How the US Lost the 'War on Poverty' | Thomas Sowell
Sowell Explains - 41K views

Top Comments

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: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7s6piXiFK-QPIixe_8jd3JMsC0md8h0J
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.
Jr.
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.
GreyWolfLeaderTW
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.
jpteknoman
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.
rydplrs
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.

© 2022 Sowell.org. Unofficial site of Thomas Sowell

Videos

Books

Articles

Quotes

About Thomas Sowell