University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Are rural Americans still behind?

President Johnson’s War on Poverty created many new programs intended to reduce poverty, including the Food Stamp Program, Medicaid, Medicare, and Head Start, among others. Although the intent of these programs was to address poverty regardless of geographic residence, the hardship facing many rural Americans was particularly salient at the time. In 1967, Johnson established the National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty, charging them to “make a comprehensive study and appraisal of the current economic situations and trends in American rural life, as they relate to the existence of income and community problems of rural areas, including problems of low income [and] the status of rural labor.” The Commission’s report, entitled The People Left Behind, included several recommendations for immediate action, ranging from a pledge of full employment to a right to a guaranteed minimum income, in
order “to chart a course to wipe out rural poverty.”

Categories

Economic Support, Financial Security, Means-Tested Programs, Place, Place General, Poverty Measurement, Social Insurance Programs, U.S. Poverty Measures

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