Inhis article ” The War against the Poor Instead of Programs to End Poverty” HerbertJ.Gans explains and goes in depth on how the underprivileged people are exiled,stereotyped and rejected by the society and the government. A lot of partiesare involved in this war, on one hand Gans accuses the government that hasworsen the situation by limiting welfare only to those in the middle class, inthe other hand there are politicians who are trying to win elections and gainthe vote of the middle and upper classes by promising to create programs tohelp them rather than helping those in difficulties. On the contrary, they arewilling to find more ways to punish the poor.
Also, the economy plays a bigrole, because as the economy declines, the enthusiasm to help the poor declinestoo. Theauthor compared the Hebrews and Irish that were considered as criminal racesand today’s Hispanics, blacks and immigrants that are treated the sameway. He compared those two Historicalperiods in order to show that society and mentalities did not change that muchover time and to explain that not only races are victimized, the whole classsociety suffers now. Indeed,due to powerful stereotypes, many people from the middle and upper class believethat the poor are lazy by nature. More than that, they are considered harmfuland violent, while in reality they are just lacking resources and chances. The governmentperpetuation of discrimination mentality led to the creation of wrongperceptions, the poor are considered as underserving of escaping this poverty, immoraland criminals. For instance, he brought examples of unmarried poor mothers andhow they are perceived by the society as immoral woman.
This is a good exampleof other classes trying to implant ethical values while they are not behaving themselves.Gans in his article wants the middle and upper class to analyze the living conditionsof the poor in order to understand rather than labeling and designating them asunderserving in order to keep them at distance. Gansaims to help the poor people escape from this situation, thus; he proposedseveral solutions. First, he argued that the only way for them to be consideredas deserving members of the society is to get proper opportunities for jobs.Therefore, restoring failing infrastructures would be a great way to createjobs for those in need.
Another solution, is a new approach to income grantprograms and non-punishable grants programs. He also, urges to establish policiesagainst drugs and street crime in order to reduce the fear and anger of themiddle and upper classes. Finally,Gans listed ten anti-bigotry programs with detailed explanations, hoping thatclarifying those ideas will bring equality among different classes. He enquireshis audience to reconsider their decent principles by looking at others’conditions and to help them get access to jobs and resources that will bettertheir situation rather than being judgmental distant and immoral.