Rebuilding America: A Prescription for Creating Strong Families, Building the Wealth of Working People, and Ending Welfare
In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty as a centerpiece of the Great Society's effort to eliminate poverty in America. Forty years and many trillions of dollars later, poverty in America has increased, not decreased, despite the vast efforts of the largest governmental welfare system ever created in human history.
In direct challenge to the political thinking that built the welfare state, Rebuilding America presents the outline of a bold plan for the overall elimination of poverty. The strategy of this new effort focuses on mobilizing the assets of urban America that have been largely cast aside and ignored by forty years of Great Society schemes. The approach proposed by J. Kenneth Blackwell emphasizes developing the urban landscape and creating meaningful employment for the poor without imposing additional tax burdens on the American people. Unlike the programs of the Great Society, this new approach can actually break the welfare dependency that has encouraged mothers to remain single and has dispossessed so many fathers from their families.
Rebuilding America argues for a phase-out of the welfare state by applying new techniques of public finance, not imposing additional taxes. It calls for financial institutions to deploy new capital into rebuilding our cities, providing them with incentives to work with established and newly formed corporations to integrate jobs with retraining programs in communities. By encouraging an "ownership society," the new initiative will correct the old flaw that sacrificed families and self-respect for the sake of bureaucratic systems and regulations. Rebuilding America aims at encouraging all families to thrive and be successful instead of depending on the governmental programs that stole their futures from them.
While the focus of this book is on the state of Ohio, it has much wider implications. It serves as an alternative, conservative model for attacking urban poverty that can be applied nationwide.