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Why America Lost the War on Poverty—and How to Win it$
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Frank Stricker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831113

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807882290_stricker

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Reagan, Reaganomics, and the American Poor, 1980–1992

Reagan, Reaganomics, and the American Poor, 1980–1992

(p.183) Chapter Nine Reagan, Reaganomics, and the American Poor, 1980–1992
Why America Lost the War on Poverty—and How to Win it

Frank Stricker

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how the conservative counterrevolution worked with Ronald Reagan as president of the United States. More specifically, it considers the political impact of conservative efforts to undo the welfare state that was created between the New Deal era and the 1960s. The chapter describes the Reaganomics and its supply-side economics, which focused on reducing government spending, the federal income tax, and capital gains tax, as well as cutting government regulations and social programs, and tightening the money supply in order to lower inflation. It also discusses the Reagan administration's policies on unemployment and Social Security before concluding with an assessment of conservative arguments about poverty, paying particular attention to the conservative claim that the liberals' social programs and permissiveness on crime gave rise to an underclass of unwed mothers on welfare as well as murderous gangsters.

Keywords:   poverty, Ronald Reagan, welfare state, Reaganomics, supply-side economics, government spending, social programs, unemployment, Social Security, underclass

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