In 1985 Prof. Walter E. Williams analyzed the government's 20-year old "War on Poverty." That "war" marked a systematic change in the way America viewed poverty, converting it from a personal problem to a government problem.
Many government social workers have good intentions, but they are part of a government system that destroys incentives and cripples people, then hands them crutches and expects gratitude. I'm willing to concede that even the architects of the "War on Poverty" had good intentions, though I sometimes suspect that they were too well educated to not know what they were doing, and that the "War" was really a power grab, possibly a racist one.
But good intentions combined with ignorance of economic laws is a lethal combination. What was true in 1985 is still true in 2009: We need to get government out of the poverty business. Watch and learn:
Poverty: Created in Washington D.C.