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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 21, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Homing chickens roost in snooty Boston Editorial Page Saturday, September Inflation scope misjudged IF BRAINSTORMING taking place at economic mini-sum- mits is an indication of dialog forthcoming at the President's summit on inflation control (Sept. the nation should brace it- ,self for a blast of hot air. At a Chicago session the other day, for example, Agriculture Secretary Butz remarked, "Wo tighten our belt where we can if we need to during inflation." Which prompted L. L. Boger, Michigan State university agricul- ture school dean, to reply: "The belt may have a few holes for tightening for the poor, widows and retirees." Whether Dr. Boger enlarged upon his correct statement was not indicated in preas dispatches seen here. If he did continue, he may have observed that those who are able to follow Mr. Butz' belt- tightening nostrum without severe discomfort comprise a minority of the population. Retired persons, widows and those subsisting on poverty in- comes of course show the most dramatic results of double-digit inflation's impact. Nearly as com- pelling, though, is the plight of millions of low-and lower-middle income workers whose pay in- creases have been outstripped by inflation each of the last half dozen years even during the Nixon administration's ill-starred economic cqntrols. Curiously, many, if not most, of the bureaucrats assigned to study inflation tend to lump those austerity-income earners with Big Labor union members whose demands are knocking the econ- omy even further out of align- ment. The stereotyping is vivid: If a man holds the title he is automatically viewed as receiving per hour and grasping for more. The media probably could puncture such myths, but the performance so far has been a mixed bag. On TV, for example, each meticulous recounting of travails in the Kentucky hills or. Philadelphia ghetto receives less attention than idiotic comedies showing low-income families liv- ing in attractive apartments. Earlier this year, a University of Michigan study revealed that nearly 85 million Americans were eligible for welfare benefits some time during the last six years (though welfare program partici- pants total 25 Whatever that says about the welfare eligi- bility ceiling, it is clear that 40 percent of the population indeed can tighten belts little more. Will President Ford's inflation control summit signal a turna- round in the struggle with super- inflation? Certainly the public- forum promises larger capacity for diagnosing symptoms than any of the private sessions staged by the Nixon White House. But tangible, satisfying results will come only if delegates belay the chic suggestions bolts! eat peanut butter like we did in and begin understanding the scope of economic hardship in America. Mf. Mercy's good health FOR THE sixth straight year since switching to coeduca- tion, Mt. Mercy college in Cedar Rapids has seen an increase in enrollment. The former school for women now has 822 students (more than 25 percent male) almost twice the number regis- tered for classes in 1968. Such growth would be note- worthy any time, but it is particu- larly remarkable in light of the national dropoff in college enroll- ment in the early 1970s. Surging popularity of two-year colleges, especially those emphasizing vocational-technical training; inflation-bloated tuition rates, end of the draft these factors and others have combined to bring many colleges to a crisis point. What has enabled Mt. Mercy to move so successfully against the current? Beyond the prudent decision to go coeducational, college admin- istrators have enlarged the aca- demic program (bachelor's degrees now offered in 19 different areas) and have enabled graduates of two-year colleges to transfer to Mt. Mercy with junior standing. Importantly, too, the school has effectively advertised its new at- tributes. Such robust health clearly helps insulate this community against the malaise now afflicting higher education. Even those who have never viewed the .scenic campus on the hill in northeast Cedar Rapids are beneficiaries of that strength. Isn't it the truth? By Carl Riblot, jr. Marriage has different attractions for different people. Those who marry for love want something wonderful and they sometimes get it. The people who marry because they wanl to escape something, usually don't. "No man is so virtuous as fo marry a wife only to have children. Luther Way with words Extremes By Theodore M. Bernstein WE HAVE ALL heard the expression to the nth degree, as in, "The play was boring (o Che nth degree." A friend inquires about the meaning and origin of the expression. Basically n is a mathematical symbol and it refers to the final item in an in- finitely increasing or decreasing series of numbers, values or whatnot. To the nth degree, therefore, means to an infinite degree or, in common usage, to an ex- treme. Ain't bad. Sooner or later someone was bound to raise again the question of the word ain't. J. Harrison Knox of Willow Grove, Pa., finds it a justifiable contrac- tion in "Ain't and says it is "much better than the pseudo-euphonious and ungrammatical 'Aren't In "The Story of Language" Mario Pei says that ain't as a substitute for am not or ore not was established in current usage by King Charles II. That would date it back some three centuries. Whim it became substandard is difficult to es- tablish. But Porter G. Perrin in "Writ- er's Guide and Index lo English" says that "prejudice against it among educat- ed people has been almost unanimous for the last half century or so." There can be no doubt that ain't is easier to say than oren't I or omn'f and sounds less stilted than am I not. Never- theless, what should be not always is. Incidentally, Webster's New Internation- al Dictionary, third edition, says that ain't is "used orally in most parts of the U. S. by many cultivated speakers csp. in the phrasi ain't a statement that is open to serious doubt. Word oddities. These days jeopardy is no joke, but embedded in the word is some slight sense of a joke. The word comes from the Old French jeu parti, meaning a game in which the chances were even. But that French term dated back to the Latin partitas, in which the jocus part referred to a game or joke and the partitas part had lo do wilh part or division. The origin-! and now obsolete meaning of jeopardy was a dilemma, as in a game. Today, of course, the word means danger or peril, which is no laughing matter. New York Timns fwnrficfite By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON Over a period of many years, in the bad old days of segregation, southerners smarted under the superior morality of Boston. For a few
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