In a provocative assessment of American poverty and policy from
1950 to the present, Frank Stricker examines an era that has seen
serious discussion about the causes of poverty and unemployment.
Analyzing the War on Poverty, theories of the culture of poverty
and the underclass, the effects of Reaganomics, and the 1996
welfare reform, Stricker demonstrates that most antipoverty
approaches are futile without the presence (or creation) of good
jobs. Stricker notes that since the 1970s, U.S. poverty levels have
remained at or above 11%, despite training programs and periods of
economic growth. The creation of jobs has continued to lag behind
the need for them.
Stricker argues that a serious public debate is needed about the
job situation; social programs must be redesigned, a national
health care program must be developed, and economic inequality must
be addressed. He urges all sides to be honest--if we don't want to
eliminate poverty, then we should say so. But if we do want to
reduce poverty significantly, he says, we must expand decent jobs
and government income programs, redirecting national resources away
from the rich and toward those with low incomes. Why America
Lost the War on Poverty--And How to Win It
is sure to prompt
much-needed debate on how to move forward.