Poverty in my area (Greenville, South Carolina) is much less than it was 50 years ago. I know some people here who can remember what it was like then. African-Americans were living in cardboard boxes along the highway. They say the war on poverty made a big difference here to the worst off. They also say the school desegregation helped a lot.

I am not claiming those policies were positive everywhere or perfectly thought out. But people around here think they helped bring some badly needed social equality.