War and Prosperity

DECLINE of advocacy on social issues/social action and move to individual case work and clinical practice.

Post War optimism—belief that there was little to no poverty.  Poor were scattered and isolated- into depressed areas of Appalachia and Harlen and rural and urban ghettos.  Suburbanization (housing assistance offered to veterans- moved out of cities) left many older citizens without help from nearby friends and neighbors.  Time of complacency- contain the communisits, balance the budget, cut taxes, don’t rock the boat.

Largest group on welfare, was the elderly.  Shift from widowed single mothers to an Increasing number single black women with illegitimate childrens- which increased significantly in following years.  By late 1950’s  instituting punitive policies designed to reduce the number of welfare recipients and to deter new applicants. State residency requirements strictly enforced –to ensure migrants (blacks moving south to the north) would not receive assistance.  Investigations- “suitable home” and “man-in-the-house” policies.

Flight from social reform in the 1940’s-1950s and then the attack on public welfare.

GAINS

  • private businesses started providing more benefits- health insurance/retirement programs
  • SS increased benefits and were broadened- caretaker grants to mothers of dependent children
  • added a new category to public assistance- Aid to Permanently and Totally disabled.
  • disability insurance added
  • opened u p to farm workers and self-employed
  • social services added to AFCD, child welfare services extended from rural to urban areas
  • department of health, education and welfare created.

 

Programs CREATED:
Servicemens’ Readjustment Act- GI BILL of Rights (1944)
National Mental Health Act 1946
National School Lunch Program 1946
Full Employment Act 1946
Housing Act 1949
School Milk Program 1954
Vocational Rehabilitation Act 1954

WAR ON POVERTY 1964

REASONS FOR RESURGENCE OF SOCIAL CONSCIENCE:
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY- DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN POOR NATIONS AND USA

  • POVERTY WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT THAT GAVE SOVIET UNION AMMUNITION TO USE AGAINST AMERICA
  • public assistance doubled from 1960-1970 from 6-12million—became a major topic of public concern
  • MASS MIGRATION TO LARGE URBAN CITIES OF PEOPLE WHOM POVERTY WAS ENDEMIC- DISPLACED AND UNEMEPLOYED SOUTHERN BLACKS, MOUNTAIN WHITES, MEXICAN AMERICANS AND AMERICAN INDIANS.  MAINLY DUE TO THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES IN FARMING, WHICH SAW AN INCREASE IN PRODUCTION of 45% AND REDUCTION OF LABOR (1940S-1960s)
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking.], 08/28/1963
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking.], 08/28/1963

CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

  • Race riots of the 1967
    JFKS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION- MADE POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND HUNGER MAJOR THEMES

    • AFDC 1961 expanded to include 2 parent families- with unemployed parent
    • Focus on juvenile delinquency and mental health
    • SSA- 1962 amendments- increased federal supports from 50-75% of cost for casework, job training, job placement, and other “soft services” to recipients – a move back to the idea that individual problems needed individual attention
    • Emphasis that federal government had the responsibility to help poor Americans to help themselves.  Measures focused  on the idea that economic well-being of the period could lead to the abolition of poverty if only the poor would take advantage of the opportunities—reinforce commitment ot the work ethic by those who were economically marginalized
  • Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 and Economic Development Act of 1965- focus on regional unemployment by inducing new industries to move into depressed areas of the nation
  • 1962 Manpower Development and Training Act- provide training or retraining for workers displaced by economic or technological change
  • Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act- prohibited racial, sexual, and ethnic discrimination in employment practices— Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established to enforce and implement

WAR ON POVERTY

13  program declare war on poverty- (DESIGNED TO CHANGE THE VICTIMS NOT SOCIETY)

  • Economic Opportunity Act (antipoverty bill) est. Office of Economic Opportunity
  • VISTA
  • Job Corps
  • Upward Bound
  • Neighborhood Youth Corps
  • Operation  Head Start
  • Community Action Programs

NOT FINANCED AND DECLINE OF FINANCE—MOST FUNDS STAYED WITHIN CITY HALL TO CREATE HIGH PAYING JOBS FOR FAITHFUL POLITICAL SUPPORTERS AND STRENGTHEN POLITICAL HOLDS
DISMANTLED BY 1974 EOE.

POSITIVES:

  • 1964 FOOD STAMP ACT
  • TITLE XVIII- MEDICARE AMENDMENTS TO SSA 1965 (REPLACED THE KERRS-MILLS ACT OF 1960)
  • TITLE XIX- MEDICAID AMENDMENTS  1965 (STIGMA OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE)
  • EVEN WITH ALL THE NEW PROGRAMS AND THE FEDERAL FUNDS PUT INTO IT, THE WELFARE ROLLS CONTINUED TO GROW
  • IDEA OF CULTURE OF POVERTY GREW AND EMPHASIZED THE UNDESERVING POOR MENTALITY- LACK OR INDIVIDUAL ABILITY TO GET OUT OF POVERTY
  • 1967- FREEZE ON # OF CHILDREN UNDER 21 THAT CASE RECEIVED AFDC DUE TO ABSENCE OF PARENT FROM THE HOME, CRACK DOWN ON PAYMENTS DUE TO DESERTION OR ILLEGITIMACY— WORK INCENTIVE PROGRAM ESTABLISHED –DISQUALIFIED ADULTS AND OLDER OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN FROM AFDC PAYMENTS IF REFUSED TO ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT OR PARTICIPATE IN TRAINING PROGRAMS.