“Inside Story”: 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty

Olivia GoldenIt has been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” On January 7, CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden spoke with Ray Suarez, host of “Inside Story” on Al Jazeera America, about the war’s successes and failures and where we go from here.

Golden noted that a frighteningly high 22 percent of children are still living in poverty. Much has been accomplished through public investments, she explained, “but there’s a huge amount left to do.”

Low wages remain a critical roadblock for families trying to escape poverty.

“We’ve succeeded, and many poor families have succeeded, at doing one of the things we asked them to do: work lots more,” Golden said. “While our safety-net programs have helped that happen, our public institutions have not changed at all. Mothers are trying to work and raise young children while not able to get sufficient childcare—while not being able to get paid family or paid sick leave.”