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War on Poverty -- it's not a lost cause
War on Poverty -- it's not a lost cause

Jan. 8 marks the 50th anniversary of legislation launching America's War on Poverty. The story of that war is often told with a sort of reverse Hollywood ending: oversimplified and wrapped up neatly as a failure. No one can claim that the war on poverty has been won, but the failure narrative is just as wrong. The real story with some fundamental facts highlighted is more complex than simple wins and losses, and long overdue. First, careful studies confirm that many of the safety net programs initiated with the War on Poverty, such as Head Start, WIC and food stamps (now called SNAP), make a big difference in the lives of the poor. Recent research by economists Hilary Hoynes,...

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