Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty

Ali Meyer, CNS News, June 4, 2014

The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty: $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone. {snip}

According to the Census, there were 26,497,000, or 13.7% of 18- to 64-year olds, living below the poverty level in 2012. In 1966, the same age group reported 10.5%–11,007,000 people out of 105,241,000–living below the poverty level.

This means that since 1966 the percentage of 18- to 64-year olds living in poverty has increased 30.5%–from 10.5% to 13.7%. {snip}

When looking at all ages, the House Budget Committee Report shows that, since 1965, the poverty rate decreased from 17.3%  to 15%. {snip}

{snip}

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  • One problem I have with poverty statistics, and that may or may not be relevant here, is that “poverty” is sometimes defined in terms of income percentile. If “poverty” is defined as having an income level that is under whatever is the level that meets the 20th percentile, then it shouldn’t be so shocking if 20% of all people are “poor.” Another problem is that even “low income” people today have a lot of creature comforts.

    • Samuel_Morton

      Those creature comforts are the only glue holding our fragile society together. Without these mind numbing distractions, minority anti-social behavior would explode, and a lot more whites would wake from their slumber and start seeing the world through clear lenses.

      • r j p

        You hit the nail on the head with “creature comforts”.

        They all have xBoxs and HD TVs, free breakfast lunch and now dinner (while still receiving foodstamps), free Rascals when they get too fat, free sail foams (that must come with unlimited minutes because they never shut up on public transportation), free birth control (and if that doesn’t work, free abortions), Section 8, …..

        Free free free …..

      • Einsatzgrenadier

        This is why mass third world immigration is stupid. The nonwhites are only here to take advantage of white prosperity. But nationhood isn’t determined by prosperity. It’s determined by whether citizens are willing to stand by each other during times of adversity. In order for this to happen, the majority of the population must be of the same race and ethnic group.

        When America collapses because of the inevitable economic crisis (the result of outsourcing, the collapse of the dollar and uncontrolled, massive third world immigration), the colonizing nonwhite foreigners will be at white throats. Of course, this is what the globalist elite has wanted all along.

      • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

        Including the “bread and circuses” of the professional sports world provides. Just look at the World Soccer Games, they held them in SA in 2010 and even made film about it. Now, they are holding them in Rio. There were demonstrations concerning the hypocrisy of this, but it was squashed by riot police real quick. It’s important for the distractions to go on.

    • Alexandra1973

      And some programs, you qualify if you’re 150% or even 200% the poverty “rate.” I’m looking at a notation I jotted down. PIPP Plus program for electric bills–you have to be at 150% the poverty rate or lower to qualify. Which translates into about $1900 a month (gross income) or just over $23K a year. You pay 10% of your monthly income.

      Yes, I’m on it…but I’m way below the 100%. I have a few toys but that’s what I had before my unwanted divorce. I feel guilty for being on it, so I try not to use more electricity than I have to. If I can keep the usage (and actual amount) close to what I pay per month, I’m doing okay, I think.

      If I was bringing in even $1400 a month, I probably wouldn’t even bother with it. For one thing the actual rate for an electric bill here has never hit $140.

      I feel fortunate I was able to get my son some new clothes (I had money saved aside for it). Goodwill’s fine…but the clothes are already used so naturally they wear out faster than new, so occasionally he does need new clothes. On top of that he’s 12 and starting to really chow down like most boys his age do.

      We don’t have any gaming consoles and the TV we do have is a small one with a DVD player my mom gave us.

      • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

        An article on CNN Money last week concerned an independent survey that found that the American Middle Class is the poorest of all Western nations, including Europe. Americans own (outright) less value in assets compared to debt than any of them at an average of $47,000. That also means that many people are considered Middle Class who are on the low scale of that average.

        On a related subject, a friend of mine in Northern California told me last week that a cantaloupe cost her $4.00 and when she cut it open, it was rotten. The blueberries she bought molded overnight. This is the norm, unless you shop at even more expensive stores. Rent for a one bedroom apartment there (Sonoma County) is now $2,500.00 IF you can find it. In SF, bay area, Chinese off-shore buyers have bought up already incredibly inflated properties and renting them for thousands of dollars a month. More Americans are working at part-time jobs than ever. It goes on and on.

  • MekongDelta69

    What LBJ said:
    “We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty.”

    What somebody with a brain would have said:
    “We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time when we started to completely destroy the greatest country in the history of the planet Earth.”

    • SFLBIB

      I watched the live broadcast of that speech, and my thought at the time was, “Who is going to pay for it?”

      • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

        Famously, LBJ was asked that question himself. Specifically, he was asked how he intended to pay for the Great Society Programs and the Vietnam War. He reply, “We’re rich, baby!” (Source, “LBJ The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination” – Phillip T. Nelson)

        • SFLBIB

          He must have thought everyone was in politics.

  • Magician

    It is also partly caused by the “outsourcing” which causes a number of formerly American jobs endlessly and permanently moving to countries with cheaper labor sources such as China, India and several West Asian countries…..

    When was the last time you saw “Made In U.S.A.” printed on a product? And how many thousands of times have you seen “Made In China” or “Made In Pakistan” for the past couple of weeks. Even my laptop which I am typing this post on right now, is assembled in China.

    Nowadays, I see that more and more young white people are going for jobs where outsourcing is not possible, such as firefighter positions, police officer positions, and so on. The postal service has also seen its workload drastically decreasing for the past ten years. It is my knowledge that the postal services around the world has been losing tens of millions of dollars every year.

  • Steven Barr

    The average income of a person in the United States hasn’t actually increased very much since the 1970s. The reason it feels much more affluent is because of the vast amounts of debt.

    • r j p

      In the late 1970s, where I grew up, it was steel mills, coal mines, or chemical plants.
      If you graduated high school in 1978 and opted for any of the three, you had more than enough money for a new Corvette. By the time I graduated, it was all gone.

    • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

      No, it’s because of inflation and ready credit. Americans carry more personal debt than any other first world country. So we might have some more comfortable stuff and a toy or two, but we are also buried in personal debt. (My only debt is our mortgage, but that is counted).

  • Recalling my economics since I wrote about poverty for one of my textbooks, I think the poverty line is set at 3 times the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet, which would vary by family size. That’s an arbitrary definition of poverty based on the idea that a poor family is one that spends a third or more on food. The Agriculture Department had a lot to do with that as it saw a way to help farmers by creating a demand for food.

    As the cost of food rises (see Drudge today), with stagnant incomes, the number in poverty will rise. Still, the poor Mexicans I see aren’t so bad off. They have cars, TVs, eat well, and have a roof over their heads. Their children get free school food, too.

    “Poverty” is a trigger word the libtards use to make us feel guilty. How can we heartless white conservatives allow poverty in the richest country in history? Sorry, libtards, but it doesn’t work with me. No white guilt here. The Mexicans are dumb and make bad choices, so they can live with the consequences.

    • LHathaway

      And for poor or working poor whites?

      • Private charity, rather than a cumbersome government program that discriminates against whites.

        • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

          Just wait until to go to a private charity and have a box of food handed to you by a black volunteer. (After our home burnt down in 2002, we had that experience).

      • dean53

        I live in a small town of 3500+/- about an hour from a major metropolitan area, so it’s easy to know people from a wide socioeconomic spectrum. Some of the poor whites I know are real losers. The single mothers are irresponsible, promiscuous drug users with children they can’t support by multiple fathers. The men are bad-tempered, egotistical losers without integrity, honor or the discipline to acquire relevant job skills. They sabotage themselves over and over again. They frequently have no racial loyalty, which is understandable since decent whites (poor or not) often want nothing to do with white trash. It’s difficult to have anything other than theoretical sympathy for them.

      • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

        Pride and Jesus.

      • Poor whites are not part of the program, the US government is paying reparations to blacks for slavery but just not saying so. In fact the last lime the brethren worked for a living was during the 1800’s. Its time to tell them to get over themselves and attempt building something for themselves, this is unlikely because it has not happened anywhere in the world yet.

    • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

      Storming the U.S. for free stuff and getting into accidents, car, work, etc., is not so dumb from their perspective and they’ve done very well on cashing in on those.

  • dd121

    The words of the lefties may say “war on poverty”, but their actions say “war on the middle class”.

  • IstvanIN

    We keep importing poverty and anyone is surprised? Punch a hole in the bottom of a boat and it starts to sink, punch more holes and guess what, it takes on even more water.

  • So CAL Snowman

    “Poverty up 30.5% for “Americans” 18-64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty”

    They forgot to add that 40 million+ dirt poor, uneducated Mexicans and mystery meat latinos became “Americans” since LBJ declared war on poverty. However, I’m sure there is no correlation between the two.

    • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

      Maybe, but it’s still a fact that the dollar is weaker due to inflation. I remember what $40.00 bought at the supermarket in 1973. If I go by that, the dollar has been inflated by about 8 times $40.00.

  • J.P.

    The real sad part of this story is that we could have a city on the moon and a Mars base and still have a couple of trillion left over on what we have spent on these gov’t programs.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Not to mention that if not collected as taxes to begin with working people could have leisure, time to contemplate and reflect, attention for informed civic participation, and meaningful relationships with others, including the children they are raising (if any), in short: the meaningful lives of free people.

  • WR_the_realist

    We keep importing poverty. How can anyone be surprised we have more of it?

  • JohnEngelman

    Conservatives like to blame the persistence of poverty on the War on Poverty. Other factors contribute.

    The Immigration Act of 1965 made it easier for the people who own and run America to import cheap labor. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994 made it easy for the plutocracy to export good jobs.

    The Immigration Act of 1965 and NAFTA were signed by Democratic presidents. Nevertheless, Congressional Republicans were more likely to vote for them than Congressional Democrats.

    An additional factor is that computer technology increases the relationship between intelligence and income. It destroys jobs that are easy to learn.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Yup. If you look at one effect and assume that it has only one cause. . . you probably don’t understand much of what you are looking at.

  • MBlanc46

    This is a pretty specious argument. Just looking at the endpoints suggests that nothing that happened in the middle is significant and that the anti-poverty program caused the increase in poverty. I doubt that it had much positive effect, but I suspect that the systematic dismantling and export of the American economy and the importation of tens of millions of low-wage Third Worlders had a lot more to do with the increase in poverty.

  • Lee_CPA

    So, you are an American living in poverty. You have no marketable skills or education. You could work, but here comes Sugar Daddy Uncle Sam with food stamps, welfare checks, free housing, free health care, free, free, free. If you went to work flipping burgers, Uncle Sam reduces your “free” stuff. You may not be smarter than a fifth grader, but even you can figure out it doesn’t pay to work anymore.
    .
    But, the work has to get done by somebody. Enter the 20 – 30 million illegal aliens. Only problem, it doesn’t take long before they too are lining up for free stuff.
    .
    “War on Poverty”? Nah, more like a War on Prosperity.
    .
    One of these days, we’re going to reach critical mass where we can’t print money anymore, can’t borrow any more money, and the productive citizens have been taxed to bankruptcy. It’s going to get real ugly and I don’t think we are too far away from that point.

    • Mike Lane

      The key is organizing Metapolitical organizations (communities, an underground trade network not unlike the black market, a non-gov. run militia, etc.) to serve in our interest. When or if things get ugly, we will have a cushion, by which we can begin taking back control of the dead husk that is the United States and restart the country. It sounds a bit crazy at first, but only if you look at it on the surface.

      For years humans belonged to tribes or city states. We can create a bunch of these all within only a several miles from each other in one general region in the US (even this isn’t totally necessary- considering the speed of modern transportation). Texas seems like a reliable region. Many think the Pacific Northwest is the best option, but Texas already has a great number of people who would be willing to embrace some sort of American revolutionary cause toward self-determination and freedom.

      Being a minority isn’t even the key problem. The key is SOLIDARITY- a strong infrastructure with a clear vision of who is in, what principles to embrace, and how to go about it. Blacks have been minorities in the US since they’ve been in America, and have, as a group, still existed in relatively the same way as they have for years BECAUSE THEY WORK TOGETHER AS A GROUP. They vote alike, help each other out, and know who is in the group and how to get what they want (by feeding off guilt in their case). Southern whites are similar. The South is one of the most diverse places in the US (whites and blacks mainly), yet Southern whites have made sure to keep things running for them (generally) because they use bloc voting and have a clear vision of how to work together.

      Another model is the Taliban. I know it sounds bizarre, but listen. I think we can all agree the US has had extreme difficulty fighting in the Middle East (relative to how easy one would think fighting a ragtag group of tribes stuck in the Middle Ages would be). One key factor in this is our (the US’s) difficulty of determining who we’re fighting. Before the 21st century we were fighting the Russians, North Koreans, or Vietnamese. Before them the Nazis. All of whom were map-able nations. Even the US Civil War was clearly between the North and South. Guerrilla organizations, on the other hand, cannot be clearly defined, and thus become harder to combat. Such a movement, backed by recent history, would prove effective.

      Another strength lies in the fact that the majority of those in the military are conservative politically and by nature. If another Civil War (God forbid) ever did break out again, it is very very likely few soldiers would be willing to kill their own brothers. The US government and the current administration have done enough in the past couple years to lose loyalty from the military servicemen. Talk to an ordinary soldier the next time you see them. Ask them why they’re in the military. I guarantee you their response (even if they don’t articulate it in worlds very well) is to fight for their country and the principles they represent. When the people they’re told to fight (freedom loving Americans like us, to put it plainly) embody their principles more than the fat politician shoving them in stupid war after stupid war, you damn right they’ll pick our side (or none at all at the least).

      Finally (thanks for bearing with me), one trait of our current Leftist culture/ government/ institutions/ etc. is that the only groups they don’t attack are those who they know won’t put up with their nonsense. Feminists, who have every reason to hate Sharia Law, don’t criticize it because they don’t want their heads cut off. Pacifists, despite having every reason to hate gang culture, dare not criticize it because they don’t want to get shot. The reason whites, men, Christians, etc. are almost always targeted is because they know we put up with it (“Oh well. Ignore them.” my dad used to always tell me.). I’m not saying we should start blowing people to shreds with C4, but we have a great bark (too many, in fact, in that even we don’t seem to agree on what strategy to approach: white nationalists, libertarians, conservatives, Tea Partiers, race realists, etc. WHICH ONE?!!!!!!) but no bite. We need bite, and one unified bark (one that is rational, practical, dynamic, and well thought out) before that. Once we gain enough strength to be taken seriously they’ll be too afraid to say anything (even if all we have to do is say exactly what we believe in public without a single care regarding their opinion).

      Looking at this, it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems. The hardest part is spreading one, strong, identifiable message/approach. After that it’s as easy as paper work.

      (If you agree with what I have said, do me, yourself, and our movement, a favor and copy and paste this to as many other articles you find on the internet (considering this is relevant to the said article) and direct them toward AmRen. Thanks a bunch. -Mike.)

  • Löwenmensch ᛟ

    American poverty is totally different than third world poverty. A impoverished person residing in America is living like a king compared to others in the world.

    • JohnEngelman

      Poor people in the United States live better than poor people in Mexico. They do not live better than middle class people in Mexico. They do not live better than poor people in Europe.

  • SFLBIB

    The real expansion in government came after Bill Clinton declared, “The era of big government is over.”

    • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

      Not true. Actually, Ronald Reagan presided over the largest expansion of government in U.S. history (including the military). Clinton presided over government cuts and many closures of U.S. Bases inside the U.S. and abroad. Clinton balanced the budget that Reagan and Bush 1 had created.

  • Mike Lane

    A SOLUTION TO OUR PREDICAMENT:

    The key is organizing Metapolitical organizations (communities, an underground trade network not unlike the black market, a non-gov. run militia, etc.) to serve in our interest. When or if things get ugly, we will have a cushion, by which we can begin taking back control of the dead husk that is the United States and restart the country. It sounds a bit crazy at first, but only if you look at it on the surface.

    For years humans belonged to tribes or city states. We can create a bunch of these all within only a several miles from each other in one general region in the US (even this isn’t totally necessary- considering the speed of modern transportation). Texas seems like a reliable region. Many think the Pacific Northwest is the best option, but Texas already has a great number of people who would be willing to embrace some sort of American revolutionary cause toward self-determination and freedom.

    Being a minority isn’t even the key problem. The key is SOLIDARITY- a strong infrastructure with a clear vision of who is in, what principles to embrace, and how to go about it. Blacks have been minorities in the US since they’ve been in America, and have, as a group, still existed in relatively the same way as they have for years BECAUSE THEY WORK TOGETHER AS A GROUP. They vote alike, help each other out, and know who is in the group and how to get what they want (by feeding off guilt in their case). Southern whites are similar. The South is one of the most diverse places in the US (whites and blacks mainly), yet Southern whites have made sure to keep things running for them (generally) because they use bloc voting and have a clear vision of how to work together.

    Another model is the Taliban. I know it sounds bizarre, but listen. I think we can all agree the US has had extreme difficulty fighting in the Middle East (relative to how easy one would think fighting a ragtag group of tribes stuck in the Middle Ages would be). One key factor in this is our (the US’s) difficulty of determining who we’re fighting. Before the 21st century we were fighting the Russians, North Koreans, or Vietnamese. Before them the Nazis. All of whom were map-able nations. Even the US Civil War was clearly between the North and South. Guerrilla organizations, on the other hand, cannot be clearly defined, and thus become harder to combat. Such a movement, backed by recent history, would prove effective.

    Another strength lies in the fact that the majority of those in the military are conservative politically and by nature. If another Civil War (God forbid) ever did break out again, it is very very likely few soldiers would be willing to kill their own brothers. The US government and the current administration have done enough in the past couple years to lose loyalty from the military servicemen. Talk to an ordinary soldier the next time you see them. Ask them why they’re in the military. I guarantee you their response (even if they don’t articulate it in worlds very well) is to fight for their country and the principles they represent. When the people they’re told to fight (freedom loving Americans like us, to put it plainly) embody their principles more than the fat politician shoving them in stupid war after stupid war, you damn right they’ll pick our side (or none at all at the least).

    Finally (thanks for bearing with me), one trait of our current Leftist culture/ government/ institutions/ etc. is that the only groups they don’t attack are those who they know won’t put up with their nonsense. Feminists, who have every reason to hate Sharia Law, don’t criticize it because they don’t want their heads cut off. Pacifists, despite having every reason to hate gang culture, dare not criticize it because they don’t want to get shot. The reason whites, men, Christians, etc. are almost always targeted is because they know we put up with it (“Oh well. Ignore them.” my dad used to always tell me.). I’m not saying we should start blowing people to shreds with C4, but we have a great bark (too many, in fact, in that even we don’t seem to agree on what strategy to approach: white nationalists, libertarians, conservatives, Tea Partiers, race realists, etc. WHICH ONE?!!!!!!) but no bite. We need bite, and one unified bark (one that is rational, practical, dynamic, and well thought out) before that. Once we gain enough strength to be taken seriously they’ll be too afraid to say anything (even if all we have to do is say exactly what we believe in public without a single care regarding their opinion).

    Looking at this, it’s not nearly as difficult as it seems. The hardest part is spreading one, strong, identifiable message/approach. After that it’s as easy as paper work.

    (If you agree with what I have said, do me, yourself, and our movement, a favor and copy and paste this to as many other articles you find on the internet (considering this is relevant to the said article) and direct them toward AmRen. Thanks a bunch. -Mike.)

  • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

    Hey PJ, what have you to report about the cost of real estate and rent in SF? I’ve heard that absentee Chinese investors have been buying up everything and forcing property values and rents way up.

  • Whiteplight sees the Emperor N

    Rather than watching a film, how about reading a book about the Great Depression and the FDR programs such as the CCC and WPA? He had the foresight to get all these men working on projects without which, we could not have powered the industry of war and would have lost WW2. This is not to mention that the young men became disciplined and used to the idea of a united work force which transferred directly into military service. Also, if you really think that FDR’s programs drained the blood out of industry, then why did they all get so wealthy during the war? The bad lesson of WW2 was that the U.S. found that it paid. This is why Eisenhower was warning against the rise of the Military Industrial Complex in his 1960 Farewell Speech. LBJ told the Joint Chiefs of Staff at The Pentagon during the 1963 campaign that if he was elected “You’ll get your war.”

    In fact, the U.S. was doing so well during the war that the dearth of manpower caused a bidding war for employees. Fringe benefits such as health insurance became expected and this is how that system got started. Also, the Vetran’s Admin and the FHA housed the returning troops and their families by simply setting mortgages for a home according to a proportion of what they were earning, which was pretty low in 1946-1050. Just try to imagine how things would have been if none of this had been done. History is not so simple and what was once good can mutate into something not-so-good. That doesn’t mean that it as wrong or bad then, or ever that it is all bad now. The main problem is that 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, which wasn’t necessary, but a true plot to undermine the nation (even if Ted Kennedy didn’t know, Emanuel Cellar DID).

  • In my country we pay the breeding youth a grant, this causes more breeding. Got to love Africans.