Historian: 'We didn't cure poverty'

The Great Society is, "an example of a failed mission," says historian Amity Shlaes.

The Randy Tobler Show
March 26, 2020 - 7:30 am

(KFTK) – Historian and chair of the Coolidge Presidential Foundation Amity Shlaes joined Randy to discuss her latest book, Great Society: A New History, which Dr Tobler sees as increasingly relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It's a warning about government, and about looking to government for too much" says Shlaes. "The Great Society period started differently, that was a period, we're talking about the early 60s, of increidble optimism.  America was prosperous, and it thought it could do anything.  So it's sort of like our country a year ago."

Shlaes says their was a movement among lawmaker and writers to, "go from pretty good, to great, and the government will take us that distance.  So we had the government step-in in a massive way, and that's whats sort of similar to now. The government stepped-in in a massive way to make society great, not good."

Lyndon Johnson wanted a Great Society, as he stated at the University of Michigan commencement in 1964, "the emphasis is poverty.  Our official goal in the 60s was to cure, C-U-R-E, cure poverty.  We didn't cure poverty."  

Read more about the Great Society HERE


© 2020 KFTK (Entercom). All rights reserved