11 - Julian Bond - draft 2
important progress in property ownership for poor, black -
and some white - sharecroppers. In the Southwest, it would
mean the chicanos would have a chance to control the land
whose soil their sweat has made fertile over so many years.
President Nixon has begun what no other President
in recent years has dared to do: to tamper with the outmoded
and dependency-forming welfare system. His proposed reforms,
however, actually would work to penalize the large industrial
states and would subsidize cheap black labor in the South.
His proposed national floor of $1,600 a year for a family of
four would be amusing if there were not real people involved
with real mouths to feed.
The nation ought to establish a workable welfare floor
for a family of four at $5,500 a year. The Congress ought to
insist on retaining fhe food stamp and commodity distribution
programs and should abandon the notion of indiscriminately
forcing welfare recipients to work. Poverty is not achieved
through choice in this country; no peer person ought to be
required to accept an unacceptable job simply because he is poor.
A national program, implemented in every state in the
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