The Errant Welfare State
Them that's got is them that gets and I ain't got nothing yet.
The discovery of acute poverty in modern America was a byproduct of the civil rights movement. In the late 1950s and early 1960s civil rights leaders often charged that millions of Americans were without adequate employment, were ill-housed, ill-clothed, and underfed. Most Americans, along with most of the nation's public officials, initially refused to give these charges any credence. But investigations by charities and foundations, a congressional committee, a major television network, and numerous writers and scholars began to document the indisputable fact that millions of Americans did live in poverty; and millions of these poor Americans, many of whom were children and old people, were suffering from hunger, malnutrition, and poverty-related diseases.
As the evidence and pressures for response mounted, existing welfare programs were expanded and new programs passed. During the 1960s the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program was amended to cover a much larger percentage of the poor, the Food Stamp program was set up, the Medicare and Medicaid programs were established, school breakfast and lunch programs were expanded, and literally dozens of other programs were put into effect.
While some of the consequences of these programs are debatable,