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study. I mention particularly Colorado, where they virtually have another type of pension plan, and I think I would not mind studying Massachusetts, because I wonder what is happening in Massachusetts in these medical benefits-part is going to the families of the aged. I think in time these families will grow up. I think they are growing up. And I do not think the American family is any weaker now than it was 30 or 40 years ago. I believe that the American family has great strengths. I think, on the whole, the families of the aging have great strengths.
I am sure there are some families of the aged, possibly if you were to study their history you would find they have never been strong families; but nearly all the families of the aging are strong families, independent families. That does not mean that they do not need some support, but it ought to be a support that does not break them down.
Many of these approaches, both in the health field and in the welfare field tend to undermine the structure of family life, and I think we need a new approach to this whole question of public benefits based on the idea that we are going to use them as a means of building up the strengths of the families. But that must not be by individual approach; it must be by a community approach, an approach that includes all the people of the community.
I have tried some experiments along that line, and I have tried one in Lackawanna near Buffalo, N.Y. It is moving very well. We got all the groups, including the churches, working together in that community
We have another project underway in Butte, Mont. We have all the people working together. Would you think, for instance, in trying to develop a new health program we are just going to talk to technicians? No, we are going to get the people all around the area, all around the neighborhoods, together and see what they need for themselves in the way of a health program.
I do hope that this committee will give some thought to this kind of approach to these matters.
We have not had much evidence of it in the various State meetings so far. It looks as though we were going to continue in the same rut. I hope that this committee will give some attention to this new point of view which is a point of view in regard to the American community. This point of view is being developed all over the world. We are slower in the United States in catching up.
In England, after all their experience with the welfare state, you find more and more emphasis on the new strengths of the family, the new strengths of the neighborhood relationships as a means of building up the type of social program that is fully in accordance with the dignity of man, with the dignity of the family.
That is my approach.
We have a growing interest in our studies now. They are being considered more and more throughout the country. I am glad to see the National Lutheran Council working along the same line with us, and maybe we will be able to get more and more people at what we call the grassroots, the peoples themselves, thinking and planning for themselves and maybe they will have ideas as to how their brethren who are not so fortunately situated—maybe they might have ideas. But the trouble in the United States as a whole, and this is true of all welfare programs, too much thinking is done by specialists and not enough by the people themselves.
I want to thank you, Senator, for the opportunity of appearing before your committee, and I know that you will do a good job and you will bring all these points of view to the attention of the American people.
Thank you very much.
Senator McNAMARA. Thank you very much, Monsignor. You can be sure we appreciate very much your testimony and what you term this new approach.
I am sure that it will be given real consideration. As far as contacting these people directly,
we have plans to do that. Now, you make a great point of responsibility of the family in developing the family unit in this area. Certainly this is a good approach and we are all for it.
But we find so many of the aged living in slums, and you have a great deal of experience in these studies, and other studies that you have conducted, particularly in the Chicago area. Don't you find too many of these people 65 and older that are housed in the poorest, most dilapidated housing in these big cities?
Monsignor O’GRADY. I agree on that.
Senator McNAMARA. How does the family unit tie into that circumstance?
Monsignor O’GRADY. I think that in many areas, for instance, we are studying a project now, a public housing project in Chicago, that has been criticized as demoralizing and it is. These things that I have testified to, I am a pioneer in this public housing. We have de cided to approach this from the standpoint of what the people in these projects can do for themselves. I think the same would be true in all areas.
One time I made a very short study of a very depressed area in Chicago, but I found great elements of strength in that area. Of course, the way we are operating this urban renewal, we are helping to develop more slums in locations. We are spreading more slums.
I think there are strengths in these places more than we realize. That is what I believe, in strengthening, giving them a chance.
I have seen what has happened in my Lackawanna project in New York. It is amazing to me the strength that the people have shown. We have taken the housing project there, and it was demoralizing and demoralized; and the Federal Government had to take it away from the local community on two occasions, but we went after the people themselves, stirred them up, stimulated them.
In a period of 6 months that was a new project with a new point of view and new life in the people themselves. So I believe in this all around.
I have seen it and I have had a project in the new State of Ghana. I have seen what has happened in other countries. When you give them a chance of helping themselves it is amazing. Of course our specialists in this country do not want it. They just do not. There is this resistance at every point.
I suppose maybe it is a challenge to them, maybe it is a challenge to lots of the people who are working along other lines, but I feel that there are strengths everywhere. They ought to be used, and I think an awful lot depends on your approach. You can demoralize people. I think they are being demoralized by a considerable part of the welfare we have. I would like to see a new front.
That does not mean I want to cut out all the funds involved in it. That is not the point.
But I am going to put a new front on it if I can. I am going to keep on and I am getting some supporters more and more. People will come along when you have patience enough to sit down and explain it to them.
I have seen that even in my African experiments, and I want to try some European projects before I pass out, too. I am going to try some of those. I have some of the resources in sight right now.
One of the troubles that we would have immediately if we were to proceed to make the type of studies that I am suggesting is personnel. We have very few people who are qualified to undertake this type of research and we have few people who can take this community approach in the disorganized neighborhoods of our cities.
What social implements do we have, for instance, for dealing with Detroit, Chicago, New York? What social implements do we have? We have no other social implement except the people themselves, and that is my challenge to you.
Senator McNAMARA. Thanks very much, Monsignor.
(Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, August 6, 1959.)
NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN THE FIELD OF AGING
THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 1959
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 4232, New Senate Office Building, Senator Pat McNamara (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Prsent: Senators McNamara (presiding), Clark, and Yarborough
Subcommittee staff members present: Sidney Spector, staff director, and Dr. Harold Sheppard, research director.
Committee staff member present: Stewart E. McClure, chief clerk; and Raymond D. Hurley, minority professional staff member.
Senator McNAMARA. Îhe hearing will be in order.
STATEMENT OF MRS. KATHERINE ELLICKSON, ASSISTANT DIREC
TOR, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY, AFL-CIO
Senator McNAMARA. This morning we would like to hear, first, from the AFL-CIO Social Security Research Department, Mrs. Katherine Ellickson, assistant director.
Mrs. Ellickson, I see you have a statement. Would you like to file the statement for the record and summarize it, or how would you like to proceed?
Mrs. ELLICKSON. I would like to read from the statement insofar as time permits.
Senator McNAMARA. Go right ahead.
Mrs. ELLICKSON. I am appearing today on behalf of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations to present our general recommendations for action by your committee. Earlier, on June 11, Mr. Cruikshank, director of our department, and I presented to your committee materials dealing specifically with social security and pensions for older workers.
If I have to skip some of my statement, I hope the whole thing can be placed in the record, Mr. Chairman.
Senator McNAMARA. The complete statement will be placed in the record.
(The prepared statement of Mrs. Ellickson follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT BY MRS. KATHERINE ELLICKSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR,
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY, AFL-CIO
LABOR'S BASIC APPROACH TO PROBLEMS OF THE AGING
My name is Mrs. Katherine Pollak Ellickson and I am assistant director of the Department of Social Security of the AFL-CIO. I am appearing today on behalf of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Orgar