The War against the Poor

The War against the Poor

While liberals have been talking about resuming the War on Poverty, elected officials are doing something very different: waging a war on the poor. Even the riot that took place in Los Angeles in early May did not interrupt that war, perhaps because the riot was a mixture of protest, looting, and destruction. The war on the poor was initiated by dramatic shifts in the domestic and world economy which have turned more and more unskilled and semiskilled workers into surplus labor. Private enterprise participated actively by shipping jobs overseas and by treating workers as expendable. Government has done its part as well, increasingly restricting the welfare state safety net to the middle class. Effective job-creation schemes, housing programs, educational and social services that serve the poor—and some of the working classes— are vanishing. Once people become poor, it becomes ever harder for them to escape poverty.

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Lima