Front Page Titles (by Subject) Poverty Programs and Government - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3
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Poverty Programs and Government - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Poverty Programs and Government
“Statistical Poverty in Mississippi: A Profile of the Poor in the Nation's Poorest State.” Mid-South Quarterly Business Review 17 (April 1979): 11–15.
Mississippi has the greatest incidence of statistical poverty as defined by the official government indicator. However, the author contends, the higher-than-national incidence of statistical poverty in Mississippi does not of itself suggest a need for increased logistical support for programs of service delivery, consciousness raising, or an expanded government presence. In fact, “it might be worthwhile to consider what government is currently doing which it could cease doing if concern for the underprivileged population and expansion of opportunity for that category is the criterion of concern.”
We need to critically reappraise the automatic response of addressing appeals to government for help, solution, aids, and programs. Many of these appeals, regardless of the public interest vocabularies in which they may be couched, seem to work out as the efforts of special groups to profit at the expense of other groups through the political process. And there may be as much effort on the part of government to seek out clientele and beneficiaries as there are efforts to use the collective and coercive power of government. There appears to be considerable government-encouraged activity to mobilize community groups to seek increased government assistance.
Quite frequently it becomes clear after several decades of implementation of a messianic policy that it does not have the consequences enlightened spokesmen said it would have, but rather the consequences predicted by critics. This often leads to new ground wherein those enamored of government really intend to make it “work” in the public interest. The author suggests that we should evaluate the potential outcomes inherent in the process itself. We should also scrutinize schemes to mobilize resources in order to remove those hindrances to opportunity and productivity spawned by interest groups that manage to use the machinery of government in their own behalf (in the name of “the public interest”). We finally need to devise solutions to restrict government from prolonging poverty among persons, groups, or areas.