In the continuing struggle of the Democratic Party to come up with alternative economic strategies, 52 members of Congress have asked the Institute for Policy Studies to produce a wide-ranging series of studies ranging from defense to housing.
"There is a public policy at this point of bribing the rich," Marcus Raskin, a founder of the IPS, the Left's think tank, said at a press conference. "In order to have a decent society, you have to be sure that the rich and the poor are citizens of the same country," he said, arguing that Reagan administration policies are resulting in "second-class citizenship for one-half of society."
Twenty-one separate studies will be put together under the project. Since the major conservative victory in the 1980 presidential and senatorial elections, there has been a growing effort by a number of liberal and Democratic groups to attempt to regain intellectual vigor.
The IPS will finance the studies, which were initiated at the request of Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) along with such other members of the House as Peter Rodino (D-N.J.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.), chairman of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee; and Henry S. Reuss (D-Wis.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.
The 52 members included one Republican, Rep. Hamilton Fish Jr. (N.Y.). Among the studies and the prospective authors are:
* Frances Fox Piven of Boston University and Richard Cloward of Columbia University, both of whom have written extensively on welfare programs, will produce a paper on entitlement programs.
* Bertram Gross, who wrote major elements of the original Humphrey-Hawkins full employment bill and the book "Friendly Fascism," will write a paper to be called "How to Get Full Employment."
* Martin Carnoy of Stanford University is to write a paper on inflation, capital development and allocation.
Raskin said the papers should be completed by the end of April. He said members of Congress supporting the studies said the papers would be used as the basis of hearings to be held later this year.