Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 11, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette October 11, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa m tout .v.v.r.v *• * y. lEht &tdnt Httpttb #^*44* Editorial Page Friday, October 11,1974 «** Proposed Amendments — I Special-session method THE NEWS MEDIA have concentrated so intensely on covering candidates during this rather dull campaign that hardly anybody yet has paid attention to two proposed amendments of the state constitution that are on the ballot also next month Small wonder, then, that voters picking up absentee ballots have raised a question about them, puzzled as to what’s going on. This editorial will deal with the first proposed amendment, and the second (on distribution of fines) will be reviewed in later comments The first proposal would authorize the legislature to call itself into special session upon written request of two-thirds of the members of the house, and two*thirds of the members of the senate, to the presiding officer in each chamber. The proposal reads: “Section two (2) of Article three (III) of the Constitution of the State of Iowa, as amended by amendment number one (I) of the Amendments of 1968 to the Constitution of the State of Iowa, is repealed and the following adopted in lieu thereof: “The General Assembly shall meet in session on the second Monday of January of each year. Upon the written request to the presiding officer of each House of the General Assembly by two-thirds of the members of each House, the General Assembly shall convene in special session. The Governor of the state may convene the Gener al Assembly by proclamation in the interim.’’ At present, only the governor has the authority to call the legislature into special session. There have been times in the past when some legislators felt a special session should be called to deal with a specific problem (although those times have been few since annual sessions started in 1970) but could not persuade the governor to issue a call. The purpose of this proposed amendment, then, is to authorize the legislature to call itself into special session, conditioned on the required signatures. The governor would retain his power to call special sessions. The Iowa amending process requires adoption of the proposed amendment by majority vote of each chamber in two consecutive regular sessions of the legislature. Then it must be ratified by a majority vote of the people at a statewide referendum before it can take effect. The house* adopted this proposed amendment, 85 to 0, in 1972 and the senate approved it, 38 to 0, that same year, during the 64th general assembly. The house approved it the second time in identical form, 88 to 0. and the senate followed suit, 36 to IO. in 1974 during the 65th general assembly. Based on the condition requiring signatures of two-thirds of the members of each house, which almost always would necessitate a few signatures from minority party members, this is a good amendment and should be ratified by the people on Nov. 5. Whither Whipple? MRS. OLSON, TVs most familiar, if not most 'beloved, coffee salesperson, at last has received her walking papers from the Folgers people. The bulletin evoked little surprise at first; the guess here was that the nosy Scandinavian gal had been arrested on a trespass rap But it turns out prying had nothing to do with Mrs. Olson’s departure. (If materializing suddenly in other people’s kitchens were an indictable offense, the Man from Glad would be doing five to 20 in Sing-Sing.) What chased Mrs. Olson from the air waves was the insistence by women’s libbers that the Folgers pitch reinforces male chauvinist beliefs — specifically the one holding that to keep her marriage from foundering a housewife had better (for starters) provide her husband with a tasty cup of coffee. With the Olson dismissal and the reason why now on the record, male libbers ought to enjoy similar leverage. An ideal nomination for extinction is Mr Whipple, the supermarket jerk who has been fondling toilet tissue for as long as Mrs Olson pushed coffee. Defenders of that insipid commercial of course would extol its effectiveness: Just as no one in the world could forget that Mrs. Olson lugs around the Folgers. only blessed amnesia could erase the image of Whipple squeezing the ( harnnn. But no matter If sexual stereotyping is sufficient grounds for ousting Olson, the same criteria could Im* used in wiping the screen free of Whipple. If men in general do not resent the Whipple character, grocery store employes certainly must. Fog still fuzzes the Ford battle scheme Push-pull strategy just might succeed By William Satire WASHINGTON — “I do not think the United States Is in a recession," said President Ford stoutly this week while looking at a half year of declining real growth through rosegarden-colored glasses. Some economists tut-tutted; according to the strict and simplistic definition of a recession by the National Bureau of Economic Research, our last two quarters do reflect a recession. Moreover, unemployment is climbing, and sinking stock prices have made bearish "Calamity" Janeway look like u Delphic or at* Ie The President’s news conference answer, however, was no offhand remark. His calculated policy is not only to deny the existence of the present recession but to steadfastly assert he will not tolerate a recession in the future. He cannot recognize the recession of 1974-75 as a recession. If he did, he would bo forced to move strongly to stimulate the economy and thereby give up the fight against inflation. The strategy of his economic advisers, which he has accepted, is to deny recession for as long as possible, and when that is no longer possible, to disguise it and treat its worst manifestations But he cannot kill this recession. because only this recession can kill — or at least slow down — this inflation. How easy it is to caval at Ford’s economic program for not being "bold" enough; many critics of an imperial presidency on the international front are advocates of an imperious President of the economic front at home. But there is another kind of courage in the arena of political economy; When every armchair Keynes is proposing drastic remedies involving new controls, there is a boldness in acting with restraint. The reason we have inflation is that we have discovered how to stimulate ourselves out of recessions but have not discovered the substitute for a recession's cure of inflation Ford’s approach seems to recognize that unhappy fact. Instead of putting forth an aggressive anti-inflation plan, he has put forth a series of ideas that will help us to live with the downturn which alone can alleviate inflation The theme of the program is to cushion the non recession's worst effects Since housing is a disaster area, aid is applied so that it will neither boom nor bnst. This is anti-recessionary and unavoidably inflationary — helping housing will drive up prices of copper and other building materials — but if the idea is to have as painless a recession as fusible. the idea makes sense Similarly, some sensitivity is shown to the effects of a necessary slowdown on the man at the bottom of the economic pyramid (and any evocation of an FDR phrase is a mistake). Extended unemployment benefits and little WPAs show human concern but do not significantly prime the pump; some soak-the-nch tax talk contributes to the impression that the government feels for the working poor. who always bear the brunt of recessions Of course no sane political figure is going to say a kind word for recession, but the universally avoided truth is that there is presently no other way to increase productivity in plants, to turn impulse buyers into careful shoppers at supermarkets, and to seriously cut into the rise in the cost of liv ing Most Americans hate to admit this There must be a better way toward readable price stability that does not put us through recession * wringer every few years, or does not botch up the system with periodic experiments with controls and the dictatorship of the professorial Kilter Mr Ford with the nonwringing wringer He is a general who must wage William Satire a war of attrition wearing the expression of the chaplain His is a way worth trying; we have never tried it Just this way before and may discover originality in bland guise ( alls for fiscal restraint are hardly new Actual restraint would In* new indeed. Lip-service to competition is familiar as well. but if Ford is serious about breaking up the cozy patterns in industries which have been regulated to heights of inefficiency, and adopting the kind of antitrust fervor last seen under Attorney General William Rogers, we might have a quiet revolution to make conservative dreams come true Ford’s plea for voluntary action to cut waste and get together in car pools will In* dismissed as cornball claptrap by many critics, and the small-town boosterism in pinning on a Whip-lnfla-t ion-Now WIN button will turn off some opinion leaders. But the exhortations by a sincere man might just summon long-depressed patriotic spirits from the vasty deep That would be the newest element of all. A common sense, undramatic plan has been put forward Its original idea is to ride with an unrecognized recession. and not to “tighten the screws too tightly." The plan is daring in its simplicity, expanding credibility in a good cause That is why, until the line cannot and need no longer hold, we will hear the President saying in news conferences to come: “Recession? Recession? What recession?’’ Ne* Vork Time* Service Insights 1974 bw C* cipo 7▼ Hems s*n/« r A habit of labor in the peo pie is as essential to the health and vigor of their minds and bodies os it is conducive to the welfare of the state. Alexander Hamilton Honest, sensible, but not ‘war'-like enough By James Reston WASHINGTON - President Ford has now defined the economic crisis of the nation and proposed a catalog of remedies The question now is whether the solutions he proposed are equal to the crisis he define, and the fear here is that he didn’t bite the bullet but nibbled it. In these abnormal times, and especially a month before the off-year congressional elections, he put forward some unpopular and politically bold proposals, but the whole thrust of his speech to the congress was that the nation was in mortal danger, and he asked that we mutually pledge to each other, not "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor," but our comfort, our support, and 5 percent of our gas and oil It would be hard to overemphasize the relief in Washington to find a President stating, with the utmost sincerity. his belief about what had to be done in the interests of the Republic. And for the first time in years, to see a congress that accepts him at his word, without doubting his motives Still, his proposals, honest and sensible as they were, scarcely measure up to the spectacular menace and danger he put before the congress. Inflation was as bad as war, he suggested, while refusing to call for a declaration of war. “We have had enough early warnings. he said "... The time to intercept (the enemy inflation) is almost gone But he didn’t intercept it. “I say to you with all sincerity," Ford remarked in the peroration of his s|>eech, “that inflation, our present public enemy, will — unless it is whipped — destroy our country, our homes, our liberties, our property, and finally our national pride — as surely as any well-armed wartime enemy " Maybe* it was wrong to define the question in military terms, and even to regret the absence of a Pearl Harbor to wake us up But when he got down to his 10-point program of remedies, he was bold in his own framework as a conservative Republican leader, but scarcely bold in the framework of the world problem he now has to handle. The in flat ion-recession problem is moving faster than he thought and the outlook now is that he is going to have to face 7 percent unemployment by midyear of 1975. He made concessions, which must seem to him as almost radical. in offering public jobs to the unemployed and other breaks to the poor But again, his estimate is probably far short of the need Even most liberal economists agree that we don’t need mandatory wage and price controls, but we do need much tougher controls over pattern-setting un- ✓ *+ James Reston ions and businesses. Apparently the President is convinced that he should start with appeals to patriotism, and voluntary controls that bark but don’t bite At leust he has made a beginning In his speech to the congress, he has told his colleagues in the executive branch, his old friends on Capitol Hill, and the American people what he wants them to do. It is early for him but late for the congress, which is yearning to campaign for next month’s election, lf nothing else, he has clarified the problem for the average responsible family. He has finally spelled out what he thinks should be done. We are in trouble. he has said Whatever the President or the congress decide, we can’t make it unless you save gas. oil, and money, and help the country in an awkward time This is typical of Gerald Ford. He sees the world crisis and suggests laws to deal with it. but basically he believes that appealing to the American people for voluntary sacrifices will work — or at least must be tried before introducing compulsory legislation, and he may be right. He is still in that transition period between being a partisan leader and a national leader, and the world economic crisis has come down on him before he has had time to figure out the difference So he has proposed policies which he would obviously have opposed in his 25 years in the house of representatives But he has still not caught up with the radical national and world economic problem his advisers in the cabinet are putting before him His instinct, and it is the center of his life, is that first you must go to the people — appeal to them, organize them, give them a chance — and only then, if they don’t come through, pass laws to compel what the country needs. Washington admires but doubts that this will meet the national crisis he defined in such dramatic terms,' but it likes him and believes in his sincerity, and his caution. Al least he nibbled the bullet and this is probably about as much as the country is now prepared to swallow. Ne* York Time* Service People’s forum Farmers’ price-role To the Editor Why is it that the farmer is the only business man who takes the price they give him'’ When he goes to buy his fertilizer. seed and equipment they tell the farmer what the price is they don't ask him to set their prices A farmer knows what he has to have to make a buck Why can’t he set his own prices0 I ni not a farmer, but 1 11 In* glad to pay the higher prices on bual because I know the farmers inst demand a fair price Jack Thompson 1HH Sixteenth avenue SW Hard times To the Editor After reading the front page of The Gazette. I was a little amazed to find that biting on a bullet would ease our problems (according to our newly selected President). How the people of this country can digest this kind of stuff is way beyond my reasoning I don t blame this administration completely, but it had one heck of a lot to do with the situation we are in now We have been on the rocks for over 511 years, since my father was in W’orld war I. and we are still making a big mess out of things I’m a 196 percent disabled vet from World war II Just look at all of these sick and crippled young men out of Vietnam who are still going to have to make it in life I went that road and raised three kids, but I didn’t think it would ever be so tough in all of our lifetimes I sure hope these Vietnam vets don't have to bite a bullet the way Ford wants everyone to do. to raise their kids It should all be changed, but for rny-self I ve tried to figure it out like every other average person has and to no avail. I just couldn't come up with a legitimate answer Lloyd Shreeves 1335 Third avenue SW Conned To the Editor It is obvious that the people in Cedar Rapids are very gullible when it comes to city or local candidates Before the 1973 election there was talk about a civic center, about a better park system and about ridding us of eyesores on the C edar river The people were taken in by these promises; thus we have our present city government Now we hear practically nothing of these subjects. We have been foozled by fustian too long The tune has come to flagellate the feckless fourflushers of fakery I ask that voters study their candidates carefully in the future in order to prevent further dishonesty and mistrust Craig Blas 52H Ely avenue SW Skin-by Pete the printer complains that inflation is causing him to practice eke-con- nmy —Minneapolis Star Cartoonists aim a watery eye at the way things are going a im to** mi •;' . .J7ried a Ouija board yet to got tom* answers on tho economy, SirrOkay, thofi J 78 07 ... for tho down payment!’ Now, bite on the bullet — that'll itop you wasting all your money on food!' Sure I underhand inflation — it means tile rest of the counfry will adjust to our life style!' ;

  • Jack Thompson
  • James Reston
  • Lloyd Shreeves
  • William Rogers
  • William Satire

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: October 11, 1974

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