Poverty is on its way out in the US, but the debate rages on for who should take the credit. Is the profound reduction in hardship that we’ve seen a consequence of all the wealth created by hustlers out there, or does it have something to do with the government?
The answer is probably a little of both. The government’s welfare programs not only give people money directly boosting their incomes, but it also gives them a platform for life opportunities. When you’re struggling to put a roof over your head, you can hardly afford to get a college education to improve your prospects.
The private sector, however, deserves some credit too. Since the 1970s, incomes in the US have nearly doubled. And if economic conditions improve over the next twenty years, there’s nothing to prevent them from doubling again. We have the technology: it’s just a matter of implementing it.
The war on poverty has been raging since the 1930s during the aftermath of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt took up the reins of the economy and decided that the government had to do something to improve the lot of the ordinary man. Since the introduction of mass welfare in the 1960s, the rate of poverty among all Americans declined from 27.3 to 21.1 percent. For people over the age of 64, the poverty rate fell from 35.2 percent to just 10 percent.
Are you interested in the effect of government welfare on poverty? If so, take a look at the following infographic.
Infographic by Norwich University