By Robert H. Haveman

Paperback, 392 pages, 6 x 0.9 x nine inches, Written via Robert H. Haveman for the Institute for examine on Poverty Poverty coverage research sequence.

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Extra resources for A Decade of Federal Antipoverty Programs. Achievements, Failures, and Lessons

Example text

Sins brought them on, and the remedies included fasting and prayer. A century ago, earthquakes and other disasters would evoke outpourings of private charity to aid the victims; but the stricken community was supposed to revive itself, with muscle and will, rising up out of the ashes through effort and determination. These reactions are not wholly obsolete, but today the 3 4 3 T h e courts are one of these exceptions. The idea remains strong among members of the public that the courts merely "apply" existing norms, and make up no new ones.

At any given* time an enormous stream of state activity can be traced directly to 26 Lawrence M. Friedman the efforts of these pushy groups. If we take, at random, any volume of legislation, federal or state, and thumb through it, one needs neither insight nor inside information to see the handiwork of lobbies, groups, and interests on every page. This, then, is another major, massive source of governmental action. The first point to make about the war on poverty (perhaps also the Great Society in general) is that neither of these major forms of adaptation explains much.

The cure for social pathology then was to remove individuals from society—to put them in prisons and asylums. This was the era of the poor house or poorfarm. Other attitudes toward the poor are, of course, possible. During the Depression, there was a vast increase in the ranks of the poor. Policy tended to be restitutive; its goals were to keep the deserving poor from falling too far too fast and, above all, to stimulate the economy. These views were appropriate to a declining or stagnant economy—but one where this condition would be temporary only.

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