Low-Income Groups in the United States
Arising curve of prosperity in the United States during the past decade has tended to obscure the persistence of sizable pockets of genuine poverty. While most of the nation's families have experienced a steady improvement in economic circumstances, many others have suffered serious setbacks; some have never reached a level of income that is sufficient to provide the necessaries of life. Aid-to-the-poor programs, adopted for the most part as depression measures 20 years ago, still supply relief to millions of needy individuals without bringing them into the orbit of national economic growth where opportunities for self-betterment lie.
Now a new national program for the bottom-income groups is in the making. It differs from poor relief of the past chiefly in that it is backed by a prosperous, expanding general economy; it is directed at the hard core of poverty, or at specific areas of local depression, rather than at the population as a whole. The goal is not so much mitigation of an individual's immediate distress as creation of opportunities for economic self-improvement.
The administration is advocating an extensive program to enable the long-time poor of farms and cities to share in the general prosperity. Numerous bills are before Congress to carry out such objectives. Established agencies of government, chiefly bureaus in the Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and Health, Education and Welfare departments are already offering a limited amount of technical assistance aimed to promote economic rehabilitation of low-income areas.