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was $14.90.

Colorado's "Jackpot" Financial
chickens came home to roost in Colorado



last month when under a constitutional
amendment passed in 1936, the state was
obliged to pay a bonus of $27.77 to each
of its 34,804 recipients of old age assist-
ance, the total amounting close to a mil-
lion dollars. Meantime the state's gen-
eral funds are running a heavy deficit,
many services are facing suspension and
all departments are "lopping off em-
ployes right and left" in a program of
rigid retrenchment. Colorado's amend-
ment requires a $45 maximum monthly
allowance to all needy residents of sixty
or more years of age. Security board
matching of 50 percent applies only up
to $30 a month to persons over sixty-
five. Moreover the amendment requires
that any surplus of funds earmarked for
old age payments shall be disbursed even-
ly among recipients at the end of the
year. Hence the bonus Colorado calls it
the "jackpot" which brought January
payments to an average of $67.36.

To finance old age allowances the
amendment earmarked 85 percent of the
state's biggest source of revenue, the 2
percent sales tax, and a like proportion
of liquor and other excise taxes. Thus
while the aged are receiving relatively
generous treatment other state services
of every kind are being stripped and some
of them threatened with suspension.

WPA

' I A HE beginning in many states of pay-
A ments of unemployment compensation
raised urgent questions of where WPA
employes came in. From Washington
come policy rulings that take account
of present and potential WPA workers.
Concerning workers currently engaged
on projects but who, in earlier private
employment, have accumulated benefits,
the federal WPA says that "they are
expected to file claims" for such bene-
fits, but that their employment "on the
works program shall not be affected un-
til their eligibility for benefits, in the
absence of Works Program employ-
ment," has been determined by the state
unemployment compensation agency. The
statement of policy goes on to say, "After
this determination, the worker shall be
separated from employment on the
Works Program and shall not be con-
sidered as eligible for reemployment dur-
ing the waiting period, nor during the
period in which compensation benefits
are paid. At the expiration of the period
during which compensation benefits are
paid, the worker shall be entitled to re-
employment on the Works Program in
the same manner as persons returning
from private employment.

"In order to give the state unemploy-
ment agencies opportunity to make the
necessary arrangements to facilitate the
payment of unemployment compensation
benefits, permission has been given to the
states concerned to postpone putting this



regulation into effect until March 1,
1938, or until such time as benefit pay-
ments begin."

Concerning persons with accumulated
benefits who are technically eligible for
Works Program employment but not
currently employed thereon it is ruled
that they "shall not be eligible for em-
ployment on Works Program projects
until after the expiration of the period
during which unemployment compensa-
tion benefits are paid. At the end of that
period, eligibility for employment on the
Works Program shall be determined in
accordance with regular certification
procedure."

Going Down A shrinkage in WPA
expenditures in New York City of more
than $48,300,000 between the last six
months of 1936 and the same period in
1937 is reported by Lieut.-Col. Brehon
Somervell, local administrator. Payroll
expenditures were reduced about 31 per-
cent; other expenditures about 69 per-
cent. On July 1, 1936, there were 197,-
536 persons on the payroll of whom
3041 were employed on administration.
A year later 159,743 persons were em-
ployed, 2971 of them on administration.
By January 1 of this year the total had
been reduced to 133,236 of whom 2365
were on administration. During the last
half of 1936 the average number of re-
lief persons on WPA was 176,875; of
non-relief employes, 11,720. During the
last half of 1937 the monthly average of
relief employes was 130,354, a drop of
27 percent; of non-relief employes 4877,
a drop of more than 59 percent.

From July 1 to December 31, 1937,
60,909 persons were dropped from WPA
payrolls, as against 33,515 during the
corresponding period of 1936. During
the last six months of 1936 some 21,309
persons voluntarily left their WPA jobs;
during the same period of 1937, 18,453.

Three Years' Figures The report
to the President of Harry L. Hopkins,
Works Progress administrator, on the
employment provided and projects oper-
ated under the emergency relief appro-
priation acts of 1935, 1936 and 1937, is
a document of historical no less than of
current importance. To garner only a
few facts and figures from the exhaust-
ive compilations:

In September 1937, the net number of
recipients of general relief and workers
from relief rolls on projects of the WPA
and other federal agencies amounted to
about 2,700,000. If allowance were made
for the additional households assisted
through CCC and NYA, aid to depend-
ent children and the blind, old age assist-
ance, and rural rehabilitation grants, the
aggregate total would be increased by
about 50 or 60 percent. During Septem-
ber 1937, roughly 10 percent of the peo-
ple in the United States received public
aid in some form.



50



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



As of October 31, 1937, total funds
provided under the three Emergency Re-
lief Appropriation Acts amounted to ap-
proximately $8,421,000,000; total expen-
ditures to $6,893,000,000. Funds ex-
pended by the WPA alone aggregated
$3,623,000,000, of which nearly 92 per-
cent went for the prosecution of work
projects predominantly under local spon-
sorship. The NYA, its student aid and
work project activities, accounted for
3.1 percent of the total WPA funds; ad-
ministrative allocations for both the
WPA and NYA for 4.2 percent. Re-
maining expenditures were made in con-
nection with drought relief and land util-
ization supervised, chiefly by the Reset-
tlement Administration but financed
from WPA allocations.

Earnings of workers accounted for
over 85 percent of all WPA expendi-
tures through June 30, 1937. Materials,
supplies and equipment took 8.2 percent
of the total; rent of buildings and equip-
ment, 5.4 percent; other expenditures,
principally for communication, transpor-
tation, and similar services, a little more
than 1 percent.

Over the whole period of WPA opera-
tions the expenses borne by sponsors of
projects aggregated about 12.9 percent
of total costs. The ratio rose from 12.4
percent in the last six months of 1936
to 21.2 percent in the four months end-
ing October 31, 1937. Sponsors' expendi-
tures were predominantly for other than
labor costs. These costs of project opera-
tions were divided between the federal
government and sponsors on about a 3 to
2 basis in the last half of 1936 and near-
ly evenly during the first half of 1937.
In the July to October 1937 period spon-
sors bore 64 percent of the total non-
labor costs.

In Pennsylvania

*"pHE "state of investigation" which
' swept over the Pennsylvania Depart-
ment of Public Assistance late last year
[see Survey Midmonthly, December
1937, page 385] ended early in January
when Karl de Schweinitz, the secretary,
presented his resignation, "effective to-
day," thereby refusing to accept the terms
implied in Governor Earle's decision to
retain him in office.

The investigation was entrusted by
the governor to a committee of three
lesser state officials, all politically spon-
sored, drawn from departments where
no merit system prevails. It took two
directions. The first was of auditing pro-
cedures, turned over to eight firms of
certified public accountants. Their re-
port has not been made public but it is
understood that it gave the department
a clean bill of health. The second was
of what might be described somewhat
loosely as social work methods. This was
assigned to a rather heterogeneous group




With the merit system admittedly the white hope of public administration the map
above (courtesy of the Civil Service Assembly of the United States and Canada)
indicates how few states have accepted the principle. Five of the "white states,"
Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Tennessee and Arkansas gained that status only last
year when they pissed civil service legislation and established personnel agencies



of investigators including, it is said, cer-
tain former employes of the DPA, dis-
charged for cause. Its investigation was
not based on a real sampling of the case
load but on cases selected because they
had been longest unvisited.

The original charges brought against
Mr. de Schweinitz and his administration
by Mrs. Emma Guffy Miller, National
Democratic committee woman, were of
inefficient administration and "over-
spending," but the inquiry of the inves-
tigating committee seemed directed
rather toward turning up evidence of in-
tensive case work. Without any advance
information on this committee's report
Mr. de Schweinitz was summoned to the
governor's office to hear it read and to
be questioned by others so summoned,
among them persons who had led the at-
tack on his administration. Later he was
given the opportunity to study the re-
port and made public a comprehensive
statement concerning it, detail by detail.
Access to the accountants' reports was
denied him.

At this point State Treasurer Ross un-
dertook a new investigation of the De-
partment of Public Assistance and at
about the same time the governor an-
nounced appointments to the new county
boards replacing the old poor boards
which expired on January 1. [See Survey
Midmonthly, July 1937, page 228.] Mr.
de Schweinitz' estimate of these appoint-
ments was expressed in his statement on
his resignation:

"With the exception of one or two
counties, these appointments have been
dictated by the Democratic county chair-
man, and already the activities of local
politicians . . . have been so evident
that it was necessary for me to issue a
memorandum to the boards, warning



them against political interference. The
suggestions of public-spirited citizens and
civic organizations for the membership
on these boards were almost entirely dis-
regarded, except when they happened to
coincide with recommendations previ-
ously made by the county chairman or, in
a few instances, accepted by them. The
membership of many of these boards
promises nothing better than what the
poor boards represented."

Meantime a group of influential citi-
zens and social workers had undertaken
active steps to crystallize public opinion
against political maneuvering in the area
of relief and public assistance, and to
"put up a fight." They did not question
the governor's authority to remove a
member of his cabinet, but they were
deeply disturbed by the course of events
and their implications for the future of
the department and its services. While
this group was girding itself for action
the governor, without previously in-
forming Mr. de Schweinitz, announced
through the press his decision to retain
him in office, with Arthur W. Howe, Jr.
assigned to the department to supervise
certain changes in the business adminis-
tration. Mr. Howe, a former business
associate of the governor, had had vari-
ous assignments under his administration.

Mr. de Schweinitz, though advised by
many of his friends that "the fight had
just started," concluded that he could
not continue in office without the gov-
ernor's "active backing of the program
he claims to support," and presented his
resignation. "It is no longer a question
of preventing politics from entering re-
lief. The door has already been opened.
... It is now time that the administra-
tion should take responsibility for its
assistance program and should demon-



FEBRUARY 1938



51



strate the kind of efficiency that it pur-
ports to be concerned with." Mr. de
Schweinitz left immediately on a west-
ern trip. Mr. Howe since has been ap-
pointed secretary of public assistance.

ON THE HEELS OF ALL THIS COMMOTION

the Employment Board for the Depart-
ment of Public Assistance, authorized,
by the same laws which reorganized the
department, to set up a merit system,
held its first written examination for the
positions of county executive directors,
supervisors, visitors and certain other
quasi-technical posts. Since, under the
law, there was no eligibility requirement
of "special scholastic education or spe-
cial training or experience," anyone
could take the examination, and some
thirty-odd thousand did with about 3000
jobs to be filled. About 115 persons took
the written examination for the direc-
torship of the Philadelphia County Board,
held since 1932 by Dorothy C. Kahn.

The final grade of an applicant will
be determined by combining his rating
on each part of the examination which
consists of "one or more of the following
elements: practical work test, written
test, oral test or interview, examination
of personal qualifications as shown on
the application form, as related to the
duties of the position under considera-
tion." Appointments must be made from
among the three who top the eligible list.

At this writing the Employment Board
has made no announcement as to proced-
ure on weighting the various "elements"
in the examination or on preferential
rating for experience. The Philadelphia
local of the State, County and Munici-
pal Workers of America, pressing for a
50 percent rating for experience, was
urged by Governor Earle to use the con-
ference method rather than the sit-down
strike to advance their case, and was as-
sured that the governor would recom-
mend to the board a preferential rating
of not less than 10 percent. The new staff
must be ready to function on March 1.

Insurance

'TpHE shortest name found on the 36
* million account-number cards in its
files, the Social Security Board an-
nounces, is "E." The board declines to
state whether "E" is Mr., Mrs. or Miss,
or to give the address of "E." There are
608 registrants whose names begin with
"X." The most common name is Smith,
with approximately 392,000 registered.
The next most common tribe are the
Johnsons, with more than 300,000. Then
come the Browns, the Williamses and
the Joneses, each with more than 200,000.

Records Wage earners who have lost
their social security account number
cards may now obtain duplicates from
the field offices of the Social Security



Board, located in 323 key cities. . . .
The Social Security Board has issued
a new form to be used by workers who
wish changes made in the records which
the board maintains for them. The chief
changes which workers have expressed
a desire to make are in birthdate and
in name. Many workers, in their original
applications could give only an approxi-
mate birthdate, and have since ascer-
tained the exact date. Some workers de-
sire to note a change made in name by
marriage, or a legal change; others who
have registered under the name by which
they are ordinarily known, wish their
name at birth recorded.

Lump Sum Claims Payment of
53,237 lump sum claims was made dur-
ing the first year's operation of the old
age insurance system, to wage earners
who had reached the age of sixty-five,
and the estates or relatives of those who
had died. Each payment amounted to
3J^ percent of the total wages paid the
worker after the social security act went
into effect. The money paid to claim-
ants amounted to $1,277,516.28. The
average payment was $24. After the
early months of the year, when pay-
ments were very small, the averages
rose steadily until November, when the
average for the month was $27.78. The
end-of-the-year analysis of records shows
that the claims paid ranged from 10
cents to $358, the amount paid the estate
of a man who had been receiving sal-
aries from more than one job.

Compensation

[ORE than 1,162,000 claims for un-
employment benefits were filed in
twenty-two states and the District of
Columbia during the first week of Janu-
ary, when benefits under the unemploy-
ment compensation laws in these jurisdic-
tions became payable. These claims in-
creased the rolls of the federal-state
employment service to 4,874,924 regis-
trants, about three fourths of them men,
one fourth women.

Administration Of 350,000 claim-
ants for unemployment benefits in Penn-
sylvania during the first week, about
20 percent failed to report to the em-
ployment offices to renew their claims.
Revival of employment in private indus-
try was credited for this reduction in
the number of claims. . . . According
to preliminary estimates by the Bureau
of Insurance Control in the New York
State Labor Department, more than 50
percent of those who have applied for
unemployment insurance benefits have
been found eligible and will receive
checks. It is estimated that from 10 to
20 percent of those found eligible will
obtain employment before their first ben-
efit check is due. . . . New York au-



M (



thorities have provided forms on which
each applicant for unemployment bene-
fits will be notified as to his status,
whether he is or is not found eligible
when his application is checked against
the records. If he is not eligible he will
be told why; if he is, he will be told
his weekly rate, and for how many weeks
of total unemployment he will receive
compensation. ... Of benefit applica-
tions so far filed in New York State,
about 10 percent lack an account num-
ber, about 8 percent give no address.
... A committee has been appointed by
Industrial Commissioner Elmer F. An-
drews to study the operation of the New
York State unemployment insurance law
and to make recommendations for im-
proving the service to employers and
workers. William Leiserson of the Na-
tional Mediation Board is chairman of
the committee, the other two members
of which are Abraham Epstein and Col.
John P. Jackson.

Coordination The New Hampshire
unemployment compensation division has
announced the establishment of an in-
formation service to aid local relief offi-
cials in cutting down the relief allow-
ances of persons receiving unemployment
benefits. Information on the amount of
benefits will be made available only to
state, county or local relief officials.

Insurance Movie Moving pictures
entitled "Your Job Insurance" have been
produced by the Social Security Board
and are now being shown in the moving
picture theaters of ten states. In a ten-
minute reel is told the story of Steve, a
workman insured under the law of the
particular state where the picture is
shown. By Steve's experience it is made
clear how the state law works, and what
the worker has to do to obtain benefits
in a period of unemployment.

Coverage Extended In Great Brit-
ain, 170,000 domestic servants employed
in clubs, hospitals and other public in-
stitutions are to be brought under the
unemployment insurance program in
April. Ernest Brown, minister of labour,
states: "Except for private servants and
nurses, almost every employed person in
Britain earning 250 annually or less
will be included in the state social se-
curity program or be eligible for a pen-
sion otherwise."

Proposed Change In Alabama, the
state federation of labor is seeking to
extend the provisions of the state unem-
ployment compensation law to cover un-
employment due to strikes and lockouts.
... A bill before the New York legisla-
ture would extend the coverage of the
state unemployment compensation law to
include between 150,000 and 200,000 per-
sons whose salaries of more than $3000
have heretofore prohibited them from
receiving any benefits. It is estimated



52



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



that the measure would add $7 million
annually to the state's receipts under the
law by permitting the state to collect
from employers a part of the amount
which must now be paid to the federal
government. It would not increase the
contributions now paid by employers. . . .
A hill probably will be introduced in this
11 of Congress establishing an "ex-
clusive railroad system of unemploy-
ment insurance." A preliminary draft
proposes to retain the present 3 percent
tax on payrolls, which yields some $66
million a year from railroads, and to
put the system under the Railroad Re-
tirement Board.

Recreation

'T'HE outstanding event in Chicago's
* recreation program this winter is the
final appearance of Volume I in the long
anticipated recreation survey jointly
sponsored by Northwestern University
and the Chicago Recreation Commission.

The seed of this study was planted in
the old CWA days in 1934. It has been
watered by CWA, IERC, WPA and
N YA funds, and cultivated by a proces-
sion of gardeners under these four alpha-
betical groupings. It has suffered from
drought on several occasions when fed-
eral and state work relief funds dried
up completely, and has been all but up-
rooted a number of times. But thanks to
the patient and solicitous care of Prof.
Arthur J. Todd, assisted by a technical
and editorial staff from Northwestern
I Diversity, it at last has borne fruit.

Volume I is the first of four. It deals,
voluminously and explicitly, with public
recreation in Chicago. It makes no at-
tempt at evaluation but is a gold mine
of facts. A glance at the first chart
reveals (to choose at random from a
long alphabetical list) that the Chicago
Park District and Bureau of Parks,
Recreation and Aviation have jurisdic-
tion over 122 baseball diamonds and five
bridle paths, twenty-five model yacht
basins and fourteen music rooms, 550
tennis courts and four pistol ranges. An
excellent index makes information on all
public recreation in Chicago, from arch-
ery ranges to zoos, easy to locate on a
moment's notice. Even Chicagoans who
know their city well may be surprised
to discover from the colored maps on
distribution of population by age groups,
that one of the two Chicago communities
having the greatest proportion of chil-
dren under five is the area nearest to the
loop.

The second volume of this survey will
deal with commercial recreation ; the
third with private recreation; the fourth
will break down all this assembled ma-
terial into seventy-five community areas,
and tell the whole story of each.

The Chicago Recreation Commission
is .1 non-political, unsalaried group of



more than forty citizens appointed by
M.unr Kd;ml J. Kelly in March 1934.
One of its first official acts was to as-
sume responsibility for the recreation
survey, which had just lost its second
sponsor because of the abrupt cessation
of all work relief projects under the
Illinois Emergency Relief Commission.
In addition to sponsoring this study the
recreation commission has planned and
stimulated recreation developments in
Chicago, published and distributed a free
recreation directory, kept public interest
alive by excellent newspaper publicity,
and organized active recreation commit-
tees of laymen in a great many local
neighborhoods. Its chairman is Dr. Philip
L. Seman, director of the Jewish Peo-
ple's Institute.

In Print The City-wide Boys' Work
Conference of Boston has published as
issues of its Boys Work Exchange:
Recreation and Social Integration of the
Individual, by Dr. James S. Plant; and
Recreation as the Social Worker Sees
It, by Frank L. Havey. Nos. 1 and 2,
respectively, vol. 6 of the Exchange,
from the conference, 739 Boylston Street,
Boston. . . . Now available are mimeo-
graphed reports of leisure time surveys
made recently in San Antonio, Tex. (132
pages), and in Shreveport, La. (171
pages), by Eugene T. Lies and Grace
Pettet of the National Recreation Asso-
ciation. Price $1 each, from the City
Recreation Department, City Hall, San
Antonio, and The Community Fund,
First National Building, Shreveport.

Youth and Education

CIX hundred student delegates from
200 colleges and universities, gath-
ered at Vassar late in December in the
third annual convention of the American
Student Union, reversed their position
on the Oxford Pledge and adopted a
"policy of collective security." The re-
port on the Oxford Pledge, which the
meeting adopted, reasoned: "Our con-
cern is to keep America out of war; this
demands a positive peace policy now.
The Oxford Pledge talks fatalistically
about what we will do when war comes.
Our concern is with how to prevent war
from spreading; how to maintain the
peace we have; how to restore the
peace that has been shattered by fascist
aggression." The peace program out-
lined called for American leadership in



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