Alan Blinder claims “in the late 1970s, the U.S. labor markets began to turn ferociously against workers with low skills and education,” that “technology was clearly the major villain,” and that “the U.S. government piled on” by “[waging a] war on the poor.” His claims don’t square with the evidence.
Since 1980, U.S. demand for labor pulled 25 million foreign born workers to its shores, predominantly low-skilled Hispanic workers.
At the same time, unemployment, trended downward until the financial crisis.
Real government spending excluding defense doubled from $7,000 per person to $14,000 per person (2005 dollars; includes state and local spending).
According to the Cato Institute the U.S. spends “nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty” which “amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.” These figures exclude social security, and Medicare. The real per person spending on poverty has more than doubled since the 1970s.