40 years and $7 trillion later, we are still fighting Pres. Johnson's war on poverty. What do we have to show for this? Not much. We have more unwed mothers, more broken families, broken inner cities, and a growing sense of entitlement. Looks like we lost that war, but aren't smart enough to give up. (link)
There has always been poor people. There will always be poor people. It is a function of humanity and human societies. Someone will always be lazy. Someone will always make poor decisions. Someone will always be addicted to drugs. Someone will always be at the bottom of the economic system.
However, compare the standard of living of our poor to worldwide and historic norms. Our poor live longer, eat better and have more wealth than 99% of all the people who have ever lived.
We've tried the welfare state...it doesn't work.