Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society project was an attempt at socialism. Johnson’s plan was to improve the United States as a place where people would lead better lives. The vision was made a reality through the implementation of various laws in education, housing, civil rights, healthcare, and social security (Corbett et al., 2017). Johnson believed that poverty and other social problems were as a result of lack of education. To eradicate poverty, Johnson’s administration passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965. The law attracted funding from the federal government which enabled more people to enroll for elementary, secondary, and higher education at reduced cost.
Johnson’s administration also implemented the Social Security Act in 1965. The law impacted on the nation’s citizens in a great way. Through Medicare, the elderly could access health care at the expense of the program. Moreover, the act in conjunction with other amendments enabled the coverage for people who were self-employed and those that were disadvantaged. Another crucial Law passed in 1964 is the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). Through the implementation of EOA, farmers, as well as business individuals, were provided with low-interest loans to improve productivity. Furthermore, EOA consisted of programs that improved the livelihood of low-income children, the disadvantaged, and the community at large.
Johnson’s Great Society project also created problems. For instance, conservative critics argued that eradication of poverty and increased funding imposed a heavy burden on the taxpayers as well as the poor people. According to the critics, federal government funding also encouraged the poor to depend on “handouts” instead of focusing on productive activities. The Americans, in the 1960s, accepted socialist leaning endeavors. In the 1920s, the citizens faced oppression from the few powerful business people. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program rejuvenated the spirits of the Americans in fighting for equality through rapid reforms. Today, the attitudes of Americans have changed in a positive way towards social equity.
Socialism in America dates back to 1850s when the German immigrants arrived. However, the impact of socialism started to be felt in the early 20th century. By this time, the Socialist Party was established, which was intended to enhance the proper use of the government to improve the lives of American citizens. The Progressive Movement led to repossession of private owned economic enterprises such the gas, waterworks, and electric plants. Since then, the progressives have worked towards economic and social equity irrespective of the color, race, ethnic group, or gender.
Corbett, P., Janssen, V., Lund, J., Pfannestiel, T., & Vickery, P. (2017). U.S. History (pp. 863-867). Texas: OpenStax.