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izations to present our general recommendations for action by your committee. Earlier, on June 11, Mr. Nelson H. Cruikshank, director of the AFL-CIO Department of Social Security, and I presented to your committee material on social security and pensions for older workers.

Never has effective leadership by the Government been more essential than today. We sincerely hope that your committee in its conclusions will speak out clearly and strongly, first, on the need for Federal action to assist the aged and the aging; second, on the possibility of effective action through measures that will promote an expanding economy; and, third, on specific forms of Federal action that will prove effective today and in the future.

We stress the Federal role because of your responsibility for national legislation. We do not mean to imply that local and State activities are not also required. Unions and the aged

Our organizations are concerned with the problems of the aged at many levels. The foundation of our AFL-CIO movement lies in the tens of thousands of local unions which function throughout the Nation. These locals have been formed by working men and women to grapple with their everyday problems at work and in the broader community. Through their unions, all types of workers, including many over 65, come together and decide how to protect themselves from overwork and accidents, how to help John Jones keep his job, how to protect the bodies and spirits of men and women from being damaged in the impatient rush to turn out more goods and services.

These day-by-day activities to protect health and human dignity are of equal importance with the more widely known efforts to raise wages and win other monetary gains, including insurance and pensions.

The members of each of our unions decide their own policies in regard to securing improvements in the shop or other work place. The policies are adapted to the special needs of the men and women involved. They are influenced by prevailing conditions in each industry, such as job opportunities, employment practices, and competition among employers.

Many unions have adopted suitable policies to enable older people to continue work if they want. Such policies may include helping carry part of the workload of older workers, making special arrangements for their transfer, securing recognition of seniority rights, protecting both old and young against firing without reasonable cause, bargaining successfully against hard and fast retirement rules, and helping establish fair practices in hiring.

Our organizations often participate in community activities for older citizens. Many local unions have their own committees on problems of retired members. Often they provide social centers for the aged, include older people in their regular educational activities, and support counseling programs before and after retirement. Some unions have for decades financed their own special pension plans and homes for retired members.

Further discussion of their own activities is contained in the statements which some of our affiliated organizations are presenting to your committee.

All these types of union action are of great assistance to older workers and the aged. When unions are destroyed or rendered weak and ineffective, older people are left without a form of protection essential to preservation of their dignity and physical well-being. A blow at democratic unionism is thus a blow at progress for the aged.

The Federal Government, through continuing and improving its policies for protecting the rights of workers to self-organization, can substantially advance the capacity of workers to protect their aging members. The need for Federal action

It is clear that today the efforts of voluntary groups like our own and of State and local governments are not adequately meeting the problems of the aged. We hope your committee can speak with the vigor of the prophets of old in denouncing the shocking neglect to which so many of our older citizens are subject.

You have the overall statistics on low incomes, on slums, on substandard nursing homes, and outdated mental institutions. You know the individual cases too: the lonely woman living on the fourth floor of a tenement with toilet facilities down three flights of stairs; the half-blind old man without money for a cataract operation; the frail couple cutting their slim food purchases to meet $305 worth of medical bills. You have seen in popular magazines many haunting pictures revealing needless suffering.

The problem is to arouse the American people and other lawmakers so as to secure action now.

The Federal Government has overall concern for the general welfare. It has a crucial role to play in many types of problems of the aged. Its financial resources are greater than those of the States. It is not plagued, as they are, by opposition arguments that higher expenditures and taxes will drive business elsewhere. The possiblity of Federal action

The only justification for permitting the continuation of such shocking conditions would be that Federal action to overcome them is not practical or wise. But that is not the case.

A strong, growing economy can afford decent conditions for its older citizens. The man on the street may not need statistics on this point but plenty are available. The huge potential output of our Nation has repeatedly been stressed by Chairman McNamara and other Senators during the discussion of social problems, such as the suffering of jobless workers.

American industry has failed to grow at the rate that is possible and essential if we are to maintain our leadership over Communist nations. At least $150 billion of potential output was lost in 1953–58 because national levels of output sagged behind the upward curve that could have been achieved. (For further analysis, see the recent pamphlet, “Inflation-Cause and Cure”, published by the Conference on Economic Progress last month, whose chief economist is Leon M. Keyserling, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.)

The Economic Report of the President for 1959 carried a chart (p. 11) showing a rise in manufacturing capacity of some 25 percent from 1953 to 1958 but actual production of manufactures remained far behind, averaging no more in 1958 than in 1953.

Stanley H. Ruttenberg, research director of the AFL-CIO, recently presented a statement on "Economic Growth and Inflation" before the 18th Stanford Business Conference. His paper points out that per capita personal income for the second quarter of this year, at $1,831, is no higher than 3 years ago, when it equaled $1,839. No wonder that many older people have trouble getting along!

Instea of dramatizing possibility of economic growth, the business world and the administration keep talking about inflation. To quote Mr. Ruttenberg, they have concentrated on "we must not” and made impossible the idea of "we can."

Actually price increases have not been on a runaway scale. In the decade from 1948 to 1958 the compound rate of yearly price rises was 114 percent for wholesale prices and 134 percent for consumer prices. But over the last 60 years, the average annual change has been 243 percent for these two indexes taken together.

A general price inflation can be avoided in ways that do not cause unemployment or doom necessary Federal programs for housing and security for the aged.

The current drive, in the name of fighting inflation, against Federal action for the aged is tremendous in volume and dangerous in its implications. Fullpage business ads in magazines and newspapers are deducted by corporations as expenses so that the Treasury receives less as taxes.

I have a printed publication on the General Electric Corp. entitled "Relations News Letter” and dated July 10, 1959. It was sent to all GE shareholders, managers, and other employees, with the headline "Action Needed To Fight Inflation." Here is no mention of the needs of the aged or the general welfare, but instead much talk of high Federal spending, of “union power,” and of cutting Federal programs. All readers are urged to write their Senators and Congressmen, whose names, with their hometowns, are listed.

The financial report on the last page shows net earnings in the last 3 months equal to almost 6 cents per dollar of sales after taxes and almost 12 cents per dollar of sales before taxes. Instead of financing such lobbying activities as corporate expenses, General Electric might well contribute to the welfare of the aged and offset inflationary forces by pricing its goods at a lower level. Then people could buy more of them, and everyone would benefit.

The misleading drive against inflation is dangerous not only because of its impact at home but because it fosters curtailment of appropriations to aid the rest of the democratic world. You must have received letters from older people, as we have, objecting to having Federal funds used to aid foreign countries rather than to relieve suffering at home. With intelligent planning and action, our Nation can afford both types of assistance.

Required types of Federal action

The AFL-CIO supports many types of legislation, at Federal, State, and local levels, that would help to meet the urgent problems of the aged.

The details of our proposals have been presented to congressional committees considering specific legislation. Our executive council will shortly present its analysis and recommendations on current economic problems to our biennial convention, which will adopt policy resolutions on many relevant issues. We shall be glad to furnish your committee with the executive council report and with the convention resolutions as they become available.

Our recommendations for legislation may be grouped into four major types.

1. Tax, financial and related measures should be directed to the promotion of economic growth and full employment.

National output of goods and services can rise at the rate of 5 percent a year or more. It has not been doing so, and it will not in the future if restrictive fiscal policies are followed.

Rising national output will automatically swell Federal and local revenues. It will simplify the financing of good housing, more hospitals and nursing homes, visiting nurses, parks and many other types of community facilities and services desired by the aged.

Older people who are working will earn more as output and productivity rise. Their pensions, after retirement, will reflect the higher earnings credited to their accounts.

Under conditions of full employment, old and young workers alike will have sufficient job opportunities at rising levels of earnings. But when unemployment is heavy, as during the last few years, many older people will continue to lose out in their search for jobs in spite of special efforts to overcome discrimination against them.

2. Social insurance programs should be improved so that the great majority of older people will get adequate benefits as a matter of right. Although much progress has been made through the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance system, the railroad retirement system, and other Government programs, much. remains to be done. The level of benefits should be raised substantially for future and present beneficiaries. More persons should be covered, and other gaps. and restrictive aspects of the program should be liberalized.

The AFL-CIO position on social security improvements was discussed at your June 11 hearings.

Our main reliance is on social insurance rather than on public assistance, since we believe that payments should be received as a matter of right without a means test. However, we also support substantial liberalizations in public assistance, including Federal matching grants to aid all types of needy persons and the abolition of residence requirements.

The greatest difficulties of the aged today relate to obtaining and paying for good quality medical services. We strongly recommend to this Congress the addition of Federal health benefits for QASDI beneficiaries along the lines proposed in the Forand bill, H.R. 4700.

I have here a copy of the testimony in support of the Forand bill which was presented to the House Ways and Means Committee on July 14 by Mr. Cruikshank for the AFL-CIO. This provides a more detailed explanation of our position than was presented to your committee on June 11. We should like to have it included in the record of your hearings.

The printed record of the House hearings will contain much valuable testimony in support of health benefits by distinguished members of the health professions, by authorities in the field of social security, and by spokesmen for welfare groups, cooperatives, and organizations of consumers.

Convincing evidence was presented showing that many aged persons are not getting the medical services they need and that hospitals and other facilities are in difficult financial straits which will become more acute in the months ahead. Many witnesses besides our own labor people explained that public assistance is not an adequate method of meeting the health needs for the great majority of the aged who do not want to be considered indigent and who do not meet the very harsh requirements of many State and local public assistance programs.

The feasibility of administering Federal health benefits as part of the oldage, survivors, and disability insurance program was attested to by Mr. Charles I. Schottland, one of the Commissioners of Social Security appointed by President Eisenhower, as well as by Mr. Arthur J. Altmeyer, who for years served in. this position under Democratic Presidents.

No convincing evidence was produced to support the claim of commercial insurance companies that they could do the job so that Federal action was unnecessary. Future projections of growth were not substantiated by facts. One spokesman for the insurance industry said the chart on page 44 of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare report, “Hospitalization Insurance for QASDI Beneficiaries," needed correction because preliminary figures, which showed a downturn in the proportion of the population covered by voluntary health insurance in 1958, had been wuperseded. The industry, he said, was rapidly expanding its coverage. But, although he did not say so at the time, the revised figures of the Health Insurance Association confirm the 1958 downturn, though reducing it slightly. At the end of 1957, the proportion of the population owning some kind of voluntary health insurance was 72 percent. At the end of 1958, the proportion had fallen to 71 percent, and it was still 71 percent on June 1, 1959, or about what it had been at the end of 1956.

This flattening out of the curve for the entire population casts grave doubts on the predictions as to growth in coverage of the aged which insurance company spokesmen presented to your committee.

In spite of the evidence presented, opponents of Federal health benefits continue to argue that the aged are now getting adequate medical care. Your committee can clarify the actual situation by detailed investigation and publicity on conditions in nursing homes, public hospitals, and other institutions for the aged. The quality and adequacy of care as well as its theoretical availability are, of course, important.

3. New legislation and expanded appropriations are needed to speed the construction of housing, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other community facilities. In some cases, special provisions for the aged may be desirable, as in the housing bill recently vetoed by the President. But to a considerable extent young and old alike share a common dependence upon effective communitywide action to eliminate slums and enable local areas to keep up with rapid changes in their population.

Without expansion of educational facilities of all kinds, many communities will shortly be experiencing still more intense shortages of specialized personnel trained to provide counseling, medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation.

4. Through improved labor legislation, older workers can be aided to have the benefits of unionism and decent wages and working conditions.

Constructive amendment of the Taft-Hartley Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act can be especially helpful to persons approaching retirement. Many are found in the industries where long hours and low wages still prevail and where employer hostility still crushes efforts to organize unions for selfprotection.

The workers in such occupations who are now young will reach old age with a far better chance to be healthy, self-supporting, and self-reliant if they are permitted to share in the many improvements which unions can obtain for their members. Basic implications

Just as aged persons today are living at a level far below their capacities, so our Nation is performing at a needlessly low level of production.

Let us rehabilitate the aged and industry alike. Let us give them new vision, hope, and vigor.

The race between the United States and Russia is not going to be decided by debates in Moscow or Washington. The true test will be the ability of our contending cultures, while supporting the necessary Military Establishment, also to satisfy human needs, both material and spiritual. We cannot afford as a nation to disregard the shocking conditions that overwhelm so many of our older citizens. Your committee, by exerting leadership in this field, can not only aid millions of worthy Americans but can strengthen the United States and the democratic world.

Mrs. ELLICKSON. Never has effective leadership by the Government been more essential than today. We sincerely hope that your committee, in its conclusions, will speak out clearly and strongly, first, on the need for Federal action to assist the aged and the aging; second, on the possibility of effective action through measures that will promote an expanding economy; and third, on specific forms of Federal action that will prove effective today and in the future.

47461-59--10

Today we are stressing the Federal role because of the responsibility of this committee for national legislation. We do not mean to imply that local and State activities are not also required.

Our organizations are concerned with the problems of the aged at many levels. The foundation of our AFL-CIO movement lies in the tens of thousands of local unions which function throughout the Nation. These locals have been formed by working men and women to grapple with their everyday problems at work and in the broader community. Through their unions, all types of workers, including many over 65, come together and decide how to protect themselves from overwork and accidents, how to help John Jones keep his job, how to protect the bodies and spirits of men and women from being damaged in the impatient rush to turn out more goods and services.

These day-by-day activities to protect health and human dignity are of equal importance with the more widely known efforts to raise wages and win other monetary gains, including insurance and pensions.

The members of each of our unions decide their own policies in regard to securing improvements in the shop or other workplace. The policies are adapted to the special needs of the men and women involved. They are influenced by prevailing conditions in each industry, such as job opportunities, employment practices in the industry, and the kind of competition that exists among the employers in the industry.

Many unions have adopted suitable policies to enable older people to continue work if they want. Such policies may include helping carry part of the workload of older workers, making special arrangements for their transfer, securing recognition of seniority rights, protecting both old and young against firing without reasonable cause, bargaining successfully against hard and fast retirement rules, and helping establish fair practices in hiring.

Our organizations often participate in community activities for older citizens. Many local unions have their own committees on problems of retired members. Often they provide social centers or drop-in centers for the aged, include older people in their regular educational activities, and support counseling programs before

and after retirement. Some unions have for decades financed their own special pension plans and homes for retired members.

All these types of union action are of great assistance to older workers and the aged. When unions are destroyed or rendered weak and ineffective, older people are left without a form of protection essential to preservation of their dignity and physical well-being. A blow at democratic unionism is thus a blow at progress for the aged.

The Federal Government, through continuing and improving its policies for protecting the rights of workers for self-organization, can substantially advance the capacity of workers to protect their aging members.

It is clear that today the efforts of voluntary groups like our own and of State and local governments are not adequately meeting the problems of the aged and cannot do so without Federal action. We hope your committee can speak with the vigor of the prophets of old in denouncing the shocking neglect to which so many of our older citizens are subject.

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