The Public Interest

Where welfare falls short

Eveline M. Burns

Fall 1965

I find it helpful to break down the “war on poverty” into five major strategies:


(1) There is first the approach which emphasizes lack of jobs or of capacity to hold jobs as the major cause of poverty.

(2) There is the approach which stresses “loss or interruption of income” as the important problem.

(3) There is the approach which places emphasis on the dire effects of heavy, irregularly occurring, but widespread charges on incomes, even when incomes are not interrupted.

(4) There is what I would call the income-deficiency approach which, unlike those previously mentioned, stresses the need to assure some minimum income for all, regardless of the cause of the deficiency.

(5) Finally, there is the approach which holds that it is not enough to ensure that people have jobs or some form of socially-provided income, but insists that certain types of social services must be made widely available if poverty is to be finally eradicated.

Download a PDF of the full article.



from the


A weekly newsletter with free essays from past issues of National Affairs and The Public Interest that shed light on the week's pressing issues.


to your National Affairs subscriber account.

Already a subscriber? Activate your account.


Unlimited access to intelligent essays on the nation’s affairs.

Subscribe to National Affairs.