Poverty

LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

Fifty years ago last night, President Lyndon Baines Johnson called on lawmakers to help him wage a war on poverty. Few would argue that poverty is still a large issue today, but the effectiveness of the programs launched -- programs like Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Job Corps, etc. -- are widely debated depending on what party you identify with.

Today we talk about the legacy of the program with a variety of scholars.

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For LBJ, The War On Poverty Was Personal

Jan 8, 2014

President Lyndon Johnson stood in the Capitol on Jan. 8, 1964, and, in his first State of the Union address, committed the nation to a war on poverty.

"We shall not rest until that war is won," Johnson said. "The richest nation on Earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it."

It was an effort that had been explored under President Kennedy, but it firmly — and quickly — took shape under Johnson.

United States Department of Agriculture

In the first segment:

The last 10 years or the "lost decade" has mired the country in debt that we are only now starting to climb out of.  The incidence of poverty has jumped in America, and you might be surprised to see where it has grown most.  

Laurel Morales / Fronteras

Fronteras: A three-part series exploring hidden pockets of poverty: In college towns across the West, it's often a struggle to find both low-income and student housing. We explore a new trend of higher poverty rates in the nation's suburbs. As the number of poor students increases the amount of per pupil funding doesn't. We look at one public school district that's trying to do more with less. Also, a look at the unique challenges the children of migrant farm workers face when it comes to getting an education.

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