The Legacy Of Lyndon B. Johnson

967 Words4 Pages
As the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson and his social reform known as the Great Society, came to a close in 1969, the emergence of neoliberalism appeared in the 1970’s. There was now a massive departure from social welfare reforms and an influx of conservative reforms that pinpointed a reduction in federal government supervision and the advocacy of privatization of public sectors. Furthermore, America shifted from a welfare state to a neoliberal state through the rise of conservative ideals and inflation. Chiefly, the neoliberal reforms negatively impacted and corroded the progressions made in previous years by degenerating the welfare state, and hindering the social, political, and economic realms of American society. Moreover, as America emerged from the Cold War, Lyndon B. Johnson took presidential office. One of the momentous reforms created during the Johnson administration was the Great Society. The Great Society aimed to reduce poverty in America (Foner, 977). The programs and reforms created under the Great Society provided health services, supplied food stamps, and funded education and urban development for the poor and the elderly (Foner, 977). Largely, it provided aid to the vulnerable fragments of American society. As Johnson’s presidential term came to a close, America shifted to neoliberalism. Neoliberalism can best be defined as the economic and social philosophy of reduced regulations imposed on free markets and free trade. It also promotes the privatization of economic and social sectors of society, while greatly sponsoring governmental austerity whilst decreasing governmental clout (Kelley, Lecture 16). With neoliberalism as the new means of politics, the social welfare state subsided. During the sixties, ... ... middle of paper ... ...e outsourcing and downsizing of companies left many working people jobless, and on the verge of homelessness. The line between the wealthy and the poor became more evident. With Reagan’s divestment in public programs, many mental health patients were released from state hospitals, welfare endured many cuts, and many people became homeless. As Wall Street Financer Ivan Boesky put it, “ Greed is healthy (Foner, 1038).” The same greed used to promote making corporations, was the same greed that left many homeless, and destitute. Immediately after Reagan left office, the federal government was forced to bailout institutions using $250 billion of taxpayer’s money (Foner, 1038). The Reagan administration also tripled the national debt to massive $2.7 trillion (Foner, 1039). His presidency helped to bring prosperity to the wealthy, and difficulty for everyone else.
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