11.1-11.8 - American Politics and Social Welfare Policy...

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American Politics and Social Welfare Policy 11.1-11.8 LBJ declares ‘War on Poverty’ during 1964 State of the Union - takes Kennedy poverty program and ‘develops’ it - culminates in Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 Two ‘intellectual’ sources for material that found its way into Economic Opportunity Act - “vocational rehabilitation” (1962 welfare amendments) o Taking people seen as ‘unfit’ or not well prepared for job market, and help them prepare themselves to work in the job market Job training o This is the thrust of the Economic Opportunity Act - Second source was an approach based on “cultural degredation” o Based on the “culture of poverty” o Why are some places, some villages, some cities stuck in persistent poverty? Even as national economy is strong in the aggregate, some areas are not rising with the economic tide The approach is focused on ‘opportunity,’ not equality - no heavy emphasis on redistribution, giving more cash to people, etc. - the goal is to end poverty through ‘opportunity’ What does this mean in terms of poverty? - big emphasis on social services; like 1962, but expanded on a much larger scale o education o job training o ending discrimation o legal services funded by federal government - spending goes up enormously, but not because of increased cash assistance; it goes up mostly due to this expansion of social services Johnson did not want big increases in cash assistance, but rather the things that would open economic opportunities to people; so, he rejected the first poverty plan brought to
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11.1-11.8 - American Politics and Social Welfare Policy...

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