My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

SEATTLE, Sunday—The Postmaster General of the United States, the men who deliver our mail, their unions and their chief are going to join with the Muscular Dystrophy Associations of America, Inc., in a campaign to raise money to help the innumerable people who suffer from this crippling and fatal disease. The victims are in large part children and so far no cure is known, so the funds raised will be devoted to helping this research.

The mail carriers will deliver a few days before Thanksgiving 25,000,000 contribution envelopes throughout the country. After Thanksgiving Day 100,000 letter carriers will re-walk their routes to collect contributions from every American home.

On the evening before Thanksgiving there will be a four-hour coast to coast radio and television program, featuring famous Hollywood and Broadway personalities. This will be broadcast over the ABC network as a salute to the letter carriers of America. I tell you all this now so that you may be thinking about your contribution and have it ready when the envelopes are delivered. This is a kind thing the letter carriers are doing and worthy of appreciation for all of us.

There is a very significant statement reported as having been made by Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, head of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, at the Arden House conference. She said studies were now going on to improve the economic security of the aged but she added that, "Federal social security was but one of the Government programs," and she explained, "is intended to supplement, not supplant, individual savings and pensions and the insurance plans of industry and unions." She declared "the present high rate of individual savings was proof that social security had not sapped the incentive of individuals to provide for their own future so far as they were able."

This is an important statement by a Federal official because one hears so much talk these days about Federal security and the welfare state interfering with our old and valuable independence when we planned to look after ourselves and did so without any help from the Government. The answer, of course, is that conditions have greatly changed in the world today. People live to be a great deal older. It is not possible for young people to carry the burdens of the aged and the aged cannot be as useful in the home as they once were.

There is an obligatory retirement age in many industries and professions and many of us think that it would be wise to help change the situation of old people by allowing them to work and be retrained, but it would not perhaps be possible to do that except after careful study of the whole question. Increased aid from the Government at the present time seems important to study until other adjustments can be made.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL