Economic Opportunity Act of 1964:

It was effected on August 20, 1964.

What was the Equal Opportunity Act of 1964?

  • An Act to mobilize the human and financial resources of the Nation to combat poverty in the United States. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 served as the initial step in the war on poverty aspect of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society program. The objective was to help the poor by enabling them to pull themselves from the grip of poverty. An additional aim was to improve the role of the federal government in the improvement of education.

How is it going to help?

  • It helped, because the plan was intended to prepare more of our citizens for successfully competing in an expanding economy. President Johnson reflected the belief in an opportunity based approach to the poverty problem in America. Poverty victims should have a chance for a better future through improved skills, better training, and hard work. In the midst of the civil rights movement, this law focused on the more traditional idea of equipping people for the task and helping them to overcome conditions of poverty through their own initiative. The growing challenge to this idea was the alternative view of a guaranteed income for all, allowing people to work if they chose and to keep the earnings.

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Enacted by the 88th United States Congress.

Why is it beneficial?

Following President John F. Kennedy's assassination and President Lyndon Johnson's expansion of policies initiated by the Kennedy Administration, Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. The goal of this act was to "mobilize the human and financial resources of the Nation to combat poverty in the United States." By introducing an array of social policies, President Johnson intended to "eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of the plenty in this Nation by opening to everyone the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity." The programs of the Economic Opportunity Act included, but were not limited to, the Job Corps, Head Start, Adult Basic Education, Family Planning, Summer Youth Programs, Senior Centers, Community Health Centers, and Community Action Agencies.