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What Truman Can Teach Trump - WSJ
The Truman team was clear about its own strategic priorities. The U.S. needed to block Soviet expansionism in a shattered Europe at a time when the continent’s traditional great powers had collapsed and could neither defend themselves nor rebuild their economies without massive American help. The U.S. also needed to take on the global role that the British Empire had played at its zenith: The dollar would replace the pound as the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. Navy would replace the British fleet as the guarantor of freedom of the seas, and American power and diplomacy would replace the British in building international institutions to manage the global economy and the emerging postcolonial world.
[...]
To this end, Truman and his team summoned the specter of a global communist conspiracy directed by the Kremlin and told the American people that defeating this enemy was its highest priority. Administration surrogates painted a terrifying picture of communist advances across Europe and warned that if Europe fell, America would be next. And it worked. Congress appropriated the funds and passed the key legislation that gave Truman the foreign-policy tools he needed. American public opinion would continue to support a strong anti-Soviet foreign policy through the long years of the Cold War.
strategy  politics  policy  IR 
yesterday by sandykoe
Small tweaks to existing policies could make a huge difference for poor families - The Washington Post
On paper, being unable to buy non-food items with food stamps sounds logical; after all, they’re called food stamps (and the “N” in SNAP, the new acronym, stands for “nutritional”). In practice, though, the restriction means that two middle-school boys spent their only pocket money in months on deodorant, and food pantries across the country find themselves distributing toothpaste and toilet paper to families who struggle to afford them any other way. But SNAP’s guidelines could easily be reformed to allow low-income families to use their SNAP money for personal hygiene items and common household goods. After all, federal authorities are always tweaking SNAP’s internal workings....

In theory, every kid in a high-poverty community has access to lunch in the summer. Nonprofit and faith-based organizations nationwide can set up summer lunch programs for low-income kids with federal funding, thanks to a public-private partnership set up in 1975.

But a weird quirk in the law requires that the children eat the lunches on site — which has always worked well for urban community centers eager to attract kids to their summer enrichment programs, but poses a huge barrier for rural communities. Less than a fifth of the low-income children eligible for summer lunch in the United States actually receive it.
poverty  policy 
2 days ago by dwalbert

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