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June 02, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-02

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, June 2, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
DisCrimination not okay,
hut H'igh Court says so
BUSINESS PRACTICES which systematically discrimi-
nate against minorities - specifically blacks and
Mexican-Americans - are not necessarily illegal if such
systems were set up prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
according to the Supreme Court.
That ruling declared such systems are immune to
Title VII of that act, effectively. overruling unanimous
decisions by six courts of appeals in more than 30 sim-
ilar cases.
That ruling is clearly wrong.
Typically, the Supreme Court believes the solution
to racial problems is to let such problems resolve them-
selves with all deliberate speed.
Racial discrimination is not a problem that will fade.
It is a problem which must be faced full force, if any
effective results will come.
In this particular case, a group pf blacks and Mexi-
can-Americans challenged employment policies of Texas
trucking firms. 'The policies were based on seniority sys-
tem dictated by the Teamsters Union prior to the 1964
The Teamsters Union business practices, now bol-
stered by our highest court, would not fade without out-
side assistance. Rather, those practices should be adjuci-
ated as illegal, and changed - through the courts.
THE COURT provided a loophole in their ruling, how-
ever. The loophole basically states that retroactive
seniority can be awarded to minority employees who
can prove that .members of their race have been dis-
criminated against in the 13 years since the passage of
the Act.
To document cases of discrimination by businesses
or unions such as the Teamsters, would be rough. The
thought is almost enough to deter most with such inclina-
And that seniority may not be granted, even after
the fight, is an injustice we thought had left this cotun-
try by the beginning of this decade.
The solution to the problem cannot be simple wait-
ing for the sores to heal.
The correct answers can be found within the con-
stitution, and in our pledge of allegiance: "Equality and
Justice for All."
It's time the Supreme Court Justices begin to be-
lieve the laws upon which they have been appointed
to rule.

And- the poor get poorer
By ELLIOTT CURRIE Two-parent farhiiies would get a maximumr of
only $2,300 a year - or nothing if one parent
Thruttho!t his presidential campaign-and to would not accept work. The same $2,300 level
this day - the pendits have puzled over wheth- wonid hold for single parents with children over
er Jimmy Carter -is At heart a conservative or a certain age - probably 12, according to Health,
a liberal. Now, with the announcement of his Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano
new welfare reform goals,. Carter has clearly
pinpointed his politics on at least one major is- AGED, DISABLED and blind adults now re-
sue. ceiving payments would receive a flat grant of
T2.300 for a single person or $3,500 for a couple,
z with additional supplements for those. who get
RichardNixon, the list Atnerican president ti higher benefits under existing programs.
propose comprehensive retu rnsittf the vast wet-
fare system. Carter's proposal would increase benefits for
rs dpeople on welfare in some states, particularly
in the South and West, where payments have
program," charged Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), traditionally been below average. But in other
who has long led the fight in Congress for full areas, the $4,200 level is considerably below what
employment and welfare reform. "And it cer- urban families can now receive under AFDC and
tainly raises the possibility Carter is, shall 1 say, food stanps.
'latently conservative.' "
The forced-work provisions of the Carter plan
AT THE HEARL of the Carter program is the may seriously affect many families now on AFDC
key component of Nixon's abortive reform plan: as well. The maximum $2,300 figure for poor
a guaranteed annual income, roughly equalized families in which one parent works is well un-
in all 50 states. der half of what such a family could receive
now in many states.
But unlike Nixon, Carter wants to compel ma-
ny welfare recipients - excluding the old, dis- The Carter plan will also undoubtedly be criti-
abled and single mothers with small children - cized because its proposed benefit levels are so
to accept any work offered or lose their bene- far below the federally-established poverty level
fits. The Nixon plan would have penalized re- of $5,500 a year for a family of four. Even that
cipients for refusing work, but only $300 a year. figure is disputed - the Labor Department's
"minimum but adequate" budget for a family of
The jobs component, in a time when jobs are four,' for example, is $9,700.
so scarce, may be the major question mark us
Carter's plan. "It's just plain sham," complains AND CARTER WILL not only have to do bat-
one Democratic staffer who works in the Con- tle with the congressional liberals, but with the
gressional Black Caucus. nation's many Democratic mayors as well. The
"The reason we have 'employable' people on welfare proposal represents a clear retreat from
AFDC (Aid to Families With Dependent Children) earlier Carter pledges to move swiftly to help
is because the private sector can't provide jobs. resolve the cities' fiscal crises.
And at the same time they're talking about forc- The federal share of AFDC and food stamp
ing welfare mothers to work, they're also talking costs in New York City now comes to roughly
about how we have to have six per cent unem- $3,500. Raising the federal share to $4,200 would
ployment indefinitely. Who are they trying to shift the burden slightly.
But for the hard-pressed mayors, it will not
CARTER REPORTEDLY envisages creating be nearly enough. New York's Governor Hugh
"substantial" numbers of public service jobs for Carey has already criticized the plan as a de-
welfare recipients - though he continues to in- fault onCarter's commitmenttto aid the cities
sist the number will be governed by the con-
fines of a balanced budget. He has built incen- Eliott Currie, who has taught social science at
tives into the program to look for private rather Yale and the University of California-Berkeley
than public sector jobs by making benefits for covers social policy and crhn inal justice for the
the working poor higher if they are in private Pacific Nesvs Serviec.
Overall, Carter's benefit levels are also a bit s :s.tcycs:nvvryy
stingier than the Nixon plan's. Nixon proposed TODAY'S STAFF:
a flat guaranteed annual income of $2,400 (in-
cluding welfare and food stamps) for a family News: Lani Jordan, Stu McConnell, Ken
of four. Parsigion
Carter's maximum flat grant for families would Editorial: Linda Willcox
be $4,200 per year - only about $200 more than
Nixon's proposed level after adjustments are Photo: Christina Schneider
made for inflation between 1969 and 1977. And
it would apply only to families with just one Arts: David Keeps
parent and with young children. Sports: Scott Lewis

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