Long-Term Government Funded Programs
A Study of Their Impact on Poverty in the United States
Several policymakers, public administrators, the media, and others have celebrated the "success" of the latest anti-poverty policy reforms. Is success a type of economic form or an assessment of the quality of one’s life? Success is often defined in some type of economic form, even though it does not always provide a true sense of the effect of policy changes. Assessing the human impact of policy change requires more. It requires knowing about the resources of beneficiaries of social services and their conditions of life from various perspectives; therefore, we must strive to understand the socio-cultural aspects of people’s lives that create the whole person, which evaluates one’s quality of life.
This study examines long-term government funded social programs. More significantly, it answers the question: Have long-term anti-poverty policies alleviated poverty in the U.S.? This study also outlines poverty’s major root causes, current strategies, and presents a brief historical background on poverty in the United States.
Both qualitative and quantitative data were used for this study compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and other affiliated agencies. Library resources included electronic and computer database searches. Policy analysis research studies from Democrat, Republican, and Independent Think Tanks, economists, and scholars were assessed.
The main research question is: What is the impact of long-term anti-poverty policies in the United States? The sub-questions are: What are major historical perspectives and arguments on government funded anti-poverty policies? What are the major root causes of poverty in the United States? What is the relationship between the economy and government, and does it result in income disparity? What are major anti-poverty strategies implemented to decrease U.S. poverty?
When the U.S. government waged war on poverty in the 1960s, poverty was defined by income. Therefore, the obvious solution was to correct the income shortfall. This brings us to an equation seen throughout this study: POVERTY + MORE MONEY = RELIEF. Decades of research and experience with antipoverty programs have made it clear that poverty involves more complex, interrelated and sometimes-intractable socioeconomic, family, and individual issues; in addition, putting millions of dollars into long-term government funded programs is not the absolute solution. In reality, this money put into social programs have in many ways led to more poverty, as well as state and federal deficits. John F. Kennedy once stated in the early 1960s: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." The more long-term social programs are increased, the more chances generations of Americans will continue to be trapped in a continuous cycle of becoming more needy, dependent, and poor, which does not help the individual, their family, the American public, and certainly not the United States economy.
About the Author
Rogette Nicole Harris was recently selected as a 2006 HOT 100 women winner. The women selected for this honor are smart, work for change, and are not afraid to speak their minds (http://therealhot100.org/). Rogette was also nominated by the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania to participate in The American Council of Young Political Leaders international political exchange program, and in March 2005 she was selected to be Woman of the Month for the Women Under 40 political Action Committee, located in Washington, DC. Her area of political expertise surrounds government-funded social programs with recommendation strategies to make them more efficient and effective. Her research project, which she completed for her first Master's Degree in Public Administration, Long-Term Government Funded Programs: A Study of Their Impact on Poverty in the United States was recently selected to be showcased in Strayer University's (Washington, DC) library. She is currently completing her first book, The Politics of American Poverty. Rogette has considerable political experience having organized and worked on bi-partisan & partisan events. She has worked on campaigns on all three levels of government, including judicial elections; in addition, she has lobbied on the local, state, and national levels. Her professional experiences include working in the political department of the Democratic Leadership Council and working in a leadership role at the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C. in 2004. Rogette will complete her second Master's Degree in Business/Marketing in Washington D.C. in 2006.