Saturday, July 28, 2012

When poverty was a real concern. . .

These days, politicians and public officials seldom make an issue out of the concerns, needs and tough issues facing poor and low-income persons.

That has not always been the case in American politics. Here's a campaign ad from 1964.

How do you think it would play today?



Anonymous said...

Throwing money at poverty has never worked. We have spent 15 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs since 1965 and the problem is worse than ever. In fact, President Johnson probably did more to increase poverty than eliminate it. He made it so comfortable.

The country should focus on increasing prosperity by eliminating rules and regulations that harm business, make it easier to start a business and lower taxes, repeal Obamacare, drill for oil and stop throwing money at so called green energy jobs that fail, and spprove the Keystone pipeline. How about start making things here in the U.S. instead of China?

We are becoming a nation of dependency just like Greece. That is not what this country should be about.

While we're at it, how about if you make a baby, stay around to take care of it. It might help to stay out of prison and off drugs while you're at it.

Larry James said...

Anon 10:12, check your history. The data works against you in terms of impact of LBJ's programs on the poor and very poor, especially the disabled and elderly. He knocked poverty way down compared to the status of life in the US in 1960 (see Harrington's The Other America). The tragedy of LBJ was the war in SE Asia. Had it not been for that, the black middle class that emerged would have been larger, stronger and the nation would have been stronger as a result. Just the facts of history without ideology.

Anonymous said...

The typical poor family, as defined by the government, has these amenities as reported by the Heritage Foundation.

car, air conditioning, two color T.V.'s, DVD player, VCR, refrigerator, oven and stove, microwave, washer/dryer, ceiling fans, coffee maker and cordless phones. Their home is in good repair and not overcrowded. In fact, they have more space than the average non-poor European.

By their own report, they had adequate food and was able to obtain medical care. They had funds to meet all essential needs.

Larry James said...

Anon 9:20 pm, repeat after me, "Heritage Foundation." Next, come on a tour with me if you're serious!

Anonymous said...

This is your evidence the poor aren't really poor ... car - 10 year old "beater" that sucks up money in gas and repairs...two color T.V.'s - one modest 5 year old flat screen bought second hand and an old tube tv in the bedroom
...DVD player - can be bought for $50 now...VCR - really? who even wants one...refrigerator, oven and stove, microwave - one would hope they can cook - eating at home is a lot less expensive than eating prepared food...ceiling fans - cheap ($50), usually come with an apartment, allow you to keep AC set a little higher and save on electricity maker - $20
...cordless phones - $50

You'll really have to do better than that to convince me anyone making less than $2K per month is materially comfortable. I wouldn't want to be in that position.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12:

Speaking not ideologically, but logically: you say "We have spent 15 trillion dollars on anti-poverty programs since 1965 and the problem is worse than ever." That could just as easily lead to the conclusion we have not spent enough. Just imagine how much worse poverty might be without such spending. In any event, your conlusion that "President Johnson probably did more to increase poverty than eliminate it" clearly does not follow from this one premise.