Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
ll* ll* *■ £ I _ JL JUthf Cf ti nr finpids OnjcHc Public senses slack in gravity ot shortages
Thursday, February 7, 1974
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COUPLED with an apparent decline in “family farming” as part of a general flow of people from rural areas to urban ones, the rise of “corporate farming” has become a matter of concern to many.
This concern provides the spark for a bill designed to help identify, at least, the scope of corporate farming’s inroads into Iowa agriculture. Sponsored by Senator Riley, it would require farm corporations other than the family-owned type to file information with the secretary of state. Included would be data as to acreage, location, crop or livestock quantities produced, identity and residence of those in control.
This is no great burden on the management. All of it would lead to knowledge useful as a guide to trends and to conditions of significance within the industry. If the bill facilitates a gathering of straight, full facts, it should be passed.
There seems to be no need, however, to consider family farming in jeopardy from larger operations 'or to count the corporate approach as a looming threat to Iowa.
Family-farm agriculture does
represent a way of lift' and social system long prized in these parts, and the values that have gone with it remain strong. Anyone who wants to farm this way should have the opportunity. Those who like the life should freely have the chance to make an adequate and satisfying living in it
But larger farms with fewer farmers have resulted from advances in equipment and technique, from the production efficiencies that follow, and from basic economics that support this trend. Corporate farming has been a natural outgrowth of the increase in farm-unit size. There is nothing intrinsically evil, disruptive or sinister in it. Abundant production of quality food is still the prime purpose, and that is in the interest not alone of farmers but the whole society.
If any size- or ownership-related consequences NOT in the public interest develop from this trend, the people have both means and power to correct them through new laws concerning land use. taxation, resource conservation, environmental quality and other elements of public interest.
Senator Riley’s modest proposal would chiefly help to meet concern for w hat is going on with facts about what is.
The people's forum
Happy with trains
To tho Editor:
I just finished reading the article concerning train service in the Cedar Rapids-Marion area and would like to comment.
My husband and I in March of 1971 took the train to Elgin, III. It coat approximately $20 round trip and took 2^ hours to get there. Ever since we have been wishing to repeat the experience.
We have two children under the age of three and feel there are several advantages to train travel for children: There is more space than a car. You could take the children for a walk when they get restless. Two people can entertain the children instead of just one. Bathroom facilities are available at all times
One of the objections to train travel has been cost. Last year in planning a vacation we discovered that train fares are two-thirds the cost of plane fares At that time both trains and planes had family plans. If these figures hold true, families might not find trains us expensive as they thought
Although we’ve never been able to take the train since that time, we are hopefully looking forward to that possibility this summer
Janice Joggerst 2905 Twenty-fifth avenue Marion
To the Editor:
After listening to President Nixon s State of the Union speech I could only conclude that reports of his isolation and that he sees and listens only to a couple of his aides must Im* accurate. He said that the economy was good and that there wouldn’t be a recession, but two days later facts from the labor department contradicted this.
His self-praise statements were of very poor taste considering the problems we are facing today. We are reminded to remember his foreign policy, but I am beginning to doubt if it is that great. In regard to the Vietnam peace agreement, the terms (I have recently learned) were the same that North Vietnam had agreed to several times in the past. One can only assume that for political reasons the war was prolonged, thousands more of our young men were killed or injured and many more innocent civilians were killed by American bombs. The war continues, arid this Mr. Nixon continues to describe as “peace with honor
No matter how much Mr. Nixon wishes
The Gazette s editorial page wet >mes leaden opinions, subject to these jidehnes: ny th limit 400 words ne letter per writer ever/ 30 do/%
I mo/ be condensed and edited without changing meaning joe published anon/mootI/
rifer I telephone number (not printed) should ♦allow name, address and readable haridwntten signature to help authenticate talents deal more with issues and events than personalities
it, Watergate isn t going to go away, arid it shouldn’t till the whole truth is presented to the American people. As long as he fails to cooperate completely with the justice department, I eau only believe that he has something to hide. It would seem that only through impeachment proceedings will we find out the truth.
Mrs M K Louk 4HI Twentieth street SE
To the Editor
Iii Lillian Bruce’s letter Jan. 31. she talked about peace. Men are still dying and towns are still being shelled in Vietnam. The United States is still pouring billions of war materiel into that country. We are supplying Israel with billions in war equipment. The war was over in Germany in 1945. but we still maintain a fighting force there for 29 years. You call that peace?
Elaine Smith on Jan 31 wrote about labor’s donations to congressmen of $1H9.195; a mere drop in the bucket compared to industry’s millions to the Republican campaign fund. But we must remember that is the way these offices are won No honest man alone has enough money to wage a campaign for office in the U S congress unless someone donates money to his campaign
Look at all tht* donations to just our state representatives and they are small arid that happens in every state in the union. One must tx* a millionaire to pay for his own campaign, and a poor man cannot be successful in a try for office because money would be his downfall. So he needs donations, and on a national scale the costs are high
You have to promise a lot to get a large donation Then you hope the donor will not ask you to keep your promise, because then people say you are a crooked politician. But big business gives beautiful bonuses if you do as they '.av land, homes, ears. trips, all way below cost or free. All labor can give is a promise of a favorable vote by the rank and file
Vernon Mrstik 2729 Southland street SVN
By Louis Harris
Tsp Hor rn Survey
THE PROPORTION of Americans who feel that the energy shortage in the country is actually “very serious’’ slipped from 541 precut down to 34 percent between Novoml>er and January. The constant drumbeat of news about the “energy crisis” apparently left a majority of the public unconvinced that the shortage is real
By 53-33 percent, a majority agrees with the statement that “the real trouble in the energy crisis is that the government does not seem to know how serious the shortage will be.” The public’s rating of the job the President has been doing in “handling the energy shortage" dropped to 74-22 percent negative in early January
The public lays much of the responsibility and blame for the energy ruckus on l>oth the* oil industry and the federal government Since last September, the number of Americans who I nit the onus on the oil companies has risen from 74 to 83 percent, while the number who blame the federal government has gone up from 83 to 75 percent.
By contrast, the public is less inclined now than before to blame itself for fuel problems in the* U.S. l.ast fall, 54 percent of the American public laid a “major” share of blame for shortages on itself, but by January this had slipped to 44 percent
The public is still prepared, however, to make some sacrifices to meet the energy shortage, including having gas
stations closed on Sunday, compulsory tar pools, a 50-mile-per hour speed limit, and even rationing, if necessary. But a sizable majority feels that consumption of gasoline is now tieing regulate by allowing the price to rise. That, by 78 18 percent, is viewed to be w rong
Back before the energy shortage was viewed as acute, then iii the late fall, and again this past month, national cross-sections of the public were asked
September, '73 The U S public
Not Not Her loo* Minor or ob ‘ore
How ten oti*
do you think the
jhortage i* in this country —
or not serious
Not serious at oil
* is no
shortage at all has almost doubled since the late fall, up from 9 ti* 17 percent. Part of the reluctance of the public to acknowledge a serious shortage is a shift in focus as to who is tit blame for such problems. Nationwide cross-sections were asked both last September and again this January:
From what you have read or heard, would you jay (read list) has ma|or responsibility tor the energy shortage, minor responsibility, or has no responsibility at all?
As the public has tended to point the finger of blame less at its own habits of consumption, “major responsibility for the energy shortage’’ has been increasingly attributed to the oil companies, the federal government, and foreign governments
Despite all of its doubts about the reality of fuel shortages, the public is still willing to endure personal restrictions to conserve supplies. The crosssection was asked both in January and September
‘ Several suggestions have been made for ♦he public to cut down on the use of oil, gas, and electricity For each suggestion, tell me if you personally would find it a serious handicap, a minor problem, or not a problem at alP
January, 74 September, 73 lf people who live IO mile* or more from work were requited to com mute in car pool
January, 74 September, 73 lf counfry went to system of gasoline rationing
Gas stations closed
September, ‘73 Lower speed limit on highways to 50 mph
January, '74 September, 73
went to 75 cents a gallon to make people use less January, '74 September, 73 Power companies allowed to raise rates, to provide them with in centives to find new energy
Serious Minor prob
69 19 IO
sources January, 74
The oil companies
All price controls
on gasoline taken
The federal government
off to allow
56 27 ll
Majorities of the public would not find it a serious inconvenience if car pools for commuting to work were made compulsory, if rationing were instituted, if gas stations are closed on Sunday, and if tilt1 speed limit on highways wert* held to SII miles per hour
People are adamantly opposed to the idea of controlling the consumption of gasoline through price hikes. The reason is twofold: First, they feel the approach is inequitable, favoring tin* rich and discriminating against middle and lower income families. Second, after a long inflationary period in which the public has suffered from high prices, price hikes on such a key commodity as gasoline are perceived as (touring salt on an o|>en wound
Chicago Tribune New York New* Syndicate
Should congress restrict foreign investments in U.S.?
By Congressional Quarterly
WASHINGTON — The specter of foreign investors — particularly Japanese industrialists or Arab oil sheiks — controlling vital American industries is prompting congress to consider the impact of foreign investments on the strength and security of the U S. economy
Concern about the rising tide of foreign investments — underscored in the midst of the energy crisis by the British acquisition of a major American crude-oil supplier (Signal, Oil and Gas Company) — has led sonic members to introduce legislation outlawing foreign control of U.S. corporations
Proposing a two-year federal study of such investments. Sen Daniel Inouve (I)-Hawaii)
complained in December that “we do not know whether the net effect of foreign direct investment in the United States has been beneficial or detrimental.’’
While no immediate clampdown on foreign investors is likely, the paucity of firm statistics on their impact may cause congress at least to call for a thorough study
Without such a study, some business men lear, emotional arguments for protecting American industry against foreign takeovers could bring harsh limits on investments from other nations
Should congress put limits on foreign investments in U.S. industries?
“I didn t say prices would taper off I said increases would taper off
As REP John ll Dent (D-Pa I, the ** leading congressional advocate of restricting foreign investments, concedes, “there is nothing inherently evil about foreign investment.’’ But with such investment mushrooming since 1972, the federal government must come up with a policy to protect American control over inqMirtant American industries
At present, then* are few reliable statistics on the extent and impact of foreign investment in the U.S. economy But bv one estimate, foreign investment increased by $2 billion during 1973. far outdistancing such investment during any previous year
“What concerns me,” Dent explains “is that given domestic market conditions, the international store of dollars ami the recent devaluations, the current wave of investments is only a droit iii the bucket compared to what can be and is expected
What is particularly disturbing is the trend toward foreign acquisitions iii key industries such as machinery, transportation, defense and energy — as well as in valuable natural resources, including timber and agricultural lands With those plants and materials in foreign hands, the nation c annot bo sure that in a crisis they eau in* used for the national benefits
Arguing for restric tions on foreign investment in defense and energy industries, Hep John E Moss (IM alif > maintains that “the takeover of the control of any such U S corporation bv foreign nationals would not tx* in the national interest of the- United States National security is involved here in the* broadest sense
Equally disturbing is the potential harm foreign investments could do to competing I S companies and their workers "A foreign-owned mill here, employing Americans, will be iii direct competition with American-owned mills,’’ Rep. Joseph M Gaydos (D-Pa ) points out If the foreign-owned company gets a subsidy from Its government.
Gaydos adds, “that company can undersell the American company and eventually force it to close shop
While the foreign-owned com (ta ny would hire* Americans, Gaydos concludes, “the slight gain in employment will be more than offset by the massive layoffs of other American workers.”
Ounce the earliest days of the
^ Republic, the* United States has welcomed foreign investment as a stimulus to development of its economy. Since the 4930s, moreover, tills nation has urged other countries to accord the same welcome to our investments in the interest of an open world economy.
“To abandon our traditional hospitality toward foreign investment would make it
The Gazette's Opinion
Home interests first
TO SKK the need for ultimately restricting foreign investment in the United States, one has but to project a further burgeoning of foreign immies invested here — front the* present $14 billion to double fit triple* Hie amount in the next 15 years. Beyond doubt, investment limits are needed, lest the British, Dutch, Japanese, Arabs, Germans, Swiss, Canadians and other large-scale investors end up calling the shots in vital American industries
And to discern how foreign investors would greet the clampdown, consider how Americans investing abroad would view a rejection of their bid to impose a vise-grip on someone else’s economy. No matter how free wheeling the world trade market becomes, home interests should prevail
Thus the question is not whether foreign investment limits should be unposed but rather how strict and in which industries. The* study proposed by Sen. Inouve should bring the country’s home-business protection needs into better focus. Meanwhile, Iowa Rep. John Culver’s foreign economic policy subcommittee is pondering Iliff immediate results of the accelerating foreign investments here (from $(175 million 19B2-1972 to $2 billion annually now )
Should the subcommittee judge the investment rush of critical concern, interim legislation will be HH|Uired. Roger Blobaum of the Center for Rural Land Study has suggested a law requiring foreign investors to report all types of agricultural investment, particularly land purchases. That's a good idea, since the agricultural acquisitions of many alien wheeler dealers are practically invisible
difficult tit resist restrictions against our nun . . foreign investment,’’ William J Casey, the undersecretary of state for economic affairs, maintains And American investments overseas, winch st(K>d at $94-billion at the end of 1972. represent a far more important commitment of wealth than the SI4-billion that foreigners had invested in this country
"Even more important,” Casey continues, restrictions on foreign investors “would bring Into question the ll. S commitment to the type of open world economy we are trying to achieve through international monetary anti trade negotiations ”
While foreign investment raises some problems, “un the whole the United States has enjoyed a substantial net benefit,” Sidney I. .lories, the assistant secretary of commerce for tvonomic affairs, testifies., “The economy has acquired new capital, new and improved technology, and often new management and products as well
“These foreign direct investments have contributed to over-all I S. productivity, production and domestic economic growth and have increased the stream of income and employment iii the U. S economy."
Despite Hie furor over foreign investments, Thomas I, Farmer of the Chamber of Commerce of the United Stales argues, “all we have seen are rare instances of foreign economic penetration that have been magnified into a problem of unjustified national concern."
if congress overreacts “by enacting unwarranted federal legislation based on a few isolated local or regional fears and concerns,” Farmer warns, “we may stem an investment flow which promises lo Im* of great benefit to the economy as a w hole "
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Your hometown is the place where people wonder how you ever got as fur us you have.
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