Poverty and Dependency
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Poverty and Dependency

America, 1950s to the Present

John Macnicol

This incisive book addresses the history of poverty in the US, addressing how those in need have been understood and administered during the last 70 years. Launching a multi-faceted investigation into the history of US government attitudes to welfare, John Macnicol identifies the key features of historic and contemporary discussions on poverty in the US and the dynamic changes in American attitudes to its poorest constituents.
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Chapter 3: The socio-economic background in the 1970s and 1980s

John Macnicol


From the Second World War to the early 1970s, the American economy delivered increasing material rewards to the majority of the population. However, the mid-1970s oil price shock triggered an economic recession, one effect of which was to engender a much more pessimistic view of the causes of poverty and under-achievement. It also led to the rise of neoliberalism, which experienced its triumph with the presidency of Ronald Reagan. There was particular concern at the adverse effect of economic change on black Americans, and the whole question of civil rights became more prominent.

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