President Kennedy 's Impact On Poverty

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In 1964 President Kennedy started the process of making a substantial effort to eradicate poverty when he received a memo showing that the number of families that were poor at that time (which was below the $3000 threshold) would remain poor even with full-time work if changes were not made (Haveman, R ( 1 ), Blank, R ( 2 ), Moffitt, R ( 3 ), Smeeding, T ( 4 ), & Wallace, G ( 5 ), 2015). He also directed that antipoverty measures be included in the 1964 legislation when awareness of the plight of more than 40% of blacks living in poverty was made (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015). After his untimely assassination President Johnson moved the plan forward signing the Economic Opportunity Bill into law in 1964 (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015). A total of $800 million (equivalent to $6 billion in today’s dollars) was appropriated to the Executive agency Johnson created to address and oversee the programs that were to be used to combat poverty (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015). Many of the programs had existed prior to 1964 but these efforts were targeted to “provide direct services to the poor, promote the development of human capital and stimulate social and community change.” (Haveman, R ( 1 ) et al., 2015) Medicaid was also created to provide for the poor and the farm community helped to expand the Food Stamp program (which also helped address concerns about food surplus), and Housing subsidy was expanded as well and most, if not all, of these programs continue in some form
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