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Eckstein Debates Carter's Programs For Unemployment

Three economists disagreed last night over the success of President Carter's policies to cut unemployment in America.

Speaking before 50 people in Emerson Hall, Otto Eckstein, professor of Economics, praised Carter for the recent drop in the national unemployment rate to 6.2per cent. He also called the Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) the best employment program in American history.

The two other economists at the symposium insisted that Carter's policies will never be able to bring unemployment down to an acceptable level.

Calling America "half a democracy," Andrew Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for European Studies, blamed the high rates of unemployment in America on the absence of any strong labor movement party.

Bennet Harrison, professor of Urban Studies at MIT, sided with Martin in criticizing Carter's CETA program as an ineffective way of creating full employment.

Harrison and Martin said the socialist economies of Western Europe are more effective approaches to the unemployment problem, but Eckstein said, these economies have not had any more success than the United States in creating full employment since the 1974 recession.

The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the Democratic Club sponsored the symposium.