The American War On Poverty Summarized (In One Cartoon)

Tyler Durden's picture

When work is punished and the only policy tools left for a nation of must-sustain-the-credit-is-growth-Keynesian-state-wreck-status-quo believers, there can be only one outcome in the war on poverty in America... "promise zone" or no "promise zone"...



(h/t Sunday Funnies at The Burning Platform blog)

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Anusocracy's picture

It's not a war on poverty, it's a war on people.

Pool Shark's picture




[poverty won...]


economics9698's picture

The war on poverty was designed to destroy families.  If you notice around you today the big supporters of fascism come from families with no father.  Of course there are exception, like myself.


Children with no biological father feed our prisons, courts, drug wars, and make spending billions on the police state seem logical.  This was the intention of the war on poverty, create a police state.

Offthebeach's picture

A true man, a real father is a obstacle to the fascist Fatherland.

(Duty and EBT refreshment compels me to report you.
Do well in your reeducation and we will welcome you back , albeit at a menial job and under firm leadership.)

Fish Gone Bad's picture

I don't know how many true men there are anymore.  Last night I got in around midnight and the neighbors were just partying away and blasting music.  I asked them to turn it down and that was met with them turning up the music.  So I called the police and in 10 minutes the party was over.  So today I ask my other neighbors why they did not call the police.  Their response?  We were waiting for you.

People who will not stand up for their rights will always be victims.

Chuck Walla's picture

“I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years. [Touting his underlying intentions for the "Great Society" programs, LBJ confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One]”.

Lyndon B. Johnson


justanothersucker's picture

There IS no escape..........for any of us.

MontgomeryScott's picture

The 'government' uses the words 'ON' and 'WITH' intercheangebly.




Of course, the word 'with' is used in the connotation 'to use', here (I fixed the car WITH a screwdriver).

UGrev's picture

I would go further than that: 



Pool Shark's picture





sessinpo's picture

Of course. The more control they have over you, the more they profit. Once you are on the government teat, you are their slave.

PoliticalRefugeefromCalif.'s picture


..See Walmart

Peter Pan's picture

The war AGAINST drugs, terror and poverty sounds more reassuring to me.

Caveman93's picture

Signs of these are clearly marked with a symbol of crossed-fingers. 

GeezerGeek's picture

And what, exactly, is the difference between a promise and a lie when it comes through Obama's lips?

Moe Hamhead's picture

So, what's the matter with poverty anyway?!

Imminent Crucible's picture

Good question.  The answer depends on whether you mean voluntary poverty, or the usual, involuntary kind found across the third world.

I've chosen voluntary poverty (See the book "Less is More" by G. Vandenbroeck), meaning I live well below the standard of living I could afford.  I'm not really poor, and not suffering at all; the poverty I enjoy is the escape from owning, and being owned by, too much stuff.  It's liberating to tell Madison Avenue to shove it.

On the other hand, involuntary poverty is bad because it denies people the opportunity to choose voluntary poverty.  There's no benefit or blessing in being poor if you have no other choice.  I hope that's meaningful.

StychoKiller's picture

There are always choices, but not necessarily good ones.

I am Jobe's picture

What difference does it make? 

Caveman93's picture

When does the war on war begin?

booboo's picture

the war is almost over, everyone is in poverty, they won.

Peter Pan's picture

I think the puppeteers see poverty as a great equalizer.

NoWayJose's picture

Saw two interesting poverty tidbits - one was LBJ's state of the union speech in January 1964 calling the US the richest nation on the planet and announcing the beginning of the war on poverty. He mentioned spending $1000 today on a youth would return $40,000 in taxes over their lifetime. (maybe government estimates were not any better back then either). Second was a grand total of 20 trillion spent on poverty with no effect over the past 50 years - which compares well with our $17 trillion national debt. While not a 1-to-1 comparison, the war on poverty certainly has helped turn 'the richest nation on earth' into the 'the nation with the largest debt in history'.

Caveman93's picture

Interesting observation and thank you for sharing!

My wife is reseaching for her paper so she can obtain her MBA (More Better than Anyone) degree, and she asked me how to find out what the global GDP will be in ten know 'forecasted". I simply stated that what matters is the global debt and if that blows past whatever GDP metric they forcast it won't be relevant. Simply stated, even if forecasts predict a GDP of "X" if your debt "Y" soaks up  500% of debt/gdp your maintenance is all of your tax receipts or more. Forecasting is a joke and always has been. I have no degree :) 

I will be sure her professor hates me before her class is over.

Tinky's picture

"... a grand total of 20 trillion spent on poverty with no effect over the past 50 years..."

Congratulations! You've just forged into contention for the most ignorant assertion made on ZH in 2014.

shermacman's picture

Why? What is wrong with his point?

Umh's picture

Can you think of any improvements? Technically he may be right but, most of the  changes have been for nought or worse.

Tinky's picture

First, to exaggerate wildly (i.e. "with no effect") badly degrades the message that he is attempting to convey. 

Secondly, to suggest that the current $17 trillion debt is largely the result of spending programs aimed at the lower classes is laughable on its face. Take a look at the cost of wars, then get back to me with the remainder.

Bearwagon's picture

Right on, Tinky! Were $17 trillion spent aimed at lower classes - well, they wouldn't be that low anymore, would they?! So this money has obviously been spent elsewhere. Ain't that hard to get ...

NoWayJose's picture

You're right, $20 trillion is wrong. The real number is $20.7 trillion, and the source I mentioned is Rush Limbaugh, who quoted figures from Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. Your own ignorance is showing.

toady's picture

Rush Limbaugh! Holy fuck!

cynicalskeptic's picture

How much has the US spent on its military during that time?  Between wars that never needed to be fought and enemies that were never as strong as we were told, the US playing 'world policeman' has made more ENEMIES than friends and cost TRILLIONS of $$$$

And consider that since the fall of the Soviet Union there has been NO nation on Earth that can seriously imperil the US - and that includes the 'Global Terrorism' meme (terrorism is the tactic of the weak used to attack the powerful and is used only by the desperate - a this point people who want the US OUT of THEIR countries - places we should not be in the first place).

Ike nailed the problem when he left office - too bad we ignired his advice.

Ms. Erable's picture

I'd disagree with your assertion that the $20T spent has had no effect. It's most definitely increased the number of persons living in poverty.

After all, you can't fight a perpetual war without an enemy.

shepherd's picture

Yes, because before the 1960s almost noone was poor in America. It's all the fault of those damn socialists.

FredFlintstone's picture

If you don't mind indulging me Shep, what do you consider the definition of poverty? Be specific please.

shepherd's picture

Whatever your definition. There was plenty of it in America at any time.

margaris's picture

poor yes, but not ever where they as lazy and indifferent as the poor are today.

The poor of today are brainwashed into total surrendering, they have been told that they don't have any chance and shouldn't even try to get out of poverty. "It's pointless" they are being told.

"It's not your fault, you poor fuck, you can't do anything about it, here are some foodstamps for you. Say thankyou to the government."

That's the truth behind this "business" of keeping the poor poor, because it keeps the rich in control and without competition.


The truth about poverty:


Give this video a try, I find it very important.

shepherd's picture

The truth about most poor people is that they are not as intelligent as rich people. It's as simple as that. And capitalism will never solve that.

Ms. Erable's picture

Bullshit. Go to today's front page and scroll down to the story on US congresspersons' net wealth; you'll find a large number of rich morons on that list.

shepherd's picture

To say that most politicians are not intelligent is totally moronic. Just because they don't produce our desired results, doesn't mean it does not require a high level of skill to do that job.

margaris's picture

Is obama intelligent?

In what way? His lies are so open, it shows how stupid he thinks we are, and not how intelligent he thinks he is.


There are two ways of achieveing relative intelligence.

Have a high IQ and be ambitious and achieve wonderful things in life.

Or surround yourself with stupid sheeple so you appear intelligent in comparison.

That's why the political system we have can only be sustained by having the majority of the population in this moronic dumbed down state.


They deserve each other.

shepherd's picture

Good luck getting blacks out of poverty with capitalism. The notion is so ridiculous, that's why noone but conservatives even attempts to argue such nonsense.

margaris's picture

It has nothing to do with "luck".

Governments and banks will do everything they can to keep a free market from existing.

If we really had a free market, problems like poverty would not exist. (yes, we would still have unfortunate and stupid people, but not one working poor)

Poverty is instead being perpetuated forever by governments because it is their agenda to control everything and kill everything that is "free".


shepherd's picture

So America apparently never had a free market then.

margaris's picture



they used to have a less regulated market... but never a completely free one.

But what we have today is the most pervasive and coercive government ever.

That such a monster developed from the deliberate agreement to create the smallest government ever more then 200 years ago, shows you the true nature of any government.

In the end they are all cancer cells. It doesn't matter how small the cancer cell is in the beginning. It can't hide its nature.