[Excerpt] In the pursuit of a more equitable and humane society, events of the 1960s required that public attention be directed to the welfare of subgroups within the overall population. For although aggregate barometers of economic progress soared to unparalleled heights of prosperity, sectoral indicators often revealed differential lags and significant voids that spelled little change for numbers of citizens. Much of the unrest within the nation during this period emanated from the people who have been "left behind" and their mindful sympathizers.
In response, manpower programs have been launched, regional development discussed, equal employment legislation adopted, and a "war on poverty" proclaimed. Yet, a review of actual happenings reminds one of the old adage that "after all is said and done, more is said than done." The mainstays of national economic policy have continued to be fiscal and monetary policies. The fundamental institutional reforms that are necessary to abate the inequities within the American economic system are often dismissed as being undeserving of serious consideration. Attention centers upon the growth of the superstructure, while the underpinnings continue to rot for lack of structural repair.
A prime example of the incongruity between the pronouncements of public policy and the needs of human beings is to be found in the treatment of the Chicano population of rural America.