The Sticking Place

If the Johnson Administration’s war on poverty is ever substantially successful, in spite of a reluctant Congress and a competitive war in Asia, history will have to credit the President with as great a social and political triumph as any brought off by his mentor and idol, Franklin D. Roosevelt. For the poverty of the sixties, though less extensive by far than that of the thirties, is proving considerably harder to deal with. It is, in fact, the poverty that the New Deal scarcely touched – congenital, chronic, and now all the more galling to its victims because of the opulence that surrounds it on all sides. More than that, the avowed objective now is not merely relief and amelioration, as it was when Roosevelt took office 35 years ago, but the very eradication of poverty.