Cedar Rapids Gazette, February 6, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette February 6, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa It hr Ct rd nr &uputa (ftnjrHf    TOnQS Editorial Page Wednesday, February 6, 1974 Great taking of guff THERE IS ONE supremely disquieting aspect in the truck-strike action currently disrupting business, manufacturing, employment and mobility across the land: the way the strong-arm stuff appears to be accepted as a natural part of the bargaining leverage to get something changed. Because of grievances — a lot of them legitimate and understandable — concerning the supply and price of fuel, freight rates, driver safety standards and truck regulations, militants are bringing force and violence to bear on undeserving victims. Truck-stoD operators have been forced to lose business. Nonstriking truckers have been tire-slashed, window-smashed, intimidated, stoned, shot at, immobilized and occasionally killed. Thousands of factory workers have lost earnings or jobs through a stoppage of shipments and consequent halt in production. Countless consumers (and that group is ALL of us) face shortages of food and other life-essentials cut off from the marketplace by force. To go about achieving wants bv this behavior stoops to the bomb-and-bu rn level of riotous seekers for other political changes a few years ago: to the level of self interest tromping on all others’ rights. To bend to pressures such as these and eat the dirt of force is to honor extortion. No administrative orders and no legislative measures — state or federal — should shape up in the name of reason, justice or accommodation till the muscle-minds call off the goons. No settlement is worth the price if decent people have to suffer for the grievanee-tactics of a few when channels for a settlement devoid of violence remain accessible to all. The clean ways rate a first fair c hance to work. But just as long as strong-arm interference dominates the truck dispute, not only state highway patrols but the full protective weight of local police and even the national guard should come down on the public’s side against extortionary force that kicks the public in the teeth. Even if the “striking” truckers’ ends are justified to some degree, the means that hurt so many others, needlessly, invalidate their title to respect. A yen to invest here IMPRESSED by Japan's increased investments in the Tinted States, some Americans fear the enterprising far easterners are planning a rdassive corporate take-over coup. Superficially, the situation does smack of Frankenstein: the good doctor laboring selflessly to vitalize the inert form before him, only to have the monster rise up and chase him from the lab. How real is the foreign investment threat of the Oriental “Frankenstein monster” and other venturesome nations? Need the United States bemoan the postwar economic injections administered to the Japanese and others? Seeking answers is the house subcommittee on foreign policy, headed by Rep. John Culver of Iowa’s second district. The subcommittee’s specific goal is to determine the implication of po-ential foreign take-overs of critical sectors of the U.S. economy, including agriculture. During the first hearing session last week, Nelson Stitt, director of the United States-Japan Trade Council, alleged that the American news media have given Japanese investment here “more sensational treatment than facts warrant.” Foreign investment statistics tend to support Stitt's claim: SH.H billion yearly spent by Japan (including $1.3 billion in the U S.) compared with $90-plus billion by the United States. As Culver noted, however, foreign investment totals ($14 billion yearly) underplay the impact of several individual transactions, including the acquisition by Mitsui for a total 50 percent share in an American Metal Climax aluminum plant. What would be the impact if a Japanese firm extended its labor layoff policies to an American plant? Stitt, under questioning by Culver, declined to speculate. Implications of large-scale foreign investment in agriculture also merit study. Culver said Japanese or other foreign interests reportedly are “behind various standing offers for huge stretches of acreage in both western and central Iowa.” (However. Iowa law restricts purchases by nonresidents to 040 acres.) Can the United States government monitor the investment activity of Japan and other enterprising nations without appearing unfriendly to foreign capital and technology? The dilemma will be examined further tomorrow in Congressional Quarterly reports and an accompanying Gazette editorial. Sugar undigested ‘No slump’ too much By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak II/ASHINGTO.N — ('(insulting ** economists, including some who advise President Nixon, were privately appalled at Mr. Nixon s fiat assertion Wednesday night that “there will Im* no recession in the United States of America’’ in 1974 Likewise, specialists on Arati oil were aghast over another prediction in the President’s State of tile Union message “I can announce lonight . that an urgent (Arab) meeting will lie called in tile immediate future to discuss the lifting of the oil embargo ’’ Both glowing forecasts by the beleaguered President reflected the overblown rhetoric which often embarrasses him Now they threaten Mr. Nixon with widening his credibility gap still further in the immediate future I onsidcr tile “no-recession’’ pledge It is true that slightly better estimates of economic activity in the first two quarters of 1974. prepared by Nixon administration economists early in January, give some reason to believe that thosi two quarters will riot show “zero growth’ — the classic definition of a recession But Mr Nixon’s unnecessary prediction reminded leading economists of similarly frothy official forecasts over the past five years that backlashed on tin* President and helped shape his huge credibility gap. One such economist, the eminent Dr Alan Greenspan, recalled his astonish merit when the President estimated the gross national product for 1971 at $1,905 billion — a prediction immediately challenged by leading economic consultants including Greenspan The actual output was IIH billion lower. The economists’ view of the President s new “no recession” forecast is that the volatility of til*- world economic situation, coupled with confusion over Arab oil, makes any such forecast ridiculous arid dangerous lf there is indeed no recession, he would get the credit without any forecast But if there is a recession, Mr Nixon will get lilt two ways Ile will inherit the blame arid his credibility will decline still more As for the hint that the oil boycott is alxiut to end. the fact that Arab oil states will meet on Feb. 14 was known well before Mr Nixon’s speech. But both Mid-East diplomats and independent oil experts here see NO chance for any significant change until Mr Nixon says something on the issue of .Jerusalem — the preeminent Arab-Israeli issue in the important view of Saudi Arabia s King Faisal, kingpin iii the Arab oil boycott.Ervin bill parallels White House jolt Bv Tom Wicker MFW YOKK — Skeptical chuckles may * have seemed iii order when President Nixon promised in his 1974 State of the Union message a “major initiative” and a “cabinet level review” on tin' matter of privacy — particularly on safeguarding information stored in computers by interlinked federal and state criminal justice agencies Nixon, alter all. had wiretapped his own staff and his administration had failed since 1970 lo take such a “major initiative,” despite the repeated requests of congress that it do so. But never mind the chuckles. The justice department immediately followed tilt' State of the Union Message with the detailed legislative proposal so long awaited Beyond that. Sen Sam .1 Ervin, jr., chairman of the constitutional rights subcommittee, is ready with his own more restrictive bill, and the prospects seem brighter than they ever have been for action at last Little has been done, even though in recent years federal funding through the law enforcement assistance administration has achieved a phenomenal growth of criminal justice data bunks throughout most of the states All 5(1 soon will bt' involved in the sy stem Interlinked among themselves and with the massive federal system operated by the FBI. these data banks are collecting an enormous amount of information about millions of American citizens, by no means all of them criminal offenders The nature, use and distribution of that information is virtually unregulated by anyone. Massachusetts alone found last year that more than 75 public and private agencies having nothing to do with criminal justice had achieved regular access to its criminal offenders files The department of justice toll would go far to fill this void, by providing as a matter of law that individuals could Tom Wicker review their own records, correct inaccuracies and sue anyone disclosing the information improperly. The measure also would sharply limit those to whom any of tho records could be disclosed, and requin* tile sealing of indiv idual records after a specified time Ervin’s proposal would improve on the justice department bill in important respects. For example, it would prov ide that an arrest record showing no subsequent disposition of the case, or one showing an acquittal or (hut the case had been dropped, would be “programmed" out of the reach of criminal justice agencies as well as any other public or private inquirers one year after the original arrest. Even during thai first year. such a record would In available to police only if the |M*rson involved was rearrested on some other charge. More importantly, the Emu bill would place the entire federal, state and interstate criminal justice data system under the regulation of a nine-man board There would Im* one representative each from tin* department of justice and two other interested federal agencies, three representatives from involved state agencies, and three representatives of the public at large, all appointed by the President and confirmed by the senate This board would remove tin* system from the exclusive control of police and criminal justice agencies, provide some amelioration of federal domination, and — so Ervin hopes — establish an effective instrument for efficient and equitable regulation of unforeseen problems as they arise, without the necessity for new legislation All this is strong medicine for some criminal justice organizations to swallow Nevertheless, Nixon himself is on the record at least pro forma Erv in plans to in* a cosponsor of the justice department measure, and such Nixon stalwarts as Human llruska of Nebraska and Milton Young of North Dakota have been induced to cosponsor the Ervin bill. This cross-sponsorship bodes well for some kind of regulatory legislation, and almost any would be an improvement on the present vacuum New York Times ServiceLife — it's still hard Incredible oldies restructured By Russell Baker MORE TALES for bright kids only At the top of a steep hill they had climbed to fetch a pail of water, Jack and .Jill began quarreling about who would carry it down. Angered at Jack’s insistence that she, being "just a woman.” must let Jack carry the pail, Jill called him “a male chauvinist pig” and gave him such a push that he fell down and broke his crown The hospital was unable to repair Jack’s crown correctly, and ho was permanently incapacitated. He retained lawyers to sue Jill, who had taken over Jack’s old job as a hogshead roller and had done it so well that she was rolling hogsheads twice as fast as Jack had ever done A jury ruled that she would have to pay Jack most of her salary for the rest of her life and she died in early middle age of wondering where the next dollar was going to come from to pay the gas bill The king sent a wire at her death but, having misunderstood his press secretary, he referred to her as “a great hedgehog-rider ” Moral: The fruit of victory in the good struggle is usually coronary thrombosis. While eating curds and whey on a tuffet, Little Miss Muffet was so startled to see a spider amble along and sit down beside her that her first impulse was to run Instead, she inspected the spider closely and saw that it was actually a new eavesdropping device designed to look like an ambulatory spider Placing her mouth close against the electronic spider, she shouted in her loudest voice, “Nuts to the King!” both the king’s eardrums were broken and. so, while he was in the gorse hunting wild iioar next day, he did riot hear the warning screams of ins court, and succumbed to a charging flour Moral; Security will yet be the death of us all, especially kings When tile king was told turds had been baked into the pie just set before him. he was alarmed. “Tile cook must be losing ins mind.” he said “Only a very sick man would try to make a pie out of something as stringy, tasteless and lice-infcsted as a blackbird ’’ Then the pie was opened, and the birds l>egan to sing. The king was revolted. “Ugh!” he whispered to the queen “Pastry that chirps ” “Shut up and eat a slice,” said the queen, “or you'll hurt the. cook’s feelings.” So the king did Two nights later, on his way home from the palace at the dark of the moon. the cook was attacked by two armored figures and his body thrown into a rav me. Moral: lf you must engage in gourmet cooking, don t try out brand new recipes on people who can have bodies dumped in ravines Russell Baker By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — If it is not too late to write about the President’s State of the Union message last Wednesday night, let mc weigh in with a few observations: It was a great speech, by anyone else but him That is the damnable fallout of Watergate The poisonous rain of this whole evil affair has drone bed everything Nixon undertakes to do. Tile most virtuous acts drown in the muck 'Phis was a good speech It was well* organi/ed; it had a beginning, a middle, and an end. At least on the home television screen, the President looked fine At HO, he had the voice and forceful drive of a man LMI years younger. Forensically speaking, this was a knockout Content, of course, counts for more than form The content was excellent also. One purpose of a State of tin* Union message is to let tin* people know that a particular President has been a great help to the state of the Union Mr Nixon splendidly pursued this ritual art As lie ticked off one situation after another, arid drew comparisons from five years ago, he laid valid claim to a notable record Iii a great many ways the Republic is indeed better off than it was in IWKFirm Ground Finally, the speech rang convincingly of a certain nobility of purpose on the President’s part. Ile understands, in common with the old Roman emperors, (hat the best of all ways to maintain a durable peace is constantly to prepare for war Nixon means to be the pre-eminent peacemaker of this century; and in an age of nuclear arid biological weapons — an age of potential devastation — no more important purpose could Im* imagined Pathetically, all this suffered from the Watergate syndrome. Like the ghost of Banquo, the malevolent spirit of recent events hovered over the dais. No mere forensics could exorcise the demon Thus on the matter of personal privacy. this was the eighth of Nixon’s ten goals to erect new safeguards against intrusion into our private lives. But when Nixon James J. Kilpatrick reached this point in his address, a couple of nonpolitical friends, watching the TV tube with me, broke into audible snickers. It was as if Teddy Kennedy were lecturing on safe driving. It is an ironical proposition, to hear privacy defended by an administration that tapjied telephones wholesale, kept its "enemies’’ under surveillance, and sanctioned burglary in un effort to get ut psychiatric files on Daniel Ellsberg. It was tin* old cynical business of exhorting one s subjects to do as I say, not as I do.Ample merit The President’s legislative aims were ably spelled out. These ought to command wide bipartisan support Ile said all the right things about health care, education, and welfare. But the nagging thought will not go away that Mr Nixon, because of Watergate, will have serious trouble iii pushing his ideas through The hell of it is that Watergate cun t be shoved into some closet of the public consciousness. This year will bring the trials of some of Nixon’s closest aides I he day will not pass that some aspect of Watergate will not find its way unavoidably to tin* news. That is the unhappy state of the Union We will ail have to live with it, even as we move toward the desirable goals (his wounded President proclaims Washington Sto* Syndicate Growth s blessings not too pure New jobs spark new wealth —AND taxing By Bruce Biossat \J[f A SI lf N GT( )N — With the economy * * lagging and darker clouds hovering about, riot too many Americans may be in a mood to iiear about “stopping growth ” This capital gives them fits anyway, arid they’d probably be even more disturbed if they thought any kind of example was being set by the stop-work order on development imposed in suburban Fairfax e(»unty, in Virginia across the Potomac It affects both private home construction and industrial and commercial building for a period of from six to IM months, depending on circumstances Construction simply was outrunning Fairfax’s ability to keep up with the proper support facilities I have no idea how many other places if any iii this nation have brought "growth” to a halt or are contemplating sui Ii a course But I do riot know one spot where the news from Fairfax county could only Im* greeted with a broad smile of satisfaction tile office of Oregon’s Gov Tom Mel all He gets national attention for a lot of reasons, including his energy-conservation measures, his discouragements to new settlers in ins state ins personal use of a small foreign automobile to dramatize the fuel crunch McCall isn t lug on new economic growth, either for Oregon or most other states Ile thinks we’ve reached a point of diminishing returns, where tile losses (often hidden) may in some eases actually outweigh tin* gains Not too long back, he zeroed in on a report made by Hie Chamber of Commerce in Ins own capital. Salem The report cited what it saw as the worth of KIO new workers to a given community The Chamber said they’d mean 29H additional people, 51 more school children, 112 more households, 174 other workers employed, $270,(KHI more iii hank deposits, $59(1 non in added personal income, and $399,009 more retail sales a year Met all diM'sii I see nil these dazzling figures as a huge plus for anybody iii I tubing run Ile figures 112 further households mean, in Oregon ut least, (iirec new subdivisions With many children iii these families, that puts fresh, often unexpected pressure on schools frequently already overcrowded Aside from the community support facilities obvious to ail, McCall notes iii a recent talk that inevitably some newcomers will require* costly government social services (aid to tile blind or menially ill, vocational rehabilitation, colin soling on alcoholism, etc ) Tile Oregon governor cites a Denver study which show ed I hut every new resident added to a metropolitan area cost already present taxpayers there more than $21,999 just iii capital improvements to accommodate him McCall multiplied that figure by the iiijiiiImt of people drawn iii bv creation of 199 new jobs. He concluded the consequence to existing community taxpayers would Im* to thrust u|Min them a long-term debt exceeding SH million And, naturally , he suggests that spells more taxes He wonders, too, just how many people would get excited by HH) new jobs if they saw tins chain of development through to its end iii higher tuxes Met all ism I against all new growth, no matter what tin* place, tin- tune or the circumstances Ile simply thinks we’ve gone giddy over it, aud should not accept easy assurances that gains from it are automatic Ni *    I nMrprlu Attnto privacy face overdue attackWatergate specter taints good goals Privacy processor ;

  • Alan Greenspan
  • Bruce Biossat
  • Daniel Ellsberg
  • James J. Kilpatrick
  • John Culver
  • Milton Young
  • Nelson Stitt
  • Robert Novak
  • Rowland Evans
  • Russell Baker
  • Tom Mel

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: February 6, 1974

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