Social Solutions to Poverty:
America's Struggle to Build a Just Society
A book by Scott Myers-Lipton


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 Share the Wealth Plan  



. . . As the depression continued into 1934 and 1935, some felt that Roosevelt’s solutions were too conservative and that stronger action was necessary to solve poverty. Three of the most important plans came from Huey Long, Francis Townsend, and Upton Sinclair. Long, a Democratic senator from Louisiana and potential candidate for president, proposed the “Share the Wealth” plan. Long was highly critical of the New Deal, which he felt had exacerbated poverty and unemployment and had increased the wealth of the rich. Long wanted to limit the amount of income and wealth through progressive taxation and redistribute the money to the average citizen. Long’s “Share the Wealth” plan proposed an initial redistribution of $5,000 to all citizens followed by a guaranteed income of $2,000–$2,500 each year, about double the wages of the average factory worker. With such a poverty level below which no one could fall, all Americans would have enough money for a comfortable home and modern conveniences such as an automobile and a radio. 

Myers-Lipton, p. 164-165 

 (Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty” © Paradigm Publishers 2006)


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