NER Washington forum; Vice President Hubert Humphrey
He's inventing unique in a peaceful lot. By the way and I think he's that guy not a plastic bag is the hippies that have any memory. But again I am not in a position to know just what's going to happen. Alternately keep these people the voice you just heard was that of the Honorable Hubert H Humphrey vice president of the United States and dollar gas this week on the NBER Washington forum a weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation. This week a discussion about the president's council a lot of new opportunity. This program was produced for the National Education old radio network by WMU FM American University Radio in Washington D.C.. Many are our public affairs director Bill Greenwood. Our guest this week Vice President Hubert Humphrey needs no introduction for the purpose of this program however we might note that he is a major
figure in federal activities involving the young people of this nation. Mr. Vice President as a first question just what is your official role in dealing with young people Deccan even order appointed me the chairman of the president's council on youth opportunity and it is that console in the government there representing the several Cabinet departments and agencies in the government that attempts to coordinate the federal government's activities relating to young people and also seeks to work with local and state government and private groups. What are some of the specific activities you've been involved in. Mr. Vice President. Are a council run youth opportunity and as I've indicated there has a body interest in all areas of back to 50 that involve young people such as an education recreation camping and in particular job opportunities and job training
going. We put a good deal of emphasis during the summer months because a number of young people are out of their schools and need employment and ways and means of utilizing their time and energy. But a question it's a continuing year round program as well. We hear a great deal about the Strummer employment program. What along these lines are being planned during the fall or say after school employment. We now have what we call a stay in school campaign urging young people that. Had some idea that they might drop out of school to go back to their high school and their college or their Technical Institute and also recruiting those who have been school dropouts to a system of offices and programs around the country. Then we also while stimulating interest in part time employment for students in the high at the high school and college level and
particularly needy students. We. Also asked the school board or the administration of a school to work out a curriculum so that the pipeline employment can be phased in with the school work. We're beginning to make some progress now. We're deeply concerned about this and a pretty good deal of emphasis on the back to school or stay in school campaign and pipeline employment because our records show that. That the rate of school drop outs for those who are not employed is ten times as high as those who have part time work. Now that's a very interesting and revealing figure for those that have part time work less likely to drop out of school. Those that do have that have no part time work. Have a ratio of school dropout ism so to speak that's active 10 10 times greater than the others.
Has there been any research into this and to explain why the statistics are as they are. Well we have some research but there isnt nearly as intense a boy as comprehensive as it ought to be. It has been found that a number of young people do drop out of school because of economic reasons and also the temptation of jobs that provide a good income and some easy income. Now if you can. Put together in one package and the opportunity of a high school education plus a job. You get the best of two worlds. So the number one reason for school drop hours I would say is the economic factor. They call him the job. The fact that why waste your time in school says the potential school dropout. Why don't I go out and get that job now at a grocery store at a filling station. Make a dollar and a half two dollars two dollars a quarter an hour. If we can convince this young student that it's to his advantage to stay in school and then have a job along with it.
We're making real progress and I think that we have a saleable proposition. I pointed out to a group of young people here the other day. That the rate of unemployment among school dropouts is about three times as great as it is amongst the others who've had some education. Young man or woman loses in his lifetime career approximately $60000 a potential earned income by dropping out of school. In other words he never pains the same level of wages if he's a school dropout that is in the main other obvious examples where there where the exception proves to be contrary to what is the rule. Which combines president you have been pictured in Washington newspapers quite frequently taking an active part in some of the youth programs in this city. Have you done this in other parts of the United States. Yes sure. And I work as chairman of the president's council on youth opportunity
I have traveled all over the United States meeting with the mayors and local government officials leaders of industry and trade unions churches. I do this in every city that I go to. And I've been into a number of American cities. I not only meet with the local officials in the hopes of getting them to establish their own local U.S. consul by the way we have over 2000 of them now in the United States. That's quite an achievement. But I I asked the industrial groups to take initiative and provide jobs in private enterprise. The school board officials. And church officials and others to open up their facilities for recreation and education. I go out and visit the youth centers visit the playgrounds visit the schools visit factories there where there's employed and visit the training centers where we're preparing you for employment. Everything that I've done in the District of Columbia sort of buzzing around here opening a swimming pool dedicating a playground or attending a Job Corps center
or looking at a recreation exhibit all of that I've done in 100 cities across the United States at least this past year. Vice President Humphrey one of the philosophy be highand such a major program of government activities for young people. Government sponsored activity. Yes I'm glad you said government sponsored I believe it's fair to say it's really government encouraged in many of these activities having no real in what the government funds. We have a question a neighborhood you would call or we have some fund monies from the Office of Economic Opportunity that go into these teen centers and recreation centers and cultural enrichment or education programs. But really most of the work is done by local government state government private groups and particularly under the auspices of community councils or United Fund activities. You say what's the Palast be behind it. Palast me behind it is that most of our young people today living in large cities.
Me and our lab or the commanders I'm out of talent and energy and my pelican that characterizes the young people of today. They definitely need jobs and those that we're talking about for the economic purpose of our activities are primarily concentrated on the disadvantaged. The need we work in the ghettos in the slums and the areas of rural poverty. That's where the government's influence or activity is highest. And we feel that the young people of middle income and upper income families generally have better benefits and programs in their own neighborhoods their own schools their own camps and their own families. So I activities as I say are concentrated on this group that you might call the needy or the disadvantaged. Now what's the plasticky. Keep them busy not just to be busy no not not just to be busy but to give people work experience give them an opportunity to learn the
discipline of an urbanised industrialised like give them an opportunity to upgrade the quality of their education. Provide them with wholesome recreation. Well all of this is designed for a better life a richer life a fuller life and to bring our young people into active participation into their community so that they feel they belong and not that they're removed feel that they're needed not that they're rejected to feel that they have something to contribute rather than to be shoved aside. Could we say them that one sort of an anti-poverty project. Yes in the very best sense of the word I like to say that it's a project in opportunity which is the primary way of dealing with poverty. We feel that this program may be the best way to wage the war on poverty. Do you see any results which tend to reinforce the theories that the programs for curbing human ongoing Quincy in the car.
Yes definitely we can we can point out in community after community where there's a highly. Active intensive program that the rate of juvenile crime and your government can see does go down. We know that we've been able to take YOUNG PEOPLE and put them in and put them but do encourage them to go to camp provide facilities for camping. And that's been done and a liar much larger way than ever this past year that has according to police officials and according to the court officials it has definitely lowered the rate of crime and juvenile delinquency. Would you say in a you know a period in time when we were experiencing civil disorder throughout the country that an expansion of programs such as this might be your solution to some of our problems. I'm not sure that it would be a solution but I do know that it's helpful to those that the program touches. I do know also that the good deal of constructive good
comes to the community out of the many times there were projects involved and where the young people do things a part of the community and parks and playgrounds and cleaning up the lap and heated areas. I know that it's helpful to the young people themselves in terms of their help and above all in terms of their experience and so many of our young people in these deprived areas have no way MMN learning how to work their Potters if they know their fathers have no business they can't go to the factory with their father if their father has a job. Their homes are frequently crowded and tenements. So they don't have any way to really experience what's going on in America except this experience of Islam. So what we try to do is to give them a better picture of the nation of their country not to make them children of the streets but rather to make them citizens of the United States. You talk about United States for their sins and I recall your visit to Europe several months ago you were interviewed at that time by a European Union. Yeah and I wondered
if there was anything which struck you perhaps in comparing the young people of this country with those of European attitude as related to this program. I think there is a. Commonality a kind of a universality of attitude about young people throughout the whole world. They. Are all somewhat in rebellion against that which is that's quite natural for you. But I think it's even more so now. They're very young people I met in Europe of course were college level. And college trained that is on the programs where I discussed matters with them. They're bright area guy highly educated. Full of controversy. Question. People are the same way. Very much the same way. The one difference I'd say is that I think the American you would think is more socially oriented. By that I mean I think he has a higher degree of social consciousness. There were over a quarter they were better than 250000 young men and
women of college in our colleges last year that gave freely of their time and clean. Working in community programs for the less fortunate the needy and the deprived. Now that's a tremendous spirit of voluntourism. Frankly our European friends don't have quite as much of that bottom Carrie attitude they're not schooled that way that is their background doesn't lead them into balance carry activity so much of the European Europe's social activity for the needy is done by government. The voluntary spirit is truly an American innovation. And American. It's almost an American invention and I young people in our colleges have been doing a great job in tutoring and recreation and job training. Look what happens in this town. The Ballon tears and service to America and the debt and our Peace Corps. We had to try one out of every six college graduates last year one out of every six volunteered for the Peace
Corps. That's rather remarkable. Let me ask you about the other young people of this country who we hear so much about and I'm talking about those who deviate from this norm that you know the beatnik element the hippies. How do you feel about this or is this another phenomenon which you think may go way or an example of this restlessness you were talking about. I don't suppose I could predict with any accuracy but it is my feeling that this is something that this too shall pass. We've had other groups like this in other days we had the zoot suiters and World War 2. We had a group of them after World War 1 and we've always had some element in our society that. By their draft by their demeanor or by their words by their actions exhibited our right their rebellion from the establishment or from the established order
in rather unique. They are a peaceful lot by the way. And. Of course there are others that are not classified as the hippies that are very militant. But again I am not in a position to know just what's going to happen automatically to these people but the fact that a group such as this is coming to be seen is not unusual either party united states hour this particular time and place this sort of phenomenon is is relevant. I mean it has developed in other parts of the world now too. They haven't even in Moscow. So I hear you mention the militants Vice President Humphrey and I'd like to know what you think of the Gandee war demonstrators do you feel this is detrimental to our nation in general. Particularly with our young people well it depends on what you mean by demonstrate doors are to demonstrate ours that that a violent rude.
Really. Well I guess that's the best way to explain a violent and rude I doubt they do very much good either for themselves or the cars that they ours. I surely feel that the right to demonstrate is a very precious right if the right to petition being exercised in a more modern way. It's the right to free speech the right to be heard the right can be different. The right to dissent. The only thing I would say to my friends who exercise that right and I've exercised it in my time too and most likely will again on some issue is them to remember that the other power has a right also to be heard and to advocate just as the dissenter has the right to dissent. So does the person who supports a cause have the right to advocate. Then I would say this. There isn't any doubt that what the enemy gets some aid and comfort out of it out of a body of a opinion that is contrary to our policy.
But this is one of the prices that you pay for freedom. We cannot hush up the voices that disagree with us without destroying the very thing that we say we are fighting for. So you have to put it on balance I think that on balance a free society gives you more strength than a controlled society. And if freedom put you to the test you can have everything your way. You can't expect everybody to march to your music sometimes they play their own music in marching their own planes. I guess that's what they're what we're seeing today. But by and large I've been around these college campuses across the country and while there are a few of the demonstrators they're angry and boisterous and sometimes. Come violent and rude most of the people that disagree with the government's policy on Vietnam for example are not that way. They disagree they speak out they argue but they do it in a manner which is thoughtful
and that while it's frequently very pointedly it is respectful and I believe that those people do the cause of dissent a service. I believe that there are always who will make fools out of themselves. I really enjoy their cars and injure the whole cars of intellectual inquiry. Mr. Vice President as a final question. As a man who obviously likes young people and also as our nation's second highest leader how do you feel about leaving the future of our country to the you who are now in it. I think we're a lie no not at all it doesn't worry me as a matter of fact I think it's fair to say that this generation of young people. Is. The most introspective group in the one sense they're looking at themselves a great deal and the society of which they are a part from whence they came. I think they're very sound analytical and self-critical. I also think they are. I
believe they are to be. We can judge them as being well informed and well educated. That does not necessarily mean that they always make good judgments. But there's only one way to make a good judgement and that is to have a large body of information from which to draw your conclusions. So broad education tends to make for better judgments and better decisions. And to answer your question directly I think the generation of this time that this generation is a gifted generation alert it's active. There's a great sense of social consciousness. There's a desire to to make things better. All that they're talking about their antagonism towards war their concern about the abuse of civil liberties and civil rights and the way that they express themselves even if you don't like it. Their concern is right as I see it their concern is right and I feel a sense of confidence
in their capacity to handle things in the future. I know that in the business world they consider to be outstanding. I know that in the field of science and technology we've never had such a fine generation. Of brilliant scientists and technicians and General Westmoreland says. And indeed every officer in my military says that the young man that he and I met Kerry's service today are the finest men I've ever been in and wearing the uniform of the United States. So if you were if you get that kind of judgment. It seems to me that you can say that they're pretty well prepared and they're doing a good job. Thank you very much Mr. Vice President now if you don't mind we'd like to talk to your actual working head of this organization Gerald Christiansen who is for the benefit of our listeners the executive director of the president's council on Youth Opportunity. Mr. Christiansen the vice president just said that youth opportunity Kalak souls are established in hundreds of communities around this country. How do they work. What do they do.
While we feel that the establishment of such councils at the local level makes a great deal of sense just as we have established at the national level a President's Council on youth opportunity to plan ahead to maintain a sustained effort to help youngsters we think it makes sense to do this at the local level as well. We urge these councils involve all elements of the community. The business leaders the unions the schools military people federal agencies news media theater owners baseball club owners church people a private organization and so on. We think that with the total involvement of these people. Planning effectively at an early stage and then carrying through we can have much better summer programs and that the summer programs can lead to effective year round programs for youngsters.
Now you mentioned a great deal of organizations and resources. How do you bring these into the Youth Opportunity program. While there are a number of ways one of the things that we've been very interested in doing this past summer is to more effectively utilize existing resources. Let me just give you a few examples. We have in this country over twenty five hundred National Guard armories. Now in many communities those armies go unused five or six days of the week. They can be used and in a few communities now they are being used for. Recreational activities for the youngsters. We think with a little imagination and perhaps just a little money those armies could be opened up six or seven days of the week so that youngsters could play basketball participate in gymnastic activities and what have you. The same thing applies to many of our school buildings which are locked up during the summer months. We can also apply that to some of our military bases. Or we could even look at the empty seats in
baseball stadiums. What a shame that. When a baseball game is played there are hundreds and thousands of empty seats. Why don't we use our imagination and some of our resources to get disadvantaged youngsters out to those ball games. Perhaps with the help of a policeman or fireman in their off duty hours. So we think there are tremendous resources in this country and we think with some imagination and hard work a they can be much more effectively utilized. Mr. Christiansen what type of imagination would you recommend to a community what programs could they easily undertake. Well the first thing I'd recommend is that they start planning early if they're going to have effective summer programs they've got to begin planning in October November and December of the previous year. They need the total involvement of all elements of the community. They need the help of the news media for example. They need to start lining up jobs with the business
leaders in the early winter. If they're going to have these jobs in the summer they need the cooperation of the unions in some communities. The unions for example have dispensed with the usual initiation fee to permit youngsters to get jobs more easily during the summer months. The military people can be involved. We can make far better use of some of our military bases. In some situations around the country military commanders have opened up swimming pools for disadvantaged youngsters during off hours. What it takes is a total involvement of that community. Starting early planning ahead organizing and effectively utilizing all the resources at hand. We at the federal level are going to try to do. The best job possible of planning. And helping those communities to have really effective summer programs which carry on throughout the year through part time work experience through
opening armories gymnasiums and what have you. Is there any source of funds from the federal level to help finance or underwrite some of these projects. Oh yes the federal government the past summer spent nearly six hundred and sixty million dollars on programs which could be identified as summer programs. These cover a number of areas such as Head Start for example. Neighborhood Youth Corps or community action programs under the Office of Economic Opportunity title one of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act college work study programs and so on. So the federal government has made a tremendous financial effort here and we're going to next year I think solve one of the basic problems that we've run into in the past. That is the uncertainty of when these funds would be available. We hope to assure the local communities of what funds will be available to them at an early stage so that they can plan appropriately their own
programs in their own communities. Now what does the president's council on youth opportunity offer in the way of assistance and advice to these communities. Well our job is to coordinate the total federal effort as the vice president mentioned federal departments and agencies are members of our council. We try to coordinate their efforts and make them more effective. We also work with the local communities. We try for example to serve as a clearing house for good ideas. We have in production right now audiovisual materials movies film scripts. That were produced. And. Around the country this summer and they were going to try to use these in helping communities this fall and winter in planning more effective programs for next summer. We think by sharing ideas from one community to another. This can be an effective way of helping. We also of course through the vice
president send out letters to business man requesting them to help. With the employment. We send letters to private organizations we call conferences and meetings and try to mobilize the total resources of this country in this effort. As you know Mr. Christiansen this show is being heard throughout the nation. To whom would you have these various community leaders write for assistance on the Youth Opportunity program. Well we'd appreciate it if they'd write to the chairman of the president's council on youth opportunity that is Vice President Humphrey in Washington D.C. I assure you that we will respond we will try to help and I think we have been helpful and I think we can be helpful in the future. Thank you very much Mr. Christiansen. The voice you just heard was that of General W. Christians IT executive director of the president's council on you for opportunity. We were also wanted to have as our guest the chairman of the council the honorable Hubert H Humphrey vice president
of the United States. This program was produced for a national educational radio. Through before somebody is a W am you FM on. American University Radio in Washington D.C.. This is NPR public affairs director Bill Greenwood inviting you to listen again next week for another edition of begin to eat our Washington form. Our weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation. This is that I should all educational radio network.
- NER Washington forum
- Vice President Hubert Humphrey
- Producing Organization
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Vice President Hubert Humphrey, speaking about the President's Council on Youth Opportunity. He refers to hippies and the youth movement.
- Series Description
- Discussion series featuring a prominent figure affecting federal government policy.
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-24-32 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “NER Washington forum; Vice President Hubert Humphrey.” 1967-10-25. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 26, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-5q4rp68p>.
- APA: NER Washington forum; Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-5q4rp68p