Sargent Shriver, the architect of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, died in mid-January. As I read his obituary, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia for a storied age of U.S. social policy.
Here’s a snapshot of that period: In 1963, the same year that Martin Luther King told the nation of his “dream,” an economist in the Social Security Administration named Mollie Orshansky began developing a set of poverty thresholds based on the dollar costs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s economy food plan for families of three or more persons, multiplied by a factor of three. In . . . Read full article →