Cover image for Politics and the professors : the great society in perspective
Title:
Politics and the professors : the great society in perspective
Author:
Aaron, Henry J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington : Brookings Institution, [1978]

©1978
Physical Description:
185 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1550 Lexile.
ISBN:
9780815700265

9780815700258
Format :
Book

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HC110.P63 A65 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

In the early 1960s America was in a confident mood and embarked on a series of efforts to solve the problems of poverty, racial discrimination, unemployment, and inequality of educational opportunity. The programs of the Great Society and the War on Poverty were undergirded by a broad consensus about what our problems as a nation were and how we should solve them. But by the early seventies both political and scholarly tides had shifted. Americans were divided and uncertain about what to do abroad, fearful of military inferiority, and pessimistic about the capacity of government to deal affirmatively with domestic problems. A new administration renounced the rhetoric of the Great Society and changed the emphasis of many programs. On the scholarly front, new research called into question the old faiths on which liberal legislation had been based. In this book, the sixteenth volume in the Brookings series in Social Economics, Henry Aaron describes both the initial consensus and its subsequent decline. He examines the evolution of attitude and pronouncements by scholars and popular writers on the role of the federal government and its capacity to bring about beneficial change in three broad areas: poverty and discrimination, education and training, and unemployment and inflation. He argues that the political eclipse of the Great Society depended more on events external to it--war in Vietnam, dissolution of the civil rights coalition, and, finally, the Watergate scandal and all its repercussions--than on its intrinsic failings. Aaron concludes that both the initial commitment to use national polices to solve social and economic problems and the subsequent disillusionment of scholars andlaymen alike rest largely on preconceptions and faiths that have little to do with research themselves.


Summary

In the early 1960s America was in a confident mood and embarked on a series of efforts to solve the problems of poverty, racial discrimination, unemployment, and inequality of educational opportunity. The programs of the Great Society and the War on Poverty were undergirded by a broad consensus about what our problems as a nation were and how we should solve them. But by the early seventies both political and scholarly tides had shifted. Americans were divided and uncertain about what to do abroad, fearful of military inferiority, and pessimistic about the capacity of government to deal affirmatively with domestic problems. A new administration renounced the rhetoric of the Great Society and changed the emphasis of many programs. On the scholarly front, new research called into question the old faiths on which liberal legislation had been based.

In this book, the sixteenth volume in the Brookings series in Social Economics, Henry Aaron describes both the initial consensus and its subsequent decline. He examines the evolution of attitude and pronouncements by scholars and popular writers on the role of the federal government and its capacity to bring about beneficial change in three broad areas: poverty and discrimination, education and training, and unemployment and inflation. He argues that the political eclipse of the Great Societydepended more on events external to it--war in Vietnam, dissolution of the civil rights coalition, and, finally, the Watergate scandal and all its repercussions--than on its intrinsic failings. Aaron concludes that both the initial commitment to use national polices to solve social and economic problems and the subsequent disillusionment of scholars and laymen alike rest largely on preconceptions and faiths that have little to do with research themselves.


Author Notes

Henry Aaron, a former senior fellow in the Brookings Economic Studies program, became the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1977


Henry Aaron, a former senior fellow in the Brookings Economic Studies program, became the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1977


Table of Contents

1. Introductionp. 1
The Common Viewp. 2
The Common View Reviewedp. 4
The War on Poverty and the Great Societyp. 7
Appendixp. 10
Notesp. 15
2. Poverty and Discriminationp. 16
Looking Backwardp. 17
OEO, the War on Poverty, and the Great Societyp. 25
Current Views on Poverty and Discriminationp. 35
Summaryp. 49
Notesp. 50
3. Education and Jobs: A Swinging Pendulump. 65
Naive Hopes and Simple Faithsp. 66
Loss of Innocencep. 72
Taking Bearingsp. 92
Notesp. 98
4. Unemployment and Inflationp. 111
A Backward Glancep. 112
New Facts, New Theories, New Policiesp. 117
Conclusionsp. 137
Notesp. 139
5. Faith, Intelligence, and Good Worksp. 146
The 1960s: Many Currents Joinp. 147
The Currents Divergep. 152
Looking Forwardp. 159
Notesp. 167
Indexp. 179
1. Introductionp. 1
The Common Viewp. 2
The Common View Reviewedp. 4
The War on Poverty and the Great Societyp. 7
Appendixp. 10
Notesp. 15
2. Poverty and Discriminationp. 16
Looking Backwardp. 17
OEO, the War on Poverty, and the Great Societyp. 25
Current Views on Poverty and Discriminationp. 35
Summaryp. 49
Notesp. 50
3. Education and Jobs: A Swinging Pendulump. 65
Naive Hopes and Simple Faithsp. 66
Loss of Innocencep. 72
Taking Bearingsp. 92
Notesp. 98
4. Unemployment and Inflationp. 111
A Backward Glancep. 112
New Facts, New Theories, New Policiesp. 117
Conclusionsp. 137
Notesp. 139
5. Faith, Intelligence, and Good Worksp. 146
The 1960s: Many Currents Joinp. 147
The Currents Divergep. 152
Looking Forwardp. 159
Notesp. 167
Indexp. 179