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The Aqueduct?


You may remember Neil Grosuch endorsed junk “historian” Amity Shlaes from such work as “the New Deal bad because state coercion is properly used against ordinary workers and immigrants, not big business.” She has a new book about the Great Society out and it is certainly consistent with the standards of quality she has established:

Shlaes relies on her talents as a narrator to make the case that, as she puts it, “the government lost the war on poverty.” The book is well written; it goes down easy. But Shlaes’s evidence is highly selective: Medicare and Medicaid, the largest antipoverty programs created by the Johnson administration, are barely mentioned. Other major Great Society initiatives, including the Head Start preschool program, food stamps for hungry families and increased federal funding for public schools in low-income communities, also largely escape Shlaes’s notice.

“Except for the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, and education funding the Great Society accomplished nothing for poor people.” I see no flaws whatsoever in this argument! Alas, the previous sentence will also be used in Justice Rao’s opinion striking down the Social Security Act, but unironically.

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