Does this apply to today? Why, or why not?
When an economy is expanding and things are going well, it becomes easier to think in terms of spending resources to deal with problems. Times of recession or of slow growth and slowly rising living standards with reduced public resources result in downgrading the significance of nonproductivity linked social problems and discourage action to deal with them.
S. M. Miller, The Political Economy of Social Problems: From the Sixties to the Seventies