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Old 01-19-2014, 09:46 PM
 
1,519 posts, read 1,162,781 times
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In the WSJ it stated that in the last 50 years 20.1 trillion dollars was spent on LBJs Great Society programs. They why are there ghettos in America? Where did the money go? Did it work? It doesn't seem so.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:33 AM
 
275 posts, read 158,213 times
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Government charges a huge handling fee then throws crumbs to the poor who are ever so grateful and want even bigger government.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
5,549 posts, read 8,225,316 times
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It didn't work because the effect has been to make people more comfortable in their poverty, not to become self-sufficient at above the bare subsistence level.

Government benefit programs as they are currently designed also reward certain types of behavior that perpetuate poverty, and encourage people to make irresponsible choices with their lives.

The mentality is that poor people are incapable of making the right choices, so we can't expect them to. They absorb and internalize that mentality.

A program that is successful would eventually go out of business, or at least decline in terms of the need for it. The fact that the "need" for these programs keeps growing is a sure sign that they're not working. At the rate we're going, half the country will be on food stamps before long. It's morally debilitating to have a society where so many people are dependent and either unable or unwilling to provide for themselves or their offspring. It's a sign that something serious is wrong.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Canada
196 posts, read 328,138 times
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It is funny, as this can be equated to the rise of public housing in Chicago. When it first sprung up, it was mixed race, and combined working poor with those who were unable to work and needed subsidized housing. At that time, public housing (except for those who couldn't work) was viewed as a way-station; somewhere where you were on your way up and out.

Then a major change was made, where rents were indexed to people's incomes. So the working class all move away, and the housing is left with a large group of non working individuals, those who are unable to work, or those who choose not to work. Add in the scourge of drugs and gangs, and the whole system fell apart.

And now poverty becomes institutionalized, passed down from generation to generation.

I think the lesson from this is that something that started positively ended up horrific, mainly as someone somewhere had the hubris to make a bad decision. I agree with dazzleman - when you make people comfortable in poverty, then there is little to no incentive for the people to pull themselves out of it.

This being said, much of my reading has shown that for people who've lived in this sort of institutionalized poverty all their lives, they have little concept of how to pull themselves out of it. When one cannot imagine a better life for themselves, how can they take steps to get there? For example, to people who lived in the Robert Taylor Homes, an average middle-class existence must have looked as unattainable as flapping their arms and flying to the moon.

Back to the OP, I think this is really what LBJ's Great Society came to....well-meaning (and in many ways patronizing) social programs that tried to address poverty without fully addressing the underlying institutional racism that still existed. Then, if any program worked, someone had to mess with it (and in most cases, a well-meaning way) causing inadvertent and negative consequences.

I think a secondary piece is that no-one could have predicted the collapse of American manufacturing, combined with the offshoring of what used to be good pay and benefit jobs. This had the effect of eviscerating the middle class, while increasing the proportional wealth of the rich, and increasing the size of poor/working class cohort. America's economy and industrial base has fundamentally changed since The Great Society was launched, something no-one could have foreseen.

A "Great Society" was one where anyone could achieve what they wanted, regardless of where they grew up, how much money they had, or whatever color their skin was. Many Americans today now know this is a myth - the middle class is vanishing, and the divide between rich and poor is widening (with visible racial gaps here too). And the prognosis for the future is not promising, assuming people continue to accumulate debt to get stuff and homes and vehicles they cannot afford.

Really, the idea of the "Great Society" is dead, killed by money/wealth/materialism becoming the main motivating factor for a society.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Florida
3,198 posts, read 4,267,723 times
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Help from the government is seen as a hammock and not as a parachute now.

That's why things are the way they are. The massive failure of his War on Poverty has cost us so much money and devastated the black family beyond repair.

The cynical side of me says it was done on purpose, what's better way to ensure that generations of poor folks on government handouts will vote democrat?

What did Nixon say?
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Your first paragraph made me laugh, but unfortunately you nailed it !
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Waiting for a streetcar
1,137 posts, read 1,141,743 times
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The only thing being nailed here is the fact that this thread has already become nothing but another soapbox for fantasy-plagued right-wing preachermen and their assorted gospels of garbage.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:12 AM
 
8,362 posts, read 8,638,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickerman View Post
In the WSJ it stated that in the last 50 years 20.1 trillion dollars was spent on LBJs Great Society programs. They why are there ghettos in America? Where did the money go? Did it work? It doesn't seem so.
Your premise that the War on Poverty "didn't work" is flawed.

It did work, it just didn't work as effectively as everyone would like.

From 1959 to present, the percentage of people who are "impoverished" in America declined from 22% to 15%. That's a one third reduction in the overall poverty rate. If we cull the data a little further, we'll learn that prior to the beginning of the recession in 2008, the percentage of people living in poverty was even lower. In 2008, the graph shows the percentage living in poverty was as low as 13 percent.

File:Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate 1959 to 2011. United States..PNG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contrary to what some say here, the war on poverty programs offered (and still offer) concrete ways for the poor to escape poverty. Here are some examples:

1. Job Corps Program. Trains those who dropped out of high school for skilled employment in an economy that demands skilled labor.

2. Head Start Program. Helps assist the children of impoverished families to get ready to learn in school. To some this sounds unnecessary. However, poor children come from many backgrounds. If you have little exposure to written and spoken English in your family than you are at a disadvantage compared to other children when you enter public schools.

3. Community Health Centers. Brings medical care into inner cities and poor areas that are traditionally under served by medical clinics and hospitals. Sick people have a hard time finding work. Treating disease and chronic health conditions makes it possible for many of the poor to hold down a job.

4. Student loans and grants. Make it possible for those who cannot afford college or trade school to do so.

None of these programs "encourage poverty" despite continued efforts by some on the right wing to distort and misrepresent what they do.

Historically, the War on Poverty was doing well, until resources were pulled back to some degree to fight the Vietnam War. It was cut back further, after Richard Nixon became President. Still, inspite of it all, one third of all those who were helped escaped the trap of impoverishment.

I don't know where the OP got his $20 trillion figure from. I don't want to know his source as much as I want to see a line item break down adding up to $20 trillion over the last 50 years. I'd be surprised if we ever had spent that much on the poor. Most money in this country goes to the middle class through social security and medicare.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:50 AM
 
275 posts, read 158,213 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzleman View Post
It didn't work because the effect has been to make people more comfortable in their poverty, not to become self-sufficient at above the bare subsistence level.

Government benefit programs as they are currently designed also reward certain types of behavior that perpetuate poverty, and encourage people to make irresponsible choices with their lives.

The mentality is that poor people are incapable of making the right choices, so we can't expect them to. They absorb and internalize that mentality.

A program that is successful would eventually go out of business, or at least decline in terms of the need for it. The fact that the "need" for these programs keeps growing is a sure sign that they're not working. At the rate we're going, half the country will be on food stamps before long. It's morally debilitating to have a society where so many people are dependent and either unable or unwilling to provide for themselves or their offspring. It's a sign that something serious is wrong.
They don't work because government doesn't want them to work. What would they cry to get more of our money?
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:05 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
11,515 posts, read 7,492,866 times
Reputation: 17071
I looked up to see exactly what programs we are talking about:
These were passed by the 88th, 89th and 90th Congress, which was ruled by Democrats in House, Senate and Presidency. It was not the last time that one party ran amok in America.

They failed, I believe, because they were mostly intended to promote one party. America was never given a thought, and the basics of human motivation were either not understood or ignored.


HIGHER EDUCATION FACILITIES ACT OF 1963 DEC. 16, 1963 PREVENTION & ABATEMENT OF AIR POLLUTION
(THE CLEAN AIR ACT) DEC. 17, 1963

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION ACT OF 1963 DEC. 18, 1963
INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK ACT JAN. 22,1964
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 JULY 2, 1964
URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1964 JULY 9, 1964
FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY ACT OF 1964 AUG. 13, 1964
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT OF 1964 AUG. 20, 1964
FOOD STAMP ACT OF 1964 AUG. 31, 1964
WILDERNESS ACT SEPT. 3, 1964
NATIONAL ARTS CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1964 SEPT. 3, 1964
MANPOWER ACT OF 1965 APRIL 26, 1965
OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 1965 JULY 14, 1965
SOCIAL SECURITY AMENDMENTS OF 1965 JULY 30, 1965
VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965 AUG. 6, 1965
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1965 AUG. 10, 1965
PUBLIC WORKS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1965 AUG. 26, 1965
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ACT SEPT. 9, 1965
NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS & THE HUMANITIES
ACT OF 1965 SEPT. 29, 1965

AMENDMENT OF FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION
CONTROL ACT OCT. 2, 1965

AMENDMENT TO THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT OCT. 3, 1965
HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 1965 NOV. 8, 1965
CHILD NUTRITION ACT OF 1966 OCT. 11, 1966
CHILD PROTECTION ACT OF 1966 NOV. 3, 1966
NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH ACT MAY 8, 1968
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