The Great Society

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The Great Society was a domestic social program created in the 1960’s by President Lyndon Johnson. While President Johnson acknowledged the greatness of the United States, he also recognized there was a large segment of the United States that was not part of the success story – people living in poverty. While I am not saying that giving to the less fortunate is wrong or those who are at disadvantages because of uncontrollable circumstances should not be given an opportunity to help themselves, I am stating my beliefs that the so-called “Great Society” has not been effective in the reduction of poverty and in many cases may actually be contributing to the continuance of people living in poverty.

My initial notion when thinking about the less fortunate is welfare. I understand that welfare is necessary to help the most disadvantaged in times of crisis, but too often it is taken advantage of by people who use it as a permanent source of income. One of the things that was wrong with the way President Johnson set up the welfare system was there was no time limit as to how long someone was eligible to receive payment. This was corrected in 1996 by President Bill Clinton, who passed federal welfare laws limiting welfare support for any individual to a total of 60 months in a lifetime. Another issue with welfare is how the recipients spend the money they have received. Some recipients use the money to support drug habits and other unnecessary Lanese 2

expenditures instead of putting a roof over their children’s and their own heads. Part of the problem with this is the inability to order priorities, carelessness and procrastination. If it was required to have a job to receive welfare (or at least sincerely look for one) would a good amount of the people on welfare soon be employed and able support themselves? The answer to this question is yes. Proof of this comes from the 20,000 businesses, who in the past ten years hired 1.1 million former welfare...
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