The War On Poverty has failed. As a nation, we need to come to terms with this very simple fact. If not, then the system will collapse of its own weight, because the current model is unsustainable.
I’m from the government and I’m here to
make it worse help…
Lyndon Johnson famously declared war on poverty in the U.S. in 1964. He introduced the legislation during his State of The Union address. I don’t know if anyone was scratching their heads at the time, but when I peruse the available information, I find a number of things worth noting.
In 1950, the poverty rate was 32 percent. In 1965, the poverty rate was 17 percent. This was the year the “war” became policy. Economics are like Climatology. Beyond generalities, there are too many variables to make accurate predictions beyond the immediate future. The United States possessed an intact infrastructure during the post-war era. New technologies were being introduced, giving rise to new industries. But one variable that was perceptively missing: the massive and cumbersome legislation brought forth by The so-called War on Poverty.
In a span of 15 years, even under a post-New Deal government, the Poverty Rate fell by nearly half. Why? Many reasons. Households and businesses absorbed the meddlesome policies of the New Deal and figured them into the economic calculus. A left-leaning economist will boast of the high income tax rate of the time. But the plethora of hidden taxes which define today’s economic fabric were missing. Public assistance was a thing, it wasn’t a culture. Making the right choices was an expectation. Even the Old Left held to this.
Four “nevers” for staying out of poverty
All the social programs in the world will fail to achieve their goals if their intended beneficiaries refuse to make the right choices. If you want to stay out of poverty, the formula is simple and rests on four solid principles. I like to call them the “Four Nevers.”
1. Never do Drugs.
2. Never drop out of high school.
3. Never have a child out of wedlock.
4. Never get arrested.
Can you still avoid poverty even if you’ve done one or more of these activities? Yes but you’ve stacked against you. Can you stick a needle in you are and still avoid poverty? Yes. But why take that chance?
The overarching point is the secret to staying out of poverty requires zero proactivity. Conversely, falling into poverty requires that you actually do something. Reflect on that. The same holds for those born into poverty. Remaining in poverty in the United States requires that you engage in certain behavior. Getting out requires that you simply follow the path already set before you.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5 (NIV)