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What I Learned Fighting Poverty in Little Rock
The Wall Street Journal ^ | 01/18/2014 | JOSEPH EPSTEIN

Posted on 01/19/2014 10:32:10 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood

It was 1964 and I was a liberal confident that society could be greatly improved by large infusions of money.

With all the talk currently being bruited about the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty, I am reminded that for a year, between 1964 and 1965, I was the director of the antipoverty program of Pulaski County, Ark., which included Little Rock, the adjoining city of North Little Rock and the surrounding rural area. I was then 27 years old, appropriately left-wing, and confident that society could be greatly improved with the help of large infusions of money and the serious thinking of people like myself.

(Excerpt) Read more at investorvillage.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Society
KEYWORDS: anniversary; arkansas; civilrights; greatsociety; josephepstein; lbj; littlerock; northlittlerock; poverty; pulaskicounty
Saw this yesterday and I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was struck by the Hypocrisy and Disingenuous of the comments by the author who I might add has not been back to Little Rock in 50 years. Pay attention to the part about leaving a tip in small little restaurant, what absolute Hypocrisy there.
1 posted on 01/19/2014 10:32:10 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Captain Peter Blood

He still believes in Trotsky, evidently.


2 posted on 01/19/2014 10:40:25 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: Captain Peter Blood

That $10,000 annual salary wasn’t exactly chump change in the early 1960’s either. While I don’t know what that would be in today’s dollars, it would certainly be a tidy sum.


3 posted on 01/19/2014 10:44:22 AM PST by Bob
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

The part about the tip really is too much. Now if they had decided to “Stiff” someone in a Upscale Bourgeois restaurant that would be one thing. But they decided to do that in small dingy place in a black part of town to a waitress or waiter that really needed that money.
So much for compassion for the “Downtrodden”!!


4 posted on 01/19/2014 10:48:59 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Bob

according to here (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=10000&year1=1964&year2=2013)it would be $75,147.42. Is that right?


5 posted on 01/19/2014 10:49:57 AM PST by fhayek
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To: Bob
That might be equivalent to about $50,000 in today's money and if you ever look at the salaries of people at these non-profits they make even more.
6 posted on 01/19/2014 10:50:56 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Bob

I got $6,200 a year for teaching 7th & 8th grade jr high social studies back then


7 posted on 01/19/2014 10:51:22 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Bob

According to an online CPI calculator I discovered, $10,000 in 1964 is equivalent to $75,000 today. He was earning a very good salary for that job.


8 posted on 01/19/2014 10:51:37 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: fhayek

Could be with inflation and decreasing purchasing power that might more than the $50,000 I thought.


9 posted on 01/19/2014 10:52:18 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: fhayek

Yes, your figures are correct. He was earning the equivalent of $75,000+ to do the job.


10 posted on 01/19/2014 10:52:26 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Bob

It would be $78,740 in 2013 dollars.

I read that whole article and still don’t know what it is that he learned???


11 posted on 01/19/2014 10:52:39 AM PST by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with violence, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
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To: Bob

About $75000.00. Not a small sum in 1964.

http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm

Ah yes. Little Rock, home of the Sacred Altars of liberalism. The Central High School, and the Woolworth lunch counter. Now the Clinton Trailer house museum.

I was there about the time the Urban Renewal began in 1965, and lived there just under three years, about the time Justus Jim Johnson was running for Governor.
college Station was the real poverty zone, and some of the other shotgun shack areas.

Haven’t been back since as I’m now closer to Tulsa.


12 posted on 01/19/2014 10:56:03 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: Valpal1

I don’t think he learned much if anything. But he went back to chi-town so that says........he’s still a refugee from dumbassistan. No tip from trotsky? Nice. Too bad you didn’t get the trotskies from eating there.


13 posted on 01/19/2014 11:06:49 AM PST by rktman (Under my plan(scheme), the price of EVERYTHING will necessarily skyrocket! Period.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

It’s a lot better now.


14 posted on 01/19/2014 11:08:51 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: rktman

I have to think Ole Leon would have left a tip in place like that.


15 posted on 01/19/2014 11:10:15 AM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: GreyFriar

$6,200 = $46,591.40 Today.


16 posted on 01/19/2014 11:13:30 AM PST by Theoria (End Socialism : No more GOP and Dem candidates)
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To: Captain Peter Blood

He is rather condescending towards those he was supposed to be bringing out of their benighted existences, isn’t he.


17 posted on 01/19/2014 11:14:04 AM PST by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: Captain Peter Blood

Wow. Why in the world did WSJ publish this?

All he does is tell some unrelated anecdotes about his experiences working in Little Rock.

Given the headline, I was expecting something about, you know, what he learned. Possibly about what the causes or cure for poverty might be.


18 posted on 01/19/2014 11:16:38 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Captain Peter Blood

Bump for later. As part of college I did social work in Izard County Arkansas in ‘69 and ‘70, when the government was stepping up the effort to drive the landed-poor off of their land and into public housing.


19 posted on 01/19/2014 11:38:48 AM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: fella

Bill and Hillary worked in Little Rock too. Well, Bill at least played there while Hillary honed her attack impulses on Bill’s many “lovers.”


20 posted on 01/19/2014 11:47:39 AM PST by billhilly (Has Pelosi read it yet?)
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To: Captain Peter Blood

Do you know who Joseph Epstein is? No. Have you read anything else by Joseph Epstein? No.


21 posted on 01/19/2014 11:52:42 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious! We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone!)
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To: fhayek

That’s about right. The calculator at dollartimes.com shows $74,300 or thereabouts. Definitely not a shabby salary, especially for someone with virtually no qualifications for the position.


22 posted on 01/19/2014 11:52:55 AM PST by Bob
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To: Sherman Logan

He learned little or nothing—people still are trying to force their way of thinking on to the poor. Poverty isn’t about lack of money—its a state of mind. Poor people do not think like rich people. To them its all instant gratification—thinking they can buy happyness. Buy things—TV sets, Big Screen, Music systems, feel good drugs, flashy clothes Bling, colorful cars—etc... I do not blame them. It is a different way of thinking—they can not or will not defer pleasure.


23 posted on 01/19/2014 11:54:37 AM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Captain Peter Blood

What this guy probably didn’t realize was that Trotsky probably never even paid for a meal to begin with, a la Hillary and Bill.

The gist of the article seems to be: Like Obama, I was unqualified, I didn’t know what I was doing, I worked there for a couple of months, I gave up, I never checked back, anti-poverty programs in the US are hopeless.


24 posted on 01/19/2014 11:54:51 AM PST by DPMD
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To: Captain Peter Blood
Many of the shotgun houses I visited were inhabited by black single mothers with multiple kids.

1965. So much for the current myth of an intact black family before the War on Poverty.

25 posted on 01/19/2014 11:54:51 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious! We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone!)
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To: Revolting cat!

I do not know anything about Mr. Epstein except he is a writer.


26 posted on 01/19/2014 12:51:32 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Captain Peter Blood

Epstein is one of the finest conservative thinkers we’ve got today. Publishes often in the WSJ.


27 posted on 01/19/2014 12:52:31 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious! We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone!)
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To: Captain Peter Blood
Some one said, let a liberal talk enough and he will tell you what he 'really' wants....

"The poor used legal aid, not to sue the city and the school board, as political-minded antipoverty workers had hoped, but mainly to sue one another:"...

...We really don't want to help the poor but enable them to harass state and local government with lawsuits...

28 posted on 01/19/2014 12:53:35 PM PST by virgil283 (When the sun spins, the cross appears, and the skies burn red)
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To: Revolting cat!

So should I take that piece he wrote as some kind witty writing? If it was it wasn’t very clever or sophisticated.
Also I should assume he gave up his youthful Leftist ways and found conservatism which in itself is certainly not unheard of.


29 posted on 01/19/2014 1:01:40 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Captain Peter Blood

Was this the same Epstein who was so leftwing that when he ate in a small restaurant & left a 45 cent tip, his colleague chided him, “You do know, Joe, that Trotsky never tipped.”

“You’re right”, he replied and picked his coins up off the table.


30 posted on 01/19/2014 1:14:55 PM PST by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: Captain Peter Blood
The poor used legal aid, not to sue the city and the school board, as political-minded antipoverty workers had hoped, but mainly to sue one another: for divorce, debt collection, paternity. As for birth-control counseling, who knew or could know for years to come what its effects would be.

The "root" cause of all problems in the world today is sin. Period.

Poverty is many times (but not always) a consequence of other sins: sexual immorality, debauchery, drunkenness, idolatry, fornication, sloth, etc.

The solution to sin is Christ.

31 posted on 01/19/2014 1:42:31 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: virgil283

I would rather subsidize a woman suing for child support than have my money replace that the father should be paying.
That, too me, is a proper use of legal aid.
So is someone suing for debt collections, because they should be repaid.


32 posted on 01/19/2014 2:05:55 PM PST by tbw2
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To: Captain Peter Blood
Why did you post this as if it was an article from the "Wall Street Journal"?

Strikes me as dishonest.

33 posted on 01/19/2014 4:35:10 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: BfloGuy

It was in the Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal, editorial page. Look it up. I subscribe to the Journal and that is where I saw it. I could not get a link to the Journal but found the article posted somewhere else.


34 posted on 01/19/2014 4:56:54 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Captain Peter Blood
My only qualification for directing a local antipoverty program was that a few months before I had been approached for the job I had published an article in Harper's magazine about urban renewal. The article was roughly 6,000 words, and my total knowledge of the subject was perhaps 8,000 words. Based on that article, I was, for four or five months, one of the leading housing experts in America.

Nobody at the time was much of an expert on poverty.

This same folly of the elite hobbles our nation to this day. Somehow liberal, politically inclined people are convinced that somebody who writes and article or two, or gives a speech, is an expert. But they ignore all the people who actually are experts.

That's why when confronted with a leaking oil well the President suggested some academics to lead an effort to solve the problem. A better choice would have been some guys from Texas who had actually worked on sealing oil wells. But few politicians even know anybody that does that kind of work.

And that's why most anti-poverty and jobs programs fail too. Bureaucrats, lawyers, and teachers rarely have the mindset necessary to create jobs and reduce poverty. That's something that business owners and entrepreneurs do.

35 posted on 01/19/2014 4:59:54 PM PST by freeandfreezing
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To: Captain Peter Blood
I subscribe to the Journal and that is where I saw it.

I believe you, of course. But I would credit the linked source and mention the WSJ connection in the comment. Just a nicety -- not calling for disciplinary action :)

36 posted on 01/20/2014 2:58:19 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: BfloGuy

Well the reason I could not is that the article would not come up as I do not subscribe to the Digital edition and also from the Free Republic List we cannot link directly to the WSJ.


37 posted on 01/20/2014 4:19:38 PM PST by Captain Peter Blood
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To: Captain Peter Blood
Well the reason I could not is that the article would not come up as I do not subscribe to the Digital edition and also from the Free Republic List we cannot link directly to the WSJ.

Copy the WSJ article's title and paste it into the Google search bar. The entire article will show in the results for non-subscribers through an agreement between WSJ and Google. Again, I was only suggesting that the link cited be listed.

Now, go and enjoy the rest of MLK Day before it's too late!

38 posted on 01/20/2014 4:36:37 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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