The Forgotten Man ("War on Poverty" Edition)

With all the chitter-chatter surrounding 50th anniversary of LBJ’s “War on Poverty”, a very important element to the whole “War” has been brushed aside. Sure, you’ll see lots of squiggly charts, and Republicans who want to shuffle the deck chairs with their own version of the “War”. You’ll even find some entertaining pieces that claim it’s the market’s fault that the “War on Poverty” has been such a dud.

But there is never a mention of The Forgotten Man. Why doesn’t anyone ever look out for his “interests”? After all, The Forgotten Man produces and saves, and do you know what he gets in return? A jackboot right to the choppers.

Where’s the “compassion” for him?

The Forgotten Man gets his teeth knocked out, and not one crocodile tear.

No one makes a bar chart about The Forgotten Man either. And just think what The Forgotten Man could have done over the course of 50 years. Imagine the investments that could have been made, or the services that could have been rendered. Imagine the genuine charity that would have taken place…the productivity…the satisfactions…

You can’t plot what could have been onto a bar chart. So The Forgotten Man gets brushed aside as if he doesn’t exist.

But they know that The Forgotten Man exists…Believe me, they know. They just count on The Forgotten Man getting used to the jackboot. They count on him continuing to produce and save, no matter how many sets of false teeth he has to buy.

No one dares mention The Forgotten Man….until he is finally gone.

When the ashes ultimately settle, The Forgotten Man always makes his thunderous return, to propel humanity forward, once again.

Reprinted with permission from Economic Policy Journal.