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The War on Poverty--论文代写范文精选

2015-11-03 来源: 51due教员组 类别: 更多范文

51due论文代写网精选代写范文:“The War on Poverty”  论文讲的是美国总统意图消除贫困的这一事件。约翰逊总统提出向贫困宣战,然而自由派和保守派仍在讨论这是否算得上成功。联邦政府意图消除贫困,创造经济机会,通过大幅减税来刺激经济,约翰逊的的活动还包括更多的联邦援助,教育、住房、医疗保健和食品等领域。

Overall, liberals and conservatives are still debating whether Johnson's War on Poverty was a success or a failure. Actually, it was both.
He got most of what he wanted from Congress, including the Economic Opportunity Act, which he sent to Capitol Hill March 16, 1964 and which he signed into law on Aug. 20, 1964. Johnson wasn't sure what would work, historians say, but he hoped the many ideas he was promoting would somehow do the job. His proposals included the creation of a Job Corps and other programs to provide work training and work-study options for the disadvantaged; funding for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), a domestic Peace Corps; loans to facilitate hiring the unemployed; a Community Action Program to empower and encourage local communities and citizens to fight poverty with federal help; and the creation of an Office of Economic Opportunity to coordinate the whole anti-poverty campaign.

Beyond all this, he asked Congress for far-reaching civil-rights legislation; a big tax cut to stimulate the economy; and enough money "to build more homes, more schools, more libraries, and more hospitals than any single session of Congress in the history of our Republic. All this and more can and must be done. It can be done by this summer." His "Great Society" campaign also included more federal aid to education, housing, health care and food stamps for the poor.

This led in 1965 to the launching of Head Start to help low-income families provide their children with pre-school programs, the strengthening of legal services for the poor, and the creation of Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for low-income Americans After a period of initial acceptance, the country gradually turned against Johnson’s brand of social activism as too vast, complicated and ineffectual, leading to excessive federal meddling in society and too much dependency on the government. This political backlash helped to usher in the conservative era of less government that gained full force with President Ronald Reagan's election in 1980.
Johnson was as focused on lobbying Congress as any president has ever been. He once told an interviewer, "There is but one way for a President to deal with the Congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. If it's really going to work, the relationship between the President and the Congress has got to be almost incestuous. He's got to know them even better than they know themselves." Johnson spent huge amounts of time courting legislators. He phoned them, wrote them, and frequently invited them and their spouses to the White House for get-togethers.

In contrast, President Obama has taken a more aloof and disengaged approach to Congress, which has disappointed many members of the House and Senate of both major parties. They argue that, despite intense partisanship and a decline in the number of political rewards that a president can offer as a tool to persuade legislators, Obama should have tried to forge a closer relationship with representatives and senators. This might have created more goodwill and made governing proceed more smoothly, as it did for LBJ, the critics say.

Overall, liberals and conservatives are still debating whether Johnson's War on Poverty was a success or a failure. Actually, it was both.

On the positive side, LBJ's campaign spawned important programs that remain popular today, such as Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps. Defenders say LBJ's programs were at least partially responsible for lowering poverty and, in Dallek’s words, reducing “the deprivation in the country.” A recent New York Times analysis found that "the federal government has succeeded in preventing the poverty rate from climbing far higher" through food stamps, expansion of unemployment insurance and other government initiatives.

Among the principal beneficiaries of federal largesse have been elderly Americans, through expanded Social Security and Medicare. The poverty rate among elderly Americans dropped from 35 percent in 1959 to 9 percent in 2012, the Times found.

But the War on Poverty didn’t achieve its primary goal of preventing poverty across the board. The poverty rate in 1964 was 19 percent. It has fluctuated between 11 percent and 15 percent ever since, and stands at 15 percent today. Meanwhile, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened.

Conservatives argue that the War on Poverty wasted billions of dollars, caused a big expansion of the federal bureaucracy, generated too much meddling by Washington in state and local affairs, and created too much dependency on the federal government. Many middle-class whites complained that they were supporting too many services for the poor and minorities who didn't deserve it. And the rising expectations of minorities and the poor led to social frictions that further eroded support for government programs among middle-class whites.

Critics say it was overall economic growth sparked by America’s private sector, not government intervention, that helped the poor the most. Critics also say the government would have been better advised in taking action to expand the economy and specifically to increase the number of low-wage jobs rather than coming up with a huge array programs that weren't worth the expense.

The history of the War on Poverty -- its initial popularity and the eventual public backlash against it -- provides many lessons for today. President Obama and the Democratic party are again talking about using government to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots and to restrict income inequality. Obama raised the ante when he called inequality the "defining challenge of our time," echoing Johnson’s breathtaking call to arms a half-century ago. And while Obama’s solutions are much more modest than Johnson's, the current president has proposed a variety of extensive anti-poverty programs that, taken together, represent a resurgence of LBJ’s government-oriented altruism, such as broadening Medicaid to poor adults without children, increasing the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits and expanding early childhood programs to enhance young people's learning skills and give them more opportunities over the long run.

But while the instincts for federal activism may be similar, Obama and his team are more limited in what they can do than the Johnson administration was. The country has become deeply skeptical about the ability of the federal government to make huge changes efficiently and fairly. The ongoing rollout of Obama's health-care law has been so ridden with mistakes and lapses that it is likely to deepen that skepticism and undermine support for more large-scale federal initiatives.

Even some liberals have been critical, largely because they said the anti-poverty campaign didn't go far enough and Lyndon Johnson diverted too many resources to the war in Vietnam. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967 faulted LBJ's program as being uncoordinated and inadequate.

"In the end, the War on Poverty did not end poverty and did not retard the economic isolation of inner city ghettos," a study by University of Virginia historian Kent Germany concluded. "It did not redistribute much wealth or address deep structural problems in the American economy, and, except on the fringes, those options were not serious considerations. In retrospect, scholars see that the easier-to-reach poor were reached more often and benefited more fully than those considered 'hard-core' poor."

In 1996, the tide had shifted so much that President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, successfully passed a program to "end welfare as we know it." This resulted in a welfare overhaul that cut cash assistance to needy families in an effort to motivate parents to go to work or get job training.

As for LBJ, he was deeply troubled that so many Americans turned against his War on Poverty. After he decided not to run for re-election in 1968, Johnson told an interviewer of his disappointment that he had become so unpopular, in part because he escalated the war in Vietnam and in part because of his vast expansion of social programs. He conceded that he might have "made a mistake of trying to go too far too fast, trying to do too much too soon, trying to correct the evils that have grown up over a century and to remake America overnight." It was a sad assessment but an accurate one.-X

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