Marc Kovac's article on poverty (Capital News, April 2 issue) will elicit calls from anti-poverty warriors to throw more money into social programs. Before doing that, note that trillions of dollars have been spent on such efforts since the mid-1960s.

America's poor are not starving to death. Government reports the biggest nutritional problem the poor have is they're obese, not emaciated. Nor are our poor expiring from lack of shelter. Homelessness is more a function of addiction and mental illness, not diminished job opportunities.

The poor in America often have conveniences like a car, TV, cell phone, air conditioning, free public education, and at the very minimum, emergency health care. The poor elsewhere consider such things as a sign of wealth.

Jesus said, "The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them anytime you want." (Mark 14:7). As far as the second part of that statement goes, I feel America has been extremely generous. Where we have fallen down is not in material support but in the cultural area.

I feel the best anti-poverty program ever invented is a solid family structure. That typically means marriage and a home where children have a father and mother. I am old enough to recall when that was the norm. Unfortunately, the cultural upheaval starting in the 1960s, coupled with the anti-family effects of the Great Society, has made this idyllic for the underclass instead standard. And in recent years, this cultural rot has spread to the middle class, too.

In my opinion, this degrading trend goes hand-in-hand with the secularization of society. Call me a dinosaur or whatever, but I believe that once the country allowed judges to throw God out of public life, the die was cast. We are now reaping and will continue to reap the whirlwind of that exclusion.

Peter Skurkiss, Stow