« PreviousContinue »
as necessary to meet the present emergency conditions, but one which should be phased out with emphasis upon the creation of jobs by private enterprise over a period of time.
Am I correct in gathering from your statement that you agree with this approach?
Mayor TATE. That is correct.
As I indicated to Senator Clark, the chairman of this subcommittee, I have been very actively involved in the urban coalition, in the formation of the National Alliance of Businessmen as well as my own coalition in Philadelphia where we are very effectively working in this area now and we have engaged the attention of the private sector.
While we were very happy to have the involvement and the cooperation of the private sector, we think this commitment on their part is certainly a new dimension, an acceptance of the total concern that we in America express today on the problems of the big city.
We feel that this massive approach as indicated by Senator Clark's legislation is most necessary in order to lead the way, to show that these things can actually happen, and that you don't have to wait for these studies which you suggested at this particular time and which will not be completed until next February.
People waited with much interest, for instance, to see what would happen when the President's Commission on Civil Disorders made its report. They waited for that day of March 1 when they would come out with this statement which would be so helpful to the people of the big cities of America.
While I think it was helpful, we are still waiting for some implementation of that particular program. I recognize that what you intend to do in your legislation is an implementation, as you indicated, of the President's Civil Disorder Commission report. At the same time, we find that where there is smoke there is fire, that the need is now and as indicated in my own testimony, we have 40,000 people in Philadelphia who need jobs, who are the unemployed, who are unskilled, and who are undereducated, and in our existing circumstances we are able to handle only 7,000 people through these fragmentary approaches which are necessary.
We recognize in the program that you have that there is a necessary involvement of the private sector. I agree with you wholeheartedly, but it is a very difficult job to beat the bushes in order to engage the activity of the private sector, to provide the tax credit and the other involvements which we think are necessary to get them.
At the same time, we have the public sector leading the way, to provide useful employment which will extend the services which are so badly needed by the big cities that the private sector will eventually pick up:
It will not be a competitive factor but it certainly will lead the way. I advocate the approach now as indicated by men like Heiskell of Time and Life magazines, Henry Ford, and John Gardner.
I work on the steering committee for the urban coalition. I know it is a good approach. We are very glad to have it.
But it is only another approach to the situation. We must have both factors working, both the public sector and private sector.
Senator PROUTY. First, I want to point out that I certainly did not suggest
that any program currently in existence be curtailed while we await the results of any studies which are being made.
I think they have to go on even though some of them perhaps are not too successful right now. I think Governor Kerner placed great emphasis on the part that private enterprise could play in this picture, if given sufficient incentive and encouragement to do so, when he appeared before the subcommittee.
You referred to 40,000 disadvantaged and unemployed persons in your inner slums. I think you also said that 8,000 youngsters dropped out of school during the same period.
Assuming that the National Alliance of Businessmen will meet its goal of creating 7,000 additional jobs in Philadelphia, and that you are able to employ the 4,000 additional workers in Philadelphia, which you refer to, for public service jobs under the bill which Senator Clark introduced, this means that at least 25,000 more jobs will have to be created for disadvantaged persons by private enterprise in Philadelphia during the next year to solve your problems.
Mayor Tate. That is a fact. There is no question about it. The mathematics are correct.
Senator PROUTY. I am merely using your city as an example of the situation.
Mayor TATE. And that situation prevails in all of the big cities of America.
Senator PROUTY. Quite frankly, I feel that there are some people who are unemployable insofar as private industry or business is concerned.
I do think that, in these circumstances, the Federal Government must be the employer of last resort.
It seems to me it is far better for people who are physically able to engage in pick and shovel work to earn something, rather than simply sit at home and draw their checks.
Mayor Tate. Senator, I say respectfully, I appreciate your concern. I am delighted to know that you have that concern. I think it is refreshing to come here to the Senate of the United States and before this committee to know that there is this concern.
Certainly this was not prevalent last year in the private sector of the community. However, it began to rear its head and show that they were willing to pick up this sense of commitment; that they are willing to go beyond just going to church on Sunday and praying about it.
I think we are well on our way to do it. It is only in that way that we can do it. At the same time, the example of leadership must be given on what can be done by this massive approach rather than going through some of the redtape which would be required in some of the legislation which has been suggested by some of your associates.
I recognize your problem. I appreciate the fact that the dialog has been established between the liberal side and the so-called conservative side of the Senate. It is very helpful.
Senator CLARK. You are right in the middle, Senator. If the Senator would briefly yield, I wonder if there is not a clear area here which perhaps we are inadvertently overlooking. That is the large number of jobs which are and can be made available in what might be called the private nonprofit sector of the economy.
Mayor TATE. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. We have found in our own surveys that the institutional or educational factors are a very
important item in big cities like Philadelphia with such large institutions as Temple University and University of Pennsylvania and some of the independent colleges.
Certainly they have significant jobs which are meaningful.
Mayor Tate. That is correct. We have others in the institutional areas.
Senator PROUTY. Mayor Tate, I think it should be pointed out that, while most of the discussion of this problem centers around the big cities, perhaps for obvious reasons, about 45 percent of the poverty in this country exists in rural areas. But only about 30 percent of the poverty funds go into rural areas, even though we have 45 percent of the poverty.
Senator CLARK. I think there is no doubt, if I may interject, that the rural areas have not been treated properly, that the cities have gotten more than their fair share of the money.
We have to do something to redress this imbalance. I suspect also, Senator, you will agree with me, that one of the most important things to do is to create employment opportunities in rural areas so that we can stop this inmigration to cities.
Senator Protty. That is the most logical approach. We must establish small industries in rural areas and provide training facilities so that the people stay there instead of migrating to the cities and creating great problems.
That is the basis of the present situation. These people have nothing to do.
Mayor Tate. May I respectfully point out to you, sir, it is more than just a philosophical argument today. The condition is there and the condition is red and the need is now. This is why we in the big cities address ourselves to this problem.
We recognize there is a great deal of migration. People come to the cities because they don't find things satisfactory in the rural areas.
Of course, we are contending with the population explosion. This, of course, is what has made the problem of the big cities so interesting and of such great concern to this country today.
It is the number one problem which faces us.
Senator Prouty. As the President said yesterday, I believe we should find some way to persuade these people to return to the farms and to the rural areas.
Mayor Tate. I think they had a song like that after World War I.
Senator Clark. How can you keep them on the farm after they have seen Philadelphia ?
Mayor TATE. After they have seen Paree.
Senator CLARK. I think the mayor, Senator Prouty, and one our other witnesses will agree with me that while we do want to make it possible to build up employment opportunity in the rural areas we don't want to do it by way of subsidizing industries located in urban and suburban areas by giving tax exemptions for industrial development.
Senator PROUTY. One other suggestion is to enact Federal standards for welfare and unemployment compensation. We may have to consider that possibility, although I am not advocating it at this point.
Mayor TATE. I don't want to get into this argument you had the other
day. I have been actively interested in it because we have our own industrial development program.
It came as a great shock to us to find out that this amendment which had been approved had been pulled out and we have to readjust our sights, in fact, we have our council working on this problem today, It is so important to us in our area to retain the momentum we picked up on our industrial development program to stem the flight of industry to the suburbs and they were staying in Philadelphia and very effectively staying, and staying not only as employable factors but also as taxpayers.
We are doing so well that we are rather concerned about the Senate deliberation on this important problem. You will hear more about it from the mayor next week, I think. Senator PROUTY. Thank you, Mayor Tate.
Senator CLARK. Thank you, Mayor Tate. I hope you understand the friendly thrust of my suggestion when I say to you, I have no doubt I too, have been immensely improved by on-the-job training.
Mayor Tate. Thank you very much. I agree with you, very frankly. It has been a great experience. Thank you very much.
Senator CLARK. Thanks a lot, Mayor Tate.
Our next witness is Mr. Andrew Biemiller, director of the Department of Legislation, AFL-CIO.
Mr. Biemiller, you are an old friend, and we are happy to welcome you back. We look forward to your testimony.
I will ask to have the entire statement placed in the record so that if we interrupt you as you read it, you will still have the continuity of your thought in the record.
STATEMENT OF ANDREW J. BIEMILLER, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT
OF LEGISLATION, AFL-CIO; ACCOMPANIED BY NATHANIEL GOLDFINGER, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH; AND KENNETH YOUNG, LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE
Mr. BIEMILLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I may skip here and there, also.
Mr. Chairman, I am accompanied by Mr. Nathaniel Goldfinger, director of the Department of Research of the AFL-CIO, and by one of our legislation representatives, Mr. Kenneth Young.
Senator CLARK. I am happy to have both of these gentlemen.
Before you start, I would like to note for the record that it was my good fortune yesterday to be at the AFL-CIO Pennsylvania State Convention in Pittsburgh at which Mr. I. W. Abel, the president of the United Steelworkers of America, made a rather impassioned plea in support of this legislation. I was delighted, of course, and flattered to hear him do this.
He asked the convention to pass a resolution endorsing the bill and they promptly did. Nr: BIEMILLER, I am delighted to hear that.
At the outset, I would like to say that we are indeed pleased to have the opportunity to present our views on S. 3063.
As is well known, the AFL-CIO is firm in its conviction that jobs at decent wages are the most important requirement in our Nation's
search for solutions to the interrelated problems of poverty, deprivation and racial unrest.
The labor movement is committed to the proposition that none of these problems can be solved without full employment.
Because we believe this as strongly as we do, we wish to commend you, Mr. Chairman, for the continuing effort you have been making to keep this issue of employment at the center of the stage.
It is not necessary to parade any new army of statistics to provide evidence that more jobs are urgently needed. Such statistics were placed in the Congressional Record by you, Mr. Chairman, when you introduced S. 3063 on February 29.
At that time, you pointed out:
--11.8 million persons of working age were poor in 1966, either because of joblessness, part-time work, or low wages;
4.6 million poor Americans of working age in 1966 were heads of families in which 121/2 million children were being reared;
- The unemployment rate—3.8 percent in 1967–conceals almost as much unemployment as it reveals, and ignores "hidden unemployment."
- The number of able-bodied working-age Americans who were jobless in September 1966 was 4.4 million, although the number listed in the regular monthly report by the Buerau of Labor statistics was 2.8 million.
The picture could be filled in further with data on unemployment in the central cities, in the rural areas, among Negroes, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Indians, among teenagers—especially Negro teenagers—and among older workers. It is, to put it mildly, not a pretty picture, as you well know,
We should be clear, however, that the picture would be infinitely worse had we not in recent years enacted the many programs that we did, a number of which—especially those in manpower training and antipoverty fields—were given legislative birth by this subcommittee.
There is no need to deny that we have, indeed, made substantial progress in the last few years but, having said so, we must recognize that many of the problems in all their severity-are still with us. And they require immediate action.
Because we have made progress—and because the official unemployment rate is lower than it has been since the early 1950's—some persons shrink from any further meaningful effort to deal with those problems.
Instead, they repeat that meaningless bit of conventional wisdom which says that "anybody who really wants a job can find one."
It is meaningless because, to whatever extent there are jobs available, they are in highly skilled or professional occupations, which require several years of training; or they are very low wage and dead end; or they involve travel distances which create time and cost barriers. I short, whatever jobs do exist do not provide much of an answer to the problem at hand.
Moreover, it appears to us that all of the talk about the availability of jobs is contradicated by the evidence. The record of this subcom mittee's previous hearings in connection with the war on poverty is replete with statements about the need for more jobs, and these statements come from those closest to the scene—local officeholders, program administrators, and the jobless.