The War on Poverty was as doomed to failure as practically other ethereal “war” a president declares against an idea, act or condition. With that in mind, here are two interesting reads for all you interested nerds out there. The first is a Heritage Foundation monograph that marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The right-leaning think tank predictably outlines why this war was over before it began, and how troublesome metrics have resulted in dumping billions of dollars where they weren’t necessarily needed the most.
The second good read comes courtesy of NPR, and documents a community-based program in which middle-class families provide moral (less frequently monetary) support to families living below poverty level. The lesson here – poor folks needed a friend, coach and career mentor – and incentives – more than they needed a strings-free handout. Families that lifted themselves out of their financial holes were often the first to lend a hand to others facing the same dilemmas.
AC/DC says money talks. Poor Truman … he has none. But he has a nifty song this week.