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land. The median city, this time Milwaukee, is again 52 per cent, and the average is 47 per cent.

Figure 8, shows a more nearly uniform dependency on tax support. The tax percentage varies from 81 per cent in Buffalo and Indianapolis to 46 per cent in Wilkes-Barre, the only city below 50 per cent. The median city is Detroit, with 69 per cent, and the average for all cities is 67 per cent.

Two cities stand out in Figure 9, as having developed public recreation facilities: Milwaukee, with its school social centers, and Chicago, with its play parks. Both have 70 per cent tax support in the division of character building through group work. Detroit is third, with 42 per cent. The median is Cleveland, with 20 per cent, and two cities, Canton and Omaha, report no public support of supervised recreation. Chicago's large expenditure, $3,900,000, brings the average up to 48 per cent.

The pie in Figure 10 represents the total number of days' care rendered in all hospitals in the thirteen cities for which this information is complete. The divisions show that 39 per cent of this service is rendered in public (city and county) hospitals, and 61 per cent, in private (non-governmental) hospitals; that 55 per cent of the patients paid all or part of the cost; 34 per cent were free patients in public hospitals; and 11 per cent were free patients in private hospitals. Tax payments to private hospitals covered the cost of 1 per cent of the II per cent free days' care, so taxes pay for 3 times as many free days' care as private funds.

Figure 11 shows the wide variation between cities, each bar representing the number of free days' care per year in one city, divided by the population. The bars are divided to indicate the number in public hospitals, in private hospitals from tax subsidy, and in private hospitals from contribution and endowment income.

In Figure 12, the pie represents the 23,360 dependent and neglected children in all the institutions and boarding homes, public and private, in the nineteen cities studied. Only 13 per cent of these were under public agency care, and 87 per cent, private. Contrary to the practice indicated in the hospital field, tax subsidy of children under private agency care equals the total cost of operating the public child caring agencies.

Figure 13, again, shows how much practice varies in different cities in the amount and proportion of public and private support.

Figure 14 shows the total expense in the family welfare and relief group of agencies, which includes mothers' pensions. Of the total expense, 55 per cent is by public departments; 45 per cent, by private agencies; 73 per cent is material relief, of which 47 per cent is public and 26 per cent private. Of the 27 per cent service and administration cost, 8 per cent is public and 19 per cent private.

In Figure 15, relief and service figures are charted by cities, again illustrating the differing practices of cities.

The points which this material is intended to emphasize are these: first,


that tax support is a major factor in the financing of social welfare services; second, that governmentally operated agencies and institutions render a large percentage of such services; third, that there is a wide divergence of practice between communities in the actual amount of services financed and administered by public and private agencies; fourth, that there is a similarly great difference of practice in public and private support of types of service such as hospital care, relief, recreation, etc.; fifth, that any agency attempting to do community planning of social work must give careful consideration to relative responsibilities of public and private agencies and to the development of effective cooperation between them.


Leyton E. Carter, Director, Municipal Research Bureau, Cleveland

The care of persons who are incapable of self-support and who have no means of sustaining life is a responsibility of government. Such persons are in large part made up of the indigent aged and sick, minors, cripples, and insane. This responsibility rests upon legal, traditional, and ethical bases. Government, at least as Anglo-Saxon peoples know it, cannot rightfully avoid or divest itself of this responsibility.

England recognized the necessity of making this a governmental responsibility by the passage of a poor law in 1601 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, which, in its main features, remains the law today. The administration of this act became known as outdoor relief, a term well known in this country. The ideas involved in this act were carried to the American colonies by early settlers and found expression in early American law. No attempt can be made here to trace the development of such legislation in the American commonwealths, but the principle of governmental responsibility in this field is firmly established in the law today, and governmental assumption of this responsibility is as traditional in this country as in England.

It is recognized that individuals and private agencies administer service to dependent persons in varying degrees in different localities. This service is, however, of a gratuitous character, and essentially the voluntary assumption by private hands of what is, broadly speaking, a governmental responsibility. Presumably such private participation in the performance of a public duty will continue to exist in some degree, but such a condition cannot be construed as altering the basic legal and traditional responsibility which the government has in the field. The ethical basis for governmental responsibility for the care of those members of society who in fact have no means of support is equally clear. The private citizen cannot be said to be responsible for performing such service. The burden cannot be placed rightfully on any one class or group in society.

The burden rests upon society as a whole. Hence government is logically the agency to be held responsible for carrying on such work or seeing that it is carried on. Government officials and others sometimes assert that the administration of such service will be better if it is under private control. This is not the place to discuss the comparative excellence of public administration versus private administration. This question involves factors of time and place. However, it should be remembered that betterment in public administration cannot be secured if government does not assume actual control and responsibility for administration. To learn to swim one must go into the water.

Obviously, government cannot carry on such work without resorting to the taxing power to finance the cost. It is believed that under most circumstances the financing of the cost of such work through the taxing power will result in a more equitable distribution of the burden than will any system of private contribution. This is the case because almost any tax system now in use will exact contributions from large numbers of people who would not voluntarily contribute anything to carrying on this sort of work. In other words, practically any tax system now employed by our state and local governments will distribute the burden better than would voluntary support. This is another sound ethical reason for governmental responsibility in this field.

The question may now be asked, Should private agencies withdraw from this broad field entirely and leave it to governmental agencies? In answer it may be said that there will probably always be participation by private agencies in the care of various classes of dependents. A more pertinent question is, What should be the trend in future in the division of burden between government and private agencies in this field? What attitude should those in charge of social welfare programs take? It is suggested that the government's responsibility, based upon tradition, law, and ethics, be recognized, and that as a corollary, constant and reasonable effort be made to see that the private administration of services for dependents be placed in governmental hands so far as feasible. Private agencies and social workers should then focus their efforts to insure that the character of governmental administration shall be honest and effective.

Let us now consider social and welfare work which involves more than the necessary minimal care of dependents. Government, in addition to operating in the field of dependency, has entered extensively into other fields of social and welfare work. This we all know. This has come about through the development of the police power of government, i.e., the general power to legislate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals, and convenience. Examples of such legislation come readily to mind: so-called "factory laws" limiting hours of labor and controlling working conditions; the control of cummunicable diseases; public health nursing; babies' dispensaries; dental clinics; recreation facilities and programs, etc.

Two limitations upon the growth of such legislation exist: the constitutional test and that of public sanction. By the constitutional test is meant the im

portant limitations upon the legislative power contained in the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution and similar provisions of state constitutions. These relate chiefly to the prohibitions against the taking of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the denial of the equal protection of the law. By "public sanction" is meant the existence of a public opinion, informed or otherwise, which supports, or at least permits, the passage and administration of such legislation. Where these tests, as applied to social and welfare legislation, are met, it may be said that the government is rightfully operating in these fields.

If governmental and private agencies in a given jurisdiction are engaged in social and welfare work substantially identical in character, the question arises as to the propriety and wisdom of having both sets of agencies in the field. It is to be acknowledged that in many, many instances social welfare projects and activities undertaken by government have been brought about by the efforts of private agencies and interested social workers, either by persuasion or by means of actual demonstration agencies operated on a more or less elaborate scale. What should be the attitude of those controlling private agencies when the government enters the field in which they are operating? Should the two sets of agencies, private and public, in a given field continue to operate side by side, dividing the work between them?

It is suggested that under such circumstances efforts should be made to transfer the work of private agencies to the government with as much expedition as is practicable. Pending such transfer, legal arrangements might be made in many cases for the government to pay the cost of such services rendered by private institutions with fixed plants-always with provision for proper control of such expenditures of public money. The arguments for such transfer are: first, financing such services largely through the taxing power would result presumably in a more equitable distribution of the cost, providing the possible earning capacities of various institutions and activities are not overlooked; second, a centralizing of control and unifying of responsibility would be furthered; third, elimination of possible duplication and overlapping of service would be promoted; fourth, the social worker would be in a better position, because disinterested, to judge as to the wisdom of continuing various phases of social work now considered necessary and constructive. It is possible that within the course of a generation many activities of government recently added will be discontinued or substantially changed in character. The persons in actual charge of the administration of a given project are not usually the ones to build the case for its discontinuance or vital alteration.

It will be urged that the shifting to the government of welfare work now being done by private agencies will increase the tax burden. No doubt this would result. The more important considerations are whether the total cost of service rendered will be increased, and whether financing the net cost of such services through the taxing power is not more equitable than voluntary support.

It is believed that with public administration of a reasonably good character the cost can be made less than through dual control, and that the cost will be more equitably distributed. One of the remarkable characteristics of government in this country is its truly representative character, by which is meant the success with which intelligent and persistent minorities get what they want. It is therefore suggested that it is possible to secure lower costs and a better spreading of this cost if government can be made completely responsible for administration and financing in those fields of social and welfare work where government has already made a substantial entrance. This is dependent, however, upon the important proviso that the social worker and observer must be eternally vigilant in checking up upon the results which the governmental agencies secure. These must be the intelligent and persistent minority which knows what it wants in this particular field.

A word as to a further objection that may be made to the transfer of more of existing welfare work to governmental agencies. It will be urged that this will augment the forces of paternalism. This is a term of opprobrium which is rather loosely used, and at best one which is difficult of precise definition. This is to be said, however: shifting the responsibility of carrying on a given amount of work from private agencies to public agencies does not change the essential characteristics of the work. If it is a paternalistic venture under government control, it was equally so under private control. And if it is desirable to check the growth of paternalism it is submitted that government is as susceptible of popular control as are private agencies.

As a corollary of the foregoing principles it is further suggested that private funds available for financing social work be reserved largely for experimental, research, and non-routine purposes. In other words, individuals with available surpluses should not be called upon by private agencies to finance in large part the conduct of social and welfare work for which there is both legal and general public sanction. For their share of the support of such work they should be called upon to contribute through tax payments.

Government is not the most satisfactory medium for the conducting of experiments and research by which to blaze new trails in the field of human relations and to point the ways to a more happy adjustment between the individual as a social being and the civilization which he and his fellow-men are to rear. This is pre-eminently a field for private endeavor.

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