By Robert H. Haveman
Paperback, 392 pages, 6 x 0.9 x nine inches, Written through Robert H. Haveman for the Institute for study on Poverty Poverty coverage research sequence.
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Additional info for A Decade of Federal Antipoverty Programs. Achievements, Failures, and Lessons
Poverty was a good issue precisely because the poor made no pressing demands. Pressing demands tended to share one depressing characteristic: They seemed to come in pairs, mutually irreconcilable; they were zero-sum. Higher supports for farm products meant higher taxes and higher food prices; lower tariffs helped some and injured others. And so it went. The poverty effort would be different. Of course, there would be a certain amount of redistribution of income, but no more than the economy (and public opinon) would bear.
The law was highly discretionary, and in some sense, doomed from the start. There was no way to prevent much of the war from being captured by local forces. Indeed, that was the point. The "local forces" might be established political machines, who would co-opt the programs; they might be the more ambitious among the suppressed, who would plunder them; they might be the militants, who would use them for political upheaval; or they might be bright people of good will who would use them to accomplish their ostensible goals.
The vacuum was, quite simply, the need for response to a general demand—which we have already discussed—the expectation that government would, should, and could do something, about any and every problem that American society posed, and which could be identified as a problem by the consensus of experts, or the public. This general demand or expectation existed quite apart from the specific demands of organized groups. 21 THE POLITICAL CLIMATE: THE PRESIDENCY If the war against poverty was not the child of the interest groups and if the intellectuals had (as they did) small power, how did the program get enacted?
A Decade of Federal Antipoverty Programs. Achievements, Failures, and Lessons by Robert H. Haveman