Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The War on Poverty-Fifty Years Later

50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the Great Society "War on Poverty."  Our national poverty rate fell 42 percent during the War on Poverty, from 1964 to 1973. And that trend continues today: The poverty rate fell from 26 percent in 1967 to 16 percent in 2012 when safety net programs are taken into account.  While right-wing critics of the 'war on poverty' claim that social programs to address poverty have been failures, without programs like SNAP (food stamps), Medicare, Social Security, etc., the U.S. poverty rate would be much higher.  These programs have reduced poverty, but budget cuts and changes in the labor market have kept the poverty rate too high.  Since Reagan declared a war on the "war on poverty", the poor have suffered from cuts to programs to increase wages, access to healthcare, and public assistance (food stamps, etc.)

It is time to wage a new War on Poverty, with the immediate goal of cutting poverty in half in the next decade.  We need a New "New Deal," a New Economic Bill of Rights to guarantee every working person a job with living wages, healthcare and education, including free public college.  This should be the shared agenda of the democratic left in the next decade.  DSA is working to build the movement to renew the war on poverty and build a more equal and just society.

50 Years Later: War on Poverty Has New Battle Lines (USA Today)

10 Things You Might Not Know About Poverty

Everything You Need to Know About the War on Poverty (Washington Post)

The War on Poverty: Then and Now (Center for American Progress)

50 Years After LBJ’s War on Poverty | Center for American Progress

Resetting the Poverty Debate: Renewing Our Commitment to Shared Prosperity (CAP)

The Great Society programs of the 60s got the working-age poverty rate down from 20 percent to 15 percent, but then we gave up. Since the mid-70s, the poverty rate has stayed stubbornly stuck at about 15 percent:

We Could Do A Lot More to Fight Poverty If We Wanted To

Minimum Wage Raise Would Reduce Poverty by 5 Million (TIME)

Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For (Rolling Stone)

America's Shame: Child Poverty Rises and Food Stamps Cut While Billionaires Boom

Inequality is (Literally) Killing America (The Nation)

The Female Face of Poverty (The Atlantic)

50 Years Later, A New Hunger for National Anti-Poverty Agenda (Common Dreams)

Is America Ready for a New War on Poverty? (Common Dreams)

The War on Poverty is Our Moral Challenge Now 

No Time to Wait


Resources for the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty (Half in Ten Campaign)
DSA is working with the Half in Ten Campaign and the Coalition on Human Needs to urge Congress and the President to take action now to address poverty and growing inequality in the U.S.

The Problem Is Capitalism

See Also:
Poverty In America: 50th Anniversary of THE OTHER AMERICA (Memphis DSA)

American Crisis: U.S. Poverty Highest since 1960s (Memphis DSA)


No comments:

Post a Comment