive anti-poverty policies" has seen out-of-wedlock births increase from 7.7 percent in 1965 to more than 40 percent in 2012, including 72 percent of black babies.


The US declared war on poverty 50 years ago. You would never know it

T his 8 January marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's declaration of "unconditional war on poverty". The statement came in a state of the union address that, because of its often drab prose, has rarely drawn much praise. But a half century later, it's time to re-examine the case Johnson made in 1964 for remedying poverty in America.

In an era such as our own, when – despite a poverty rate the Census Bureau puts at 16% – Congress is preparing to cut the food stamp program and has refused to extend unemployment insurance, Johnson's compassion stands out, along with his nuanced sense of who the poor are and what can be done to make their lives better.

Johnson's 1964 ideas on how to wage a war on poverty (today a family of four living on $23,492 a year and an individual living on $11,720 a year are classified as poor) not only conflict with the current thinking of those on the right who would reduce government aid to the needy. They also conflict with the current thinking of those on the left who would make the social safety net, rather than fundamental economic change, the answer to poverty.

Johnson's approach to poverty reflects the influence of John F Kennedy and the New Deal thinking of Franklin Roosevelt, but the passion behind Johnson's call for a war on poverty has its deepest historical parallel in a figure very unlike him – the turn-of-the-century American pragmatist William James. James, in his 1906 essay, the Moral Equivalent of War, made the case for bringing the fervor we associate with war to improving civic life.

In words that might easily have been spoken by James, Johnson declared:

In the past we have often been called upon to wage war against foreign enemies which threatened our freedom. Today we are asked to declare war on a domestic enemy which threatens the strength of our nation and the welfare of our people.

On 4 December 1963, shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy, Johnson wrote a letter to the American Public Welfare Association in which he spoke of launching an "attack on poverty". But over the course of 1964, it was through a series of public addresses and in championing such legislation as the Economic Opportunity Act, for which Congress, at Johnson's urging, appropriated $947m, that LBJ showed how committed he was to eradicating poverty.

At the core of Johnson's war on poverty, which he continually linked to civil rights, lay his belief that, while coming to the rescue of the poor was important, temporary relief could not be the basis of victory. "The war on poverty is not a struggle simply to support people, to make them dependent on the generosity of others," LBJ insisted. "We want to offer the forgotten fifth of our people opportunity and not doles."

For Johnson, the war on poverty was a struggle to transfer power to those in need by enabling them to stand on their own feet. Better schools, better healthcare, better job training were fundamental to Johnson's war on poverty because these measures allowed those who were once poor to compete equally. They no longer had to ask others to take pity on them.

The initial agent for achieving such change, Johnson had no doubt, was the government, and he made no apologies for government activism as far as LBJ was concerned, government had historically played an activist role in American life. He believed he was proposing nothing the country had not done in different ways before.

In March 1964, when he formally proposed his nationwide war on poverty, Johnson told Congress:

From the establishment of public education and land-grant colleges, through agricultural extension and encouragement to industry, we have pursued the goal of a nation with full and increasing opportunities for all its citizens.

In helping people out of poverty, Johnson realized that he was making American society more egalitarian by lessening the gap between rich and poor, but he did not see the action he was taking as detrimental to the wealthy. His war on poverty was not a zero sum game in which one group's gains promised another group's losses. "Our history has proved that each time we broaden the base of abundance." Johnson argued, "we create new industry, higher production, increased earnings, and better income for all".

At a period when the economy was expanding, and polls indicated that more than 75% of Americans believed they "could trust government to do the right thing most of the time", Johnson's argument resonated with voters more readily than it would today. In the end, though, LBJ was unwilling to let his efforts depend on economics alone. He made a point of defending the moral basis of a war on poverty:

Because it is right, because it is wise.

In Johnson's eyes, the measure of a victorious war on poverty rested on achieving an America "in which every citizen shares all the opportunities of his society". By contrast, "soulless wealth", as Johnson observed during a speech at the University of Michigan, was abundance that remained inaccessible to all but a relative few. Soulless wealth typified a society divided between haves and have-nots.

We will never know how much more successful Johnson's war on poverty might have been without the impact of the Vietnam War on the American economy and American political life. Yet by 1973, just nine years after Johnson's declaration of war, poverty in America was down to 11.1%, compared to 19% when Johnson took office.

This is an achievement we have not equaled in recent years, but it is one we should learn from, especially as we continue to struggle with built-in headwinds such as a federal minimum wage of just $7.25 per hour ($15,080 annually) and the lingering effects of the Great Recession.


LBJ: Before the War on Poverty - HISTORY

Americans love to declare war on abstract ideas. The War on Christmas, the War on Drugs and, declared on Jan. 8, 1964, the War on Poverty. Much like these other “wars,” President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty was, by and large, a failure.

In 1964, poverty wasn’t a new problem, but it was a newly realized and newly contextualized problem after the first numbers on poverty came out in 1959.

During Johnson’s 1964 State of the Union Address, he laid out his offensive against poverty to not only “relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” Expansion in government-funded education and healthcare were foundations of the plan–foundations that can still be seen today in programs such as Head Start, the TRIO college opportunity program, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Unfortunately for the country and for Johnson’s plan, the War on Poverty was prohibitively expensive. At least, it was prohibitively expensive while the nation made the war in Vietnam the top priority in the 1960s and 1970s. The war on poverty didn’t start rolling again after the conclusion of the war in Vietnam, either, with successive presidents cutting down funding for Johnson’s program in an effort to dismantle what they called the welfare state.

Today, 80 percent of the population divvies up a little less than half of the total income. We are a nation of haves and have-nots. Most notable are the 45 million have-nots who fall under the poverty line–$23,850 annual income for a family of four, $15,730 for a couple, and $11,670 for an individual: that’s how around 15 percent of the total population live. And 33 percent of the population� million people–live in close proximity to the poverty line with incomes less than double the poverty threshold.


War on Poverty: Portraits From an Appalachian Battleground, 1964

The staggering range and sheer excellence of the late John Dominis’ pictures—his Korean War coverage his portraits of pop-culture icons like Sinatra, Redford and McQueen his beautiful treatment of the “big cats” of Africa his virile sports photography—place him firmly among the premier photojournalists of his day. But a lesser-known photo essay that Dominis shot for LIFE magazine, focusing on the plight of Appalachians in eastern Kentucky in the early 1960s, spotlights another aspect of the man’s great talent: namely, an ability to portray the forgotten and the afflicted while never sacrificing the dignity of his subjects.

The extraordinary 12-page feature for the Jan. 31, 1964, issue of LIFE, titled “The Valley of Poverty” one of the very first substantive reports in any American publication on President Lyndon Johnson’s nascent War on Poverty .

At the time, LIFE was arguably the most influential weekly magazine in the country, and without doubt the most widely read magazine anywhere to regularly publish major photo essays by the world’s premier photojournalists. In that light, LIFE was in a unique position in the early days of Johnson’s administration to not merely tell but to show its readers what was at stake, and what the challenges were, as the new president’s “Great Society” got under way.

“The Valley of Poverty,” illustrated with some of the most powerful and intimate photographs of Dominis’ career, served (and still serves today) as an indictment of a wealthy nation’s indifference.

As LIFE put it to the magazine’s readers in January 1964:

In a lonely valley in eastern Kentucky, in the heart of the mountainous region called Appalachia, live an impoverished people whose plight has long been ignored by affluent America. Their homes are shacks without plumbing or sanitation. Their landscape is a man-made desolation of corrugated hills and hollows laced with polluted streams. The people, themselves often disease-ridden and unschooled are without jobs and even without hope. Government relief and handouts of surplus food have sustained them on a bare subsistence level for so many years that idleness and relief are now their accepted way of life.

President Johnson, who has declared “unconditional war on poverty in America,” has singled out Appalachia as a major target. . . . Appalachia stretches from northern Alabama to southern Pennsylvania, and the same disaster that struck eastern Kentucky hit the whole region the collapse of the coal industry 20 years ago, which left Appalachia a vast junkyard. It was no use for the jobless miners to try farming strip mining has wrecked much of the land and, in any case, the miners had lost contact with the soil generations ago. . . . Unless the grim chain [of unemployment and lack of education] can be broken, a second generation coming of age in Appalachia will fall into the same dismal life a life that protects them from starvation but deprives them of self-respect and hope.

In a shack near Neon, Ky., Delphi Mobley comforted daughter Riva, who was ill with measles. Proper medical care was beyond her $125 monthly welfare pay.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

“Nadine McFall, 1, happily reached over to pat the stomach of a huge doll—its wardrobe long since lost and never replaced —as she squatted on a crowded couch in her great grandmother’s shack near Neon.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

On a wintry afternoon in Line Fork Creek a family trudged across a rickety suspension bridge over a sewage-polluted stream to its two-room shack.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Youngsters lapped up a surplus-commodity supper of pan-fried biscuits, gravy and potatoes at the Odell Smiths of Friday Branch Creek. The newspapers were pasted by Mrs. Smith in an effort to keep the place neat.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

JJohn Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

All over Appalachia the ruins of trestles jutted from deserted hillside coal mines. This mine had once offered workers a good living, but it closed in 1945.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Tearing with bare hands at frozen lumps of coal, Willard Bryant and his son Billy crouched between railroad tracks, scavenging fuel to heat their home. When the tub was full, they dragged it to the hill where they live, reloaded the coal into bags and carried it on their backs to the house.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

In a one-room school at Thornton Gap, pupils were constantly out sick during the winter.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia’s young people, like Roberta Oliver, 14, from Rock House Creek, Ky., were often sad-faced and prematurely aged. Most suffered fatigue because of a diet of surplus food, heavy in starches like flour and rice and inadequately augmented by lard and cheese, butter and ground pork.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

In the Thorton Gap Regular Baptist Church, a tar-paper-covered shed heated to stifling by a big stove, preacher Elzie Kiser, 62, called on his small flock to “get with God.”

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Eighteen-year-old Ray Martin was a lucky man by local standards. He had a job in a mine near Isom, one of the shoestring ‘dog holes’ kept operating thanks to low wages, back-breaking labor, overused equipment and minimal safety measures.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

Appalachia, eastern Kentucky, 1964.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

A cow was a rare sight in Appalachia. The people are not country folk but an industrial population who happened to live in the country. Many kept chickens, but farming was seldom practiced.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock

The commonest sights around Appalachia were aging men and ragged urchins.

John Dominis/Life Pictures/Shutterstock


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