Comments about ‘George F. Will: LBJ's bifurcated legacy — What's happening to this country of ours?’

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Published: Sunday, May 18 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Where did the Germans go after WW11 to escape war crimes.

Durham, NC

I don't know George..... perhaps we could do what we did in 64 with all those 20 year olds that weren't either working, going to school, or married..... we could draft them. In the 60s, these groups were targeted as not having justification to get exceptions from the draft. My father was one of those luck ones, married and in college - so he was draft ineligible.

So yes George, we kind find something for these people to do. Lets give them the motivation that there was in 64, get a job, get married or go to school.... or get drafted to go fight a foreign war. I think that would change more than a few peoples motivations.

Now do I really believe that is the only reason for the difference. No. There are many factors people don't trust government. Many. One wold also be 24 hour news that tells people they shouldn't trust the government. Cronkite would never stoop to the theatrics of modern day "journalist". There are lots of reasons for the differences.

American Fork, UT

Is it flight from work, or flight OF work? George didn't add into his examination how the gutting of the middle class, including the work that supported it, is also at least partially responsible for the problems as he sees them.

Salt Lake City, UT

In another editorial by John Florez, he describes the serious deprivations he endured as a child living with his family in a converted rail car "between the tracks" of the DG&R railroad yard. While they didn't have running water, a yard with grass, and **nothing** of the now common amenities among the "poor", such as TV, DVDs, cell phones, computers, etc., he states, "My joy was to sit on old railroad ties and wait for my dad to walk home, because in his lunch box he always left a treat for me to eat."

Like John's my family was well within the demographic regarded as "poor". Yet, like John, we were immeasurably enriched in having hard working parents who, despite material poverty, were able to provide the most valuable commodity for human beings, love and wise guidance. And, they were assisted by a societal environment vastly more helpful in providing encouragement to their children in living lives with fundamental ideals of honesty, diligence, fair play, etc., that were part of the fabric of life and considered much more important than stuff.

Stuff is good only if it actually nourishes people, and there is precious little of that.

Springville, UT

America is a far, far better place because of Johnson's policies. Have all our problems been solved? No, but we are better off. Progress is better than staying the same, or worse, regressing. The Republicans seem to want going backwards. Who benefits from their vision? Those who already have, who don't need the largesse of the government or our fellow citizens. The GOP is not about no government involvement in our lives. Their vision is about who gets the benefit. Don't be deceived by them.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

As usual, many posters attack the messenger instead of arguing the message. Mr. Will gave us an opportunity to examine the policies of LBJ. He gave us the opportunity to discuss the results of those policies fifty years after the fact.

What are some of the results? 47% of Americans receive checks from the government, checks which are their main source of income. 20% of Americans are out of work (many of whom the current Administration no longer counts because their "unemployment" has expired). Many Americans have more credit card debt than they could pay off if they allocatd 100% of their income for an entire year towards those debts.

Were all of those "results" caused by LBJ and his policies? Probably not. Did his policies encourage those "results"? Probably.

Any time government takes away a person's incentive to be self-sufficient and to take responsibility for his own personal welfare, that person suffers and society suffers.

There are not enough "workers" to pay the taxes required to pay "non-workers". That's why Obama has spent $6,000,000,000,000 more than he has received.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

I remember LBJ. I remember the hope he inspired in a generation. I thought and still think he was a great man who brought Americans of all races together to promote the general welfare. the economic inequities of today are the result of the destruction of the American manufacturing economy by greedy corporations. When the jobs no longer exist, people have trouble getting them--it's pretty simple, and it's not LBJ's fault. It's Reagan's.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Ever wonder what happened to your Social Security Trust fund? LBJ stole (literally) it and left an IOU. How did he get away with that?

Mark l

We now live in a country of great selfishness. Almost have the population have become moochers, and don't want to contribute by working.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"We now live in a country of great selfishness. Almost have the population have become moochers, and don't want to contribute by working."

Totally agree.

When people who don't work own all the wealth, something is definitely wrong. American worker productivity has never been higher yet our compensation has steadily decreased while those at the top have never been richer.

We need to stop being so selfish in this country. Let's begin by going back to tax rates from the good ole 1950s, shall we?

Durham, NC

MIke... the point here is it didn't start with LBJ.... far from it. Id didn't start with the great depression or the great dust bowl In fact it began far before the great push westward and the land grants given to settles. This country has for over 200 years presented itself as the land of opportunity. What LBJ was responding to what the bifurcated society we had at the time - where people were stuck in a class system not because of their capability, but because of their ethnic heritage.

I do agree we are far from a time when social factors don't impact ones ability to achieve their God given potential... but we are surely closer than we were before. Even here in the south we are seeing a flattening of race as being a determinant of who you associate with, and where you work, as those two are deeply tied together.

There is still work to be done, but far less than stood before those who looked at this problem in 1964. Our kids play together, go to school together, worship together, and in greater numbers now more than ever, work together.

salt lake city, UT

Well said. Our country is a much better place from a lot of LBJ's work. Many of the typical posters to this board concentrate on a few, negative things and often cite unsubstantiated opinions as facts. Much work needs to be done but Presidents like LBJ and BO were not afraid to take difficult positions and work for progress. Both are great Americans and did much good in their terms.

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