John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

United States Senator Mike Lee: Blog: Bring Them in: War on Poverty Fifty-Years Later

United States Senator Mike Lee: Blog: Bring Them in

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Poverty in America is the thing that we should be talking about right now for a couple reasons. One and the most important one I believe, 1/5 Americans live in poverty. We have the highest poverty rate in the developed world which is twice that of the poverty average. In the developed world and the fiftieth anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s so-called War on Poverty. Speech from his 1964 State of The Union Address is coming up in I believe January, January or February. So now is a very good time to see how we are doing well in this so-called War on Poverty.

A term I hate by the way but perhaps that should be a subject of another blog. Like terms not to be used in describing things or false terms. Simply because similar to the so-called War on Drugs, these aren’t real wars. Wars are combat involving generally militaries or private militia’s and involved weapons and people getting. Physically hurt and killed and in many cases innocent people being injured and killed.

What the Federal Government has in actuality is a campaign against poverty. Using federal resources and programs to help people in poverty, which is obviously different from a war. And now is the perfect time to see how this campaign has gone. Fifty years ago we had 1/5 to 1/4 Americans living in poverty. Today we have about that same number of Americans despite all the economic growth we’ve had in. This time and the obvious answer would be that this campaign was a failure, a complete failure.

I agree that a lot of it has failed simply because of how these programs were designed for the most part. Giving people in poverty money to help them pay their bills and so much public assistance. Like Medicaid, Food Stamps, Public Housing to use as examples along with cash assistance which is. Welfare that these people do not technically qualify as living in poverty because of all the financial. Assistance they get even though it is not technically cash assistance.

The problem with the argument that if government or any other institution or even people. Are giving you money so you don’t have to live in poverty. Even though you might be able to make a technical argument that, that person does not live in poverty. Because they have what they need to survive and even live well, the fact that they are not independent. And rely on others to either pay their bills or help them pay their bills, because they aren’t able to do that. For themselves, they are still poor because they are not economically independent.

And if that assistance. For them were to be cutoff, they would be without the means in order to survive. So if you are going to have a War on Poverty or I prefer a campaign to eliminate or cut down poverty. Your programs have to be designed to actually move people out of poverty so they can take care of themselves. Which is the main lesson from the so-called War on Poverty and why it has had mixed results at best.

Either late next month or early next year this blog will have section full of posts about the War on Poverty. And how to have a real campaign and to fight and defeat poverty in America. That will be about yes temporary financial for people and families in need but going forward. It will mostly about education and job training to actually move people out of poverty because they’ll. Have the skills that they need to get a good job and actually pay their own bills.

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