Taking the measure of Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society'
One of the lessons I learned in my first management course is you can’t improve something unless you can measure it. So let’s apply that to government.
As ambitious government programs go, it’s hard to top the “Great Society,” which recently marked its 50th anniversary. President Lyndon Johnson, after all, vowed “to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty.”
That’s a tall order. So five decades, nearly $22 trillion and roughly 80 welfare programs later, it’s fair to ask how we’re doing. The short answer? Not well.
Material poverty has declined, to...