Comments about ‘Conquering poverty, 50 years later’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 1:45 p.m. MST

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Kearns, UT

War on Poverty would be best fought if the government got out of the way and let the economy flurish.

Las Vegas, NV

War on Poverty is another name for trying to micro manage success. There is not enough money in the world to pay people to become successful

clearfield, UT

First off, the U.S. point at which a person or family is considered impoverished is still a pretty good life. No one is starving. Most have homes, cars, cell phones, TVs ect.
Second, I would hope that readers of this article took good note of one of the causes of poverty, namely, single parent households. Democrats know that single woman/parent are more likely to vote for them. So does anyone really believe that Democrats would want to see all women, especially single mothers, married? They'd lose too many votes. The Democrats have fashioned a great system where they help create and keep people dependent upon the government. I mean does anyone think it is just a coincidence that under Obama food stamps have skyrocketed? The government even advertises for people to sign up. The Democrats are not the answer to poverty in America, they are the enablers of it. Without people being told they are in need of government to live, the Democrats would lose a lot of the vote.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Every action taken by government to help people, is the bi-product of action taken by the government to provide financial gain to some businessmen. This is true even when the action for the people is the stated purpose of the action. This is true because only the voice of businessmen controls government.

Poverty is the natural consequence of uncontrolled capitalism, when there are big winners there will be losers. All wealth is created by the physical and mental labor of human beings, and is limited by the number of humans, technology and the system of distribution within the society. If the system allows some to hoard the wealth, the excess of some will be balanced by the deficiency of others.

Government could control capitalism except for the fact that it is the people who abuse capitalism who control government. When the plight of people becomes so miserable, they will try to change the control of the system by rebellion and revolution. But it never seems to have a lasting effect. If we would end the historical cycle of revolution and temporary change we will have to allow government to control Business and allow people to control the government.

Durham, NC

I would say there are varying levels of success. The war on poverty for seniors has been a resounding success...but poverty rates dropping from near 40% down to a little over 8% for those over 55. That is a significant improvement in anyones book.

On the other hand, poverty for those under the age of 18 has dropped little from somewhere near 30% to hovering around 25% now.

So I would call it a mixed bag. Depending on age, race, geography, and what ever, you get different results.

No doubt heavy partisan spin will accompany this.... but poverty really isn't a conservative or progressive issue - it effects all.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Fifty years and twenty trillion dollars and what have we got for our money? I came from a poor household but I worked hard, spent wisely and today I have a good life as I approach the golden years. I believe if I can do it, anybody can you just have to work for it.
Quit trying to fix it for us and just get out of our way and let us do it ourselves.


Let me disagree with Ultra Bob.

Capitalists win by creating wealth, not by taking it from the poor. When a capitalist builds a factory that employs workers, everybody wins, workers and consumers as well as owners. You make it sound as though the capitalist forces workers into the factory at gunpoint, and compels customers to buy products they don't want. But coercion is the domain of government, not capitalism. Capitalism is about voluntary transactions in a free society. (I suspect Ultra Bob might be inclined to promote a system of coercion where those in government, who are so much wiser and compassionate than rabble like us, would make choices for us and prevent us from having to actually compete to gain the favor of consumers. But this always ends badly.)

Poverty is the consequence of several things, one of which is lack of incentive. Government should be careful not to disincentive people, and that is probably the greatest failing and unintended consequence of Johnson's war on poverty which has eliminated to some degree both the sting and the stigma of poverty. The result is a generation that feels the world owes it a living. It doesn't.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Capitalism has created more wealth for more people than any other economic system in history! It rewards creativity, innovation and personal achievement and thus creates wealth, industry and
vibrant economies where all the ships in the harbor rise. Socialism (in all of its forms) must consume the wealth of others and punishes achievement, innovation and creativity and thus has created more poverty than any other economic system in history. N. Korea, the former E. Germany, the former USSR,Cuba et al. Some say capitalism is unfair because not everyone chooses to be creative and some choose not to achieve personally so they lust for the property and the rewards of those who did achieve and say how unfair things are! Capitalism is the ultimate freedom. Socialism is the ultimate slavery. Socialism always eventually collapses because sooner or later the architects always run out of the capitalist's money to prop it up! $17.2 trillion national debt (soon to be $20 trillion) proves it!

salt lake city, UT

The War on Poverty will never end but it's a battle that defines a societies charecter.


2nd try

"First off, the U.S. point at which a person or family is considered impoverished is still a pretty good life. No one is starving. Most have homes, cars, cell phones, TVs ect."

First off, how do you know when that family acquired a car, TVs etc--they could be on their way down and will be losing those things if the poverty continues.

Second, from Robert Rector, writing for the (conservative) Heritage Foundation:
"But the living conditions of the average poor person should not be taken to mean that all poor Americans live without hardship. There is a wide range of living conditions among the poor. Roughly a third of poor households do face material hardships such as overcrowding, intermittent food shortages, or difficulty obtaining medical care."

(Yeah, it is really smart for Democrats to rely on the poorest to get into office, especially when they can't/don't contribute to campaigns and are less likely to vote)

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Regardless of what we do, about 10 percent of the people will always need help. Illness, age, mental disabilities, or just bad luck are behind this statistic, and that means more than 30 million Americans. The moral measure of a society is how well it handles this problem. The conservative answer is usually to abandon them to the vagaries of the marketplace ("I was poor and I succeeded...blah blah"). I prefer the liberal who at least tries to help.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Irony Guy. All liberals do is create dependency, they never cure poverty! Pay your fast offerings and you will do more to really help poor people than all the food stamps the government can print!

Provo, UT

Actually if you're old (as many of the most right wing posters seem to be), the "liberals" actually did quite a bit to help you. Without "liberals", you wouldn't have health care. In the good old days, old people couldn't afford health insurance. That's why "liberals" came up with the idea of Medicare. "Liberals" also came up with the idea of Social Security. You kind of like that I bet. And no, unless you die pretty quickly after you retire, you didn't pay in anywhere near what you're going to get out. So don't go on and on about how "liberals" haven't done anything to help the poor. All you old folks are living pretty well thanks to the war on poverty. For younger people it's been a bit more of a mixed bag.

Hayden, ID

Wonder. Liberals never did anything for me except tax me to death, tell what to do and call me greedy!

Salt Lake City, UT

*'Marriage an important key to avoiding poverty' - By Jennifer A. Marshall, The Heritage Foundation - Published by DSnews - 10/17/10

Waiting until marriage to have children is the second of three "golden rules" for avoiding poverty that researchers identified over the years: (1) graduate from high school; (2) marry before having children; and (3) get a job.
Actually, being married is even more significant than graduating from high school for avoiding poverty. Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, shows this in a new paper, "Marriage: America's No. 1 Weapon Against Child Poverty."

And Utah will spend $2 million dollars to fight marriage equality.


USS Enterprise, UT

Yea, 50 years of not only failed policies, but the destruction of minority households. Now, rather than get rid of it lets do the liberal/progressive thing and double down on it and put even more money and resources into the same failed polices. The only difference is that we will make them bigger and more powerful, that is how government works.


"Pay your fast offerings and you will do more to really help poor people than all the food stamps the government can print!"

I would like to see some statistics on how poor people fare with the LDS welfare system/fast offerings compared to govt. programs such as foodstamps. Can you provide some research which supports your claims?


Researchers found that:

Recent research adds to the growing body of evidence that promoting marriage is not the answer to the problems facing single mothers and their children.

A nationally representative study of more than 7,000 women found that approximately 64 percent of the single mothers who married were divorced by the time they reached age 35-44. More importantly, single mothers who marry and later divorce are worse off economically than single mothers who never marry. Even marriages that endure appear to offer few health benefits to single mothers unless they are to the biological father of their first child.

There is growing consensus among researchers that it would be more beneficial to convince women to delay childbirth rather than to promote marriage. But even this seemingly uncontroversial policy is more complicated than it sounds.

A more promising approach is to focus on reducing unintended or mistimed births. Approximately 79 percent of births to unpartnered women under the age of 25 are unintended.

("Promoting Marriage Among Single Mothers: An Ineffective Weapon on the War on Poverty?")

Provo, UT

@Thid Barker -- For the LDS poor, I totally agree that fast offerings are a great supplement and aid. However, I don't think there's any amount of fast offerings a ward or stake could make that would pay for all the health care and other needs that poor members have. And that's just members. What do you do about people who aren't members? Not everyone in the US lives in Utah.

Provo, UT

@Mountanman -- Glad to know you refuse to accept Medicare and Social Security. You are standing on your principals!

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