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Hello my name is Percy Sutton. I am the president of the bar of Manhattan in the city of New You are for the next 30 minutes I'll be moderating a different kind of panel program. It is one of a series called What must be done. The title of these programs what must be done has two meanings. First it poses a demand for urgent solutions to America's greatest problem the crisis of their urban ghetto and the black community. But it also refers to what can be done and what must be done by you the listener because nothing stimulates action as effectively as the demand of an Arabist population. This series of programs takes as its point of departure the award winning issue of Newsweek magazine published last November the 20th on the Negro in America. Today's topic is money sources. That is where the money will come from to solve our urban problems. The members of our panel on our Mr. Elliot the editor of Newsweek Mr. Dick ness or him of the old
University Department of Economics of New York University. Mr. Robert Theobald writer on economics and Dr. Vivian Henderson president of Klock College of Atlanta Georgia. This is a continuation of a previous discussion with the same panel as we shall again begin by turning to Mr. Ogden Elliot the editor of News. Week magazine we've talked in a previous program about various possibilities of raising money from federal and other public sources and the degree of participation that should be undertaken by the private sector in solving the biggest problem in our country today the problem of racial relations. As Dr. Henderson aptly describes it and as others more euphemistically call it the urban problem crisis of our cities. In our study in Newsweek last fall the most evident
and the most important discovery we made was the extraordinary degree of poverty that exists in this most wealthy of all nations. It seems to me that in any case I'm inexcusable that our society has not devised ways of eliminating poverty in no industrialized society in the world except for the United States does the kind of poverty exist that we have here now defining poverty is an easy thing to do. It's too many people with too little money. Curing poverty is evidently to our society in any case a much more difficult thing to do. A number of programs have been devised over the years ranging from welfare to what has been known as the dole or the handout and so on these simply have not worked for a variety of reasons
including the very human reason of self-respect. Now recently we've had suggestions of of new ways of curing poverty and new methods of putting money into people's hands new ways that would replace the old system of welfare which is unbelievably erratic from one part of the country to another. Which uniformly tends to be humiliating. I'm looking forward to this discussion today due to eliminate some of the new schemes which include something called the negative income tax something else called the guaranteed income. And this is just by way of introducing some of these new schemes. Gentleman of the opinion I'm no authority that the report is today that roughly three of four
Americans live in the city and many of them have moved from the farms. I understand also that in the next 50 years four out of five Americans will live in the cities. We're talking about an urban crisis. And Mr. Elliott has just introduced the possibility of negative income tax and I gather there are many other programs that will be used or might be suggested for use if you're a very urban crisis. I want it if we could begin discussing these with some relationship however also to the very place that they have come from the people have come from that is the farm. The plantation. Can any of these programs as you discuss them relate also to the people before the farm and become a part of the urban scene. I want to write and I say I should turn to you immediately. Dr. Nassif because you had the ol university department of economics at New York University I magine you disgust anybody most of the programs. Well discuss them one that's sure of evaluation.
Well the programs that have been mentioned here the negative income tax guaranteed income family allowances are all programs which are designed to get substantially increased amounts of money into the hands of people who are now poor and get it in into their hands on a systematic basis rather than the erratic basis now exists in welfare without the harassment and everything else that's associated with welfare it does. They do have a tremendous relationship to the question of people on the farms as well as in the cities because the the most proposals are for programs done on a nationwide basis. And quite clearly a program which provides similar amounts of income to poor people. Regardless of where they're located we will. Make it a lot easier for people who don't
want to migrate to the large cities not to migrate. Name now we have a situation where people are forced off the farms in Mississippi and they're not given any sort of assistance in Mississippi. They have absolutely no choice in where they're going to reside they have to go someplace with some possibility of getting some sort of help. As bad as that help is is inadequate as it is. Well the programs the negative income tax is basically a system of providing income which is related to what can be thought of as being like the opposite of an income tax giving people below a certain level amounts of income a percentage of the amount that's needed to make to bring them up to a really adequate level of income and they get a larger percentage of this amount will lower their present their income before the payment is family allowances would be payments based on the
size of family and it would have no none of the this tax rate feature a guaranteed income scheme as it is essentially usually refers to proposals which essentially. Essentially do what many people thought welfare was designed to do years ago which was to provide a floor under the income of people who were destitute and which welfare has not done at all. But in the good book again all these things would be on a nationwide basis. Thank you. I wonder if I could ask you now Mr Robert the uphaul next take so that someone in Watts someone in hot and someone in Harlem might be listening. Let's take the negative income tax. What is the basis for it that is how much money would one have to earn before one would ever be able to participate in the negative income tax the guaranteed income starts from the assumption that the problem with poverty is a lack
of money. A lot of a sociologists and economists have not caught up with that I'm afraid. They still feel it's you know the inability to go to a museum and I keep on telling them if they live being poor recently they'd know it wasn't that at all. Basically it says that. If you have less than a certain amount of money that amount of money will be made up by direct payments from the federal government and the figure is I think most often talked about have been the poverty level of three thousand four hundred dollars for a family of four. Now the basic difference between the guaranteed income and the negative income tax has been in terms of the negative income tax is basically a proposal that you only get a percentage of that three thousand four hundred dollars. So supposing you win nothing and the allowance is three thousand four hundred dollars you will get safe seventeen hundred dollars that's a figure that's often been proposed as a proposal that I have used to being unemployed. This While this would be an unemployed man
yes. So he would get 70 what you got. Now the problem with this of course is it's still inadequate book and you're still back in all of your problems with wealth and therefore the proposal I have been making under the guaranteed income scheme is that basically what we do is that we provide to that person three thousand four hundred dollars and we provide this to everybody now basically as a matter of right. And then we then completely change the tax system and I don't want to get into the angle of this too much. Whereby Well learning's about that level are taxed on a progressive right now this violence and I don't want to get in the technicalities avoids the problems of connecting with a negative income tax which are extremely difficult technically. This plan however requires And I think in a sense illustrates once more the point we are trying to make from the last program such fundamental change we've got now not only in welfare but in our tax system a complete hodgepodge I think in this area too we're going to be forced to look into how do we tax in the future this is the tax system is so riddled with loopholes. Except for that in the sense we tax
a great we don't tax very much of total income. And the people who do get tax are the people at the bottom end. The figures show that basically you don't get about 33 percent whatever your income level is if you go to more income you get a good tax lowering to make sure you don't pay taxes so that one of the guaranteed income says I think for the person who is listening now in the ghetto is OK you get money because you are poor. The objection to this. OK we're not worthy of it. We don't feel we ought to get it I notice this is lost its impact because in the latest Gallup poll 66 percent of people in the minority groups were in favor of the guaranteed income which I find very encouraging. I soon came to be and they are being encouraged by the awareness of people who are getting Social Security right. It's quite alright but the money but I mean I think we've just got to get down to understanding that basically that an awful lot of people already who are getting money because the society says it's all right that's what a
sensitive capital payments are all about and we got to get down to saying OK these people are entitled to that money as a matter of right. Now we I think we have to come on a little bit lighted to the fears of people perhaps about what happens to incentives and all of these things the only thing I'd say at this point is that our present scheme is so badly designed from the point of view of keeping people working that nothing can be worse and that no guaranteed income plan presently being proposed all negative income tax plan is as bad as what we presently have. Now if we have a guaranteed income. Would it have much effect on people who are now on welfare. Well it would eliminate welfare. And what would happen is that the social worker who I do not propose we will abolish would in a sense before straw late to the client as a human beings but until it is possible for the clown to say Look just get out of my life today I don't want to see you. There really cannot be any meaningful relationship when you cannot say this of the mum because you lose your check next week for some rates. We free a lot of the welfare workers to go on to more meaningful employment.
Whitley right. Actually seriously and the more young the more and more young people are saying we will not in a sense tolerate this and you have this extraordinary phenomenon of this welfare workers working more and more in Manhattan and across the country against the department in which that and for the pool or through the welfare rights organizations etc. etc. you know having a revolt building within the establishment against the department and in favor of the pope coming in saying we're not getting you one copy to understand who is president of Clark University of Atlanta Georgia. Show me some impatience to. Happen. Well actually this is the first time that Bob myself have been together that I find myself coming closer to his view. Actually we have them together on many occasions and have actually debated this issue. How. Let me just say two points very quickly. One is that. I think my own judgment that there is a
role for the guaranteed income as a means of relieving people from poverty. I am not too sure as to the extent to which it will relieve the problems of the ghetto except in so far as it relates itself to an economic development program whether in the ghetto and one of the problems of the ghetto. The Hollanders and the south side of Atlanta Georgia is that people have limited incomes and they have to spend every cent they make. The question is Where do they spend it and what does this expended tour mean to the particular environment in which they live. We have a very serious problem here and a very serious challenge to do something to make those expended toys more related to the area in which they live. That's as plain as I can make it number two. I am a
much greater believer however that the larger part of our problem lies in the area of guaranteed employment. Now guaranteed employment can be an avenue to guaranteed income. Bob won't buy that. I see that already. I don't know. But seriously I do believe that it can be an avenue to guaranteed employment. I mean a guaranteed income. Now my point here is that I for example we hear a lot of talk about last resort employment. I don't believe in last resort plan. I believe in first resort employment. I think our economy is structured in such way that with minimum adjustments that we could guarantee everybody a job who guarantees it has to be done through the federal structure. So the federal government would guarantee through it directly out through state and municipal guy only
yesterday state in Minnesota and through the private sector. Don't forget that I made this point once last week when we were talking on that other program that this would happen. So all I'm saying here is that to to to to get at the problems that we're talking about here. For example if we want to rehabilitate ghettoes correct the social ills. You can't correct the social ills of Harlem. The Hundred and Twenty fifth and Seventh Avenue this country simply within got something has got to be done to involve an investment in those areas for rehabilitation. But that investment will come only if people there are able to respond with payments. I think the argument being made is that there is a great deal that needs to be done in Harlem and the people in Harlem are capable of doing it. In
most cases and that it is time that we produce the investment and that the investment produces the jobs that are required in the Harlem's and the hops the watts of this country. Now I agree with that. I agree that money alone is not enough. People must have meaningful activity and we have a responsibility so they wouldn't be satisfied unless there was meaningful I think that very few people or some group the majority when there are some that we are to provide with the income right going to work when we work out on a guaranteed income. And there's objection to this because they want to be involved in that. We're talking about this as a method of rehabilitating people is that well know what you see our difference I think the difference between those who are proposing a gun to change job and a guaranteed income is I think a rather sharp one you see I'm scared of the government. I'm scared of the federal government when it gets in the program just as I'm scared and I have some very real fears about a guaranteed job program because that are certain types of people. Who are very unemployable.
But these are minimal OBOT is a minimal I know but they but they come in you know you're talking about enough that they could become a very significant six to seven hundred thousand people. Henderson Well as I know a lot of people the bill are you know. No no eye for blood I think it's a good thing. Yet another objection with which is that it does. It's very hard to administer a guaranteed job program here without producing a situation which you are proving you are actually creating a lot of a lot of false trails a lot of our official John Doe No. But yes I know you know I would say that and I also have some some reluctance to to to rely on government to actually manage and administer things it seems to me that that a guaranteed income some plant of some type which produces a lot of income just needs to be supplemented only by very little.
ELTs on the part of government people can't provide their own her health services they can't provide their own schools. But if they have all if they have a lot more money a lot lot better supported schools a lot better health services and a lot more income. An awful lot of things can be done within the IAG that I myself can we generate can we generate guaranteed jobs x number whatever it may be via through the private sector can we do this with private business. My I've been here see where I think you know what I think you make mistake is that you're assuming that the only persons who are managed these jobs are the only institution that will manage the job would be the federal state or local government. I'm simple Sam put up the money and let the private sector. For example there's no reason that we can't organize garbage collectors rat control of a company this company's urban oriented
mechanic shops that can do the jobs in the ghetto even though they may have to have some public subsidy subsidy After all we bring products into this country every day that are supported by the public front where the subsidy is the idea of what I'm after. Could I interrupt you. How much of a subsidy just in case someone is just to win the NBA. But I know that you want to be like of you for your own sake that's why this guy's a guaranteed income and negative income tax a family allowance and guaranteed employment we're now in the discussion of guaranteed employment. And I gather that a part of the nature of this guaranteed employment is something in the nature of the public works type projects with some variation here. No it's more labor city this darkness and I want to ask you what about the attic to community both as a guaranteed income and as to guaranteed employment that so many people who are on
welfare right now although many farmers making $13000 mark on really welfare because they get a government subsidy subsidy is a nice name for welfare. Now what about the attitude so many people who are on welfare often want to get off because it's unpopular they needed and they are unskilled and can't learn anything. How would that person feel about getting a guaranteed income was not actually working. We can provide again if you want to go this guarantee a little further we can provide a guaranteed training program and I want to ask you first though is that Are you suggesting guaranteed employment because you feel that if there is guaranteed income there's a certain chain that's placed upon a person who receives it. No I'm not suggesting that then you're suggesting merely as a better form as a hobby as a multipurpose a preferable form up providing began to become via our through guaranteed jobs. I see so the person now works for the guaranteed income
rather than sit back and wait for years at it but you see I think that a person more respectability. I have more faith in the human being than Vivian but maybe I should. First is that what you're saying you're saying there ought to be for the money the person receives he ought to be working. Well let me put it this way I'm going to take the youth of our country. I'm not in position at this time to sanction a guaranteed income for all 8 and 18 and 19 year old. I am in a position to suggest that he ought to be guaranteed a job. I see. Why is it you do not want him to receive the money without working. Simply because I think that at that point in his life. Here's his contribution to society to himself. Everything else can be achieved via by better or by some kind of an application of his talent. He may be an artist. He may be an actor or he may be a sheet metal worker. All are arguing years
that let's not say he can't get a job because the job isn't available. Let's make the job available to him. Miss Jasmine oh yeah I'd like to ask given me what these various schemes would cost would be the annual cost of the negative income tax. What would be the annual cost of the guaranteed income. What would be the cost of the family allowance system which we really haven't talked about. Does anybody have estimates on this I've read that it's a 12 Billion dollar. Bill. The negative income tax. Well I think that that's that's the figure that's most often talked about. I think that you can get it. You can you know you can get any figure really ranging up and down from there depending on how you go at it. But you see in a sense that's very closely related to my issue with Dr. Henderson because you see what I'm saying is that I believe that if we gave people an income we should throw the weight
on the education and social isolation process of ensuring that nobody would think of not doing work very I don't know you know I do not really believe that the only way you can do meaningful work in our society is by holding a job in fact one of my very albums of this point is that I think a lot of the things that need doing DO NOT structure well into jobs anymore. And I am concerned in a sense to have a group of people who have the freedom to be able to do something that they think is important on much more less money than they would get for holding a job. Now in a sense this has been a little new so Terry but not very but it does raise I think the big issue you know. The thing I think we've got to be most concerned about and I know it doesn't come in too well IN THE MONEY program is how do people decide where they are because really our society is not well structured at the moment to help people to begin to make up their own minds about what they want and what they want to pressure people. Congress business into doing.
Let's Well I want some good news if they have all that that very point because our house was gone quite swiftly. We have only a few minutes left. We have three minutes left as a matter of fact. We discussed again the guaranteed income the negative income tax a family allowance and guaranteed employment. One of the other programs very swiftly if I could begin with you and Mr. nature's Dr. units or rather what are the other programs that might be introduced into the ghetto to cure the problem of the ghetto cure the urban crisis and what may be the best narrative to this program do about bringing these programs. Well I guess my but basic view is that that very large additional amounts of money have to come from the federal government to support both better income maintenance of something something like a guaranteed income and things that can be only provided through government like health services and much better schools. And this is what I believe to be the first those things I believe to be the first
priorities. I think we ought not to be pleading with Congress for nickels and dimes for everything under the sun but instead we concentrate on the important programs the really big money. This means that individuals and organizations have to sort of focus their pressure on the big money issues that means making congressmen and senators and governors aware that these are the vital issues and can't be possible postpone it means supporting electing candidates who do recognize the need and the major needs and will fight for them not just and will not just be ordinary you know casting their votes at the appropriate time who will fight for them right down the line. And I think it really more immediately means present persuade the presidential candidates to make commitments for a very large scale federal financing. I think we have to put pressure for a guaranteed income for an opportunity for everybody to work who wishes to do so. For money for
housing and schools and programs like this and health. And then I would say that the thing that I find most important and which we have not talked about and should not have talked about is we should provide an opportunity to people to become aware of the real issues and therefore to be able to both talk to their candidates and bring pressure on their candidates for the sort of programs they believe are important. And I think this means a very much more imaginative and creative educational program than we have so far seen which I think we need urgently on a crash basis during this election year if we had to produce a good Congress again. Well I think that we have to look very realistically at the response of Congress man. That is senators and representatives to the issues that people in the ghetto and otherwise polls one number two. People in the
ghetto and the various parts of our communities must recognize the fact that if we're going to get the response from the congressman and the representatives and the senators at the federal level they must vote consider the people who will as. Powers social issues the corrective kinds of programs and number three in my judgment they ought to push very hard for the kinds of things that involve location development the gadol as well as the expansion of opportunities outside of the ghetto. The Guaranteed Income has a right guaranteed employment program has a role also as we know. Very briefly I would say that we've been talking about a great deal of money that is needed to be found. Most of it I'm sure will have to be found at the federal level. And in order to find that money and to make it available
we have to rely. On our political system to generate the will to find and to do something about this problem. Ladies and gentlemen this concludes today's edition of WHAT MUST BE DONE. We by no means think we have done an in-depth study of the problem certainly we have not but what we have done in these 30 minutes with the experts pushing to have real expertise is identify be sure and propose some solutions. It is now up to you to see that some of these solutions come into being by placing the pressure on your federal officials city officials state officials and of course the phone call. This concludes our program. If he's listening for the next program in this serious when we will cover another aspect of America's urban crisis what must be done was created and produced by Sam chase Debbie IP radio in New York City and cooperation with Newsweek magazine and Percy Sutton saying thank you for our peril. Our panel has been Mr. Robert theorbo writer. Mr. Dick next are New York
What must be done
Money Sources
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For series info, see Item 3635. This prog.: Money Sources. Osborn Elliott; Robert Theobald, writer; Dr. Vivian Henderson, president, Clark College of Atlanta; Dr. Dick Netzer, New York U.
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Producing Organization: WLIB (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
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