If you read much you already know that the “War On Poverty” that was part of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” program has been a colossal failure. Over $6 trillion of taxpayer money has been spent to achieve essentially nothing positive and has wreaked havoc on the family structure of Americans who happen to be poor, especially Black Americans.
It boggles the mind to think of all the good that might have been done with that massive amount of money if it had been directed to better purposes. Proving a counterfactual is a tricky business but here is one that is so obvious it proves itself. Probably for a lot less than $6 trillion every low and medium voltage power line in America could have been buried underground. That endeavor would have created oodles of jobs, many of them for Black Americans, and the result today is that 3 million people on the mid-Atlantic seaboard would have their air conditioning working fine. Instead they have been sweltering for days and will continue to do so for several more days while downed power lines from recent storms are repaired.
If all the money spent on the War on Poverty had instead been used to bury power lines over the last 40-odd years America would now have a capital asset in its infrastructure that would benefit not only us, but future generations as well. Instead, what we got for all that money was sky-high out of wedlock birth rates, inner city youth gangs, high crime rates, and a continuing welfare state draining resources out of the private sector while keeping poor people poor.