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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Sunday, February 10, 1974 - Page 8

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 10, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                British betraiToil SURPLUS in the cards Editorial Page Suixtoy. Febnxuy 10, 1971 mental health FROM THE WAY it zipped through the Iowa house last week the controversial bone in its body could hardly be guessed. A natural suspicion follows: Few if any legislators realized the possibilities behind one facet of the bill (HF 10DO) firming up procedures for county-level community health centers in Iowa. One option puts the operation of these worthy programs in the hands of a nonprofit corporation handling all duties by agreement with the county board of super- visors. This is the system that most counties use already. The other option lets the super- visors establish the center and handle its funding, with a health center board of trustees adminis- tering its work thereafter. This is basically the system working now in Linn county alone. The new twist in the law that promises some fireworks is a requirement that after its ap- pointment by the supervisors, the seven-member nonsalaried health center board has to run for six- year terms in general elections, countywide, along with all the other state and county office- seekers on a normal ballot. That would be troublesome, clumsy and needless, not to say low on practicality. The trustees should remain appointive. Ostensibly, the purpose of elec- tion seems to be to insulate mental health center boards from politics a touch of which some say has entered recent controversy over the delivery of mental health ser- vices in Linn county. The bill would ban political-affiliation list- ings for the nominees. Actually, a general-election springboard for board members poltieizes their position more than the appointive system does. The selection of mental health service policymakers would be forced into a highly charged context of par- tisan politics, inescapably. The necessity of running for election could discourage good members from submitting themselves to this. It could open the door to ax- grinders, invite irresponsible candidacies and risk disturbance to good services. Elective membership on mental health boards is full of holes ad- ministratively as well. The boards have no power to tax, no power to sell bonds. For budget needs, they depend entirely on the county supervisors, who as a properly elected group are accountable to the public directly. Thus a measure of control by supervisors through appointment of the men- tal health center trustees is legi- timate, logical, commonplace and right in its division of respon- sibility. An elective board subordinate to another elective board in this si- tuation would make as much sense as an elective board to manage the public schools' coun- seling system under the school board with its total, unshared budget powers. The buck stops with officials designated by the voters to expend their taxes; mental health administration calls for no big overturn in that. When the bill that breezed so softly through .the house comes up in the senate, its essentially good purposes and form should be sus- tained through an amendment that junks the election idea, lets mental health boards stay ap- pointive and keeps the right res- ponsibilities where they belong. Zero to million STATE AUDITOR Smith reported recently that Iowa's various political subdivisions earned about million in interest on idle funds during the five-year period ended in 1971. His audit didn't even cover state government, which made several million dollars on its own invest- ments. The question will arise, of course, as it usually does: What are the subdivisions and the state doing with enough idle money on hand to earn such large amounts of interest? The fact is that in the case of most subdivisions, the money is turning over, but at certain times of the year more than what is needed to do business is on hand. When that happens it is put where the funds will draw interest. This interest-earning came about in the late 1950s and early to mid '60s when the law was changed so that public funds could draw interest. Prior to that, banks were not permitted to pay interest on public funds, due to a law the banks themselves got through the legislature many years ago. So the state has come from zero on its money to many millions in a relatively short span of time. Linn countians should be glad to know their county was third in interest earned for 1971, with behind Webster with and Woodbury with and ahead of Polk with and Johnson with A good case could be made that perhaps the subdivisions should reduce idle funds on hand. But there is no good argument against putting them to work as long as they are there. Presidential bid? Wind-test arranged By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON Former Ally. Gen. Elliot Richardson has been promised a political turnout by the mill- tanlly conservative Mississippi Republican party when he makes his first political foray there later this month. He decided to stick his toe in southern political waters to test reactions In hostile country lo his possible presidential candidacy. Richardson, the Boston Brahman who fell In last October's Saturday night lnl Ho who is saved. Jamei Jhurber massacre, Is regarded In the Soulh as far left, though in fact he Is close lo the Republican center. Nevertheless, powerful Republicans have pledged lo corral a large audience for him in Biloxi Feb. 25 for a "frankly political" speech. The chief guarantor: None other than Ihe aggressively con- scrvalive Clarke Reed, Republican stale chairman who heads the Southern Republican Slate Chairmen. Reed feels Richardson, as secretary of health, education and welfare, plotled a subtle course for school integration which reversed headlong desegregation and helped make President Nixon a hero throughout the Soulh. Richardson originally accepted a non- political dale at Ihe University of Mis- sissippi Feb. 24 but then asked Rccil to help arrange a political speech as well. A footnote: Mr. Nixon's animus against Richardson for refusing lo help purge Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox continues unabated. In his list of HI7D presidential prospects last week, Ihe. President conspicuously Ignored Ihe suavn Bostonian whom he named under- secretary of stale, secretary of IIKW, secretary of defense and attorney general. Publlitiert Holl IvndlcoU By Norman Cousins T ONDON In Ihe middle of an oil shortage far more severe than anything being experienced In Ihe United Stairs, Londoners last week were startled to read tho prediction that the world's big problem with oil a few years from now will not be a shortage but a surplus. This forecast appeared as an editorial analysis In The Economist, a highly res- pected and authoritative journal not generally known for wild guesswork about the future. The editors point out thai, historically speaking, shortages In a highly developed Industrial society result In crash programs for Increasing produc- tive capacity. Since IMS, there have been at least 15 instances In which critical shortages led within a decade to overproduction. lift-off In 1946, for example, agricultural ex- perls predicted a wide range of food shortages. Governments became alarmed. Emergency programs were in- stituted. Money incentives were offered. The result was that within a few years farmers everywhere were Irying to unload millions of pounds of surplus butter and other agricultural products. Again, in 1951, danger signals were hoisted about a "permanent" shortage of sulfur, so vital for Industrial production. This led to emergency measures. Within a few years, sulfur was in such abundant supply that no one knew what to do wilh it. In 1956, Europe was frightened by a world shipping shortage, largely Ihe consequence of the shutting down of the Suez canal. All sorts of alternatives were developed. Within a few years, more ships were being put Into drydock than ever before in history. In 1957, Ihe American people were thunderstruck by the first Soviet Sput- nik. The cry went up that it would take years for the United States to close the "missile gap." American schools were severely criticized for having given Inadequate attention to science. The U.S. .government poured billions of dollars into a crash program. Crop-glut Within six years, the United States was ready to send rockets to the moon. Our schools turned out scientists in profusion, many of whom are now unemployed or in Jobs that make inadequate use of their talents. Any school that wants a science teacher today has its pick of an endless list. The Economist gives these reasons for predicting that the present oil shortage will lead to a world energy glut before the end of the decade: I. No industry has responded more quickly or fully to financial incentives than the petroleum Industry. In the past few years, however, these incentives have been drying up. Now that they are being restored and, indeed, dramatically increased, a lot more people and a lot more investment capital are going to get into the act. Stimulus The sharp Increase In the price of oil per barrel will accelerate petroleum exploration and development. 2. Predictions concerning future world oil development are based on past methods for finding oil. New techniques, utilizing electronic sensors and com- puterized systems, may open up areas not now included in forecasts. 3. Most predictions about the Increase In energy needs don't take Into account the development of new technology that 'will require less energy to accomplish the same purposes. The Increased use of transistors and miniaturized Integrated Norman Cousins circuits will do away with millions of Ions of machinery now being driven by con- ventional power. A large electronic church organ, for example, that now requires a ton of operating equipment will be able In make the sanic music with a miniaturized cir- cuit no larger than n half-dollar and weighing less than half n pound. The amount of energy saved by such devices has yet In bo calculiilod. The Economist has made (hose lonK-lorm forecasts without even taking Into ac- count Iho development and use. of other forms of energy fission and fusion, natural heal from deep Inside Iho earth, solar energy, fuel-cell energy, pure fust don 'f seem to hove been cut out for this kind of hydrogen. Such alternate sources of energy are no longer theoretical. They are all capable of being translated into operating reality If enough money Is spent on them. This does not mean that we're going to get out have all the gasoline we need by next month or even by next year. But the no- tion that we're in for an Indeterminate period of energy shortage docs not square with the experience of Indus- trialized society. The English experts are belting that we will lie up to our axles in oil within a few years. They sound persuasive. I'm not inclined to take them'up on that bet. Los Anoeles Times Syndicate Disillusioned, they withdraw By James Reston WASHINGTON This used to be known as "the enchanted city on the Potomac" and some poetic mirtds still so regard it. But lately it has lost some of its old shine and spirit and has settled down, at least temporarily, into a mood of frustration and disenchantment. One measure of this weariness or disillusion is the inordinate .number of resignations from the federal service. George Shultz, the secretary of the treasury, is planning to leave, and he will be the last of the original members of the Nixon cabinet to stay on the job. The other day, Rep. Julia Butler Han- sen (D-Wash.) announced her retirement after 14 years in the house of represen- tatives. She was the 19th member of the house to give up in this session of the congress alone. Fifteen of them were Republicans and four Democrats, and seven others quit to seek other jobs. Meanwhile, Sen. Harold Hughes of Iowa announced that he would not run again because he thought he could per- form more useful service through religious activities than through politics. Five other senators also are leaving or have left: Wallace Bennett of Utah, Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, William Saxbe of Ohio (who became at- torney general after announcing his re- Alan Bible of Nevada and Sam Ervin of North Carolina. In most cases, advancing age was ob- viously a factor. It could be argued that many other legislators who should have the grace or judgment to retire are still determined to hang around. But there is something depressing In the air here that accounts for the exodus. Watergate and the fear of defeat In next November's elections may explain why of the 19 members retiring from the house, 15 are Republicans. But the scan- dals and humiliations of wheedling cam- paign money out of contributors have embarrassed more legislators than care to admit it. Many of them are simply sick of the political system and wonder whether it is worth the struggle. The stresses of politics on family life are increasingly burdensome in Washington. Members usually have to maintain houses both here and in (heir own states and districts, and shuttle back and forth weekends to keep in touch. This is hard on the'pockelbook and hell on the women and children. Also it often costs more money than their expense accounts allow, so that many of them find they have to cadge rides and chisel on costs in order to pay their bills. Even senators have to live with the inflation. Another consideralion Is that the side- benefits of being in congress are no longer what they used to be. Not so long ago, before the days of Nader, Anderson and the In'vestigativ.e. reporters, members could count on going abroad at least once a year at public expense. This Is not so easy now. Besides, public service is no longer so faithful to a mini's pride and vanity. The latest poll's on public respect put congressmen at the bottom-of-the list, below garbage men and even secondhand car salesmen. All of this, however, does not fully explain the disenchantment. For example, the resignation rate from the foreign service, once the pride of the civil service, is now very high, paftly because the service has become so large and the problems so complicated that their work and advancement to the lop are limited. Maybe, finally, it Is the gap between whal they expected and what they ac- tually found here that is persuading so many to give up. Politics-is a life of pre- tense for most members, pretending they know more and do more than they ac- tually do, living a public life lhat is quite different from their private.lives, and never quite feeling thai their work means as much as they think It should. New York Times Service Employer-rights attacked Stewardess-waddle at issue By Jenkin Lloyd Jones HOW FAT can an airline stewardess be? This is not a trivial question. For rid- ing on a court's decision will be the limits of an employer's right to determine the kind of employes who arc good for his business. In recent years these righto have been considerably eroded under the general heading of "fair employment practices" and "equal and the end may not yel be In sight. On Dec. 17, 1971, a board of adjustment composed of a neutral chairman, two company representatives and two union representatives handed down a decision In a dispute between' the Airline Pilots Assn. (steward and stewardess division) and United Airlines on the weight mat- lor. The 3-2 opinion, with the union representatives dissenting, held that II was reasonable for (he company lo set stewardess weight limits based on height. It provided, however, lhat ap- peals on medical grounds would be en- tertained and that no o'ne less than eight pounds over Iho limit would be suspend- ed until a medical cxamlnalion Indicated that Ihe weight problem was purely a mailer of overeating. This seemed a prelly Rood backbond In Ihe direction of fairness, but the union chose tn fight It. On Aug. 10, 1972, Ihe ALPA filed charges against United wllh the Kqual Employment Opportunity Commission lo Ihe effect that In pursuing a weight limit on stewardesses the airline had "en- gaged In unlawful employment practice of sex discrimination by enforcing arbi- trary weigh! for female flight atloiuhmls employed by Hip defendant." On Aim. 2.1, 1972, Iho KKOC nollflMl AM'A lhat It had scnl ils complalnl In I lie New York Slalc Division of Iliimini Itlghls and on April JO last year EEOC gave ALPA Ihc.rlxht to sue United In II. S. district court. Subsequently, a slill wns Jenkin Lloyd Jones filed In New York and other airlines will dmiblless be sued In lurn. In the meantime, under pressure of anti-sex-discriminalion opinions, Uniled has begun lo hire stewards. Bui it has sot higher weight limits for stewards than stewardesses for the well-known physiological reason thai the average man weighs more than the average woman of the same height because of large biine and muscle structure. But here are (he horns of a dilemma. If n steward is kepi on while a stewardess is fired for obesity, Mils would seem lo be prima facie evidence of sex discrimination. Yet In the case of Grlggs vs. Duke Power Co., Ihe court held thai a company which nllempls lo demand equal physical rcqulremenls of man and women has a policy neiilral on Us face but diserlmlualiiiK In effect. So whal Is United to do? Obviously, what Ihe union wants It lo do b eliminate any weigh! restriction on any cabin at- tendant who can waddle down the aisle. Whal may he forgotten In all this rights ghost-raising Is Hie reason why airlines hired stewardesses' In Ihe first place. The flrsl European airlines hired only stewards. But during Iho Oreiil Depres- sion, when our airlines began In grow, .VOIIIIK, out-of-work registered nurses were employed lo reassure, ilinld pin- soiiKC'i's who feared they might need oxygen or a ncdallvo. As planes proliferated the supply of nurses was exhausted, so nubile maidens of no particular skill were brought aboard. Fraidy-cals continued lo be comforted on the grounds lhat, If a girl could fly for a living, airline travel must not be so bad. And males were just .na- turally turned on. The contrast was sharp between the bright-smiling fly-girls and grouchy old railrciid conductors, loaded with seniority, security and sciatica, who would lei you sit on a siding for an hour and not give you lime of day. This hastened Ihe demise of the train. There was another wonderful fallout. Airlines became the escape hatch for much of young female America. Prelly girls stuck in an unhappy home situation or withering In bleak hamlets where marriage choices were dismal found Open Sesame In the coffee-lea-or-mi'lk routine. The turnover was terrific 'as the engagement rings and wedding bands were slipped on. Alas, Ihe escape hatch may nnl he so wide henceforth. Unions grow old, loo even airline unions. They become Increasingly dominated by the hangers- on, Ihe seniority pleaders, the security hounds. The ALPA (steward and stewardess division) has already swept away the .unmarried rule and Ihe age liinils. Will weight he nc.xl? The ALPA seems hellbent lo follow Ihe Brotherhood of Railway Conductors. And If superannuated human hippos start handing out Ihe trays, the public rela- llons cffccl on (lie iilrllnes will be Hie same as II was on Ihe railroads when Iraln passengers forgot Iho nice conduc- lors and could only remember the grumps. Maybe when Ihe rockols begin lo challenge Ihe airliners, Iho rockelccrs will.be able lo plend'lhal with broad babes In Ilic galleys I hey cim'l net off puds.   

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