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point out that the aSMmation has accepted main proposals
that it formerly repudiated ; has evinced willingness to exer-
cise a leadership which rightfully belongs to it. It has ap-
pointed a committee headed by its president, Dr. Irvin
Abell, to "facilitate the accomplishment of its objectives"
and to "confer and consult with the proper federal repre-
sentatives of the proposed National Health Program." This
it progress on the road to cooperation.

Our Income

T\VO years ago, the National Resources Committee
undertook a study of the American pocketboolc, seeking
an accurate answer to a widely disputed question : how is the
national income distributed among the poor, the middle class
and the rich? The study, covering a carefully selected na-
tional "sample" of 300,000 families, was directed by Hilde-
garde Kneeland. Its report, recently released, is not a
heartening picture of the kind of living that the economic
organization of this country affords. It places the average
income of all the nation's families at $1622. Nine tenths of
the families in the United States live on less than $2500 a
year; the poorest third thirteen million families in the
1935-36 fiscal year had an average annual income of $471.
This lowest third is found to contain all types of consumer
units, to live in all types of communities, and to belong to
all the occupational classifications. They differ from the other
two thirds of the nation chiefly in the larger proportion
(almost four million families) receiving relief at some time
during the year, the larger number on farms, the smaller
number in professional, business and clerical occupations.

The study estimates that in 1935-36, the total $59 billion
national income was distributed in this way: 10 percent to
the lowest third, with family incomes under $780 a year;
24 percent to the middle third, with incomes between $780
and $1450; 66 percent to the highest third, with $1450 to
$1 million or more a year.

There are two pending studies which can be drawn on
in the event of an effort to deal with these disparities and
to promote a more equitable distribution of the national in-
come. The National Resources Committee is analyzing the
expenditure of the 1935-36 income, seeking to find out how
much went for food, for clothing, for housing, for medical
care. This will get even closer in to the answers to ques-
tions raised by the President's statement that "one third of
the nation is ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-fed." The govern-
ment is also undertaking a detailed study of the whole
business system. It is through such research and study that
we may hope for some improvement in the situation re-
vealed in the report on the distribution of income.

Headlines in Housing

A HEARTENING piece of housing news was the re-
cent announcement of Alfred Rheitistein, chairman of
[the Housing Authority of New York City, that the Red
Hook project to be constructed in Brooklyn will cost
$4,500,000 less than the $16,592,766 allocated to it by the
r .S. Housing Authority. By applying to plans for the
KJueensbridge development, the economies that effected the
paving on Red Hook, New York City will have enough left
[from the funds reserved for these two projects to erect
1 housing for 9000 more persons.

The national program is moving along. Of the $800 mil-
lion provided under the U.S. housing act of 1937, $517 mil-
lion has been allocated for definite projects in 129 cities. Up




Dudley Hoyt

PATRICK JOSEPH HAYES, "Cardinal of Charity"
Born in 1867 among the very poor of lower New York, Car-
dinal Hayes rose in his native city from priest to prelate of the
largest and wealthiest archdiocese in the western hemisphere.
He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1924. In 1920 his lifelong
devotion to charitable activities culminated in his founding of
the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, which
coordinated and strengthened the work of 214 social welfare
agencies. His participation in the work of the organization and
his deep concern for the people whose lives it touched never
flagged. He died on September 4.

to September loan contracts and annual contribution agree-
ments had been signed by forty-three local housing authori-
ties with USHA. Resolutions to prevent stoppage of work
because of labor disputes or a reduction of wages, during
construction of slum clearance and low rent housing projects
constructed with federal loans, have been adopted by seventy
local building trades councils and 184 local unions a new
precedent in the building field. Today, 189 local authorities
have been set up in twenty-eight states, the District of
Columbia, and Puerto Rico compared to forty-six such
authorities on January 1. The high tribunals of eight states
New York, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Pennsylvania,
Georgia, and Florida have passed favorably on the valid-
ity of various provisions of public housing legislation
brought before them in test cases.

Voters in New York will have in November the oppor-
tunity to enact the first housing amendment to a state con-
stitution. Offered as the result of the deliberations of the
State Constitutional Convention, the proposed amendment
provides for state and local government financial aid to
housing, as well as for the extension of the power of excess
condemnation and the power to acquire reserve lands for
housing and other purposes. The proposed changes, which
are permissive not mandatory, are endorsed by representa-
tive social and civic agencies concerned with a state-wide
housing program.



OCTOBER 1938



319



The Case of Dorothy Kahn



THE axe has fallen on Dorothy Kahn, summarily dis-
missed as director of public assistance of Philadelphia
County shortly before her status would have become per-
manent under the state merit system. That the axe was a
partisan one scarcely can be doubted by anyone conversant
with Miss Kahn's six-year record of administration through-
out the stress of the hard times or by anyone who recalls the
statement of Karl de Schweinitz when he resigned early this
year as secretary of the State Department of Public Assist-
ance because he refused to accept terms implied in Governor
Earle's decision to retain him in office. Mr. de Schweinitz
went out in protest against the politically weighted method
by which the county boards of public assistance, authorized
under the new state law, were being appointed. [See Survey
Midmonthly, December 1937, page 385; February 1938,
page 51.] It was the Philadelphia County board that dis-
missed Miss Kahn without a hearing and without redress.
Had its final action been delayed three days she could have
been removed only on charges, with the right to a hearing.

For six years Dorothy Kahn, with a long distinguished
record in private social work practice, has headed the Phila-
delphia relief administration. Weathering all the changes
of organization and leadership her unimpeachable integrity
and administrative competence never have been challenged
even by political exploiters with whom she steadfastly
refused to "go along." When the merit system was insti-
tuted she took the required examination and topped the
eligible list in her county. Two weeks before her probation-
ary appointment would have become permanent Joseph D.
Burke, chairman of the county board, informed her that the
board had voted to terminate her appointment the reason,
"lack of cooperation." There was to be "no discussion or
argument in the matter," but "in order to avoid a public
record of dismissal," she might, if she chose, resign.

Miss Kahn did not choose to resign. Her own record was
clear and much more than her job was at stake. While the
board, it seemed, was technically within its legal rights, its
manner of exercising those rights constituted a threat to the
whole merit system and to the welfare
services of Philadelphia and of the state.

The "rising" in Philadelphia against
the board's action was sharp and de-
termined. Following a mass meeting
called by civic and social agencies, a
citizens' committee lodged a formal
protest with Governor Earle who re-
plied by asking the board for a state-
ment of charges which he promised to
review. Chairman Burke promptly
gave to the press his version of Miss
Kahn's "lack of cooperation" now
termed "official misconduct" empha-
sizing her "manipulation of perma-
nent appointments . . . withholding of
facts from the board . . . disposition to
treat the board as marionettes . . . un-
yielding determination to have her
views obtain . . . use of social service
politics," and so on.

Miss Kahn categorically denied the
truth of each of these charges but-
tressing the denial with facts wher- From The Philadelphia
ever the charges were sufficiently clear / hear you ain't been cooperating Lady!"

320




to permit factual discussion. The governor maintained si-
lence and on September 8 Miss Kahn was notified of her
dismissal as of September 11.

But the fight was not over. Convinced that the board's
statement did not establish a valid case "for the summary
dismissal of a tried and proved public servant," the citizens'
committee, backed by social agency leaders, local and na-
tional, turned again to the governor, who with the power to
appoint county boards, holds the power to reconstitute them.
He might, therefore, have taken the course of reorganizing
the Philadelphia board by removals and new appointments.
He took the less politically drastic course of accepting a
"most constructive plan" put forward by the board through
the Pennsylvania Economy League, at the same time affirm-
ing "fullest confidence in the board." Under this plan Rich-
ard H. Lansburgh, executive secretary of the league's Phil-
adelphia committee, will make a "complete study of the
operations of the Philadelphia County Board of Assistance."
The board has expressed itself as "enthused" over the plan,
but the group which protests Miss Kahn's dismissal sees it
as sidestepping while underground politics, active these pre-
election weeks, work to obscure the real issue.

It is wholly to Miss Kahn's credit that she refused to
resign her post thereby bringing out in the open the maneuv-
ering by which politicians have sought to hamstring the
merit system, its operation and intent. That system is none
too strong at best. Under it the county boards must appoint
one of the first three candidates on the eligible list, but
within the six months probationary period they may remove
at will. The board is responsible to no one and the appointee
has no recourse. In theory there may be arguments in favor
of this method, but in practice, without adequate review, it
gives the board a power which opens the system to political
manipulation.

It is no secret that the Pennsylvania county boards, with
few exceptions, were appointed by the governor from lists
supplied to him by Democratic county chairmen. Boards so
nominated and appointed may, it is quite true, put the in-
terest of the service before any partisan consideration. But
they have only a moral obligation to do so an obligation
which does not always stand up, in
Pennsylvania or elsewhere, under po-
litical whip cracking. Thus the boards,
while observing the letter of the law
by taking appointees from the top of
the list can wash them out in short
order during the probationary period
until they find one willing to "go
along" and "cooperate."

Pennsylvania's merit system for its
public assistance services was from the
first admittedly only a start. It was
embodied in the law after a bitter po-
litical fight and many compromises.
The case of Miss Kahn shows that it
is bound to break down, unless quali-
fied probational appointees are pro-
tected from summary removal for
"lack of cooperation" with politically
weighted boards responsible to no one.
Without safeguards at this point the
merit principle is lost and the system
becomes no more than a front behind
which the patronage machine may
operate in its own sweet way.



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



The Social Front



Aid to the Aged

[V/IORE Ohioans must take to drink in
order to support their old folk in
the manner to which they have become
accustomed. That, at least, is the impli-
cation in the Ohio state finance director's
announcement that unless there is a
strong upturn in liquor revenues, the
source of the state's contribution to old
age allowances, these allowances may be
drastically cut.

Costly Care As a first move toward
a possible consolidation of eighty-five
county homes and poor farms into dis-
trict hospital-homes, the North Carolina
State Board of Charities and Public Wel-
fare made a survey of the institutions
and a careful study of the residents. It
found existing conditions discouraging
and expensive. During the last fiscal year
it cost the taxpayers $948,220 to maintain
an average population of 3282 in institu-
tions with an estimated value of $4,007,-
706. The population was 70 percent
white, 30 percent Negro. More than half
were over sixty years old, but scattered
through the various institutions were
ninety-one children under sixteen. Twen-
ty-three persons had been in county
homes for forty-one years or more. More
than half of the residents were sufficiently
hale and hearty to be rated "able to care
for self."

The state board is now proposing to
the counties a plan for intensive case
work to reduce the population by means
of old age assistance, placing out and so
on, until it consists of only chronically ill
and infirm. When this is accomplished the
board will offer its good offices for estab-
lishing district hospital-homes.

Transition Those who looked for-
ward to the passing of the almshouse
with the advent of social security now
are beginning to realize that that ancient
and none too honorable institution cannot
be banished by a wave of the wand. A
large percentage of dependent old people
are sick, feeble or handicapped in some
manner so that they are unable to take
care of themselves. For them an institu-
tion is still an answer, but an institution
phyMcally rejuvenated and spiritually re-
moulded to fit their needs. Such a trans-
formation is reported from the old New
Orleans Touro-Shakespeare Home which
received its physical rejuvenation in 1934
when it was taken over by the Depart-
ment of Public Welfare and was newly
housed. Since then it gradually has been
reshaping its purposes to fit the new
conception of individualized public assist-

OCTOBER 1938



ance, finally emerging with the present
two-fold aim of offering specialized care
to the infirm aged and to the chronically
ill and incurable patients of all ages.

The home was founded in 1854 as an
almshouse for the indigent aged regard-
less of physical condition. Before its reno-
vation it became the target of many
scathing reports because of unsanitary
conditions and low standards of care
given to patients. However, the present
welfare board, even prior to the social
security program, inaugurated the policy
of maintaining healthy aged dependents
with their relatives or in hoarding homes
so that it became possible for the institu-
tion to concentrate on the care of the ill
and infirm. Now the frequent transfers
to the social security service are made
through a social worker. Included in the
staff caring for the 150 patients are six
registered nurses with the superintendent,
and a physician who is on call at any time
in addition to his regular visits.

New Programs Caution governs Vir-
ginia in operating her new social security
program, begun last month. Governor
Price recently announced that only the
15,000 neediest would be cared for under
the old age assistance plan the first year
with the possible addition of 7000 or 8000
during the next fiscal year. Only 3000 out
of 10,000 dependent children eligible for
aid are expected to receive help from the
present appropriations.

In Colorado If any old age relief
recipient in Colorado has nurtured a
longing to appear in print he can at least
find his name on a lengthy published list
along with the amount of his allowance.
When ordering the publication of all old
age allowances with the names of their
recipients, Earl M. Kouns, director of
the state welfare board, announced that
in thirteen counties $4874 had been re-
covered recently in grants which had been
paid to persons not eligible for aid.

Nearly suffocating under the avoirdu-
pois of its old age plan, the Colorado
public assistance program may find relief
in the November elections when a con-
stitutional amendment repealing the
present old age pension scheme will ap-
pear on the ballot. Already a sharp drop
in revenue has reduced the average
monthly payment by $3.

Competition The war between de-
pendent children and old folk came to a
climax recently in Utah when the state
board of public welfare voted a 20 per-
cent reduction in old age allowances.
Prior to September 1, when the cut



went into effect, the needy aged, who
comprised 43 percent of the state's relief
recipients, were getting 66 percent of all
funds available. In announcing the cut
Director J. W. Gillman said that in
order to maintain the former level of old
age assistance hundreds of appeals for
aid to dependent children had been denied.

Tightened Rules Not yet forced to
cut allowances Illinois has tightened the
eligibility requirements for old age assist-
ance. Where formerly $400 in liquid as-
sets was allowed a single person and $600
to a married couple, $200 and $300 are
now allowed. All cases which might be
disqualified by the ruling, are to be re-
viewed by the state.

Elusive Money Tax fleeing publish-
ers are not alone responsible for money
leaving California. The state social wel-
fare board has learned that from one
county $45,000 in estates left by recipi-
ents of old age assistance has gone to
out-of-state relatives. The board is now
backing a legislative program permitting
the state "to levy on estates left by recipi-
ents of relief."

In Print T. Earl Sullenger and Cher-
rie F. Baxter of the Municipal Univer-
sity of Omaha have made a study of old
age assistance in Douglas County, Neb.,
aiming particularly to discover the effect
of a state law which puts responsibility
for support of needy aged on a wide
range of immediate relatives. Does the
amount of their contribution justify the
time, money and work involved when a
social worker establishes contact with
the relatives? This study leads the au-
thors to recommend that the law be
changed to make only children of the
applicants responsible for their support;
that the law be more strictly enforced ;
and that the schools of the state be com-
pelled to devote more time and effort to
vocational guidance. (From the Bureau
of Social Research, Municipal University
of Omaha, Neb.)

Jobs and Workers

r\ISPARITIES in what men and wo-
men are paid on comparable jobs are
shown in a new study by the Women's
Bureau, Differences in the Earnings of
Men and Women. (Bulletin No. 152,
price 10 cents from the superintendent of
documents.) Among the facts brought out
are these: in three states that have re-
ported men's and women's wages for
twelve to twenty years, women's average
wages in manufacturing have always

321



been less than 60 percent as great as
men's; women in occupations calling for
skill and dexterity are paid less than men
in the least skilled jobs in plants making
seamless hosiery, men's work clothes and
shirts, knit underwear, paper boxes,
candy, and bakery products ; women
clerical workers receive 50 to 60 percent
as much as men; reports of salespersons'
wages show many more women than men
at the lower pay levels, and many men
hut few women at the higher levels. The
report finds that "an especially important
factor in the low wages of women is the
general lack of organization among em-
ployed women strong enough to battle
effectively for a more adequate wage
scale."

Minimum Wage The directory wage
order, setting minimum wages for some
22,000 women and minors in the laun-
dries of New York State was made man-
datory on August 21, following public
hearings in Albany, Buffalo and New
York City. "While the number of vio-
lators was but a small proportion of the
employers in the industry only 316 out
of 2041 had their names published as non-
compliers," stated Frieda S. Miller, in-
dustrial commissioner, "still they exerted
a downward pressure on wages through-
out the industry." The wage rates under
the mandatory order remain the same as
under the directory order : $14 for 40 hours
in the New York City area; $12.80 in
cities of 18,000 or more outside the metro-
politan area; and a minimum hourly rate
of 30 cents in rural areas. A violation
under the mandatory order will be a
criminal offense, punishable by a fine of
not less than $50 nor more than $200,
or imprisonment of not less than ten nor
more than ninety days, or both. ... A
study of wages in the Pennsylvania laun-
dry industry showed that half the women
and minors employed received a weekly
wage under $11.54 in the week chosen
for the inquiry (mid-November, 1937)
and 27 percent were paid less than $10.
A detailed report based on the study, has
been submitted to the state minimum
wage board for the industry. It shows
median annual earnings of $614. . . . The
division of women in industry and mini-
mum wage of the New York State Labor
Department is now completing a study of
wages, hours and other working condi-
tions in the dry cleaning industry in prep-
aration for the calling of a dry cleaning
wage board, and similar studies are
under way in the restaurant, hotel and
glove manufacturing industries.

Labor and Housing The two-way in-
fluence on wage earners of the present
federal housing program under the
Wagner-Steagall act is discussed by
Catherine Bauer of the U.S. Housing
Authority in the current issue of the
Labor Information Bulletin. The pro-
gram provides for slum clearance or the



repair and improvement of slum dwell-
ings, and the building of simple, safe,
well lighted, well ventilated, sanitary
dwellings within the reach of families
earning from $600 to $1200 a year. In
addition to creating 268,500,000 man
hours of construction labor, Miss Bauer
points out that the program will greatly
stimulate employment in the building ma-
terials industries, to provide steel, lum-
ber, cement, electrical fixtures, and so on.

Workers' Education In celebrating
recently the anniversary of the establish-
ment of the educational program of the
International Ladies Garment Workers
Union, Mark Starr, educational director,
stated that during 1937-1938 the union
and its constituent locals spent $200,000
on its nation-wide system of classes and
recreation groups in fifty-eight cities lo-
cated in twenty-five states and three
Canadian provinces. The program in-
cludes study classes, and groups in music,
dramatics, athletics, dancing and gym-
nastics. Beginning this fall, new candi-
dates for paid offices in the union will be
required to complete an approved course
of study to qualify for election, the course
to include the history of the union, eco-
nomics of the garment industry, union
structure and function, parliamentary
procedure and trade union techniques.
During 1937-38, the union's 620 groups
were attended by 22,050 students.

Child Labor Advances in standards
affecting employment of minors, both in
regulation of conditions of labor and im-
provement of school attendance require-
ments, were made in more than half the
states in 1937, according to a summary
made by the Children's Bureau of the
U.S. Department of Labor. The greatest
improvement was in North and South
Carolina, both of which adopted a basic
minimum age of sixteen. Wisconsin adopt-
ed for minors of both sexes under eight-
een a maximum 40-hour week, and for
minors under sixteen, who are prohibited
from wage earning during school hours,
a 24-hour week. In Vermont, the mini-
mum age of fourteen for employment in
mills, canneries, factories and workshops
was extended to cover work in any gainful
occupation during school hours, and the
lOVa-hour day, 56-hour week for minors
of sixteen and seventeen was reduced to a
9-hour day, 50-hour week. Pennsylvania
and South Carolina raised the age limit
for compulsory school attendance to sev-
enteen and sixteen years respectively. . . .
Of the 10,134 children fourteen and fif-
teen years of age for whom employment
certificates were issued by reporting areas
in 1937, 13 percent entered manufactur-
ing and mechanical industries, an increase
of nearly 3 percent over 1936. By far the



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