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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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The Politics of Poverty and Welfare in the 70s

The Politics of Poverty and Welfare in the 70s

From Nixon to Carter

(p.117) Chapter Six The Politics of Poverty and Welfare in the 70s
Why America Lost the War on Poverty—and How to Win it

Frank Stricker

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the politics of poverty and welfare in the United States during the 1970s, from the time of Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter. It begins with an overview of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, introduced in 1935 as a section of the Social Security Act, and then turns to Nixon's proposed radical improvements in the welfare system, including a guaranteed income. In particular, the chapter discusses Nixon's Family Assistance Plan, and its pros and cons. It considers the reasons for the success of conservatism, which, along with resistance to the welfare state, was associated with the Republican Party. Instead of stumbling due to Nixon's Watergate resignation, Republicanism received a boost from the economic crisis of the 1970s. The chapter also explains the role of the Vietnam War fiasco, race issues, and the limits of liberalism's consensus economics in rebuilding the Republican Party. Finally, it analyzes the growth of the welfare state between 1972 and 1976.

Keywords:   politics of poverty, welfare, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, guaranteed income, Family Assistance Plan, conservatism, Republican Party, liberalism

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