The War On Poverty And Poverty Essay

1023 Words Mar 26th, 2016 5 Pages
In January of 1964, Lyndon Johnson declared an unconditional “War on Poverty.” Johnson did not really want to improve living conditions through a welfare state. Instead, his goal was to “not only relieve the symptoms of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” He wanted people to be able to support themselves and bring themselves out of poverty. He focused on education and job skills, so that people could help themselves. He wanted to make “taxpayers out of taxeaters.” If this was his original goal, the war on poverty has been a total failure. Even if his goal was just to raise the standard of living and reduce poverty, this “war” has been a failure in that regard as well. Over the last fifty years, the government has spent over $22 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs, and the results are minimal. Furthermore, the “War on Poverty” has increased reliance on the government, and has reduced the ability for many people to be self-sufficient.
In 1964, Johnson established the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, and formed the Office of Economic Opportunity, which ran many programs, including job-training, job-placement, Head Start, and a domestic Peace Corps movement. It appeared that Johnson’s programs were working. From 1965 to 1979 the poverty rates went down about 4-5%. However, this should not be accredited to Johnson’s policies. From 1959 to 1964, the poverty rate had already been decreasing. This was before the official “War on Poverty” had even begun.…

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