Planing for American Economic Growth
The Present Period of economic expansion, though now having continued for almost as long as any similar period in the country's peacetime history, has failed of itself to meet various economic and social needs that persist in the otherwise affluent American society. Foremost is the problem of unemployment. Despite an increased rate of economic growth in recent years, the unemployment rate has remained at 5 per cent or higher. New jobs are needed each year to give work not only to around one million newcomers to the labor market, but also to an estimated two million workers displaced annually by automation and other productivity advances.
President Johnson, in his State of the Union address before Congress on Jan. 4, defined the country's task along “the road to the Great Society” as threefold: “To keep our economy growing; to open for all Americans the opportunities now enjoyed by most Americans; to improve the quality of life for all.” The President pointed out:
We built this nation to serve its people. We want to grow and build and create, but we want progress to be the servant and not the master of man.