Discuss the status of the poor, homeless and AIDS victims during the 1980’s. How did the government respond to the needs of each of these groups?
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In the end, Reagan's programs helped to lift much of America out of the crippling economic challenges of the 1970s. Yet, there is significant analysis that does suggest that Reagan's programs did not reach all level of the social order at the time. As the previous post mentioned, this is a fairly partisan issue. Yet, I think that the categories mentioned can be acceptable grounds upon which to analyze the President's legislation. The poor and the the homeless were groups of people that were not the direct recipients of Reaganomics policies that placed a great deal of faith in the marketplace. At the same time, the victims of AIDS at the time were largely seen as homosexuals, a population that was not included in the Republican party platform of the time period. A great analysis of Reagan and the Republicans on this issue could actually be seen in Kushner's "Angels in America." Completely conceded that this is not a historical text and does reflect bias, but it is extremely hard hitting and the analysis offered about Reagan, the Republicans and AIDS is extremely powerful.
First of all, please realize that this is a partisan issue. Democrats say that Reagan treated these three groups very poorly during his time in office. Republicans would argue that his policies were appropriate.
In general, however, I think it is fair to say that Reagan cut funding for programs that helped the poor in the short term. I think it is also fair to say that he helped cause more homelessness, for example, by reducing federal funding to mental hospitals.
You can see a discussion of this at the following link. Please realize that this is not meant to be an objective disucssion -- it is written by a homeless advocate.
The AIDS link seems more objective to me.