Too Little Progress: Reflections on Poverty at the 50th Anniversary of the Declaration of War on Poverty

There has been too little progress in ending poverty since President Johnson famously declared war on poverty in the United States in his January 8, 1964 State of the Union Message. Over one seventh of Americans still are poor. Recent poverty rates are among the highest since the declaration of a war on poverty. Women, children, Blacks, and Hispanics are still disproportionately poor. Without public benefits, many more would be poor. The U.S. has an exceptionally high relative poverty rate among high income countries at least in part because our public benefits do less to reduce poverty. Official poverty measurement does not capture the sizable gains in health care coverage for the poor since the 1960s, but health care coverage still falls far short of the universal coverage that is now standard in other high income countries