A Grandpa Looks at the “War on Poverty Dale L. Shumway


Yakov Smirnof, the Russian Comedian, who migrated from Russia and truly loves our country, after mentioning a positive experience, often says, “What a country!” Yes, what a country indeed, to choose 50 years ago, under President Lyndon Johnson, to attempt to defeat poverty—to make life better for all the monetary less fortunate. Has any other country in our world ever made such a noble attempt?

In this gallant “war” approximately 20 billion dollars have been expended from our  treasury to assist the less fortunate. New programs have been implemented like Head Start which includes both schooling and a free meal for the very young; new government benefits have been enacted like the Supplemental Nutrition Program or WIC aiding women, infants, & children. And, we hear a great deal about the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) commonly called the food stamp program

Yes, our government has been committed fully to the effort. Not long ago they offered free cell phones to all the poor and we are aware that many government grants, which do not have to be repaid are available. For example, for the poor, there are grants to start or expand a business; personal assistance grants offering free dental care, or free daycare for the working parent; housing or real estate finances offering inexpensive housing, rent subsidies, help with energy bills, and big discounts for the first time home buyer; Also, grants for tuition and college attendance are available. Additionally, the government offers on the job training and unemployment benefits that continue for several years.

Because of the compassion of American citizens and the US government it would appear that a motivated citizen would need to be a real laggard or drone to remain in poverty.

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