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Mitchell Ginsberg, Edward Schwartz and Daniel Thurz discuss poverty in America and War on Poverty legislation

BROADCAST: Dec. 8, 1964 | DURATION: 01:07:54

Synopsis

Mitchell Ginsberg, Edward Schwartz and Daniel Thurz discuss poverty in America and War on Poverty legislation. Ginsberg is the associate dean of the School of Social Work at Columbia University, Schwartz is the George Herbert Jones professor of social work in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and Thurz is an associate professor of social work at the University of Maryland.

Transcript

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Studs Terkel The war against poverty has become a most fashionable phrase and subject for discussion too, ever since the election too, we know it's integral part of Johnson's program.

Dr. Daniel Thurz But we ought to talk, by the way, about the the Economic Opportunity Act, what it does and what it doesn't do because there are a lot of people who think that it can create

Studs Terkel We can talk about that too. The voice you're hearing is that of Dr. Daniel Thurz who is one of the panelists. We're on. [laughing]. He's a, he is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Maryland and his two colleagues are Dr. Mitchell Ginsburg who is Associate Dean of the School of Social Work at Columbia University and is chairman of the Commission on Social Policy. The third participant is from Chicago, Dr. Daniel E. Schwartz.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Edward E. Schwartz.

Studs Terkel Edward E. Schwartz, I beg your pardon, there's one Daniel in the, this lion's den, Daniel Thurz. [laughing]. Dr. Edward E. Schwartz who is the George Herbert Jones Professor of Social Work at the SSA school at the University of Chicago. At the moment, although by the time you hear this the convention will be over, the National Convention of Social Workers is going on at the Palmer House here in Chicago and some of the obviously very vital subjects are being discussed. I suppose gentlemen, we can keep this free. I know there are many things that will enter into the discussion as well as I'm sure are entering into the debates and arguments and discussion you're having at the convention. I suppose ever since Michael Harrington's book, The Other America, we have at least some portion of America that's growing a little more conscious of the non-affluent people and what is in some quarters laughingly called, The Affluent Society. You know the invisible poor. Wasn't it true that once upon a time, the middle class and the solid citizens so-called were conscious, more conscious of poor people than they are today is. Dr. Schwartz?

Dr. Edward Schwartz I would think that the idea that there are poor people around has finally become impressed, or reimpressed on the American public. I'm not sure that the poor themselves are more visible. I think the idea is more accepted. Dwight McDonald said recently that it's not only fashionable to talk about poverty now, it's downright snobbish. See this is, this is an in subject, juvenile delinquency is out. Poverty is in.

Studs Terkel Poverty as in, it becomes the fashion. By the way gentlemen, feel free to enter. Dr. Thurz, you were saying something before we went on the air about this point of the gap. There seems to be a greater gap. I mean, you were speaking of the economic gap, isn't there also a spiritual gap between the affulent, so called, and the poor.

Dr. Daniel Thurz I think there's a cultural gap. But but you know while poverty is fashionable and people are talking about poverty, I don't think that the general public is really aware of the depths of poverty. I came across a statistic just this morning that amazed me and I've been in this business for some years. Three million of 17 million children that are considered poor. That's 17 million children that fall into what we call the, the poverty population. Three million belong to families whose income per year is less than 1000 dollars.

Studs Terkel That's, a family gets less than 20 bucks a week.

Dr. Daniel Thurz That's correct. That's, that's a a fantastic and almost incomprehensible statistic for us to, to, to really deal with.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Well I'm pleased that there's a lot more talk about poverty, but I would be much more impressed if I thought we were doing something about it. There's a danger in the topic become fashionable because then there's an assumption that if we talk about it enough-

Studs Terkel It will go away.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg somehow that will take care of it, and that's not the way it's going to work.

Studs Terkel Well then I suppose this is something that concerns you gentlemen and your colleagues, social workers, and the question of programs of how. Before we talk about the how, the nature of it, didn't Harrington make you, we again, when we think of pockets of poverty we think immediately of the Appalachian region. And yet, what comes out is that it's, if anything, they are pockets of influence, affluence rather.

Dr. Edward Schwartz This poverty is widespread in the United States, it's not limited to Appalachia, I just wanted to, to underline what Dan said about the importance of the child population in the poverty group. The figure of 17 million dollars, 17 million children could actually be expanded to 23 million depending on how you figure this. And this means about one out of every three or four children in the United States is growing up in a family which is facing this rather stark hopeless grinding poverty way of life.

Studs Terkel Dr. Ginsberg?

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Ed, I think the statistics are impressive, but sometimes they hide the individuals that are involved. The trouble with this thing is more than just how many there are in there, is that people are poor now for more than one generation. The parents are poor, the children are poor, and then the grandchildren are poor and what happens?

Dr. Edward Schwartz That's the hopeless

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg That's the hopeless part because what happens is, the poor themselves begin to believe they aren't worth anything and that makes trying to do something about it all the more difficult.

Studs Terkel Let's touch upon this, were you going to say something Dr. Thurz?

Dr. Daniel Thurz I've just got to emphasize the fact that when we talk about cultural poverty, it is based on economic facts, but it results, especially when you talk about generation to generation, it results in, in a hopeless fatalistic point of view. It doesn't pay to do anything because nobody cares. There no way out, there there's no way of moving out. You know we we talk, we still have the dream in America, I guess, of of believing that if somebody really wishes to move out of a particular class or status, he can do it. This, this just doesn't exist for a huge population of America.

Studs Terkel Could we perhaps dwell further on this particular horrendous point, the shocking point that Dr. Ginsberg introduced, this precedent that there is a heritage of poverty now, that a caste system, if you will, you-Dr. Thurz, saying the dream, the American dream, always, one can always move out of his the Horatio Alger myth, always moves out. But suddenly something new has happened in our, in our time hasn't

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes, I think that that's one of the more tragic aspects of the present poverty situation and that is that a a substantial segment of the population is alienated from the rest. They they don't share in the American dream of upward mobility. And this is the the aspect of hopelessness, a feeling of impotence and not being able to do anything about it.

Dr. Daniel Thurz That's right Ed. But wouldn't you agree that while they they feel alienated they are exposed almost daily to images of this American dream. And the frustration increases, and this is what

Dr. Edward Schwartz That's right. Alienation means that they, they are presented with the affluent society as being lived by their neighbors. And this makes their own position relatively worsen.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg It's the contrast between their lot and everybody else's lot and it's what makes what we call the American dream the American nightmare for these people.

Studs Terkel I suppose as you're saying this, this image, this scene comes to my mind immediately. A television set, I'm sure even [intelligible] somewhere, and on the TV they see these "marvelous", again in quotes, commercials where the cars and whatever it is, whatever the material things are that makes a man respectable. They see this don't they, in their little

Dr. Edward Schwartz - Make them respectful in the middle class culture.

Studs Terkel Yes, yes, I-

Dr. Daniel Thurz And this is compounded, it gets compounded in all sorts of ways. It gets compounded by the fact that so many of them are Negroes and aren't given a chance for equal education and for equal job opportunity. It gets, it gets compounded because someone who, so many of them live in, in communities where the job market is changing and where even if they do get a basic education, that gap between the level that they've been able to reach, in many cases, through some very heroic efforts, that gap between what they've reached and what is required for employment is getting larger all the time.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Well the problem is accentuated because automation hits this group the hardest. There are already the worse off and then the jobs that are eliminated are the only jobs that they have any chance for qualif-they're qualifying for because they are not the skilled workers.

Studs Terkel So now we come to, we're deliberately now discussing the problem itself before the question of, of programs of possible programs enter the picture. The, Dr. Ginsburg just offered the problem of automation, cybernation, you see.

Dr. Edward Schwartz I just wanted to make one comment about the relationship of the civil rights movement to this question of poverty.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg You mean Whitney Young?

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes, I was trying to think of the name, Whitney Young, he, he remarked recently

Studs Terkel - Of

Dr. Edward Schwartz Whitney Young who is executive director of the Urban League said recently that it really is essential that we think of the important interrelationship between the economic situation of the Negro and a substantial proportion of Negroes are in the poverty group. Because if we don't, what the Negro is going to wind up with is a mouth full of civil rights and

Studs Terkel And there's the image of course that presents itself. So we come to this belly full of nothing. We speak of, you say the direct connection between the civil rights movement and the very aspects being discussed now. This of course will include the Appalachian white and, I suppose, the, the, what the

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg The Mexican American in the far west, the Spanish speaking youngster and families in New York and in the east.

Dr. Edward Schwartz It isn't only-

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg It is substantal. There are substantial numbers of Negros, but there are many others, that's the point.

Dr. Edward Schwartz It isn't only ethnic groups. The migrant population, by and large migrant workers as a group, are almost a hundred percent in this

Studs Terkel I thinking of those called WASP's, you know the white Anglo-Saxon, I'm talking now of the of the Appalachians, the big cities. Now thay're part of this group too.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And the relationship between between race and poverty, and between, by the way the, whether the family is headed by a woman or by a man, the separated family is is remarkable. Forty seven percent of all nonwhite families fall under the category of poor, meaning that they have income of less than $3000.00 a year, when only 17 percent of the white families. And when you start looking at families headed by women-

Dr. Edward Schwartz Or the aged.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Or the aged.

Dr. Edward Schwartz You see and this has very important implications for what is to be done. What sort of a program of treatment, of prevention, we see as possible as effective. The, the war on poverty, the administration's program now called the War on Poverty, is focused, to a large extent, on the target, the goal of educating, retraining, counseling, otherwise assisting people to get into the labor market to get jobs. And yet as Dan has just pointed out, a substantial portion, that turns out to be about one half of all families who are living in poverty, have no relationship to the labor market or there is no possibility that they may in any way be related to the current labor market. And as a matter of fact, the trend if we look at the comparative data for tho- say the last 50 years, 15 years, indicates that the proportion of families who are living in poverty, who cannot be related to the labor market, is increasing. It's increasing.

Studs Terkel Alienation, then, is increasing.

Dr. Edward Schwartz That's - The possibility of alienation is certainly serious.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Well there's another difficulty though too with these retraining programs. Of what use is it to put somebody through a retraining program, and that's not easy to do, if when he's finished the training there's no job for him? Now this is one of the, I find, the major limitations in the President's program. I think the President is to be congratulated on getting this thing started. He's helped make it a national concern. He's taken a step in the right direction. But it's anything but the solution to this problem. And it's very small, both in its size and its conception.

Dr. Edward Schwartz And its scope, that's right.

Studs Terkel So now when we come to the question, of course the question of automation has been raised too, and cybernation which would probably knock off a lot of white collar workers eventually too. The thinking machine, so called. Now we come to the question of, probably the problem is deepening, is it not? I mean it's not a question of being less, it's deepening, isn't it?

Dr. Daniel Thurz And the problem is a complex one. I I think the one thing that all of us would agree on is that you don't have, we don't have a single answer to the problem of poverty. The President's program, I've called it a mile long and an inch deep program. It it attempts to do a lot of things, but in a sense it is tokenism. There simply isn't enough money to do the job that ought to be done. And by the way that we can afford to do.

Dr. Edward Schwartz When you say there isn't enough money, you mean not enough has been appropriated. Yo-you wouldn't suggest, would you, that there isn't enough money available

Dr. Daniel Thurz On the contrary, I think we have the funds to do this if we want

Studs Terkel Funny idea the word "war" is used, see. "War" against poverty. Now for you to emphasize that word "war", Congress might give us more appropriations. [laughing]

Dr. Daniel Thurz Well I'm not sure. Because, no. One of the things that has always interested me is that the American concept of war is quite different from, let's say, a European concept of war. We have been able, thank God, to get into wars and continue business as usual. This has been a problem with this country even in World War II, it was a problem during Korea, in a sense a problem with Vietnam today. It's a problem, by the way, with the social work community. Our fellow social workers want to go into a war against poverty but continue business as usual.

Studs Terkel Yes.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And what is required, if we're going to going into war, is a massive shift, first in governmental expenditures, secondly in the way we define our social services, thirdly in the way we use ourselves.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg I think there's a danger here though that we may simply assume that if we had more money the problem would be solved. I noticed yesterday that Mike Harrington said if the President would put in ten billion a year instead of one billion, that that would make a big dent. I think that would help. But I don't think it's just a problem of money. Partly it is we don't know the solutions yet. Partly they would call for much more drastic changes than we've been willing to consider up to now. And I do suspect that if Congress, tomorrow or whenever they come back in session, you know, may raise this from one billion to five billion, I'm not sure we'd know

Dr. Edward Schwartz Well I think that's a very dangerous emphasis at this point. I, I agree that we don't have all the answers. I I agree that money isn't everything and that money alone would not do everything. But it seems to me that we know more than we're doing now and that we have the resources to do more than we're doing now. And if we, if we could partialize this problem, break out the, the problem of economic dependency and see our way clear to making progress there, then let's turn our attention to other aspects of the, the problem of people living in slum areas, problem of people in ethnic and other deprived groups.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Mitch, wouldn't you agree though that if we had more money and were willing to spend it, spend it in several specific programs, we could begin to take at least pieces out of the pie. Let's talk for example about the aged. We know today that the Social Security benefits are simply not enough to support an aged family, so that a percentage of the persons who get full security benefits then have to come to a public assistance office and get additional assistance in a very complex, time consuming and degrading process. We've got the money, we've got the program and in fact our association has recommended ways by which we could double the benefits to the aged. This is a concrete step that

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg can I think there's no question that obviously we can use more money and we ought to have it. The difficulty is though that we look for snap solutions. We look for some, you know, gimmick that will solve this problem. I'm all for doubling the public assistance payments and the Social Security benefits. But I would suggest to you that that step by itself would have very little impact on the basic problems that are causing poverty in this country.

Studs Terkel Dr.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg You're going to have to do something about the employment situation, and that's not going to be benefited directly by spending more money for these programs. I think we ought to defend better payments for these programs in their own terms because people have a right to a decent marginal, at least marginal level, minimum level of assistance, but not to see this as being the solution to the basic poverty.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Well I I agree. I I think that what we're involved here, in here, is a question as to whether we are going to solve the problem of preventing poverty in the long run, or what we're concerned with now is eliminating the poverty that we see around us. And it seems to me these two targets are not mutually exclusive. I think we have to do both.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Good point.

Dr. Edward Schwartz I also agree that, that doubling your pleasure in OASI benefits or in unemployment compensation benefits will not touch more than half of the people who are now poor. But there are other proposals that have been made and specifically their proposal for a guaranteed, a federally guaranteed, minimum income for all families in the United States. And this is suggested for the purpose of a media treatment of the problem, not for long range prevention. For long range prevention I think we need a long range plan which would involve consideration of the continuing adjustment and readjustment of our social, economic and political systems.

Studs Terkel Can we discuss this for a moment? This obviously it's a, it's a, an explosive idea, seems to be, the idea of guaranteed annual income to every family in America, and I'm sure that those who are bo-, you know the primitives would say "What will this do to initiative" see? "What will this do to the drive to, aren't you giving people" and may we, may we, may we discuss this in conjunction with phrases that have been recurring, the degrading aspect of receiving money or the people's feeling of inferiority after a while, and right to.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes I, I, I think we ought to discuss this and I think we ought to keep in mind that what we're discussing is an alternative to an ongoing system. [striking a match] And that when we consider the various criticisms that might be advanced against a federally guaranteed minimum income, we think of these criticisms and their relationship to the present program of public assistance. You see this, this same fear that we're, we're making indolent idlers of recipients of public assistance is a fear that's been suggested and sounded over the centuries. It would seem to me that at the present time, when the big problem is lack of jobs, lack of jobs, that it's folly to talk about the possible effect of a guaranteed minimum income in lowering peoples initiative and in possibly reducing their motivation to work. If there were jobs to offer this would be another, another

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Well I I'm sure there will be some people whose initiative may be affected. That's true of all these things. But the thing that has always interested me in this argument is that everybody is always concerned about somebody else's initiative.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Never their own. I remember speaking to a group of substantial businessmen and then it was about Social Security, old age assistance, and they were concerned about what these benefits would do, people wouldn't want to work and so forth because they would know that ultimately they didn't have to save for themselves. And I asked these gentlemen whether they were all on their retirement programs, rather substantial ones, and they were, without exception. And I asked them whether they thought this affected their initiative. And without exception they said, "Oh no, it doesn't have any meaning to us". It's always somebody else's initiative that's their

Studs Terkel So the clipping of coupons does not affect the initiative, the man who clips the coupons, but he'd be worried about the initiative of some ADC mother who might be receiving-

Dr. Daniel Thurz You mentioned the ADC mother. I think this is another area where we, we need to look at social policy. It's fascinating to me that when the Social Security Act was passed, the goal for the Aid to Dependent Children program was to keep the family together and keep mother at home. And money was made available, as a matter of, almost a matter of right, so that the woman would be encouraged to stay home.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Take care of her children.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Stay home and take care of her children and stay home and be out of the labor market, which was also motivation in those days. Now we've had a shift. We've had a shift and a fantastic shift where we now say no, it's not important for mother to be at home. She must be out on the labor market with her new jobs. And in Washington D.C., which is the nation's capitol, where you have the entire world looking on, we have families being broken up each day. Not because the mother is unemployed, but because the mother has been determined to be employable. And once the determination is made that the mother is employable, she's cut off relief, whether in fact there are jobs or not. And it seems to me, I think Mitch you, you made the comment earlier that the statistics tend to hide the, the pathos of these situations. I keep thinking of families that get woken up almost every day with children going to a place called Junior Village in the nation's capital where you've got 850 kids without their mothers, separated, not because there's been a death, not because the mother doesn't want the child, but separated only because our society has refused to make a minimum amount of money available for that family to stay together.

Studs Terkel Well there again, aspects of the problem, of the misinterpretations, of the "not caring" the phrase "not care" came in a couple of times too. The feeling they have is that society, "respectable" again with quotes about it, doesn't seem to give a hoot really. Isn't this

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes. And, and in some sectors of the country I think it goes a little further. That society may give a hoot, but the hoot that's given is to hoot these people down. In other words, I, I think that there's a view in some parts of the country that if a person doesn't have income he is definitely unworthy, there is something wrong with his competency, his adequacy as a human being, and that he must be treated as a second class citizenship. See the whole question of the kind of behavior, the morals, the moral codes that we expect of relief recipients of assistance, of public assistance, tends to be codes of behavior that we do not enforce on the general population, and even the recipients of other kinds of government benefits. If a farmer receives a farm subsidy, you see,

Studs Terkel Oil.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Pardon?

Studs Terkel Oil, I said.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Or yes a write off for oil depletion, we don't inquire into his sexual proclivities and his marital fidelity. Or if it's a wealthy widow who is clipping coupons, we, we don't inquire into her behavior in the boudoir. Nor do we necessarily impose our work ethic on her. I haven't heard anyone suggest that the work is so good for everyone that, that the well endowed dowager [laughing] should give up her bridge and become a computer programmer or Rosie the Riveter. You see it's, it's the dual code of morals that are imposed, and rigorously imposed on public assistance recipients, that leads to the kind of argument for a federally guaranteed minimum income as a matter of right, as a matter of right. The right to a livelihood. The idea that if you're a member of this society, you're entitled to the amenities that that society can afford and expects.

Studs Terkel So then, this- isn't this for instance the key, the double standard of behavior that we've set up for the rich, for use the phrase, the rich against the poor. This double standard, isn't this the key? Isn't this number one non-economic, well it's connected of course, problem that youth, you are facing in your convention.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And and while I would agree with that, I think it's important, I'm sure you would agree too Ed, that this the concept of a guaranteed income isn't really a panacea. It it doesn't provide luxurious living. It it maintains people at a a very minimum level and poverty will be with us. There are other things that need to be done in addition to this. I'm concerned with education. I'm concerned with this entire question of jobs. I am concerned, by the way, about the culture of poverty and what it does to people. There are all sorts of poverties. We, we, we forget that in addition to economic poverty there is the poverty of relationship which is something that social workers can deal with and have been trained to deal with. The poverty of hope. The poverty of ambition.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg I think that this guaranteed annual income is a valid step. But I think we have to keep in mind what Dan is saying. It has to go much beyond that. Because I don't honestly believe that basically the problems of the people that we are talking about are going to be very much benefited by this kind of approach if this is the major step or the only step in. I think people will be better off, and I'm for that.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yeah.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg But this isn't going to get at this problem that these people have of feeling that they're not part of anything. Because this again is something that is going to be done for them rather than they do it. And until we get to the point of seeing them and thinking of them as full, as capable of being fully productive members of our society, with the same right to participate in this society and to have a say in it, and to have a say in what is, in what happens to them rather than our saying this is good for you, until we get to that point we're not going to make much

Studs Terkel Aren't we coming now to another key aspect that Mitchell Ginsberg has just raised, this question of the non-affluent. All these people we're seeing, we are seeking to help them, this patronizing approach. Now we come to the question of participation on the part of the non-affluent. How then?

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg See part of the problem as I see it is a question of power. And here you get into, I think, very tricky and risky kind of ground. [ match striking]. Because in addition to the money problems, these people don't have a feeling that they have a stake in the American system. They don't have a share of this American system of ours. And so I think what they have to do is somehow be brought into it. And this may well mean a kind of distribution of power as we, as we know it. It means taking it away from some so that some of the others can have it. And I've never known anybody who likes to give up power or who gives it up very willingly.

Studs Terkel Well then how? We come now to ways and means, don't we. And I suppose these are discussions that have been taking place at the Palmer House with the National Association

Dr. Edward Schwartz Well yes, I would suggest that there is a problem of distribution of power, [match striking] and I am in hearty agreement with the idea that to give the poor first class citizenship does involve giving them opportunities for participation in community life, and I would think particularly in the political process. But one of the questions that comes up over and over again is power for what? You see I think that, while I, I think this process of involving people is important, I think it's also important to keep in mind what possible goals would be objectives of this power. And I'm quite convinced that one of the goals would turn out to be greater security, greater social security if you will. You see our present social security systems, by and large, benefit the middle class. They do not benefit the submerged 20 percent that we're talking about. I also agree that a guaranteed minimum income alone would not solve the problems of poverty of the spirit. I think the question as to whether it ought to be a major push does-, isn't, doesn't require an answer at this time. But I think the the question that does require an answer is should this be a first and early step. And on this point I would have deep conviction that it should be a step and an early step in conquering poverty.

Dr. Daniel Thurz But in coming back to Mitch's point about power and the poor, it seems to me that if we're, if we really are concerned with doing something that will shatter the cultural poverty, that will raise the self-esteem and give hope to people who live in the slums, then that must be in terms of increasing their capacity to deal with the problems that they face. And the thing that always disturbs me is that somehow the poor get the short end of the stick in almost every single activity in which they participate. They pay more when they buy a television set, they pay fantastic installment rates. They are exploited at all sides. They pay more for what they get in rent than you and I pay.

Studs Terkel Because it's by the week rather than

Dr. Daniel Thurz And also because, because the, the rents are so high.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Because they have so little choice.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Exactly. They they pay more when they go to the market. You and I can go to a supermarket

Dr. Edward Schwartz - Even chain stores in the same community will tend to charge somewhat more in

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg A fantastic thing, a study that was done in New York about six months ago showed the major chain stores in America, one would assume that the higher income the area the more they be able to charge.

Dr. Edward Schwartz It's just the reverse.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg It's just the reverse.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Exactly.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg They charge more in the lower income areas for exactly the same product. In other words, if you live on Sutton Place in New York or Beekman Tower,

Studs Terkel Some

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg These are the highest income areas of New York City, and you go into any one of the major department, you know, supermarkets that you can talk about, at least in a study of six or eight months ago, you could buy that same product for less than you would buy it up on 125th Street in Harlem. And that's why Ed when you said before, power for what? I would say it's power for the same things that everybody else has.

Dr. Edward Schwartz I agree, I agree. [laughling]

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg For instance, the, the worst schools are traditionally in the low income areas. Not where the need is for even better schools. But the poorer schools, the less qualified teachers, the poorest facilities, the scarcity of books, you go right down the line of every one of the services, the worst health facilities, and so on. And that's because these people don't have the power to demand for themselves these kinds of services. Because in the long run, whether it's social workers or radio announcers or anyone else, the poor can't depend on us, Mr. Terkel. They've got to depend on themselves. Real progress will be made only when they can be helped to get to a point where they can win these things over for themselves. And taking part in the political process, let's say. I think it's no secret, and there's nothing mysterious about it, that in those southern communities where the Negro has got the vote and has begun to use the vote, then his situation gets better. Exactly is the same thing true with low income areas all over the country.

Studs Terkel Isn't this interesting this point, obviously this is a very key point, but clearly it isn't known to the audience, the point that Dr. Ginsburg has raised that stores, and this the subject of power, stores charge more to poors and they do the better off because the poor have no choice, have no other place to turn.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And on top of this they have no recourse. So that if, for example, an injustice is committed against them in any way, whether it be by a policeman, whether it be by a store owner, whether it be by a neighbor, you and I have ways of dealing with this type of injustice. They do not. The doors are closed all the time. Now this is a slow process, but it's a process that I think the social work profession needs to address itself.

Studs Terkel Well then how then, how then is, are you attacking it? You gentlemen and the social work that you represent here in America today at this time?

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Well maybe I ought to talk a minute about Mobilization for Youth and, I'm not unbiased in this kind of a thing. I'm very close to this project. My university has played a key

Studs Terkel Could explain

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Yes, let me simplify the explanation by saying Mobilization for Youth is a major delinquency prevention and control project that's developed on the lower east side, financed primarily from federal funds but with substantial city support and also support from the Ford Foundation. And the overall conception, and I am oversimplifying, is that this program could succeed only to the extent that people in this community were given an opportunity to participate in the key things that all of us need in life. That the, the difficulty was that they don't have the opportunity to take part in the political life, in education, and everything else the way the rest of us do. And so as part of its program, Mobilization for Youth set about to help these low income people organize, to carry out certain kinds of activities that would be helpful to them. For instance, they organize to participate in the March on Washington. They organize to participate in the so-called rent strikes where certain services were taken away from the housing, where the housing was deteriorated and this was their only way of getting it. They helped organize and participate in school boycotts. The thing to remember here is it wasn't Mobilization for Youth that's decided on these activities. It was these groups themselves that decided it, and Mobilization helped them carry out their own program. Well in the last four months, as my colleagues know, and it is fairly well known across the country now, Mobilization has been under the most violent attack. It has been accused of being subversive. A number of its staff have been charged with being communists and the left wingers. It has been accused of financial management. It has been accused of promoting and fomenting social unrest, whatever that is. And I think as a practical matter today, Mobilization for Youth may well be dead. And this is a disaster, not only for Mobilization for Youth and for the people who were being served by this program, but because of the effect it has on similar type programs across the country.

Studs Terkel Now before the attack, was this, was it moving? Something was being, this was a pilot, sort of a

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg This was a pilot experimental program, and it made mistakes Mr. Terkel, I'm not here to defend everything it did. It made mistakes, I wish it had been tighter in its bookkeeping. There's no indication of malfeasance, but significant mistakes were made. But that's how you learn from an experimental program. When you built the atomic bomb, you recognize the fact that you were going to have to try a lot of approaches and some of them weren't going to work out. You build a new aircraft and you know that the new missiles and mistakes are made. But when you get in a program of this type, somehow it is suggested that there's no room for error.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes, and what it suggests to me is that there is no single approach or single solution to the problem of poverty. I would certainly support all efforts to organize communities to have people help themselves. But it seems to me it isn't necessary to be an economic determinist to say that people will have more political power if they have more economic power. And one approach to getting more political power through economic power to impoverished groups, is by these macroscopic economic measures, large scale economic measures which will supplement or, and be supplemented by, the approach to working with individuals and groups in their own communities. These are two blades of a scissors and I don't think that we have to make choices, or should be put in the position of making choices about

Dr. Daniel Thurz An uphill scissors happens to have more than two blades.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes, more like a thrasher, yes.

Studs Terkel Obviously there are so many avenues in which this problem, not can be but must be explored, no one way. You spoke of the guaranteed annual income. The idea such as Mobilization for Youth. Well are there projects since the difficulty that's been, if this is going to end, will this end the nature of this kind of experimentation? Are there projects in other parts of the country?

Dr. Daniel Thurz Well actually, the Economic Opportunity Act makes available funds now from the federal government for what are called Community Action Programs which will be planned, organized in communities throughout the country. One of the requirements for these federal funds is the involvement of the poor. Now it's going to be interesting to watch

Dr. Edward Schwartz - Yes.

Dr. Daniel Thurz in the next six months or a year, the degree to which this will actually take place or degree to which the federal government will continue to insist on this type

Dr. Edward Schwartz How can you involve the poor without creating what looks to other people like social unrest?

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Sure.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And in a sense, to what extent can you expect the establishment to finance attacks on the establishment?

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg This is a key issue and I can, I have some sympathy with the federal people. I've spent some time doing consultation on this Title II program, and I have some sympathy. They are faced with this problem that they want to involve these people. On the other hand, if they involve them, the peop- one, one of the good things about people is once you involve them, you can't determine how they're going to go [laughing] you know, and sometimes they go in directions you're not very happy with.

Studs Terkel I remember a point that Bayard Rustin raised about a certain kind of project that could come into play, say in Harlem, where the slum conditions, the ghetto conditioning was. If the actual people themselves who lived there were, were paid, were paid, were employed thus, they would do the cleaning up themselves, this particular idea. So now we're talking about another side of this particular coin. Has this particular theme or this general idea of the actual being paid, the very definition of work, if you will, has this theme come into play?

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Yes and this will be part of the Community Action Program of the federal government. HARYOU, the experiment that Mr. Rustin may be talking about in Harlem which is based somewhat on Mobilization for Youth, is planning to employ these people, to actually pay them to carry on some of these activities. And I think you will see this in a number of projects across the country.

Dr. Daniel Thurz One of the things that impresses me, by the way, in the Economic Opportunity Act is the call for VISTA or this program called Volunteers in Service to America, the domestic Peace Corps, because it's an opportunity I think for us to begin to bridge, to some extent, the gap that exists between the affluent and the not affluent society. And I've been impressed by the reports that have come out of Washington, the numbers of people who have volunteered. Nearly two thirds of the Peace Corps participants who are overseas now, have indicated that they're interested, willing to commit themselves to continued work in this country. There's a tremendous reservoir of of goodwill, of, of concern that, that is part of the American tradition, the spirit of volunteerism that I think we need to exploit. Somehow we've got to start bridging this dichotomy.

Dr. Edward Schwartz You you, when you mention paying people to provide service, it seems to me that this is directly in line with the whole trend of the distribution of labor over the past 50 years. And, and looking at private industry for the moment, employment has shifted from the extractive industries, mining for example, it shifted to agriculture then from agriculture to manufacturing and now from manufacturing to service, see? Now, a substantial amount of service people working in service industries are employed by, in private industry. But there are also substantial numbers who are employed in government, and by government I mean not only federal but state and local. As a matter of fact, employment in state and local governments has increased more rapidly than employment in the federal government. Now as a part of the war on poverty, it would seem to me that another approach, another tool is recourse to public works, large scale government public works. Now again, traditionally, we think of public works as building roads or bridges or post offices. But there isn't any reason why we can't think of public works in the form of giving services. The use of poor people in what social workers are now loving to call indigenous leadership, indigenous leadership, to employ people to work in libraries, to employ people to work in hospitals and in all the areas where there are great shortages of manpower including social welfare itself.

Studs Terkel So this calls for, since, as Dr. Schwartz was saying, and Dan Thurz too earlier, that, the idea that work itself has shifted its nature through the years anyway and now service, again, come into a new phase, public work.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Public work. You see I think we think of work, well when you when some people think of it, they think of it as labor, something that's very onerous but it's your duty to do, it's good for you. Other people think of work as creative activity, expressing yourself, develop a self actualizing

Studs Terkel Going to school, going to school as work

Dr. Edward Schwartz Education, that's right. Producing art, producing music, beautifying the landscape.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg But there are many ways of making a contribution. This business of our work, there's a story that happened very recently in the campaign up in New York that some of you had heard about, you know, the Kennedy- Keating campaign. Keating had been denouncing Robert Kennedy up and down as never having done an honest day's work and came out of a wealthy family, and had all this money and all the security and so forth and so on. And that how could he know what the problems of the working man were? Robert Kennedy was out at 6 o'clock in the morning in one of these factories, shaking hands with these workers upstate in New York. And there was a big burly working man that came on near the head of the line. He shook Kennedy's hand and he said "Is it true what Senator Keating said, that you've never done any manual labor in your life?" And Robert Kennedy said "Yes, I guess it is". And this working man slapped him on the back and says "You haven't missed a thing". [laughing]

Studs Terkel Of course that story itself tells us a great deal. Right there, that fact, I suppose this, doesn't this involve, just view what Mitchell Ginsberg just said, almost a reevaluation, what might be called a Puritan ethic that is, man shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Anything less than that would be sinful.

Dr. Edward Schwartz I used the same expression yesterday. I said that we've become accustomed to the fact that our bread has to be marinated in the sweat of our

Studs Terkel Isn't this call for, doesn't it call, again, another approach to this from, calls for change in our whole-

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg And the employment situation may ultimately dictate a substantially shortened work week, for instance. And this is going to be very hard for many people to accept because you assume that this is the only legitimate and worthwhile way of spending your time. But if we could begin to face the fact that people can exist and make a contribution in many different ways, then we could get to a point where, with shortened work weeks and people having an opportunity for a great many other activities, this would see as a blessing and as a major contribution to our development rather than as a disaster.

Dr. Edward Schwartz They might be more active and perform more good works and labor less.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Yeah but the more we look at the problem of poverty, the more you become aware of the fact that you are not talking about one population with one set of symptoms and one set of problems.

Dr. Edward Schwartz That's right.

Dr. Daniel Thurz While we're talking about lack of jobs, we're aware of the fact that, in New York City for example, there are 50,000 jobs that are not being filled today. We we're going to look at the problem of poverty as if it were not one illness but a series of problems calling for different diagnosis and different treatments.

Studs Terkel So this raises this, this point that Daniel Thurz raised earlier too, there is a reservoir of goodwill, you spoke of this. You mentioned the domestic Peace Corps, this is a phrase, obviously it's a good phrase because people are aware of Peace Corps in other countries. We think of a domestic Peace Corps, it seems to have soft of an affirmative connotation to it, you see then. You spoke of the reservoir of goodwill, of volunteerism.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Well I think we have both in this country. We, we have the lack of understanding. We have those who really do not wish to look at the problem. But I'm impressed by at least part of our young population. Some of our young people, I think, are concerned. The difference in the, in the attitude of college students between the 60s and the 50s impresses me. We no longer are concerned these days about an apathetical college population. College presidents these days seem to be concerned about a population that's too active. I think this is good and I think we need to exploit

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg I think this is a very valuable point here. See, one of the problems is that a group, take a group like us, we tend, we tend to be pessimistic, the kinds of things we are exposed to are, you know, are not very bright, not very promising, and so you tend to see the world as everything hopeless. And I don't want to take away anything we said, I think it's all true. But there are some things on the other side. Dan, I think that was, that mentioned the Peace Corps. Well we were fortunate enough at the school have a whole group of Peace Corps trainees, we trained them before they went on into Latin America. And they were wonderful youngsters. Anybody who says that the new generation, you know, is nothing like what it was before and so forth. It's not like what it was before, it's better. They are better, they're more alert, they're more interested than my generation was and than a lot of many others.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Smarter.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg They're smarter. Yeah, sometimes they're too smart.

Studs Terkel Harold Taylor says I think they've done their homework better.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg And sometimes they make the life of professors quite difficult because they're so smart. But this is one of the promising signs and we shouldn't overlook it in any discussion of

Dr. Edward Schwartz Yes, while we have our rose tinted spectacles on at this moment, I'd also like to suggest that there have been some recent public opinion surveys which have uncovered some results that are surprising, at least to me, and I think to some other people in the profession. For example, there's a recent study made in Cleveland as to what people think about giving assistance to the poor. This was in connection with a proposal for a increase in the tax levy. And there was much less negative opinion and much more positive view about this than I would have predicted. There was a study made at the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, Michigan as to whether people thought the government was doing too much or too little for the poor, and this showed that most people thought the government was doing too little, see. But it's just because of the fact that there are these potential supports in the public that it seems to me that at this time, at this juncture in history, with a very sympathetic administration, with possibly the most liberal Congress that we've had since the second Roosevelt administration, that to talk about an improved social security system of a minimum guaranteed income for all families is not pie in the sky. It's not utopian. It may be much less utopian in fact than trying to patch up a system which has so many difficulties that it might be easier to start anew to build a new structure.

Studs Terkel Well obviously there, there are two, two faces that we see here. Two faces of of America involving the rich and poor. One is this, what has been thus far, the one of great indifference and thin lip coldness and self-righteousness. Well I think self-righteousness is the key as against what all three you have been discussing, this reservoir, particularly among the young, this this wanting to be part, the involvement, certainly in the Mississippi Project kids I suppose

Dr. Edward Schwartz Wanting to do good, I don't know why we're afraid of this phrase, just because we're accused of being do-gooders. But they want to do good.

Studs Terkel This phrase, this phrase, interesting isn't it, how psychologically too this affects us. The word do-gooder has become a derogatory phrase. And, by the way, you're a social worker, this is the key. The image, I think we discuss the image of the social worker. [laughing]. Through the years I think there are two kinds of social workers in the popular eye, in the popular eye, the caricature eye. One is the cold spinster who's self-righteous, telling the mother not to have too many kids, and the other is the, again the phrase, the "bleeding heart" quote unquote. Another phrase that's become fashionable to use about someone who is completely utopian unrealistic. Now the social worker is a wholly man who was, a man or woman, of wholly different. Didn't someone, was it you Dan who spoke of the noninvolvement of the soc, of the disengagement, many social workers have disengaged themselves from this problem?

Dr. Daniel Thurz I think this is one of the problems that we've had to look at quite candidly. Hopefully, Mitch's school and my school, your school Ed are training a different breed of social workers. We, without wanting to go into the history of social work, became enamored some years ago, this was a love affair that lasted for a couple of decades, with psychiatry, and we accepted almost in whole that the concept that if someone was poor and did not have enough money, then by all means let's give them money. But let's also give them service, treatment service. This would help them.

Studs Terkel Put them on the couch.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Almost. In a sense, what Ed is suggesting is that there are factors in the economy that make people poor and it may have nothing to do with ambition or with their weaknesses

Dr. Edward Schwartz There but for the grace of God.

Dr. Daniel Thurz Right. Now I think what's happening with social work today is that we become in a sense much more sophisticated in our analysis of social problems, in our concern, and I think there is now a, a sort of a re-emphasis of the commitment to values. And I think this is the real issue we've been talking about for the past hour. This is value.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg Dan I agree and I think we suffered. We brought some of this on ourselves, it isn't everybody else picking on us. And the more we were attacked, we did like the poor did. We began to believe the things they said about us and we began to act that way.

Studs Terkel That's

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg I think in recent years we've, you know, we've come, swung away from that. We are prepared to speak up now. We've become, as Dan said, more sophisticated. We've gotten more politically involved in the city. I come from New York, if you go into the political clubs where we form clubs, you'll find social workers all over the place and participating in ways that are quite different than it showed before.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And it's no longer a female profession which is an interesting point.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg And to the degree that it's a female profession, in our school at least, if I can speak only for the one I know, the girls were are quite different than the image that you describe. I

Dr. Daniel Thurz

Dr. Edward Schwartz The war against poverty has become a most fashionable phrase and subject for discussion too, ever since the election too, we know it's integral part of Johnson's program. But we ought to talk, by the way, about the the Economic Opportunity Act, what it does and what it doesn't do because there are a lot of people who think that it can create a We can talk about that too. The voice you're hearing is that of Dr. Daniel Thurz who is one of the panelists. We're on. [laughing]. He's a, he is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Maryland and his two colleagues are Dr. Mitchell Ginsburg who is Associate Dean of the School of Social Work at Columbia University and is chairman of the Commission on Social Policy. The third participant is from Chicago, Dr. Daniel E. Schwartz. Edward E. Schwartz. Edward E. Schwartz, I beg your pardon, there's one Daniel in the, this lion's den, Daniel Thurz. [laughing]. Dr. Edward E. Schwartz who is the George Herbert Jones Professor of Social Work at the SSA school at the University of Chicago. At the moment, although by the time you hear this the convention will be over, the National Convention of Social Workers is going on at the Palmer House here in Chicago and some of the obviously very vital subjects are being discussed. I suppose gentlemen, we can keep this free. I know there are many things that will enter into the discussion as well as I'm sure are entering into the debates and arguments and discussion you're having at the convention. I suppose ever since Michael Harrington's book, The Other America, we have at least some portion of America that's growing a little more conscious of the non-affluent people and what is in some quarters laughingly called, The Affluent Society. You know the invisible poor. Wasn't it true that once upon a time, the middle class and the solid citizens so-called were conscious, more conscious of poor people than they are today is. Dr. Schwartz? I would think that the idea that there are poor people around has finally become impressed, or reimpressed on the American public. I'm not sure that the poor themselves are more visible. I think the idea is more accepted. Dwight McDonald said recently that it's not only fashionable to talk about poverty now, it's downright snobbish. See this is, this is an in subject, juvenile delinquency is out. Poverty is in. Poverty as in, it becomes the fashion. By the way gentlemen, feel free to enter. Dr. Thurz, you were saying something before we went on the air about this point of the gap. There seems to be a greater gap. I mean, you were speaking of the economic gap, isn't there also a spiritual gap between the affulent, so called, and the poor. I think there's a cultural gap. But but you know while poverty is fashionable and people are talking about poverty, I don't think that the general public is really aware of the depths of poverty. I came across a statistic just this morning that amazed me and I've been in this business for some years. Three million of 17 million children that are considered poor. That's 17 million children that fall into what we call the, the poverty population. Three million belong to families whose income per year is less than 1000 dollars. That's, a family gets less than 20 bucks a week. That's correct. That's, that's a a fantastic and almost incomprehensible statistic for us to, to, to really deal with. Well I'm pleased that there's a lot more talk about poverty, but I would be much more impressed if I thought we were doing something about it. There's a danger in the topic become fashionable because then there's an assumption that if we talk about it enough- It will go away. somehow that will take care of it, and that's not the way it's going to work. Well then I suppose this is something that concerns you gentlemen and your colleagues, social workers, and the question of programs of how. Before we talk about the how, the nature of it, didn't Harrington make you, we again, when we think of pockets of poverty we think immediately of the Appalachian region. And yet, what comes out is that it's, if anything, they are pockets of influence, affluence rather. This poverty is widespread in the United States, it's not limited to Appalachia, I just wanted to, to underline what Dan said about the importance of the child population in the poverty group. The figure of 17 million dollars, 17 million children could actually be expanded to 23 million depending on how you figure this. And this means about one out of every three or four children in the United States is growing up in a family which is facing this rather stark hopeless grinding poverty way of life. Dr. Ginsberg? Ed, I think the statistics are impressive, but sometimes they hide the individuals that are involved. The trouble with this thing is more than just how many there are in there, is that people are poor now for more than one generation. The parents are poor, the children are poor, and then the grandchildren are poor and what happens? That's the hopeless part That's the hopeless part because what happens is, the poor themselves begin to believe they aren't worth anything and that makes trying to do something about it all the more difficult. Let's touch upon this, were you going to say something Dr. Thurz? I've just got to emphasize the fact that when we talk about cultural poverty, it is based on economic facts, but it results, especially when you talk about generation to generation, it results in, in a hopeless fatalistic point of view. It doesn't pay to do anything because nobody cares. There no way out, there there's no way of moving out. You know we we talk, we still have the dream in America, I guess, of of believing that if somebody really wishes to move out of a particular class or status, he can do it. This, this just doesn't exist for a huge population of America. Could we perhaps dwell further on this particular horrendous point, the shocking point that Dr. Ginsberg introduced, this precedent that there is a heritage of poverty now, that a caste system, if you will, you-Dr. Thurz, saying the dream, the American dream, always, one can always move out of his the Horatio Alger myth, always moves out. But suddenly something new has happened in our, in our time hasn't it? Yes, I think that that's one of the more tragic aspects of the present poverty situation and that is that a a substantial segment of the population is alienated from the rest. They they don't share in the American dream of upward mobility. And this is the the aspect of hopelessness, a feeling of impotence and not being able to do anything about it. That's right Ed. But wouldn't you agree that while they they feel alienated they are exposed almost daily to images of this American dream. And the frustration increases, and this is what concerns That's right. Alienation means that they, they are presented with the affluent society as being lived by their neighbors. And this makes their own position relatively worsen. It's the contrast between their lot and everybody else's lot and it's what makes what we call the American dream the American nightmare for these people. I suppose as you're saying this, this image, this scene comes to my mind immediately. A television set, I'm sure even [intelligible] somewhere, and on the TV they see these "marvelous", again in quotes, commercials where the cars and whatever it is, whatever the material things are that makes a man respectable. They see this don't they, in their little - Make them respectful in the middle class culture. Yes, yes, I- And this is compounded, it gets compounded in all sorts of ways. It gets compounded by the fact that so many of them are Negroes and aren't given a chance for equal education and for equal job opportunity. It gets, it gets compounded because someone who, so many of them live in, in communities where the job market is changing and where even if they do get a basic education, that gap between the level that they've been able to reach, in many cases, through some very heroic efforts, that gap between what they've reached and what is required for employment is getting larger all the time. Well the problem is accentuated because automation hits this group the hardest. There are already the worse off and then the jobs that are eliminated are the only jobs that they have any chance for qualif-they're qualifying for because they are not the skilled workers. So now we come to, we're deliberately now discussing the problem itself before the question of, of programs of possible programs enter the picture. The, Dr. Ginsburg just offered the problem of automation, cybernation, you see. Automat-sure, I just wanted to make one comment about the relationship of the civil rights movement to this question of poverty. You mean Whitney Young? Yes, I was trying to think of the name, Whitney Young, he, he remarked recently - Of Whitney Young who is executive director of the Urban League said recently that it really is essential that we think of the important interrelationship between the economic situation of the Negro and a substantial proportion of Negroes are in the poverty group. Because if we don't, what the Negro is going to wind up with is a mouth full of civil rights and a And there's the image of course that presents itself. So we come to this belly full of nothing. We speak of, you say the direct connection between the civil rights movement and the very aspects being discussed now. This of course will include the Appalachian white and, I suppose, the, the, what the The Mexican American in the far west, the Spanish speaking youngster and families in New York and in the east. It isn't only- It is substantal. There are substantial numbers of Negros, but there are many others, that's the point. It isn't only ethnic groups. The migrant population, by and large migrant workers as a group, are almost a hundred percent in this poverty. I thinking of those called WASP's, you know the white Anglo-Saxon, I'm talking now of the of the Appalachians, the big cities. Now thay're part of this group too. And the relationship between between race and poverty, and between, by the way the, whether the family is headed by a woman or by a man, the separated family is is remarkable. Forty seven percent of all nonwhite families fall under the category of poor, meaning that they have income of less than $3000.00 a year, when only 17 percent of the white families. And when you start looking at families headed by women- Or the aged. Or the aged. You see and this has very important implications for what is to be done. What sort of a program of treatment, of prevention, we see as possible as effective. The, the war on poverty, the administration's program now called the War on Poverty, is focused, to a large extent, on the target, the goal of educating, retraining, counseling, otherwise assisting people to get into the labor market to get jobs. And yet as Dan has just pointed out, a substantial portion, that turns out to be about one half of all families who are living in poverty, have no relationship to the labor market or there is no possibility that they may in any way be related to the current labor market. And as a matter of fact, the trend if we look at the comparative data for tho- say the last 50 years, 15 years, indicates that the proportion of families who are living in poverty, who cannot be related to the labor market, is increasing. It's increasing. Alienation, then, is increasing. That's - The possibility of alienation is certainly serious. Well there's another difficulty though too with these retraining programs. Of what use is it to put somebody through a retraining program, and that's not easy to do, if when he's finished the training there's no job for him? Now this is one of the, I find, the major limitations in the President's program. I think the President is to be congratulated on getting this thing started. He's helped make it a national concern. He's taken a step in the right direction. But it's anything but the solution to this problem. And it's very small, both in its size and its conception. And its scope, that's right. So now when we come to the question, of course the question of automation has been raised too, and cybernation which would probably knock off a lot of white collar workers eventually too. The thinking machine, so called. Now we come to the question of, probably the problem is deepening, is it not? I mean it's not a question of being less, it's deepening, isn't it? And the problem is a complex one. I I think the one thing that all of us would agree on is that you don't have, we don't have a single answer to the problem of poverty. The President's program, I've called it a mile long and an inch deep program. It it attempts to do a lot of things, but in a sense it is tokenism. There simply isn't enough money to do the job that ought to be done. And by the way that we can afford to do. When you say there isn't enough money, you mean not enough has been appropriated. Yo-you wouldn't suggest, would you, that there isn't enough money available in On the contrary, I think we have the funds to do this if we want it. Funny idea the word "war" is used, see. "War" against poverty. Now for you to emphasize that word "war", Congress might give us more appropriations. [laughing] Well I'm not sure. Because, no. One of the things that has always interested me is that the American concept of war is quite different from, let's say, a European concept of war. We have been able, thank God, to get into wars and continue business as usual. This has been a problem with this country even in World War II, it was a problem during Korea, in a sense a problem with Vietnam today. It's a problem, by the way, with the social work community. Our fellow social workers want to go into a war against poverty but continue business as usual. Yes. And what is required, if we're going to going into war, is a massive shift, first in governmental expenditures, secondly in the way we define our social services, thirdly in the way we use ourselves. I think there's a danger here though that we may simply assume that if we had more money the problem would be solved. I noticed yesterday that Mike Harrington said if the President would put in ten billion a year instead of one billion, that that would make a big dent. I think that would help. But I don't think it's just a problem of money. Partly it is we don't know the solutions yet. Partly they would call for much more drastic changes than we've been willing to consider up to now. And I do suspect that if Congress, tomorrow or whenever they come back in session, you know, may raise this from one billion to five billion, I'm not sure we'd know quite Well I think that's a very dangerous emphasis at this point. I, I agree that we don't have all the answers. I I agree that money isn't everything and that money alone would not do everything. But it seems to me that we know more than we're doing now and that we have the resources to do more than we're doing now. And if we, if we could partialize this problem, break out the, the problem of economic dependency and see our way clear to making progress there, then let's turn our attention to other aspects of the, the problem of people living in slum areas, problem of people in ethnic and other deprived groups. Mitch, wouldn't you agree though that if we had more money and were willing to spend it, spend it in several specific programs, we could begin to take at least pieces out of the pie. Let's talk for example about the aged. We know today that the Social Security benefits are simply not enough to support an aged family, so that a percentage of the persons who get full security benefits then have to come to a public assistance office and get additional assistance in a very complex, time consuming and degrading process. We've got the money, we've got the program and in fact our association has recommended ways by which we could double the benefits to the aged. This is a concrete step that can I think there's no question that obviously we can use more money and we ought to have it. The difficulty is though that we look for snap solutions. We look for some, you know, gimmick that will solve this problem. I'm all for doubling the public assistance payments and the Social Security benefits. But I would suggest to you that that step by itself would have very little impact on the basic problems that are causing poverty in this country. Dr. You're going to have to do something about the employment situation, and that's not going to be benefited directly by spending more money for these programs. I think we ought to defend better payments for these programs in their own terms because people have a right to a decent marginal, at least marginal level, minimum level of assistance, but not to see this as being the solution to the basic poverty. Well I I agree. I I think that what we're involved here, in here, is a question as to whether we are going to solve the problem of preventing poverty in the long run, or what we're concerned with now is eliminating the poverty that we see around us. And it seems to me these two targets are not mutually exclusive. I think we have to do both. Good point. I also agree that, that doubling your pleasure in OASI benefits or in unemployment compensation benefits will not touch more than half of the people who are now poor. But there are other proposals that have been made and specifically their proposal for a guaranteed, a federally guaranteed, minimum income for all families in the United States. And this is suggested for the purpose of a media treatment of the problem, not for long range prevention. For long range prevention I think we need a long range plan which would involve consideration of the continuing adjustment and readjustment of our social, economic and political systems. Can we discuss this for a moment? This obviously it's a, it's a, an explosive idea, seems to be, the idea of guaranteed annual income to every family in America, and I'm sure that those who are bo-, you know the primitives would say "What will this do to initiative" see? "What will this do to the drive to, aren't you giving people" and may we, may we, may we discuss this in conjunction with phrases that have been recurring, the degrading aspect of receiving money or the people's feeling of inferiority after a while, and right to. Yes I, I, I think we ought to discuss this and I think we ought to keep in mind that what we're discussing is an alternative to an ongoing system. [striking a match] And that when we consider the various criticisms that might be advanced against a federally guaranteed minimum income, we think of these criticisms and their relationship to the present program of public assistance. You see this, this same fear that we're, we're making indolent idlers of recipients of public assistance is a fear that's been suggested and sounded over the centuries. It would seem to me that at the present time, when the big problem is lack of jobs, lack of jobs, that it's folly to talk about the possible effect of a guaranteed minimum income in lowering peoples initiative and in possibly reducing their motivation to work. If there were jobs to offer this would be another, another situation. Well I I'm sure there will be some people whose initiative may be affected. That's true of all these things. But the thing that has always interested me in this argument is that everybody is always concerned about somebody else's initiative. Yes. Never their own. I remember speaking to a group of substantial businessmen and then it was about Social Security, old age assistance, and they were concerned about what these benefits would do, people wouldn't want to work and so forth because they would know that ultimately they didn't have to save for themselves. And I asked these gentlemen whether they were all on their retirement programs, rather substantial ones, and they were, without exception. And I asked them whether they thought this affected their initiative. And without exception they said, "Oh no, it doesn't have any meaning to us". It's always somebody else's initiative that's their concern. So the clipping of coupons does not affect the initiative, the man who clips the coupons, but he'd be worried about the initiative of some ADC mother who might be receiving- You mentioned the ADC mother. I think this is another area where we, we need to look at social policy. It's fascinating to me that when the Social Security Act was passed, the goal for the Aid to Dependent Children program was to keep the family together and keep mother at home. And money was made available, as a matter of, almost a matter of right, so that the woman would be encouraged to stay home. Take care of her children. Stay home and take care of her children and stay home and be out of the labor market, which was also motivation in those days. Now we've had a shift. We've had a shift and a fantastic shift where we now say no, it's not important for mother to be at home. She must be out on the labor market with her new jobs. And in Washington D.C., which is the nation's capitol, where you have the entire world looking on, we have families being broken up each day. Not because the mother is unemployed, but because the mother has been determined to be employable. And once the determination is made that the mother is employable, she's cut off relief, whether in fact there are jobs or not. And it seems to me, I think Mitch you, you made the comment earlier that the statistics tend to hide the, the pathos of these situations. I keep thinking of families that get woken up almost every day with children going to a place called Junior Village in the nation's capital where you've got 850 kids without their mothers, separated, not because there's been a death, not because the mother doesn't want the child, but separated only because our society has refused to make a minimum amount of money available for that family to stay together. Well there again, aspects of the problem, of the misinterpretations, of the "not caring" the phrase "not care" came in a couple of times too. The feeling they have is that society, "respectable" again with quotes about it, doesn't seem to give a hoot really. Isn't this - Yes. And, and in some sectors of the country I think it goes a little further. That society may give a hoot, but the hoot that's given is to hoot these people down. In other words, I, I think that there's a view in some parts of the country that if a person doesn't have income he is definitely unworthy, there is something wrong with his competency, his adequacy as a human being, and that he must be treated as a second class citizenship. See the whole question of the kind of behavior, the morals, the moral codes that we expect of relief recipients of assistance, of public assistance, tends to be codes of behavior that we do not enforce on the general population, and even the recipients of other kinds of government benefits. If a farmer receives a farm subsidy, you see, Oil. Pardon? Oil, I said. Or yes a write off for oil depletion, we don't inquire into his sexual proclivities and his marital fidelity. Or if it's a wealthy widow who is clipping coupons, we, we don't inquire into her behavior in the boudoir. Nor do we necessarily impose our work ethic on her. I haven't heard anyone suggest that the work is so good for everyone that, that the well endowed dowager [laughing] should give up her bridge and become a computer programmer or Rosie the Riveter. You see it's, it's the dual code of morals that are imposed, and rigorously imposed on public assistance recipients, that leads to the kind of argument for a federally guaranteed minimum income as a matter of right, as a matter of right. The right to a livelihood. The idea that if you're a member of this society, you're entitled to the amenities that that society can afford and expects. So then, this- isn't this for instance the key, the double standard of behavior that we've set up for the rich, for use the phrase, the rich against the poor. This double standard, isn't this the key? Isn't this number one non-economic, well it's connected of course, problem that youth, you are facing in your convention. And and while I would agree with that, I think it's important, I'm sure you would agree too Ed, that this the concept of a guaranteed income isn't really a panacea. It it doesn't provide luxurious living. It it maintains people at a a very minimum level and poverty will be with us. There are other things that need to be done in addition to this. I'm concerned with education. I'm concerned with this entire question of jobs. I am concerned, by the way, about the culture of poverty and what it does to people. There are all sorts of poverties. We, we, we forget that in addition to economic poverty there is the poverty of relationship which is something that social workers can deal with and have been trained to deal with. The poverty of hope. The poverty of ambition. I think that this guaranteed annual income is a valid step. But I think we have to keep in mind what Dan is saying. It has to go much beyond that. Because I don't honestly believe that basically the problems of the people that we are talking about are going to be very much benefited by this kind of approach if this is the major step or the only step in. I think people will be better off, and I'm for that. Yeah. But this isn't going to get at this problem that these people have of feeling that they're not part of anything. Because this again is something that is going to be done for them rather than they do it. And until we get to the point of seeing them and thinking of them as full, as capable of being fully productive members of our society, with the same right to participate in this society and to have a say in it, and to have a say in what is, in what happens to them rather than our saying this is good for you, until we get to that point we're not going to make much real Aren't we coming now to another key aspect that Mitchell Ginsberg has just raised, this question of the non-affluent. All these people we're seeing, we are seeking to help them, this patronizing approach. Now we come to the question of participation on the part of the non-affluent. How then? See part of the problem as I see it is a question of power. And here you get into, I think, very tricky and risky kind of ground. [ match striking]. Because in addition to the money problems, these people don't have a feeling that they have a stake in the American system. They don't have a share of this American system of ours. And so I think what they have to do is somehow be brought into it. And this may well mean a kind of distribution of power as we, as we know it. It means taking it away from some so that some of the others can have it. And I've never known anybody who likes to give up power or who gives it up very willingly. Well then how? We come now to ways and means, don't we. And I suppose these are discussions that have been taking place at the Palmer House with the National Association of Well yes, I would suggest that there is a problem of distribution of power, [match striking] and I am in hearty agreement with the idea that to give the poor first class citizenship does involve giving them opportunities for participation in community life, and I would think particularly in the political process. But one of the questions that comes up over and over again is power for what? You see I think that, while I, I think this process of involving people is important, I think it's also important to keep in mind what possible goals would be objectives of this power. And I'm quite convinced that one of the goals would turn out to be greater security, greater social security if you will. You see our present social security systems, by and large, benefit the middle class. They do not benefit the submerged 20 percent that we're talking about. I also agree that a guaranteed minimum income alone would not solve the problems of poverty of the spirit. I think the question as to whether it ought to be a major push does-, isn't, doesn't require an answer at this time. But I think the the question that does require an answer is should this be a first and early step. And on this point I would have deep conviction that it should be a step and an early step in conquering poverty. But in coming back to Mitch's point about power and the poor, it seems to me that if we're, if we really are concerned with doing something that will shatter the cultural poverty, that will raise the self-esteem and give hope to people who live in the slums, then that must be in terms of increasing their capacity to deal with the problems that they face. And the thing that always disturbs me is that somehow the poor get the short end of the stick in almost every single activity in which they participate. They pay more when they buy a television set, they pay fantastic installment rates. They are exploited at all sides. They pay more for what they get in rent than you and I pay. Because it's by the week rather than by And also because, because the, the rents are so high. Because they have so little choice. Exactly. They they pay more when they go to the market. You and I can go to a supermarket - Even chain stores in the same community will tend to charge somewhat more in deprived A fantastic thing, a study that was done in New York about six months ago showed the major chain stores in America, one would assume that the higher income the area the more they be able to charge. It's just the reverse. It's just the reverse. Exactly. They charge more in the lower income areas for exactly the same product. In other words, if you live on Sutton Place in New York or Beekman Tower, Some These are the highest income areas of New York City, and you go into any one of the major department, you know, supermarkets that you can talk about, at least in a study of six or eight months ago, you could buy that same product for less than you would buy it up on 125th Street in Harlem. And that's why Ed when you said before, power for what? I would say it's power for the same things that everybody else has. I agree, I agree. [laughling] For instance, the, the worst schools are traditionally in the low income areas. Not where the need is for even better schools. But the poorer schools, the less qualified teachers, the poorest facilities, the scarcity of books, you go right down the line of every one of the services, the worst health facilities, and so on. And that's because these people don't have the power to demand for themselves these kinds of services. Because in the long run, whether it's social workers or radio announcers or anyone else, the poor can't depend on us, Mr. Terkel. They've got to depend on themselves. Real progress will be made only when they can be helped to get to a point where they can win these things over for themselves. And taking part in the political process, let's say. I think it's no secret, and there's nothing mysterious about it, that in those southern communities where the Negro has got the vote and has begun to use the vote, then his situation gets better. Exactly is the same thing true with low income areas all over the country. Isn't this interesting this point, obviously this is a very key point, but clearly it isn't known to the audience, the point that Dr. Ginsburg has raised that stores, and this the subject of power, stores charge more to poors and they do the better off because the poor have no choice, have no other place to turn. And on top of this they have no recourse. So that if, for example, an injustice is committed against them in any way, whether it be by a policeman, whether it be by a store owner, whether it be by a neighbor, you and I have ways of dealing with this type of injustice. They do not. The doors are closed all the time. Now this is a slow process, but it's a process that I think the social work profession needs to address itself. Well then how then, how then is, are you attacking it? You gentlemen and the social work that you represent here in America today at this time? Well maybe I ought to talk a minute about Mobilization for Youth and, I'm not unbiased in this kind of a thing. I'm very close to this project. My university has played a key role Could explain this Yes, let me simplify the explanation by saying Mobilization for Youth is a major delinquency prevention and control project that's developed on the lower east side, financed primarily from federal funds but with substantial city support and also support from the Ford Foundation. And the overall conception, and I am oversimplifying, is that this program could succeed only to the extent that people in this community were given an opportunity to participate in the key things that all of us need in life. That the, the difficulty was that they don't have the opportunity to take part in the political life, in education, and everything else the way the rest of us do. And so as part of its program, Mobilization for Youth set about to help these low income people organize, to carry out certain kinds of activities that would be helpful to them. For instance, they organize to participate in the March on Washington. They organize to participate in the so-called rent strikes where certain services were taken away from the housing, where the housing was deteriorated and this was their only way of getting it. They helped organize and participate in school boycotts. The thing to remember here is it wasn't Mobilization for Youth that's decided on these activities. It was these groups themselves that decided it, and Mobilization helped them carry out their own program. Well in the last four months, as my colleagues know, and it is fairly well known across the country now, Mobilization has been under the most violent attack. It has been accused of being subversive. A number of its staff have been charged with being communists and the left wingers. It has been accused of financial management. It has been accused of promoting and fomenting social unrest, whatever that is. And I think as a practical matter today, Mobilization for Youth may well be dead. And this is a disaster, not only for Mobilization for Youth and for the people who were being served by this program, but because of the effect it has on similar type programs across the country. Now before the attack, was this, was it moving? Something was being, this was a pilot, sort of a pilot This was a pilot experimental program, and it made mistakes Mr. Terkel, I'm not here to defend everything it did. It made mistakes, I wish it had been tighter in its bookkeeping. There's no indication of malfeasance, but significant mistakes were made. But that's how you learn from an experimental program. When you built the atomic bomb, you recognize the fact that you were going to have to try a lot of approaches and some of them weren't going to work out. You build a new aircraft and you know that the new missiles and mistakes are made. But when you get in a program of this type, somehow it is suggested that there's no room for error. Yes, and what it suggests to me is that there is no single approach or single solution to the problem of poverty. I would certainly support all efforts to organize communities to have people help themselves. But it seems to me it isn't necessary to be an economic determinist to say that people will have more political power if they have more economic power. And one approach to getting more political power through economic power to impoverished groups, is by these macroscopic economic measures, large scale economic measures which will supplement or, and be supplemented by, the approach to working with individuals and groups in their own communities. These are two blades of a scissors and I don't think that we have to make choices, or should be put in the position of making choices about - An uphill scissors happens to have more than two blades. [laughing] Yes, more like a thrasher, yes. Obviously there are so many avenues in which this problem, not can be but must be explored, no one way. You spoke of the guaranteed annual income. The idea such as Mobilization for Youth. Well are there projects since the difficulty that's been, if this is going to end, will this end the nature of this kind of experimentation? Are there projects in other parts of the country? Well actually, the Economic Opportunity Act makes available funds now from the federal government for what are called Community Action Programs which will be planned, organized in communities throughout the country. One of the requirements for these federal funds is the involvement of the poor. Now it's going to be interesting to watch - Yes. in the next six months or a year, the degree to which this will actually take place or degree to which the federal government will continue to insist on this type of How can you involve the poor without creating what looks to other people like social unrest? Sure. And in a sense, to what extent can you expect the establishment to finance attacks on the establishment? This is a key issue and I can, I have some sympathy with the federal people. I've spent some time doing consultation on this Title II program, and I have some sympathy. They are faced with this problem that they want to involve these people. On the other hand, if they involve them, the peop- one, one of the good things about people is once you involve them, you can't determine how they're going to go [laughing] you know, and sometimes they go in directions you're not very happy with. I remember a point that Bayard Rustin raised about a certain kind of project that could come into play, say in Harlem, where the slum conditions, the ghetto conditioning was. If the actual people themselves who lived there were, were paid, were paid, were employed thus, they would do the cleaning up themselves, this particular idea. So now we're talking about another side of this particular coin. Has this particular theme or this general idea of the actual being paid, the very definition of work, if you will, has this theme come into play? Yes and this will be part of the Community Action Program of the federal government. HARYOU, the experiment that Mr. Rustin may be talking about in Harlem which is based somewhat on Mobilization for Youth, is planning to employ these people, to actually pay them to carry on some of these activities. And I think you will see this in a number of projects across the country. One of the things that impresses me, by the way, in the Economic Opportunity Act is the call for VISTA or this program called Volunteers in Service to America, the domestic Peace Corps, because it's an opportunity I think for us to begin to bridge, to some extent, the gap that exists between the affluent and the not affluent society. And I've been impressed by the reports that have come out of Washington, the numbers of people who have volunteered. Nearly two thirds of the Peace Corps participants who are overseas now, have indicated that they're interested, willing to commit themselves to continued work in this country. There's a tremendous reservoir of of goodwill, of, of concern that, that is part of the American tradition, the spirit of volunteerism that I think we need to exploit. Somehow we've got to start bridging this dichotomy. You you, when you mention paying people to provide service, it seems to me that this is directly in line with the whole trend of the distribution of labor over the past 50 years. And, and looking at private industry for the moment, employment has shifted from the extractive industries, mining for example, it shifted to agriculture then from agriculture to manufacturing and now from manufacturing to service, see? Now, a substantial amount of service people working in service industries are employed by, in private industry. But there are also substantial numbers who are employed in government, and by government I mean not only federal but state and local. As a matter of fact, employment in state and local governments has increased more rapidly than employment in the federal government. Now as a part of the war on poverty, it would seem to me that another approach, another tool is recourse to public works, large scale government public works. Now again, traditionally, we think of public works as building roads or bridges or post offices. But there isn't any reason why we can't think of public works in the form of giving services. The use of poor people in what social workers are now loving to call indigenous leadership, indigenous leadership, to employ people to work in libraries, to employ people to work in hospitals and in all the areas where there are great shortages of manpower including social welfare itself. So this calls for, since, as Dr. Schwartz was saying, and Dan Thurz too earlier, that, the idea that work itself has shifted its nature through the years anyway and now service, again, come into a new phase, public work. Public work. You see I think we think of work, well when you when some people think of it, they think of it as labor, something that's very onerous but it's your duty to do, it's good for you. Other people think of work as creative activity, expressing yourself, develop a self actualizing - Going to school, going to school as work and Education, that's right. Producing art, producing music, beautifying the landscape. But there are many ways of making a contribution. This business of our work, there's a story that happened very recently in the campaign up in New York that some of you had heard about, you know, the Kennedy- Keating campaign. Keating had been denouncing Robert Kennedy up and down as never having done an honest day's work and came out of a wealthy family, and had all this money and all the security and so forth and so on. And that how could he know what the problems of the working man were? Robert Kennedy was out at 6 o'clock in the morning in one of these factories, shaking hands with these workers upstate in New York. And there was a big burly working man that came on near the head of the line. He shook Kennedy's hand and he said "Is it true what Senator Keating said, that you've never done any manual labor in your life?" And Robert Kennedy said "Yes, I guess it is". And this working man slapped him on the back and says "You haven't missed a thing". [laughing] Of course that story itself tells us a great deal. Right there, that fact, I suppose this, doesn't this involve, just view what Mitchell Ginsberg just said, almost a reevaluation, what might be called a Puritan ethic that is, man shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Anything less than that would be sinful. I used the same expression yesterday. I said that we've become accustomed to the fact that our bread has to be marinated in the sweat of our brow. Isn't this call for, doesn't it call, again, another approach to this from, calls for change in our whole- And the employment situation may ultimately dictate a substantially shortened work week, for instance. And this is going to be very hard for many people to accept because you assume that this is the only legitimate and worthwhile way of spending your time. But if we could begin to face the fact that people can exist and make a contribution in many different ways, then we could get to a point where, with shortened work weeks and people having an opportunity for a great many other activities, this would see as a blessing and as a major contribution to our development rather than as a disaster. They might be more active and perform more good works and labor less. Yeah but the more we look at the problem of poverty, the more you become aware of the fact that you are not talking about one population with one set of symptoms and one set of problems. That's right. While we're talking about lack of jobs, we're aware of the fact that, in New York City for example, there are 50,000 jobs that are not being filled today. We we're going to look at the problem of poverty as if it were not one illness but a series of problems calling for different diagnosis and different treatments. So this raises this, this point that Daniel Thurz raised earlier too, there is a reservoir of goodwill, you spoke of this. You mentioned the domestic Peace Corps, this is a phrase, obviously it's a good phrase because people are aware of Peace Corps in other countries. We think of a domestic Peace Corps, it seems to have soft of an affirmative connotation to it, you see then. You spoke of the reservoir of goodwill, of volunteerism. Well I think we have both in this country. We, we have the lack of understanding. We have those who really do not wish to look at the problem. But I'm impressed by at least part of our young population. Some of our young people, I think, are concerned. The difference in the, in the attitude of college students between the 60s and the 50s impresses me. We no longer are concerned these days about an apathetical college population. College presidents these days seem to be concerned about a population that's too active. I think this is good and I think we need to exploit this. I think this is a very valuable point here. See, one of the problems is that a group, take a group like us, we tend, we tend to be pessimistic, the kinds of things we are exposed to are, you know, are not very bright, not very promising, and so you tend to see the world as everything hopeless. And I don't want to take away anything we said, I think it's all true. But there are some things on the other side. Dan, I think that was, that mentioned the Peace Corps. Well we were fortunate enough at the school have a whole group of Peace Corps trainees, we trained them before they went on into Latin America. And they were wonderful youngsters. Anybody who says that the new generation, you know, is nothing like what it was before and so forth. It's not like what it was before, it's better. They are better, they're more alert, they're more interested than my generation was and than a lot of many others. Smarter. They're smarter. Yeah, sometimes they're too smart. Harold Taylor says I think they've done their homework better. And sometimes they make the life of professors quite difficult because they're so smart. But this is one of the promising signs and we shouldn't overlook it in any discussion of a Yes, while we have our rose tinted spectacles on at this moment, I'd also like to suggest that there have been some recent public opinion surveys which have uncovered some results that are surprising, at least to me, and I think to some other people in the profession. For example, there's a recent study made in Cleveland as to what people think about giving assistance to the poor. This was in connection with a proposal for a increase in the tax levy. And there was much less negative opinion and much more positive view about this than I would have predicted. There was a study made at the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan, Michigan as to whether people thought the government was doing too much or too little for the poor, and this showed that most people thought the government was doing too little, see. But it's just because of the fact that there are these potential supports in the public that it seems to me that at this time, at this juncture in history, with a very sympathetic administration, with possibly the most liberal Congress that we've had since the second Roosevelt administration, that to talk about an improved social security system of a minimum guaranteed income for all families is not pie in the sky. It's not utopian. It may be much less utopian in fact than trying to patch up a system which has so many difficulties that it might be easier to start anew to build a new structure. Well obviously there, there are two, two faces that we see here. Two faces of of America involving the rich and poor. One is this, what has been thus far, the one of great indifference and thin lip coldness and self-righteousness. Well I think self-righteousness is the key as against what all three you have been discussing, this reservoir, particularly among the young, this this wanting to be part, the involvement, certainly in the Mississippi Project kids I suppose would Wanting to do good, I don't know why we're afraid of this phrase, just because we're accused of being do-gooders. But they want to do good. This phrase, this phrase, interesting isn't it, how psychologically too this affects us. The word do-gooder has become a derogatory phrase. And, by the way, you're a social worker, this is the key. The image, I think we discuss the image of the social worker. [laughing]. Through the years I think there are two kinds of social workers in the popular eye, in the popular eye, the caricature eye. One is the cold spinster who's self-righteous, telling the mother not to have too many kids, and the other is the, again the phrase, the "bleeding heart" quote unquote. Another phrase that's become fashionable to use about someone who is completely utopian unrealistic. Now the social worker is a wholly man who was, a man or woman, of wholly different. Didn't someone, was it you Dan who spoke of the noninvolvement of the soc, of the disengagement, many social workers have disengaged themselves from this problem? I think this is one of the problems that we've had to look at quite candidly. Hopefully, Mitch's school and my school, your school Ed are training a different breed of social workers. We, without wanting to go into the history of social work, became enamored some years ago, this was a love affair that lasted for a couple of decades, with psychiatry, and we accepted almost in whole that the concept that if someone was poor and did not have enough money, then by all means let's give them money. But let's also give them service, treatment service. This would help them. Put them on the couch. Almost. In a sense, what Ed is suggesting is that there are factors in the economy that make people poor and it may have nothing to do with ambition or with their weaknesses or There but for the grace of God. Right. Now I think what's happening with social work today is that we become in a sense much more sophisticated in our analysis of social problems, in our concern, and I think there is now a, a sort of a re-emphasis of the commitment to values. And I think this is the real issue we've been talking about for the past hour. This is value. Dan I agree and I think we suffered. We brought some of this on ourselves, it isn't everybody else picking on us. And the more we were attacked, we did like the poor did. We began to believe the things they said about us and we began to act that way. That's I think in recent years we've, you know, we've come, swung away from that. We are prepared to speak up now. We've become, as Dan said, more sophisticated. We've gotten more politically involved in the city. I come from New York, if you go into the political clubs where we form clubs, you'll find social workers all over the place and participating in ways that are quite different than it showed before. And it's no longer a female profession which is an interesting point. And to the degree that it's a female profession, in our school at least, if I can speak only for the one I know, the girls were are quite different than the image that you describe. I would They're Viva

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg They're young and they're funny and they dress in a quite different fashion then you're seeing and thats makes a big difference in the way the profession is seen.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Your comment Studs about the bleeding heart puts me in mind of the slogan that some of the schools of social work were trying to live up to, and that is our aim is to see that the students retain a soft heart, but that they also obtain a hard head, see. In other words, I think the other emphasis that is coming into social work is, a-the most important thing are your objectives and your values. But it is also essential that you have technique, know-how, the engineering component in here, how you intervene into a social system to help people attain the goals that they think are desirable. So this is one of the new looks that we would like to see as part of the image of the social worker, a person not only who wants to do good but knows how.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And we're looking at social systems. In the old days we tended to think only of the individual and helping the individual to adjust to society. Now we're talking about adjusting society to the needs of individuals.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Exactly.

Dr. Daniel Thurz And working with communities and working with planning and working with the political and the power structure.

Dr. Mitchell Ginsberg And I think we're under no illusions that we as social workers ourselves are going to bring on all these changes. We're not. But we do understand we have a role to play and we've got to work with some of these other groups and that together we can do a whole lot more than

Dr. Edward Schwartz Well this we learned through political action, you see. When you're engaging in what we used to call social action and we're now willing to call political action on occasion, what you have to do is, you form coalitions and you have to find community of interest and you have to agitate issues, and in the process of doing this we find that our differences with other professions, for example, are not as great as perhaps some of our forebearers in the profession were wont to think.

Studs Terkel There are a couple of points raised. I think of what all three of you said, Mitchell Ginsberg, and Daniel Thurz and Edward Schwartz, and this, this question of, comes down to commitment, commitment to certain values, the, the values that comprise what we once knew as the American dream and still can be, this commitment. The social workers are not disengaged, rather he is involved too.

Dr. Edward Schwartz Exactly, that's correct.

Dr. Daniel Thurz It may mean that social workers will have to look at the priorties and agencies will have to look at priorities. Many of us are employed now in serving the middle class. We work in suburban clinics helping with marriage counseling and other important needs and legitimate needs. But at least some of us I think believe that it's possibly more important to begin to