Some background material for
the January General Meeting and February units
DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES: Evaluation of policies and programs in the United States to provide for all persons equality of opportunity for education and employment.
The above item is the newest on the League's National Program. The local Committee responsible for national Program will introduce this subject to members at the General Membership Luncheon when guest speakers will outline some of the local applications of the new Economic Opportunity Act. February units will discuss further the possible effect of recent legislation.
The committee herewith presents some quotes of criticisms of the anti-poverty bill and a brief summary of some of the bill's provisions.
From the Sylvia Porter column, The Honolulu Advertiser, Friday, Nov, 27, 1964
"The $784.2 million economic opportunity Act of 1964 - the anti-poverty law - has been one of the most woefully mis-advertised, mislabeled pieces of legislation in memory.
Most of the package is not "comprehensive". It makes no provisions for aid to basic education, teacher training, broad health programs, or direct assistance to needy children of the very poor.
It is not, in any sense of the word, compact. Its contents range from non-specified "community action programs" to aid for small business, child care centers for migrant workers, and adult education.
It is not a "full employment" bill. In itself, the Economic Opportunity Act can provide only a modest number of jobs and opportunities for the nation's millions of unemployed and unfortunates.
It is certainly not a "cure" for poverty. Appropriations for the whole program work out to around $22.40 for each of the nation's 35 million citizens classified as poor.
Federal--State expenditures for public welfare alone amount to more than 5 billion a year. Total expenditures for 42 Federal anti-poverty programs - ranging from Social Security benefits and urban renewals to child welfare services and school lunches amount to more than $32 billion annually. Add state, local and private anti-poverty spending and the national "war" effort amounts to more than $100 billion a year. Against this, the appropriations of $784.2 million for the highly publicized 1964 act seem to shrink to insignificance: "We cannot possibly reach the 35 million who are poor", says a spokesman for the program. "What we are really trying to do is to get 192,000,000 citizens of the nation thinking about this group -- the vast majority of them not even slightly touched by the problem of poverty and unable to believe the problem exists."
From the Forum Newsletter, South Bend, Indiana
"Taxpayers will provide $4700 a year for each youngster who is sent to a camp to do unneeded work. That sum would be more constructively spent to educate the youngsters in a school that already exists - and indeed, $4700 annually would send two people through college. But in typical bureaucratic fashion, the Administration deems it more worthwhile to sink a few million dollars into work camps which produce nothing."