The Great Society only made things worse, says Acton’s co-founder and executive director, Kris Mauren. He gave the final lecture during Northwood’s University’s series, “The Great Society at 50.” Mauren’s talk, titled “Alternatives to the Great Society,” argued that the programs of the Great Society have likely exacerbated issues of poverty and created a “culture of dependency.” A recent article from Midland Daily News summarizes this lecture:
“I am not suggesting we do nothing, but what we are doing isn’t working,” Mauren said. “We need a new paradigm.”
Before Johnson declared war on poverty, society had already created citizen associations.
“Society organized itself to meet needs,” Mauren said. “Fraternal societies helped to care for members.”
These societies helped people with medical care, among other things, and assisted those in short-term need.
At times when large-scale crises occur “that is the exact time for charity… it is appropriate for the government to step in,” Mauren said.