How the US Lost the 'War on Poverty' | Thomas Sowell
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Sowell Explains
This video is the 2nd part of a 4-part series titled 'The Failure of the Great Society'. See this playlist for the complete series:
Midnight Cravings
Give the man a skill, a job opportunity, a chance to make something of himself, so that he can tell his kids he did it with his own 2 hands and not begging for handouts. Give him a sense of pride and dignity, let the man be proud of his accomplishment that he was able to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. We don't want handouts, we want vocational schools, job opportunities, and chance to run a business.
The war on poverty shows us how ignoring failure can create more problems than acknowledging failure and learning from it. Coming from my engineering background, this is especially true. Learning from past and current failures is crucial to creating future successes.
Austin M
This is where the monopoly of the gov’t becomes most apparent. If multiple agencies had to compete to make the best program to win the war on poverty, and were rewarded with payment based on their success, the goalposts would not be moved. Reducing dependency would be the consistent target, and whoever did that best would have their policy (and company) funded
D Jackson
My mother was a welfare recipient for decades. Despite the government providing free education she routinely and willingly dropped out knowing the welfare safety net existed, whenever things got tough. She also had many jobs that shed quit because in Her words “working 40 hours only made her an extra couple hundred dollars a month”
She did finally settle on a job, but when management changed she lacked the will to apply elsewhere, and she was living in a financially precarious situation, maxing out credit cards (including mine) to get by, making quitting a non option.

All this to say she never learned to use money or time effectively, and even with government handouts over the course of 25 years, not much changed.
Lupe A
The native American reservation system should of been a warning alarm of how government control is a terrible idea.
The problem of the "Preventative" and "Rehabilitation" argument is that it assumes a priori that human beings are intrinsically good, that humans are not inherently flawed and prone to sins like laziness, dependency, willful ignorance, and willful refusal to change for the better. It assumes that the only thing making people poor is lack of opportunity caused by a system keeping them down, and ignores that preventative and rehabilitative oriented systems only incentivize further bad behavior and dysfunction.
Germany had at the time a similar program. Germany had established an agency that helped people get work. Everyone who needed workers for anything would notify the agency about how many people they want and what skills these people need to have to apply and the people who were unemployed could be informed in one central hub about what jobs were available. One more thing this agency did, is train people in relevant skills. If there were many employers who were looking for people with particular skills (i.e welders), the agency would start a relevant training program and those who participated would be considered qualified to take up the jobs. The government spent money to get people out of unemployment because people who work add to the economy.
Kennedy wanted something similar but he was probably the only politician who did. For the rest, this law (since JFK was not around anymore) was a good way to perpetuate the problem and exchange votes for the illusion of a solution.
Dan Bennett
Lived through it. Spot on analysis. The "jobs" programs were low expectation versions of the same high schools the "clients" had dropped out of; failure factories. The Government tap was the payoff all along the line. Today there are a handful of private programs that tie a corporate employer with responsible low income students. Graduates have a job with the corporation that trained them, corporations have dedicated employees committed to the company success. A shift in corporate mindset and accountability could solve a social problem that billions of tax dollars couldn't.
But since the world is collapsing and all hope lost, never mind.
I’ve always wondered why the news only interviewed those giving or receiving benefits whenever there was a change in how much was spent. They have a vested interest, I always suspected it was part of the spin, and this just solidifies that thought.
Thomas DeMooka
The "war on poverty" wasn't meant to rid the US of poverty, it was meant to keep certain "undesirable" demographics of the US under control, while allowing a certain percentage of the population to become super rich off of them. It's been an epic failure of course, except for the making a certain percentage super rich! If you don't believe my words, simply look at many large US cities from coast to coast, you'll find affirmation of my thoughts there.
Nero Redwolf
As someone who recently found himself in need of welfare programs due to circumstances outside my control, I can agree. The programs are very broken, and downright predatory. They are very much aware of how desperate you are when you apply for benefits, and will hold over your head that there is nothing you can do if they decide to take them away or kick you out of programs.
Recovering New Yorker
When I was a HS sophomore – decades ago! – my World History teacher was Mrs. Holloway, but we all called her Granny Holloway. She was a slight woman, scarcely 5 feet tall, seemingly fragile, but full of vim and vinegar….you know the type. She could speak for hours about the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Inquisition, the Industrial Revolution, and the World Wars. She never sat while she lectured, never stood at a lectern, but moved around the room making eye contact with all of her students. She was demanding too, and I can’t remember how many papers were sent back to me because she would note “you can do better than this, Miss Schaal.”

One day during class, an office aid interrupted her lecture to hand her a note. She read it silently, apologized, and said she needed to leave the room. We knew it had to be important because Granny Holloway stopped lectures for no one.

We sat in the room talking to one another when the door opened, and in walked Mrs. Abels, another teacher in our HS. She explained to us that Granny had been faced with an emergency, a serious one, and it was questionable if she would even be returning to finish out the semester. We were stunned. Would we get a chance to tell her goodbye? Would we get updates, so we would know she was ok? Mrs. Abels assured us that we need not worry, that Granny was safe but needed time away, and that the best thing we could do for her, and the best way we could show our devotion to her, was to be cooperative with her replacement. Mrs. Abels confirmed that she had been asked and had agreed to step in as Granny’s replacement.

Cheer up, she told us, this could be a good thing. Other teachers still believed in endless homework and projects with deadlines and hard work. She would not bring that into our class. She believed in clean slates. If there were grades that we did not like, she could give us a chance to bring them up. She asked us what suggestions we had to make the semester a better learning experience. Someone mentioned that lectures were boring and we wanted more films. Done, she said. Someone else mentioned that a free day now and then would help us if we needed to catch up on work in other classes. She didn’t see a problem with that. She asked us how we felt about an end-of-semester party. Um, yeah, sounded very good to us. And on and on. Mrs. Abels listened intently and agreed to all of our suggestions, continually emphasizing that her concern was that we have a good learning experience and enjoy the semester. She also reminded us that we were lucky to not be sent out to other classes where we would be working to catch up, and that of course this was all for Granny.

Near the end of the period, shortly before the bell rang, the door opened and Granny sauntered in with her usual Granny Holloway attitude. “How did they do?,” she asked. “Marvelous,” said Mrs. Abels. “They were completely in my hands.”

Granny then faced us and said “And that, my students, is how a dictator takes over a nation. Not with guns or tanks or laws or mandates. They do it using a poster child and promises and gifts and protection from an enemy.”

I can’t remember a lesson all through 12 years of public school that made such an impression on me, and has stayed with me.

We are among wolves in sheep clothing, many are being deceived with a false light! I was falling for it myself until the Lord opened my eyes to see and my ears to hear.

Stay awake! And buckle up. Put on the FULL armor of God, we are going to need it in the days to come, NO man is going to “Save the World”! Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth and the Light!

Author Unknown
(I’ve been told the author is Stacey Shaal Steiner, from Bay City High School in Texas)
Iggy Reilly
President Johnson and others knew that encouraging dependency would reward politicians whose own careers depended on poverty and its advocates as a voting bloc. This co-dependency only increases over time, especially as government loosens and expands eligibility for such programs and government programs being very difficult to eliminate. Meanwhile, individual initiative is destroyed with the temptation of indigence -- just enough to keep recipients voting for the promises of continuation and increased benefits.

Government can be cruel and cynical. Creating programs with the very public, high-minded rhetoric of a moral imperative ("helping the poor") all while knowing that the disempowered, destroyed lives of dependent voters are worth your continued re-election is among the cruelest. This is selfishness sold as compassion.
Ben Nevis
Biology teaches us that any population will expand to fully utilize the resources available to it. If more grant funds are made available for science programs, more people will get PhDs, but we won't necessarily get more or better science. If more agar is poured into a petri dish, more bacteria will grow. We made more money & other resources available to poor people, so we got more poor people. It really is that simple. Nothing will change until the poor themselves reject the values and behaviors that make them poor and adopt the values and behaviors of mainstream society.
Camron Lummus
Sometimes trying to fix the "problem" does more damage and that you'll have to realize the world is not perfect and you cannot make it perfect, trying to do so makes it less perfect in fact
Book Steer
In short, when you pay people who are poor, you incentivize them to stay poor.
The largest preponderance of government effort over the past 60 years has not been to benefit the general public, but rather to perpetuate its own existence.

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