Skip to comments.Did 'The Great Society' Ruin Society?
Posted on 02/24/2012 6:02:08 AM PST by Kaslin
"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I'll fix it."
Thus did Mitt Romney supposedly commit the gaffe of the month -- for we are not to speak of the poor without unctuous empathy.
Yet, as Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation reports in "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor," Mitt was more right about America's magnanimity than those who bewail her alleged indifference.
First, who are the poor?
To qualify, a family of four in 2010 needed to earn less than $22,314. Some 46 million Americans, 15 percent of the population, qualified.
And in what squalor were America's poor forced to live?
Well, 99 percent had a refrigerator and stove, two-thirds had a plasma TV, a DVD player and access to cable or satellite, 43 percent were on the Internet, half had a video game system like PlayStation or Xbox.
Three-fourths of the poor had a car or truck, nine in 10 a microwave, 80 percent had air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
America's poor enjoy amenities almost no one had in the 1950s, when John K. Galbraith described us as "The Affluent Society."
What about homelessness? Are not millions of America's poor on the street at night, or shivering in shelters or crowded tenements?
Well, actually, no. That is what we might call televised poverty. Of the real poor, fewer than 10 percent live in trailers, 40 percent live in apartments, and half live in townhouses or single-family homes.
Forty-one percent of poor families own their own home.
But are they not packed in like sardines, one on top of another?
Not exactly. The average poor person's home in America has 1,400 square feet -- more living space than do Europeans in 23 of the 25 wealthiest countries on the continent.
Two-thirds of America's poor have two rooms per person, while 94 percent have at least one room per person in the family dwelling.
Only one in 25 poor persons in America uses a homeless shelter, and only briefly, sometime during the year.
What about food? Do not America's poor suffer chronically from malnutrition and hunger?
Not so. The daily consumption of proteins, vitamins and minerals of poor children is roughly the same as that of the middle class, and the poor consume more meat than the upper middle class.
Some 84 percent of America's poor say they always have enough food to eat, while 13 percent say sometimes they do not, and less than 4 percent say they often do not have enough to eat.
Only 2.6 percent of poor children report stunted growth. Poor kids in America are, on average, an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the youth of the Greatest Generation that won World War II.
In fiscal year 2011, the U.S. government spent $910 billion on 70 means-tested programs, which comes to an average of $9,000 per year on every lower-income person in the United States.
Among the major programs from which the poor receive benefits are Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food program, Medicaid, public housing, low-income energy assistance and the Social Service Block Grant.
Children of the poor are educated free, K-12, and eligible for preschool Head Start, and Perkins Grants, Pell Grants and student loans for college.
Lyndon Johnson told us this was the way to build a Great Society.
Did we? Federal and state spending on social welfare is approaching $1 trillion a year, $17 trillion since the Great Society was launched, not to mention private charity. But we have witnessed a headlong descent into social decomposition.
Half of all children born to women under 30 in America now are illegitimate. Three in 10 white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies.
Rising right along with the illegitimacy rate is the drug-use rate, the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate.
The family, cinder block of society, is disintegrating, and along with it, society itself. Writes Rector, "The welfare system is more like a 'safety bog' than a safety net."
Heritage scholars William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell put Rector's numbers in perspective:
"Today ... 67.3 million Americans -- from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries -- depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance. ... The United States reached another milestone in 2010. For the first time in history, half the population pays no federal income taxes."
The 19th century statesman John C. Calhoun warned against allowing government to divide us into "tax-payers and tax-consumers." This, he said, "would give rise to two parties and to violent conflicts and struggles between them, to obtain the control of the government."
We are there, Mr. Calhoun, we are there.
It's worse than that. They use that foundation money to make "charitable donations" to NGOs that sue complicit federal agencies for regulations that put their upstart competition out of business. It is the essence of the operating structure of the "environmental protection" scam, the "worker safety" scam, the "public health" racket, the...
This is a war of old money versus the entrepreneurial class.
Yes the Great Society has ruined America. and it needs to end before it completes brings America down.There would be far less children born out of wedlock if women thought hey had to support the child themselves or that there was no free place to live etc....People who think otherwise have never had the pleasure of begin around those who are cared for by the government.
Yes the Great Society has ruined America. and it needs to end before it completes brings America down.There would be far less children born out of wedlock if women thought hey had to support the child themselves or that there was no free place to live etc....People who think otherwise have never had the pleasure of being around those who are cared for by the government.
Rent subsidies, free health care, WIC, food stamps, welfare payments and other handouts are not counted. Nor is income received off the books. Nor are free meals at school, free day care and other free services provided.
People in poverty typically have a nice apartment, a nice car, new furniture, a huge screen TV, new clothes, internet, cable, cell phones and no father in the house taking care of the kids.
They have no responsibilities, lots of leisure time and you and I are paying for it.
“They have no responsibilities, lots of leisure time and you and I are paying for it.”
Reparations, my friend, reparations.
JFK and LBJ share in the destruction, much of what got done after JFK’s death was the continuation of his leftist goals.
However, if there is one man who can take the most credit for the 1965 act, it is John F. Kennedy. Kennedy seems to have inherited the resentment his father Joseph felt as an outsider in Bostons WASP aristocracy. He voted against the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, and supported various refugee acts throughout the 1950s. In 1958 he wrote a book, A Nation of Immigrants, which attacked the quota system as illogical and without purpose, and the book served as Kennedys blueprint for immigration reform after he became president in 1960. In the summer of 1963, Kennedy sent Congress a proposal calling for the elimination of the national origins quota system. He wanted immigrants admitted on the basis of family reunification and needed skills, without regard to national origin. After his assassination in November, his brother Robert took up the cause of immigration reform, calling it JFKs legacy. In the forward to a revised edition of A Nation of Immigrants, issued in 1964 to gain support for the new law, he wrote, I know of no cause which President Kennedy championed more warmly than the improvement of our immigration policies. Sold as a memorial to JFK, there was very little opposition to what became known as the Immigration Act of 1965.
I live out here in the Alaskan bush surrounded by Native people. The elders tell me that there was a moment when their culture started to change for the worse was the early 1970s, when they were suddenly swamped with food stamps, HUD housing, and other forms of Great Society welfare assistance. In fact, you can still see it here. Many folks born before the 1970s express some wonderful values and attitudes about hard work, family, commitment, and religious virtue. That changes dramatically for the people born later. The elders talk about it a lot out here. The only good news is that the Native tradition of subsistence hunting and fishing still lies outside the welfare state, so kids are still shown the value of hard work, family cohesion, and respect for elders, so when the whole edifice falls apart, they’ll have something to fall back on. I can’t express the same hope for the poor slobs in southcentral LA. God help us.
LBJ knew he was cementing loyalty of future generations to popular Democrat programs. The American people are always being tricked by leaders in both parties.
it is documented by several sources, it is real.
look online geez- this has been well known for years
The very rich and the very poor have the same life style.
Lyndon Bird must be laughing himself silly as he burns in hell!
New Twist On Old Proverb:
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.
Give a man a welfare check, foodstamps, free condoms, free hypodermic needles, free cell phones, free rent and unlimited free abortions for his squeeze and he votes Democrat for a lifetime.