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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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Too Much Work Ethic

Too Much Work Ethic

One Reason Poverty Rates Stopped Falling in the 70s, and the Stories That Were Told about It

(p.141) Chapter Seven Too Much Work Ethic
Why America Lost the War on Poverty—and How to Win it

Frank Stricker

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on real economic developments in the United States during the 1970s, especially in the labor market. More specifically, it looks at the causes of the poverty crisis during the period, including the inability of the labor market to fully absorb the large number of Americans seeking employment. The chapter emphasizes the rise in involuntary unemployment as the number of people searching for jobs soared dramatically. It considers three arguments that explain why poverty rates stopped falling in the 1970s and examines the labor force to show that the work ethic among Americans was alive and well in the 1970s. Finally, the chapter discusses the effects of a labor glut on wages as well as its implications for the antipoverty effects of job holding.

Keywords:   poverty, United States, labor market, unemployment, labor force, work ethic, wages

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