By Robert H. Haveman
Paperback, 392 pages, 6 x 0.9 x nine inches, Written through Robert H. Haveman for the Institute for study on Poverty Poverty coverage research sequence.
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Additional resources for A Decade of Federal Antipoverty Programs. Achievements, Failures, and Lessons
No one needed mobs of unskilled laborers; but there were jobs for people trained (or retrained) in skills that the country could use. The country was rich. A little redistribution would not hurt. The costs would be easily carried. The heart of the war on poverty was not unlimited spending but direction, coordination, innovation. What held back reform was politics; but presidential leadership could resolve this problem. 28 Attitudes toward increased spending were not confined to the professionals.
At the end he expressed grave doubts whether social science could contribute much toward policy at all. Yet faith in social science was at the very heart of the war on poverty; if one had no faith in social science, and the technology of "helping professions," then nothing was left but transfer payments—or benign neglect. Perhaps it is only a coincidence, but in the last ten years academics have become almost blatantly skeptical about how much they know; what sorts of problems they can solve. Anthropology is unmasked as imperialism; social workers are racist oppressors; psychiatrists are petty dictators who know nothing, accomplish nothing, and whose snap judgments produce endless human ruin.
O n the history of public housing and urban renewal, see Lawrence M . Friedman, Government and Slum Housing: A Century of Frustration (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1968). " Stevens and Stevens, Medicine in America, p. 3 2 . Welfare 40 Lawrence M. Friedman lance —may be, politically speaking, the most sacrosanct of the New Deal programs. Here, by way of contrast, the element of local option is very weak. A state must have an approved plan; but the federal requirements are not very stringent. Wyoming has no real right not to join; or, politically speaking, to quit.