On Tuesday, the United States Census Bureau released a pair of infographics focused on the department’s aims to measure poverty since President Lyndon B. Johnson‘s “War On Poverty” declaration in 1964. Fifty years later, the first of the Census infographics offer a timeline of events since President Johnson’s bold “State of the Union” address, with the following serving as a secondary point of reference on how the Bureau measures poverty.
President Barack Obama, who last year began an ambitious campaign to strengthen the middle class, released a statement regarding the war on poverty in conjunction with the release of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) document, “The War on Poverty 50 Years Later: A Progress Report.”
President Obama echoed a common refrain of late in his public appearances, speaking on behalf of individuals struggling in the still-recovering economy and emphasizing that there needs to be a development of opportunities for all Americans.
From President Obama:
As Americans, we believe that everyone who works hard deserves a chance at opportunity and that all our citizens deserve some basic measure of security. And so, 50 years ago, President Johnson declared a War on Poverty to help each and every American fulfill his or her basic hopes.
These endeavors didn’t just make us a better country. They reaffirmed that we are a great country. They lived up to our best hopes as a people who value the dignity and potential of every human being. But as every American knows, our work is far from over. In the richest nation on Earth, far too many children are still born in to poverty, far too few have a fair shot to escape it, and Americans of all races and backgrounds experience wages and incomes that aren’t rising, making it harder to share in the opportunities a growing economy provides
The President was unrelenting in his statement, saying that while strides have been made in the last half-century, there is still much more to do. Balking at some who say the war on poverty is over, President Obama stressed that the country has “redoubled” its efforts to provide stability and a chance at success for all.
Read the War on Poverty 50 Years Later: A Progress Report here.