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War on Poverty Programs Since 1964

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Jennifer Sudwal July 25, 2008 Economics 1 Nebbia War on Poverty Programs Since 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson first introduced the War on Poverty legislation during his State of the Union Address. During a time when national poverty was at nineteen percent, his War on Poverty Speech started many programs that helped alleviate the problem. Since 1964 this concept has waned, however many of the programs that were put into action then are still very important. In addition the standard of living has also increased since 1964 based on longevity and GDP per capita. In Johnson's speech, he addresses three main issues in the society that he wants to improve. For instance, Johnson addresses problems with the cities, listing that "There is the decay of the centers and the despoiling of the suburbs. There is not enough housing for our people or transportation for our traffic. Open land is vanishing and old landmarks are violated" (CNN). ...read more.


Living standards are not optimum in many areas, but that poverty needs to be fought, and should not take overshadow the importance of education. The president considers these as the three central issues of the Great Society he aims for, and calls upon cooperation between the public and local and central governments in order find a solution. However, the main focus of the War on Poverty programs was, like the name suggests, fighting poverty. During the Johnson administration acts such as the Economic Opportunity Act proved the basis for many other programs such as the Job Corps, the Community Action Program, the college Work-Study Program, local health care centers and more. The EOA was a highly affective social welfare legislation. A $11 billion tax cut (Revenue Act of 1964) stimulated and expanded the economy. Many of the acts passed are long lasting due to their effectiveness in fighting poverty. ...read more.


W. Bush. The economy went into a mild recession and the unemployment rate began rising in 1991, resulting in Bush's signing of a bill providing additional benefits for unemployed workers, and increasing welfare. By the end of his time in office the poverty rate had gone up to 14.8 percent. Today, under George W. Bush's administration, unemployment rates has risen from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent but then dropped again to 4.5 percent. The nation's poverty rate also increased as the political agenda has shifted its attention away from antipoverty efforts to the war on terrorism and moral issues. Since 1964 and Johnson's War on Poverty Speech many presidents have been in office with varied approaches to this effort. Generally speaking, as time went on the high level of interest since Johnson's administration slowly waned and decreased to the point where some of the welfare programs were actually being cut back. However, overall the living standard and poverty rate has decreased and many antipoverty programs initiated in 1964 still survive today, continuing to impact life. ...read more.

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