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efforts to reduce private costs. The cutting of trolley and bus fares in Wuhan was reported with considerable pride in 1966 and it was indicated that all-night service for workers had been added. Another transportation problem in China has been the high incidence of accidents. Apparently the urban resident committees were the focal points for safety talks by representatives of the local police station.
Up to this point, the discussion of welfare needs has been oriented toward those requirements that arise primarily, though not exclusively, by virtue of city life. The need for transportation, housing, and the like, grow out of the physical environment of the city. There is, however, another range of welfare needs that naturally effect urban residents as well as those in the countryside. These problems arise from economic need occasioned by special problems of the individual.
In the immediate post-1949 years, China's cities and countryside contained men, women and children who were the war victims, often miles from home, frequently infirm, wounded, who needed attention. In addition there were the aged, disabled soldiers, and those who could not find employment. Here was a population in immediate need of income. When the urgency of these pressures receded, China, as every nation, has continued to face segments of the population who lack earning power because of some factor whether age, training or motivation. Some have fared well, others not.
In the first five years, much of the aid was pieçemeal, random and often unpredictable. Some street organizations provided transportation funds for a return home. Some companies had welfare programs for their employees and help came from here. The labor insurance regulations (established in 1951 and revised in 1953) 17 provided those in covered employment with modest incomes linked to their work history, labor union membership, and political outlook.
The Chinese Communist military veterans and the so-called dependents of martyrs then and now seemed to fare well. Within the military itself there were specific committees to handle problems of education, medical care, disability, jobs and the like. Since most were from the countryside, their problems were generally absorbed into the rural areas. The cities frequently have special municipal offices to deal with problems and daily needs or difficulties were handled in the street committees.
What about the unemployed? Until the mid-1950's when unemployment was declared abolished, the cities maintained modest programs of direct aid to the unemployed. This included a number of intellectuals as well as those whose prior occupations had been related to the foreign presence or the evils of pre-liberation life, as for example the prostitutes. The impression from interviewing and newspaper accounts is that these people had very modest resources available to them from the government. Sometimes the grants were in kind, i.e., oil, grain; and sometimes they were in cash. In light of the concurrent program controlling prices and ending inflation, the value of the grants was safeguarded. Furthermore, many men and women were protected through the "fixed supply” system; that is, cadres of the government received fixed allotments of food, clothing, housing, and a very small stipend. The system was tied to local standard of living indexes. It only gradually disappeared.
Cadres of the government, whether national or local, such as teachers, government clerks, bank workers, etc., were not eligible for labor insurance. In the 1950's this group slowly developed programs of pensions, medical care, vacation leave. When interviewed about the program, these people will say the matter was handled by their unit or organization (tan-wei). The programs and services available to these people varied widely; in the cities they might include schools, and housing. In the provinces, the services and benefits were more limited or absent altogether.
Those who fared least well (excluding individuals classified as politically tainted) were men and women whose work did not bring them into these large scale units: the workers in small stores, the barbers, the small scale factories worker. Though the lives of these people have improved over the twenty years, they have not kept pace with the advantages of larger scale enterprises. In part, this must be understood to be the problem of organization. The financing of welfare benefits, the use of the labor insurance principle, all of this has been longer in coming, more modest in amount and scope of coverage. Since the national government does not invest in this area, there is financial difficulty. In interviews of this group, one will find stories of continued reliance upon family ties, where that is possible.
17 The most complete collection of labour insurance regulatoins is Chung-yang Lao-tung Fa-ling Hui-pien (Collection of Labour Laws and Regulations of the Central Government) Peking 1953. A brief collection of relevant documents is in Foreign Languages Press Collection Important Labour Laws and Regulations of the People's Republic of China Peking, 1961.
There is an additional income maintenance program administered by the labor unions and apparently (primarily through refugee sources) also available through other organizational units. As many have noted, the salaries in China are uniformly low; furthermore, the range between low and high is modest when compared to other countries. This might well be expected given the emphasis on "equalization of income” stressed in ideology. Consequently, there are necessarily cases where the income is either temporarily (due to accident, health, or special need) or permanently (because of the size of the family) insufficient for the number of dependents. In these cases, there are apparently cases of income supplement: small amounts given to a worker when the total family income is insufficient. This program is administered by the labor union or organization. The labor union members carry out the home visits to determine need; the list of grants is publicly posted. There are also loan provisions similarly administered and apparently made public. The emphasis, according to refugees, is upon finding more permanent alternatives; e.g., a nursery so the wife could work, employment for an older child, and other alternatives. This is not always possible and consequently continual income supplement has been a possibility, although its
occurrence was rare.
ADMINISTERING WELFARE IN THE CITY
The development of welfare administration in China has been an interesting and instructive process. It has at all times been linked to other goals of the government, has frequently been subservient to other purposes, and in all cases has been a mechanism not merely for the transferal of economic aid to the citizens but a means for raising the political consciousness of the citizens.
There are two major administrative mechanisms: (1) the labor union (in which are included the administrative units that provide the very similar pension plans of teachers, government cadres) and (2) the street resident committees.
The role of the trade union is most clear and its functioning perhaps the best understood. The major development of labor unions occurred in the post-1949 period when the Party of the proletariat finally returned to the cities. The rapid development of the labor unions from Manchuria throughout the rest of the country was aided by the fact that the level of labor insurance benefits was linked to labor union membership. The labor unions furthermore administered the pensions and disability payments. The initial payment for medical care was handled by the plant or factory, but when determinations of disability were made, or when retirement occurred, it was the labor union officials who arranged payments. Furthermore, it was through labor unions that loans were arranged; labor unions cooperated to build sanitariums, hospitals, and administered the access to them. Though the GPCR suggests that some trade union leadership did indeed develop a separate indentity and allegiance to the workers, the evidence for this special status is by no means clear. It is clear that the trade unions had the potential for creating a special “class” and that in the post-1958 period, the pension program and medical benefits were not equally distributed, especially to those classified as temporary or contract workers. In the government ministries, in the schools, and in banks or other economic organizations, similar though not identical organizations functioned.
The earlier discussion of welfare problems has suggested there were a range of welfare problems, needs and services outside of direct income costs. For many Chinese citizens, the effective unit for these other problems was the residence committee (chü min wei yuan hui).
The operation of the street or residence committee has been commented on by a number of scholars, primarily in terms of its function to organize mass support for Party policies or for the surveillance of individuals. Refugees will comment upon anxiety when a street committee member visits. But as one refugee said: “Î
suppose that those who received favors liked them, and those who were only under surveillance feared them.” In this paper we emphasize their welfare work, though it is clearly to be remembered that their tasks involved political propaganda, participation in mass movements and security work as well as the welfare function. These tasks were carried on simultaneously, though not with equal emphasis.
In the various discussions of metabolic needs, there was emphasis upon self-help, and mutual cooperation. The welfare decisions of the early years---for example, where shall water stands be established? electricity lines placed? who shall be given access to the limited neighborhood school? how are aged looked after? what about invalids? the bed-ridden and the like?-were often made by the street residence committee or with their assistance.
In the immediate post-1949 years, there were enormous problems in administering the city government of China. The emphasis was not only on the establishment of formal organizations, that is the municipal bureaus and the like, but also in developing mass organizations which could organize the population and deal with some of the simple but important problems we have mentioned above. The organizations that emerged were the street committees alongside_the formal street offices (the lowest level of the formal government apparatus). The cities of Tientsin and Shanghai serve as excellent examples of this process.
In Tientsin, a report gave considerable detail on the close relationship between the welfare needs of the people and municipal work:
Tientsin has a big population, municipal work is complex. After the district government had been reduced, they had not been able to sufficiently and broadly reflect and solve the needs of the broad masses of city residents. At the present time, the most urgent needs of our city residents which have to be solved are building of houses and sewers, consolidating public sanitary work and expansion of elementary education and other public welfare enterprises. Under such circumstances, the municipal government of Tientsin had decided last month to establish district people's congresses and to enlarge
district offices. 18 When similar problems occurred in Shanghai, the development of mass organizations by the street residents resulted. "These organizations played a certain role in solving resident's welfare problems, in implementing government policies and decrees. ". 19 This was not an isolated occurrence.
Tientsin published provisional regulations for the establishment of street offices and committees, which reflected the welfare responsibilities of the organs. The street office was the designated work organ of the district people's government. Its first task was to organize and lead residents in political and cultural education, public health, relief, pensions, and other social welfare work. The resident committee was organized on the basis of the "natural living conditions in residential and mixed residential commercial and industrial areas but not for the time being in the district government organs, and large-scale commercial and industrial enterprises were concentrated.” 20 The work of the resident committee was, first, to propagandize government policies and, second, to deal with security, prevention of fire, culture and recreation, public health, pensions and relief.
At the end of 1952, a general summary of work on street organization in the cities discussed the organizational problems and principles of the group, noted the proliferation of organs (that later was to become a serious problem), and then concentrated on the welfare achievements, specifically in public health.
Many ditches and drains which have been blockaded for sixty years now are through again The number of flies, mosquitoes and rats have been greatly reduced
In regard to social relief work, the relief groups not only assist the district people's government to investigate proverty, evaluate the amount of relief needed and distribute cash, blankets and loans without interest they also
mobilize the masses to donate.21 For most of the next two years, the urban experiment in organizational development continued as the resident committee evolved. After the publication of the provisional regulations, the actual work to establish and select resident committees, street offices, district congresses and people's government was carried out. There are some features especially relevant here. First, resident committees were designated the mass welfare organization under the leadership of the government. Their function was to handle all kinds of mass welfare work. In addition, they were also to assist in government work and to organize the residential population.
A second interesting feature of the Tientsin report was its reflection of problemsolving during the six months of organization and consolidation. The masses proposed some 53,000 actions. At the time of publication, some 23,000 (40 percent) of these had been acted upon. Of the total number of proposals, 66 percent concerned the people's subsistence and welfare problems—including the installation of water supply, electric lights and street lamps, building and dredging sewers, building public toilets, refuse disposal, repairing streets, and housing: The emphasis was on urban public utilities, relief needs, and free medical care.22 19 Nan-fang Jih-pao (Southern Daily) August 10, 1950. 19 Chieh-fang Jih-pao May 28, 1951. 20 T’ien-chin Chin-pu (Tientsin Progressive) October 21, 1952. 21 Ta Kung Pao December 27, 1952. 22 T'ien-chin Jih-pao (Tientsin Daily) May 31, 1953.
The details of the Tientsin experience are important because they have counterparts (though less detailed) in reports from Luta, Canton and Wuhan.23 These reflect the same organizational difficulties, as well as similar welfare needs, as in Tientsin.
In 1954, the multiplicity of organizations was seen as contributing to chaotic and inefficient conditions in municipal administration. This situation was to be corrected through consolidation: “Resident committees have a big function in solving livelihood welfare problems of the residents.” Regulations of the urban resident committees were passed in the fourth session of the Central Committee of the National People's Congress on December 31, 1954. The tasks of the resident committee were:
(1) To handle matters concerning residents' public welfare.
(2) To reflect residents' opinions and demands to the local people's committees or their designated organs.
(3) To mobilize residents to support the government and to observe laws. (4) To lead mass security defense work.24 The news media described the resident committee in a series of questions and Question: What kind of organization is a resident organization?
Answer: A resident committee is an autonomous resident organization organized by committee members elected by the masses of residents. It is not a basic level governmental organ. The primary task of a resident committee is to deal with the daily public welfare enterprises of the masses of residents and to mobilize the residents to support the government policy.25
The import of this answer seems clear. Whatever the other functions of the resident committees, they were centrally involved in the welfare process. The substance of regulations and political summaries can be supplemented by reference to the actual work of resident committees. In many of the illustrations which have been cited in the previous section to demonstrate the breadth and scope of Chinese welfare needs, it was the resident committee that appealed to the authorities for aid, or the resident committee activist who sought subscription payments from individuals.
To summarize, the urban resident committee in Chinese cities emerged as an effective organization for solving the welfare needs of the city. This organization had major responsibility in seeking and allocating welfare goods and services.
Certainly as the years have passed, the daily tasks of the resident committee have changed. The special needs that characterized the immediate post-civil war period have largely been resolved. The role, for example, of the resident committee in obtaining public utilities has apparently disappeared. Close relations with the local police station developed, and this relationship undoubtedly contributed to the suspicion with which the committee has been viewed. Furthermore, as alternative organizations have developed, and as the individual's enterprise became the avenue for access to schools, medical care, movie tickets, or whatever, the people more directly touched by the street committees, or specifically dependent upon it for service, has narrowed. Since the resident committee, with some exceptions, does not give money grants, its activity in terms of welfare has narrowed. On the other hand, the committee remains a means for providing personal services particularly to the nuclear family. Where the work affiliation because of size or function remains unable to provide the full range of services that can be found in major industrial enterprises, the resident committee remains a potential substitute, though limited in the kinds of benefits to which it can make referrals.
WELFARE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Welfare programs in the countryside, obviously the most important in terms of population and problems, remain the most difficult to judge and the most elusive. to study. The very vastness of the topic permits only generalities and characteristics illustrated by example.
The metabolic problems of the cities were, of course, problems in the countryside, compounded by the land tenure system, and the wholesale destruction which accompanied the civil war. Consequently, the efforts made toward establishing minimal public health facilities to restrict and mitigate the effects of long time pervasive problems of smallpox, water supply, and sanitation must rank as of major importance in the first decade. It was not simply a matter of bringing about a distribution of the available medical facilities but of the rapid expansion of medical personnel.
23 Kuang-ming Jih-pao December 10, 1954 The article likens the experience of Luta, Canton, Wuhan and others to the Tientsin experience. This includes an extended discussion of services and underlines the necessity and quality of the allocation decisions. 24 Jen-min Jih-pao (People's Daily) January 1, 1955. 25 T''ien-chin Jih-pao July 4, 1956.
At the same time, the problem of income distribution was obviously an important consequence of the land reform program and even more of the movement toward collectivization which followed redistribution. Although modern social legislation represented by marriage reform were implemented, the traditional means for meeting welfare, namely the family, has remained, though not as powerful as in pre-1949 days. It is clear, for example, that even in the 1970's sons and daughters provide for their parents, and parents provide for sons and daughters. Though reliance upon the traditional Chinese philosophy is not the ostensible reason, interviewing suggests that the financial aid to parents or parent help to the families of sons and daughters (while modest) remains. In the countryside when parents are assigned to some remote or distant post, or are unable to care for a child, grandparent or relatives serving as a parent surrogates is not uncommon. .
In the period after land reform, when ownership remained possible, one group aided was that of the aged, infirm or disabled who could manage to survive through payments for produce on the land and cooperative working. Even in the initial establishment of collectives, payments were made for land contributed as well as for work. When this possibility disappeared in the Advanced Producers Cooperatives (APC) and later in the communes, it then became necessary to substitute other programs. The wu-pao system of the APC was the solution. Prior to the commune, the APC provided the so-called five guarantees, that is, food, lodging, education, clothing and burial, to those who could not engage in active production. When the commune system was established, this system was no longer necessary. The commune, which became the lowest formal level of government, also was to assume welfare functions. With the establishment of the commune, we see homes for the aged, clinics, schools, and specific provision for a welfare fund at the commune level for the construction of these facilities or renovation of old temples, former landlord houses and the like to serve as the necessary facilities. It must be remembered that there is wide diversity in the availability of these services.
Besides the provision of services, however, there of course remains the income problem. The disparity between the family's productive members and its dependents is a difficulty in the countryside, particularly in view of the low standard of living and the differing situations of each commune. In the commune itself, the production team was responsible for helping the families of soldiers whose earning power was reduced because of the absent men. In addition, since agricultural tasks were divided, the possibility of assigning the aged to child care or the less physically taxing jobs reinforced the emphasis in China upon seeking a productive means for meeting need rather than the establishment of simple grants. Though there is no question that homes for the aged do exist for those without support and family, it is also certain that both preference and economic conditions preclude this from being a large-scale alternative.
The most difficult aspect of welfare in the countryside is the fact that it implies, essentially, determining who is poor in a society which is poor as a whole. Given the fact that there are areas of endemic poverty derived from problems of land quality, overpopulation and the like, and that the emphasis is upon the commune as the fundamental unit with minimum reliance upon Central government assistance, it is clear that formal efforts of social welfare support are rare and widely discrepant in their effectiveness.
This discrepancy in size is not nearly so important in the provision of services as it is with the provision of income. One of the aims of the relocation of Chinese youth, the development of rural medical facilities in such programs as the "barefoot” doctors, is to remedy the lack of facilities while relying on the local population and resources to do so. For example, in the transfer of middle school graduates to the countryside, their presence is subsidized for perhaps a year while the youth gains the expertise necessary to support himself, but the intent is not that the government should permanently assume this burden. In the post-GPCR development of rural schools and medical facilities, the professional is paid in the work points of the commune where he works. This is designed to raise the political consciousness of the person so assigned, but it also makes financing the responsibility of the commune. The commune workers designated for the training as “barefoot" doctors receive their training in nearby cities or towns; their services are, however, managed by the commune where they are paid. Their availability at the very local level (where assignment of a doctor is not possible) represents another manifestation of the emphasis on local needs and support.