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Justice and the Citizen:

Justice and the Citizen: "A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." Vol. I

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

"Congress should enact a new WPA-style work program, not only to provide jobs for the unemployed, but as a means for all citizens to enjoy their civil rights."

Please review the arguments for and against the statement and enter your response.

Civil rights become meaningful only when the basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing have been met. In fact, it is society's responsibility to provide economic opportunity. The establishment of a national work program will allow poor people of all minorities to attain personal dignity and their civil rights. America will benefit not only from the products of this new work force, but the greater harvest will be in the creation of productive, self-reliant citizens. Economic repression of any individual ultimately hurts all Americans.

The answer to economic security and, ultimately, the guarantee of civil rights of Americans is not a new national work program. Invented government work will create an artificial economy supported only by the already overburdened tax payer. The way to guarantee economic opportunity is to create an economic climate that supports the efforts of the private sector. When private industry is strong, so are real job opportunities. A temporary government work program that may end at the momentary whim of Congress will not guarantee anyone economic dignity or civil rights.

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