Emerging from the shaky growth following the recession from 1960 to 1961, President Carter launched America’s War on Poverty. His strategy comprised of “initiatives designed to improve the education, health, skills, jobs, and access to economic resources of those struggling to make ends meet*”. The primary goal of the War on Poverty was to increase the standard of living of the American people in all dimensions, growing opportunity and strengthening social mobility. An absolute poverty line was set up and poverty was linked exclusively to income. As the decades past it became increasingly evident that this solution was not accurately assessing or alleviating poverty. Shifting away from an absolute, income approach will be essential for the United States to better address poverty in the twenty-first century. A fully developed relative, post-transfer, basic needs approach, evaluating both income and tangible symptoms, is necessary to liberate America from poverty.
*Council of Economic Advisers. The War on Poverty 50 Year Later: A Progress Report. Washington, DC: United States Government, 2014. 2. Print.