Poverty Won the War

We have spent $15 trillion fighting poverty since 1965, and we are currently spending $1 trillion a year—an amount equal to about $22,000 per poor person or $88,000 for a family of four. Yet our poverty rate today (nearly 16 percent) is higher than it was in 1965 (14 percent)! If there has been a war on poverty, poverty won. These programs are destroying the culture of the recipient communities. They are replacing a culture of self-reliance and self-help with a culture of dependency. To put it bluntly, we are paying young women to have children out of wedlock. We are paying them to be unemployed. And we are paying them to remain poor. What is more, the welfare state appeals especially to those in near-poverty, promising a wide range of non-cash benefits it’s in exchange for only one thing: a low income.

John Goodman, The War on Poverty at 50, 01.08.2014