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You Can't Eat FreedomSoutherners and Social Justice After the Civil Rights Movement$
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Greta de Jong

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469629308

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629308.001.0001

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OEO Is Finished

OEO Is Finished

Federal Withdrawal and the Return to States’ Rights

(p.116) Chapter 5 OEO Is Finished
You Can't Eat Freedom

Greta de Jong

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the conservative political discourse of the 1970s echoed the sentiments expressed by southern opponents of the civil rights movement and the War on Poverty in the 1960s, tracing changes in federal policy that reflected the growing acceptance of these ideas among government officials and the population at large. Citing the need to halt the trend toward federal intervention in the economy and other areas of American life, President Richard Nixon proclaimed an era of “New Federalism” that reduced funding for antipoverty programs and restored control over economic development to state and local governments. These moves neutralized the transformative potential of the War on Poverty and left existing power relations intact, leaving poor people without strong advocates in government or adequate assistance during a decade of rising unemployment and economic distress.

Keywords:   Economic development, Federal government, New Federalism, Richard Nixon, Unemployment, War on Poverty

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