The War to Preserve Poverty

Posted by: Phineas on July 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Yesterday I chose Lyndon B. Johnson as my candidate for “Worst President of the 20th Century,” partly because of the problems and failures of his Great Society programs. On of those programs was the “War on Poverty,” meant to eliminate the scourge of want and deprivation from America.

From Dan Mitchell, this chart makes one ask if the war has been lost:

As one can see from the chart (larger version at the above link), poverty in America was in a steady and substantial decline until… government tried to cure poverty. Since then, there’s been no significant movement or net gain. Far from fighting poverty, it looks as if we’re spending billions to protect what poverty remains. If empirical evidence at all matters, then one can fairly argue that statist, interventionist, big-government solutions have been worse than useless.

Be sure to look at the rest of Mitchell’s post, which discusses the frequent distortion of the meaning of poverty by Leftists for political gain.

RELATED: Fausta presents an intriguing chart that puts “poor in America” in some perspective and links to an interesting Heritage study that questions whether poverty is a function of material want or of spirit.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “The War to Preserve Poverty”


  1. Aarradin says:

    New data on poverty since Obama took office will be meaningless.

    Obama had the definition of the poverty level redefined. Its basically now a measure of income inequality. Under the new definition, the only way to eliminate poverty would be if everyone in the country had the exact same income. The new definition can, and will, have bizarre results. For instance, if D’s succeed in imposing a huge surtax on high incomes, resulting in high income people suddenly having lower incomes, the poverty rate goes down. Also, say we toss Obama out of office and the unemployment rate drops in half, resulting in a large real increases in wages for the poorest in the nation, but at the same time the owners of private companies see their incomes go up at a faster rate – the government would declare that the poverty rate has actually gone up.

    The “Poverty Rate” no longer measures anything to do with actual poverty. It simply measures income inequality.

  2. Carlos says:

    The “War on Poverty” is nothing more or less than a scam by Congress and every president since JFK (including the Republicans, including RR) to redistribute wealth and give us a lasting, dependent underclass who’s too stupid and sorrowful to understand they’ve been relocated to a new plantation.

    For my money, Thomas Sowell is the expert on the subject.

    And if the question is whether it’s poverty of wealth or spirit, the public union indoctrination system long ago took most of the human spirit and real self-respect from the majority of its subjects.

  3. Tango says:

    ….didn’t Jesus mention (about 20 centuries ago) that the po’ would always be with us? :-?

  4. captaingrumpy says:

    Believe me,a lot of the “poor folk” are much happier than those with loads of cash.In their homes they have love and honesty,like the old days when people had Morals and integrity. I loved those days and I am quite happy in a small town,in a house that welcomes anyone.