09/11/2013 10:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

We Are Losing, Losing, Losing (Lost?) the War on Poverty -- Whatever Strategy We're Using Is Dead Wrong


In about 1964 or 1965, President Johnson initiated the War on Poverty. He wanted to beat it. If you look at the numbers then to now, you know we have failed miserably. There could be no better proof than the numbers to convince us our strategy is wrong, dead wrong.

We need a new course. We can win. We just have to stop being stupid.

When President Reagan took office, he took on what was thought to have been the impossible -- the Cold War. He said simply, "why don't we just win it?" And guess what? We did.

And that is why I wonder about the War on Poverty... why do we continue to accept it "as is" instead of trying to win it with a new and effective strategy -- not with our current decades-old strategy because it is obviously a very bad strategy? We can win it. I know it seems impossible but so did winning the Cold War. We need a new strategy and a real commitment.

Just throwing money at a problem -- and turning our backs -- is not a solution and has not worked to end the War. I am not suggesting spending more money foolishly that doesn't advance the ball -- I am suggesting we use our heads and come up with smart and effective new strategy that actually works, that actually lifts people out of the bondage of poverty.

And here is another thought -- winning the War on Poverty matters and not just from a humanitarian point of view (which matters immensely) but from an economic one. Poverty hurts us all morally and financially.