Survey Associates.

Survey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) online

. (page 52 of 109)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 52 of 109)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

as they may require. Wm. B. Cox, Executive

Religious Organizations


106 East 22nd Street, New York City. The
Inter-Denominational body of 23 women's
home missions boards of the United States
and Canada uniting in program and financial
responsibility for enterprises which they
agree to carry cooperatively ; i.e. Christian
social service in Migrant labor camps and
U. S. Indian schools. President, Mrs. Mil-
lard L. Robinson ; Executive Secretary, Edith
E. Lowry ; Associate Secretary, Charlotte H.
Burnham ; Western Field Secretary, Adela
J. Itnllard ; Migrant Supervisor, Gulf to
Great Lakes Area, Mrs. Kenneth D. Miller.

INC. 1819 Broadway, New York City. Mrs.
Arthur Brin, President; Mrs. Maurice L.
Goldman, Chairman Ex. Com. ; Mrs. Marion
M. Miller. Executive Director. Organization
of Jewish women initiating and developing
programs and activities in service for for-
eign born, peace, social legislation, adult
Jewish education, and social welfare. Con-
ducts bureau of international service. Serves
as clearing bureau for local affiliated groups
throughout the country.

TIAN ASSOCIATIONS, 600 Lexington Ave.,
New York City. An international Christian
woman movement devoted to service for
women and girls and the attempt to help
build a society in which the abundant life
is possible for every individual.

Avenue, New York City, Eskil C. Carlson,
President ; John E. Manley, General Secre-
tary. A federation of 1123 local associations,
through state and area councils, for Chris-
tian character education among youth. Meets
annually to determine service projects and
budget for cooperation with local member
organizations in program emphasis and in-
terpretation, fiscal operations, etc. Empha-
sizes lay-professional cooperation, group and
club activity, and self-governing programs
of physical, social and religious education,
public affairs, international education and
special cooperative projects, citizenship, etc.
Specialized work among transportation, army
and navy, student, colored, rural, and certain
other groups.


Brings together annually Episcopal social
workers for fellowship, interchange of views,
methods and experience. Promotes particu-
larly cooperation of Church with social
agencies. Is supervised by Social Service
Department, National Council, Episcopal
Church. Rev. Almon R. Pepper, Executive
Secretary, 281 Fourth Avenue, New York
City. Proceedings available, 50c.

National Conferences


Solomon Lowenstein, President. New
York; Howard R. Knight, Secretary, 82 N
High St., Columbus, Ohio. The Conference is
an organization to discuss the principles of
humanitarian effort and to increase the
efficiency of social service agencies. Each
year it holds an annual meeting, publishes
in permanent form the Proceedings of the
meeting, and issues a quarterly Bulletin.
The sixty-fifth annual convention of the
Conference will be held in Seattle. Washing-
ton, June 26 - July 2, 1938. Proceedings
are sent free of charge to all members upon
payment of a membership fee of $5.

WELFARE Harry Greenstein. Baltimore,
President : M. W. Beckelman, Secretary, 61
W. 47th St., New York, N. Y. Organized
to discuss Jewish life and welfare, Jewish
social service programs and programs of
social and economic welfare. The 1938
Annual Meeting will be held in Washington,
D. C., beginning May 28. The Conference
publishes a magazine, Jewish Social Service
Quarterly, a news bulletin, Jewish Confer-
ence, and Proceedings of its Annual Confer-
ence. Minimum Annual Membership Fee $2.

In answering advertisements please mention SURVEY MIDMONTHLY




Publication and Eiliturial Office:
112 East 19 Sm-i-t. New York, N. V.

Sl'RM'Y \IID\IO\T1ILY Monthly $3 a year

SIRMY GRM'HIC Monthly $3 a year


lei i\x \\ . MACK, chairman of the Board;
t.Ri.AiN. JOHN PALMER GAVIT, vice-presi-
\s\ REED BRENNKR, secretary.

L KELLOGG, editor.




BRICIIT. LEON \\IIIPPLE. associate editors; RUTH A.

. HKILX t'n \\IBERLAIN, assistant editors.

^^^f>g editors.

\\ M.TER F. GRUENINGER, business mnager;
MOLI.IE CONDON, circulation manager; MARY R.
-ON. advertising manager.

Ji \i: 1938



Frontispiece 194

The WPA Looks Forward HARRY L. HOPKINS 195

Work Relief and the Workers HOWARD M. TEAF, JR. 199

In and Out of School ADELAIDE NICHOLS BAKER 201

Sterilization in Practice PAUL POPENOE 202

The Twilight of Industrial Life Insurance. . .LEE K. FRANKEL, JR. 204

The Common Welfare 206

The Social Front 208

Relief Youth and Education Compensation Old Age
Assistance Insurance Child Welfare Against Crime
The Public's Health The CCC Professional Peo-
ple and Things

Readers Write 218

Book Reviews 219

The Pamphlet Shelf 224

Survey Associates, Inc.

-y get the best government who demand
it. It pays to scream. Raleigh N.C. News
and Observer.

' * The first, last and main thing people want
and have a right to, is a job. MARY W.
I^BMOM, Social Security Board.

There has been too much aspiration in our
(democracy and not enough fulfillment. AL-

HNSON, The New School for Social Re-

' successful embargoes can be main-

^^^H against the export or import of ideas.

RAYMOND B. FOSDICK, president, Rocke-
i teller Foundation.

\ Thoughtful dissatisfaction has produced
>f the things which are indispensable to
l^lfted life. ROBERT M. HUTCHINS, presi-
dent, University of Chicago.

The struggle for freedom of thought and
freedom of speech is never completely won

never even for a generation, completely
lost. EDWARD T. DEVINE in The Survey,

The latchstring of the thinker's mind is
I always hanging out although the doorkeeper

is on duty. How much happier the lot of him
who having once reached a conclusion refuses
to open his mind again. GEORGE E, VINCENT,
PH.D. to the Alumni Council, Amherst Col-

We are spending faith constantly upon the
odds and ends of life, directing it to more
spurious and diverse objects than the tongue
can tell. The trouble with this generation is
that it has used its faculty of faith on the
means of living rather than on the meaning
Riverside Church, New York.

So They Say

The final bulwark against war hysteria is
the courageous man, thinking. JOHN L.
TILDSLEY, New York educator.

Little by little new facts become blurred
through old glasses fitted to the needs of an-
other generation. PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT.

Only a madman could believe that oppres-
sion and terrorization could in the long run
kill a people's love for its kindred race.

Those who have turned deaf ears to every
plea for cooperation for peace have no right
to demand that I support cooperation for
war. NORMAN THOMAS in The Nation.

The commissioners of Emmett County will
allow no more bills incident to the birth of
babies in families on relief. They utterly re-
fuse to condone carelessness. Quoted in The
Journal of the American Medical Association.

It is not sufficient to eliminate slum dwell-
ings and get people put of the slums. We are
still faced with getting the slums and alleys
out of the people. GARNET C. WILKINSON,
assistant superintendent Negro schools, Wash-
ington, D.

Aim at peace alone and you will never
achieve it; aim at the rule of law and justice
between all nations, direct your efforts to that
end, plan your institutions for that purpose,
pay the necessary price of submission to law
and to reason, and on top of many other bless-
ings you will have peace. FRANK AYDELOTTE,
president, Stearthmore College.

The only problem not acute in Europe is

What do I consider a teacher should be?
One who breathes life into knowledge so that
it takes new form in progress and civilization.

It is not unscientific, as some scientists
seem to believe, for even a scientist to make
his meaning clear. ALBERT E. WICGAM, New

What is the opposite of justice? Not in-
justice. Mercy. ROBERT FROST at the New
School for Social Research.

Words today are weapons. Whether spoken
or written they influence public opinion and
public policy. CARL W. ACKERMAN, dean,
Columbia University School of Journalism.

Hundred percent patriotism and confidence
in Nordic superiority are the two most dan-
gerous ideas in the world today. HERBERT
ADOLPHUS MILLER in The Survey, June 1923.

I shall found a league for the taxation of
the sound "uh" also "ah" and "er" as used
by public speakers. I am confident that a
small tax, say a penny an "uh" would quickly
pay off the national debt and remove all
likelihood of inflation. HOWARD VINCENT
O'BRIEN in Chicago Daily News.

I am for the people of the whole nation
doing just as they please in all matters which
concern the whole nation; for that of each
part doing just as they choose in all matters
which concern no other part; and for each
individual doing just as he chooses in all
matters which concern nobody else. ABRA-


7 '..

r- '
X- >/

Photographs, International News
When May 1 found Ohio's relief funds gone, clients lined up for blocks before the Cleveland relief bureau for "surplus" food

""* -,903 ^ 4W

snff 1 L-'

l^' * 1
t f 1 "

," '"

Relief in May 1938

In Chicago, too, clients were given federal
surplus commodities instead of relief checks


JUNE 193


The WPA Looks Forward

A Statement and a Forecast


Administrator, Works Progress Administration

IN mid-May of this year, the city of Chicago cut off
some 34,000 families from direct cash relief. Cleveland
and other Ohio cities are facing crises in meeting their
direct relief obligations. While there is no financial justifi-
cation, in my opinion, for crises in these cities, the sad plight
:of those disinherited families has brought forcibly to the
attention of the American people the fact that we are fac-
ing a serious unemployment situation in this country.

Chicago was swept by its great fire in 1871. One hundred
thousand people were rendered homeless by that catastrophe.
There are over 90,000 people, men, women and children,
iin these 34,000 Chicago families shut off from direct relief.
In the past decades, Chicago has built up one of the best
(fire-fighting departments in the country. A similar chal-
ilenge faces Chicago, and many other cities as well, in pro-
j|tecting itself against this newer, modern risk the risk of
[(unemployment. We have yet to devise the economic coun-
terpart of fireproof construction and fire-fighting equipment
as a defense against mass unemployment ; but the plight of
Chicago would be doubly wretched were it not for the
WPA program in that city, which is providing useful work
for more than 120,000 heads of families. The plight of
Cleveland would be doubly wretched were it not for the
fact that 70,000 of its people are employed by the WPA.

Any universal experience finds out strong and weak spots
.in established things. Thus the plight in which many Amer-
ican communities find themselves, under the impact of
fresh unemployment, is aggravated by whatever is inade-
quate or unmodern either in their set-up or their setting.
Sometimes it is a corrupt municipal regime ; sometimes an
intiquated tax system ; sometimes lopsided representation in
the state legislature; sometimes friction between state and
city authorities; sometimes the limitations of a one industry
district. Because our urban districts are newer, their eco-
nomic security less widely based, their wage earning popu-
lations without the reserves of farm life, American cities
lave been alert to their present-day danger. They have been
ictivc in their espousal of the WPA as a modern means of de-
ense against the deterioration of their working populations.

Who are these people whom the economic dislocation has
-tripped of a livelihood? We know their kind because of

our experience in dealing with the unemployed for the past
five years. We have found that fundamentally there is little,
other than degree of need, to distinguish the unemployed
workers on the relief rolls from other jobless or, for that
matter, from a large part of the total working population.

Our records show that almost every industry and trade
is represented among the unemployed on the relief rolls.
More than 10 percent of all workers eligible for WPA em-
ployment are from the professional and clerical occupations ;
over one third are from the skilled and semi-skilled trades.

The average unemployed worker in need has had ten
years of experience in private employment in his regular
occupation. The age distribution of WPA workers does not
differ significantly from that of the total working popula-
tion, when allowance is made for the fact that practically
all WPA workers are heads of families.

The ability of WPA workers to do a good day's work
has been verified by every investigation we have made. The
thousands of new school buildings, roads, bridges, airports,
sewer systems and other public works that have been cre-
ated under the WPA program are concrete evidence of
ability and willingness to work. We conducted last year in
cooperation with the trade unions, a study of the efficiency
of skilled building tradesmen on WPA projects. It showed
that over 90 percent of the workers performed adequate
work in terms of the normal requirements of these crafts.

TO my mind, the most significant fact concerning the
ability and willingness to work of the unemployed on
relief is the fact that declines in unemployment have been
accompanied closely by declines in the relief rolls.

The unemployed workers on relief are an ever changing
group just as are the individuals who make up the total un-
employed population. This is convincingly demonstrated by
the fact that over five million different persons were em-
ployed on WPA projects during the first two years of its
operation. And less than 1(6 percent <*f"these were employed
continuously on the WPA.

Modern America needs these people and needs them fit.
There is social waste when we let capacities of people like
these get rusty. There is human gain when a child knows


that his father goes to work. All the more under the pres-
sure of our present need, we should set ourselves the ulti-
mate task of doing away with direct relief for the unem-
ployed in the United States. The problem confronting the
country is loss of work. It must be attacked, so far as un-
employment relief goes, by giving public employment. This
costs more but it returns more. The United States Confer-
ence of Mayors knows this ; so do professional associations
of engineers and architects, the American Public Welfare
Association, the National Recreation Association, the Na-
tional Education Association, and the other national bodies
who cooperated in the recent survey of WPA work. In an-
swer to a questionnaire sent out by the United States Com-
munity Improvement Appraisal, as it was called, some nine
thousand counties, cities and towns of forty-three states sent
in local appraisal reports prepared by non-partisan local com-
mittees. Without exception, these reports favor a work pro-
gram over a dole. They point with pride to the accomplish-
ments of the WPA in their localities and invariably report
that its program has been of immeasurable aid to them.

Ours is a young country and a large one. There is plenty
of work that needs doing and there will be plenty of work
for years to come. We have always had more excellent
projects available than we could finance with the funds
available. The further development of natural resources,
the construction of recreational facilities, schools, the fur-
ther development of the highway and farm-to-market road
system, water conservation, work in the field of sanitation,
particularly water and sewer systems, and, in fact, almost
all types of public improvements, need to be undertaken.

The American tradition is to get on in life. The register
of a civilization is the opportunity it affords people to achieve
skills, arts, competency above the common labor level. Yet
when it came to devising forms of work relief, the tradi-
tional idea was to stop with the unskilled level stop with
sewing rooms, wood yards, road work.

Here in America we have broken gloriously away from
those stereotypes. We have furnished work to the unem-
ployed, insofar as possible at their own skills and trades so
that those skills and trades could be preserved and improved.
I cannot see the justification for putting unemployed musi-
cians at work digging ditches, or artists making fills. Like-
wise, I see no reason why a carpenter should be put at
work building a road, or an unemployed doctor or teacher
building an armory.

NOW what is the current realistic situation, and what
may we expect in the near future ? Since the fall of
1937, industrial production in the United States has fallen
off by some 32 percent. During the same period, the nation-
al income has declined from an annual rate of $68 billion
to a rate of about $56 billion. Also during the same period,
more than three million workers have lost their jobs, bring-
ing the total number of unemployed close to twelve million.

Economists put forth various reasons for this recession.
Some argue that the recession was caused because purchas-
ing power failed to keep pace with production. Others
argue that a tremendous and abnormal increase in inven-
tories caused the slump. Still others claim the failure of the
expected private building revival helped bring on the set-
back. Another cause advanced is the unwarranted rise in
prices. Still others blame the idleness of the billions of dol-
lars which industry and business generally has lying around.

This problem is too complex and too huge to discuss here.
All these factors and probably others as well have been


responsible for the business recession. One thing is clean
private industry cannot or will not furnish work to the
unemployed. Again the problem is thrown into the lap oi
the government.

Will government assistance be adequate to meet this
definitely serious situation ? Adequate, as we all know, is
an elastic word. If we mean providing for those in the mosl
dire straits, government assistance will be adequate. If, how-
ever, we mean by adequate providing a job for every able-
bodied man and woman in need, then government assistance
will fall short of being adequate. With an appropriation oi
$1,250,000,000 for the first seven months of the fiscal yeai
beginning July 1, the WPA will be able to employ an
average maximum of 2,800,000. It will thus employ fewei
people than lost their jobs in the past nine months. Ir
other words, the WPA will not be able to furnish worl
to all needy employables; at best, it will be able to furnish
work only to those 2,800,000 who will be certified by the
local relief authorities as being able to work and most ir
need. This is the realistic picture of the situation.

THE paramount problems facing this nation today an
destitution, low incomes and unemployment. Really
they are aspects of the same problem. The wage earners o:
the underprivileged one third of the nation, those on th
lowest rung of the economic ladder, are not in a position tt
earn enough to provide a decent standard of living for them
selves and their families a standard of living to which, a
American citizens, they are entitled and which this countn
can afford.

There are idle billions of dollars in this country am
millions of unemployed. These two factors do not dovetail

In the year 1936, the lowest 10 percent of our people hac
an annual income of less than $325; the next 10 percen
had an annual income from $325 to $540; while one thin
of the families in the United States had an income, from
all sources, of less than $750 a year.

During the same year, 2 percent of the families receiver
considerably more income than the entire lowest one thin
of our population. These factors also do not dovetail. Tht
gap between the top and the bottom is much too great, ann
altogether too many of our people are at the bottom.

As a result of a study, we found that it costs $1260
year for a city family of four to live at a maintenance leve.-
Yet, over one half of the urban families in our countr
received less than that amount in the year 1936. We made
further study and determined that on an emergency stand'
ard such a family could exist for $900 a year; yet the totE
income of over one third of the urban families was belov
even this level. The pitifully low income level in many c
our rural areas is common knowledge.

This means that large numbers of our population an
living in poverty, that they are inadequately clothed, tha
they live in miserable slums, both rural and urban, tha;
they suffer from lack of medical care, and finally that it :
impossible for them to buy the goods and services to main
tain the purchasing power necessary to keep the economii
machine going.

This is a dark picture but there are rays of hope. Ever
though we are in a slump at the present time, essentialll
and basically we are better off than we were six years ag<D

In 1932, approximately fifteen million men and womer
were unemployed. People were talking about economic
collapse and about political revolution. Fear and frigH
dominated the American scene.


The Byrnes' Committee Views the Current Unemployment and Relief Program

IN a preliminary report to the Senate,
the Special Committee to Investi-
gate Unemployment and Relief, Senator
James F. Byrnes chairman, confines
itself to expressions of opinion and
recommendations as to administration
of the current government relief pro-
gram, on which it holds "reliance must
be had for the next several months and
perhaps during the entire fiscal year
beginning July 1." The committee will
continue its investigation and report to
the Senate at the next session on a long
time policy for dealing with unemploy-
ment and relief.

In its current report the committee
expresses the opinion:

That grants-in-aid to states for direct
relief "would mean the abandonment of
work relief [and] amount to a general
lowering of the relief standards to the
unsatisfactory low levels prevailing in
many states. . . . While recognizing the
great burden on the states and local
communities for direct relief . . . the

committee cannot agree that the federal
government should again enter the field
of direct relief for able-bodied em-
ployed people."

That direct relief grants by the Farm
Security Administration are "unwise"
and that needy rural population should
be assisted by work and loans "except
in those communities where it is not
feasible to provide suitable work re-
lief projects."

That, "It should be a principle gov-
erning federal government financial col-
laboration with the states, or the local
political subdivisions, in the field of re-
lief, public assistance and social secur-
ity, that the merit system of appointing
administrative personnel should be in

That it would be "advisable" to begin
paying benefits under the contributory
old age insurance system earlier than
1942, as set by the social security act.

That, "In the attempt to arrive at any
permanent solution of the problem [of

training and retraining displaced work-
ers] consideration must be given to the
extension of vocational training and the
possible establishment of training

That sponsors of WPA projects
should be required to pay all non-labor
costs in excess of a state average of $5
per worker per month.

The committee specifically recom-

That the U. S. Employment Service
be transferred from the Labor Depart-
ment to the Social Security Board and
its operation coordinated with the
Board's Unemployment Compensation

That WPA workers be required at
each pay period to file statements of

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 52 of 109)