The War on Poverty: then and now

The typical American family isn’t what it used to be. Only a fifth of our families have a male breadwinner and a female homemaker. The solutions we need today are also different. We don’t need a new New Deal, because the New Deal was an all-government solution, and that’s not enough anymore. And my father’s War on Poverty isn’t enough anymore either.

Our government programs, business practices, educational system, and media messages don’t take into account a fundamental truth: This nation cannot have sustained economic prosperity and well-being until women’s central role is recognized and women’s economic health is used as a measure to shape policy.

In other words, leave out the women, and you don’t have a full and robust economy. Lead with the women, and you do. It’s that simple, and Americans know it.

from Maria Shriver in the Atlantic, in a special report on Women and Poverty on the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty. Her father was head of the agency leading the War on Poverty in 1964.


Maria Shriver special on MSNBC Mon. at 8pm

Maria Shriver will offer a series on women's economic issues on NBC and MSNBC next week.

She starts on "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. Sunday. She will share poll results about women and poverty.

The reports are based on "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink." The Shriver Report is a multi-platform study examining the sweeping changes in American families and how cultural institutions have failed to adapt to those changes.

In a release, NBC News explained Shriver's role: "She will share stories and lead discussions about various topics, including how 'having it all' has morphed into 'just hanging on,' how women who are powerful are also powerless, and she'll provide working women with tips on how to be successful in today’s economy."

Shriver also will visit MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday.

Shriver stops by "Today" each day Monday through Wednesday. The Wednesday edition of "Today" will offer a Help-A-Thon that enlists 13 experts to answer women's tweets, emails and Facebook messages. Viewers can join the conversation by using the hashtag #DoingItAll.

Also Monday, Shriver talks to MSNBC's "Morning Joe," MSNBC's "Jansing & Co.," "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams" and MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes," the last a special that Shriver will co-host.

Martha Brock

The Suburban Poor: PBS online

From PBS online:

"Poverty grows on Maple Street"
In 1964, as President Lyndon Johnson launched a broad platform to abolish American poverty, images of American poverty focused on the inner-city and rural poor.

Today, fifty years later, statistics reveal another rapidly-growing group living in poverty: the suburban poor.

The Metropolitan Policy Program of The Brookings Institution tracks national rates of poverty and found that while populations in the suburbs have increased in previous decades, the poverty rate in the suburbs has increased even faster.

According to Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, there are now more poor residents living in the suburbs than in central cities, including over one-third of the nation's total population.

Suburban communities with growing poverty may face a distinct set of challenges compared to poor communities in cities. They are often more geographically isolated from jobs, and lack the transit connections that can help link residents to employment opportunities. Social services are often less prevalent due to a lack of local public, nonprofit, and philanthropic capacity."

Martha Brock