American opportunity system

A week ago last Tuesday, there happened an event which should be encouraging to those of us believing in the American opportunity system. The story is worth the telling in some detail for the lesson it points up that the schemes to advance socialism still further in this country can be stopped if we will only free ourselves of the feeling of defeatism; release our minds from the belief that it is inevitable that this great country of ours shall fall prey to a small minority bent on committing it as they have successfully done in one way or another to almost every nation in the world. The citizens of New Jersey, voting in a general election on November 8, 1949, soundly defeated a state political housing bill, 621,462 to 375,566. The legislation as passed by the Legislature, subject to approval at the November election, was, as is usual, represented as a slum clearance plan, as an aid for those not eligible for federal political housing, and as a self-liquidating program. In accordance with the customary pattern, the proposed program was actually none of those things and was riddled with the typical deception and double talk. As to the matter of aid to those not eligible for federal high-cost political housing, it should be noted that the area of possible subsidy contemplated by the proponents would have included 90% of the population of New Jersey. The proposition was a part of the legislative program of the incumbent governor, who was himself standing for re-election and who succeeded in his efforts by a relatively small majority. Of course, the scheme was supported by the officials of the State Housing Authority, Most of the veteran organizations were behind it as were the CIO, the League of Women Voters, the New Jersey Council of Churches as well as other welfare organizations. As incredible as it may seem, it was a part of the platform of the Republican Party in the election. If a task ever looked hopeless, certainly the possibility of defeating this proposal did.