4-WhyComparingWarOnPoverty.doc - The War on Poverty and...

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The War on Poverty and Welfare Reform Why Comparing the War on Poverty with Welfare Reform Won’t Work By Jim Masters Updated August 16, 2005 I think the “War on Poverty” is a misunderstood and misused term. In his State of the Union message on January 8, 1964, LBJ announced the War on Poverty and listed 23 strategies related to this new “war.” They are not a unified field theory of poverty, and do not add up to a stand-alone strategy that can be compared with any other strategy --especially with welfare reform. The following list is taken from the LBJ speech. 1. “Poverty is a national problem, requiring improved national organization and support. This attack must be organized at the State and Local level and must be supported and directed by State and Local efforts.” (Became EOA of 1964, with the OEO, State Economic Opportunity Offices, CAA’s and the community action program.) 2. “Our chief weapons will be better schools, 3. better health, 4. better homes, 5. and better training and 6. job opportunities.” 7. “Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capabilities….in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.” (e.g. discrimination as a cause of poverty.) 8. “…a special effort in the chronically distressed areas of Appalachia.” (Appalachian Regional Commission, still going strong. A model for the Delta Comission.)) 9. “…expand our small but successful area redevelopment program.” 10. “…enact youth employment legislation….” (became Neighborhood Youth Corps, which is now Youth Training in WIA, and Job Corps.) 11. “…create a National Service Corps….” (became VISTA) 12. “…modernize unemployment insurance….” 13. “….extend coverage of our minimum wage laws to 2 million workers now lacking this basic protection….”
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  • Spring '15
  • It, Economic Opportunity Act, Poverty in the United States, Economic Opportunity Act of 1964

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