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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa HH Ctt1 tint l\npirU ‘Do you handle domestic cases?’ Editorial Page Sunday, February 24, 1974 Fair shake for credit IF THERE IS anything that buyers and sellers both greatly enjoy in the merchandising game, it’s a sale. The consumer relishes a bargain — goods marked down, an item costing less than usual, a purchase where the buyer thinks he’s got himself a deal. Merchandisers love a sale because it makes the buyers flock in. Generous publicity and lively competition in all these festivities are the name of the game. The way these healthy principles apply in still another facet of the merchandising game suggests that it is safe, desirable and fair to straighten out a legal kink in the proceedings: Let sellers get a higher interest rate on charge* account credit than Iowa law has been ruled to allow — a rate that buyers long have found acceptable and have freely been willing to pay. The sticker is a ruling by the Iowa supreme court last September that retail charge accounts are subject to the usury law which limits interest on loans to a maximum of 9 percent a year. (One and a half percent per month had been the standard charge, equivalent to 18 percent a year.) The answer is a bill to do away with the unrealistic 9 percent, restore the 18 that worked well before, or else remove all ceilings and allow free competition in the credit market to establish what these rates will be. The “uniform commercial credit code” now under study in the legislature is the likely vehicle for this reform. Although 18 percent a year sounds out of line for almost any kind of loan, there are several strong considerations that support it: • The lVfc-percent-a-nionth charge for credit does not mean a customer in fact pays out a full 18 percent on what he buys. Illustration: When an item costs $190, monthly payments of $10 reduce the balance steadily on what the Ipercent is charged against. The actual service charge adds up to $9.02 on that purchase — much less than the $18 that “t8 percent” would represent. • The 9 percent limit keeps many retail outlets from breaking even on their extension of credit. Handling costs, bookkeeping, postage, late-payment collection expenses and stores’ own higher interest on money they borrow from banks all balloon their costs of selling on credit. Then either customers pay higher prices on the goods to cover this expense, or lower-ineome buyers don’t get credit in the first place, or both of these effects result. • The 9 percent “usury” limit already has been lifted from other transactions by previous enactments of the legislature. Small-loan companies can charge a maximum of 30 percent. Banks can charge an installment loan interest rate of 12 percent. The rate-ceiling on auto financing is 27 percent. As a leading Cedar Rapids merchant sums up: “It is discriminatory to allow money lenders to charge more than those who are, in effect, lenders of merchandise.” Revision of the law to halt inequities and smooth the course of ordinary business manifestly has advantages for everyone involved. Sellers’ urges to outdo their competition and attract more buyers will compel them to keep credit charges equally competitive. Buyers’ instincts for the sweetest deal to themselves will send them where the honey is and help keep everyone in line. This year’s legislature should accommodate them all. VV hat’s an emergency? AMONG the many snap decisions required of law officers on patrol is determining which vehicle trips rate as emergencies. Bringing the question to mind last week was a collision involving a Palo police car in Cedar Rapids. The Palo officer was transporting three Shellsburg residents to a local hospital for treatment of fever when the police car was struck by a car at a northwest side intersection. The police vehicle’s red light and siren were operating at the time, according to Cedar Rapids police who investigated the accident. The civilian driver was charged with failing to properly operate a vehicle upon approach of an emergency vehicle. The circumstances make it clear that the hospital run should have been conducted w ithout siren sounding and light flashing. Unlike heavy blood-loss or asphyxiation, the presence of fever among patients does not call for emer-gency-condition driving. Fortunately, that instance of apparent undue haste is atypical of emergency vehicle operations in Linn county. Cedar Rapids police and Linn county sheriff’s deputies are instructed to withhold emergency signal equipment until true emergencies occur. (Incidentally, both departments summon ambulances for medical cases.) During emergencies, orders are for careful driving, which includes slowing at intersections. Fire fighters and ambulance drivers are similarly cautious. In light of emergency vehicles plying city and county roads and the total miles traveled by each, the accident rate of public safety vehicles in Linn county is surprisingly low. Commendably, too, motorists are generally alert in clearing the path for emergency vehicles. All-vol army succeeds Draft safely dead By Roscoe Drummond W 7ASHINGTOX — Let s arrest a mili-y myth. The myth is that before the all-volunteer army was a year old it proved itself a failure as the critics had procalimed — that it wasn't coming near to producing the volume and quality of manpower needed by the sen ices. air forte ?nlistment >ing and the lity has been and congressmen are quitting politics right and left because they think Watergate will bring their defeat. Some are retiring, but no great disproportion as between Republicans and Democrats. Thus far six senators are not standing for re-election: three Republicans and three Democrats. In the house IR Republicans and IO Democrats are either retiring or seeking other offices. Three others ha\c resigned to accept other positions. Not at all a high number, far fewer than two years ago when 47 members of the housi stepped down—24 Republicans and 23 Democrats. Retired air force Gen Ira < . Laker offers this conclusion “It is fortunate that the first year's experience with the all-volunteer force is favorable, for there is no acceptable alternative. The congress and the country will never return to the inequitable, ineffective draft system in peacetime." LET’S also arrest a political myth. The myth is that Republican senators im Syndical* Roscoe Drummond'N OI More debate on use-restrictions Promoting respect for the land By Richard Worsnop AMERICANS have never quite got over > the passing of the frontier. The second-home movement stands as eloquent testimony to the American belief in this country’s bountiful supply of land. Rut now, at long last, the idea that land resources are finite is sinking in. As a result, several state legislatures are considering land-use planning bills this year. Sentiment for land-use laws appears strongest in that part of the country where land is most plentiful — the Far West. According to the National Legislative Conference, the legislatures of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah "seem certain” to debate such measures in 1974. California voters opted for restrictions on land use in 1972. Proposition 20, approved by a wide margin despite strong opposition by real estate developers and oil companies, imposed strict zoning on use and development of the state’s 1,087-mile shoreline. The measure created a state coastal zone conservation commission with veto power over all development—from tree cutting to building construction to oil drilling. In Delaware, a battle is shaping up in the legislature over efforts by industry and labor to repeal the state’s coastal zone act. enacted in 1971 and praised by conservationists as a model for the nation. Among other things, it bars new heavy industry from a two-mile-w ide coastal strip. Land use can be controlled, but not stopped A report issued in 1972 by the senate interior and insular affairs committee predicted that over the next 3(1 years the pressures of growth in the United States will consume an additional 28,000 square miles — an area nearly as large as the state of South Carolina—of undeveloped land for urban use. Each decade, new urban growth will absorb an area greater than the state of New Jersey. The energy crisis will both aid and impede efforts to regulate land use. On the one hand, continuing gasoline shortages probably will retard the development of recreational land complexes far from major population centers. On the other hand, the need for new energy sources will lend strength to demands for more strip-mining of coal and exploitation of oil shale deposits. Land-use planning presents special difficulties for states that rely heavily on tourism. For example, many residents of Vermont have grumbled about the growth of vacation-home developments near the state’s many skiing areas. At the same time, they are worried about the loss of tourist income caused by scanty snowfall and gasoline shortages. Florida is in a somewhat similar situation. Gov. Reubin Askew was elected in 1970 on a strong controlled-growth platform, and the legislature has since passed a law giving the state the final word in projects of “critical state concern,” including big housing projects and other developments, especially those that might damage wild areas like the Everglades. Rut no state has embraced the land-use cause as warmly as has Oregon. Ellis Lucia observed four years ago in the Los Angeles Times, “Oregonians were screaming about environment and man s relation to nature long before it became a national pastime.” Editorial Restored Report* Wealth-disparities ignored Britain’s plight mirrors world’s -•*' ■ STJ* ga By James Reston LONDON — The British election is merely one dramatic symbol of the much deeper crisis now shaking the whole Western world. The economic problems are more serious here than in most other advanced industrial nations, hut the debates of inflation, prices, unemployment, and scarce raw materials that are also dividing the United States, Western Europe and Japan. What we are seeing and hearing in this election is only one illustration of the disunity and disarray of the capitalist world, and the inability of political parties to find nationalistic solutions to international problems that are beyond their control. No doubt the communist countries have different and more serious problems, but that is another story. Meanwhile, anyone wondering where we are going in the West can find much to observe here. This election is being fought out on the assumption that an extraordinary upheaval in the economics of the world can be handled by ordinary political methods, that the election of the Conservatives, or the Socialists, or the Liberals can somehow control the price of food or oil, or the problems of money or trade. Even in rich countries like the United States. West Germany and Japan, this is People's forumComplaint? To the Editor: In response to the recent letters concerning Inadequate care and conditions in nursing homes in this community: Anyone who believes that patients are not receiving adequate care and attention in a particular nursing home should report this to the Linn county department of social services. A complaint against a nursing home will never be ignored and will Im' thoroughly explored. Complaints may be received over I hi* phone, but the person will be asked to put what has been observed in writing. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted. Complaints against nursing homes may in* handled by silting down with the nursing home administrator to discuss the situation arid to look for wi.yn to change the condition In the case of more serious complaints, no longer true, and in Britain it is fantasy. The plain fact, which all sides in this British election evade as much as they can, is that this country is broke. The price of oil has quadrupled. Britain’s bill to import it in 1974 will go up by 2 billion pounds—pounds, not dollars. The estimate now is that the price of coal will double. Over 2 million British workers are getting unemployment benefits. To deal with all this, Britain will have to borrow stupendous sums abroad at high interest rates just to keep going. None of the principals in the British election denied any of this. Harold Wilson Insights A bone to the dog is not chanty. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are lust as hungry as the dog. Jack London the proper authorities in the Linn county health department and the state department of health will be notified and requested to take action. Complaints against nursing home administrators may also Im* handled by reporting to the state board of examiners for nursing home administrators. We are fortunate in Linn county that the majority of nursing homes are fine fac ilities, operated by persons who are sincerely interested in their patients and in providing good patient care. Any deficiencies or inadequacies that occur iii nursing homes can i»c corrects by persons who are willing to report what they have seen so that action can be taken. Insuring that good patient care is being provided in safe and clean nursing homes could and should be the responsibility of the community. Eleanor Cox Adult service supervisor Man la Swift Adult services specialist Linn county department of social services 4<Mi Third avenue SE blames it on the Tories. Prime Minister Heath denounces irresponsible Socialists backed by communist labor leaders. Both sides sneer at the notion of forming a national government to deal with the economic problem. Occasionally, voices of protest are heard from outside British politics. The Bishop of Southwark. Mervyn Stock-wood, asked in The Times of Lindon the other day what ehoice this election gave to the poor in Britain? "The richest 7 percent of British taxpayers own 84 percent of the nation’s wealth,” he said. “At one end of the scale, there are extravagant riches and comfort; at the other end, poverty, hardship and squalor . .. Both parties try to sweep the facts under the carpet ... I challenge Messrs. Heath, Wilson and Thorpe to spell out in facts and figures what they would do about it.” In short, the bishop was suggesting what Disraeli wrote in 1845, that the slogan of both parties "one nation" has still not bern achieved and that there are still two British nations — "the rich and the poor.” Britain's problem, like the problem of other countries, lies in a new world order to deal with this torrent of new people, new demands, and new ideas, but very little is heard of this in the British election.Accident-prone To the Editor: Because of human nature, the probability is high (not low) that nuclear jmwer will mean radioactive pollution. Containment of radioactivity depends on near-perfection in the people who design, manufacture, construct and operate nuclear jiower plants, and who transport, process and store their radioactive poisons. Successful containment also depends on business constantly rejecting the temptation to cut safety corners in order to increase profits. I he Vermont Yankee, a boiling water reactor similar to the Duane Arnold plant, operates at only 5(1 percent of Its rated jxiwer because of safety questions. Recently it was shut down. AEC inspection teams reported numerous welding and construction flaws at the Duane Arnold Energy ('enter. The Wall Street Journal of May 3, 1973, reported on other numerous errors andHe’s still ‘in their hearts’ By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON — The text of a speech delivered in Washington on Feb. ti has just come to hand. It was a honey of a speech, and it prompts me to wonder aloud if its author, Simi. Barry Goldwater, could be talked into running for President once more. A prudent columnist knows (letter than to ask the senator himself alwiut this, for the senator would only say “no,” or maybe "hell, no.” And there’s no [Hunt in drowning a nice warm idea in cold water. The proposition ought not to Im' brushed aside. When the senator ran as the Republican nominee in 1904, every conceivable political factor counted against him. He himself was little-known; he came from a small state with no political clout; from I he very night of his acceptance speech, partly through his own fault, he was unable to shake an image of right-wing extremism. John Kennedy had been killed In November, 1903; Lyndon Johnson still commanded enormous support; the country was not about to vote for a third President in barely a year. Goldwater lolled a respectable 27 million votes, but he got swamped in the electoral college. The situation is vastly different now. Goldwater is “Mr. Republican". He has grown in the country’s respect and affection. He is untouched by Watergate. He was born in 1909, which would make him 08 at inaugural time in 1977. That would be pretty old for an incoming President — but we hear much talk of Nelson Rockefeller ( 1908), Ronald Reagan (1911), and Henry Jackson (1912). It would be interesting to see Dr. Gallup test Goldwater’s name in an iffiness poll: If the election were being held tomorrow, how would Goldwater do against Ted Kennedy? He might do remarkably well. Goldwater began by criticizing the typical performance of an ill-prepared business man before a congressional committee. He warned the industrialists that they must expect tough questions prepared by “brilliant young staff members who mistrust or totally disbelieve the attributes of the enterprise system." Turning to broader themes, Goldwater took note (by implication) of recent legislative trends affecting railroads, health care, communications, and petroleum: "I believe that competitive enterprise is now face to face with one of the greatest threats in this country's 200-year history." Determined forces are working toward nationalization, Goldwater said, though they call it something else. "You can butter up the term, sweeten it, pour syrup on it, do anything you want with it — but it is nothing but socialism, and that is the system that has never done anything for any people." Goldwater urged the industrial leaders to promote the profit system in their own communities, to compete in the intellectual marketplace of ideas, and to employ all the legitimate means at their disposal in support of candidates who believe in private enterprise. He wound up with a ringing defense of economic freedom, which he termed “the essential freedom.” What good is the right to life, Goldwater asked, “if a man does not control the means to life?” It was a real bell-ringer of a spoeeh, clear and clean. It recalled Goldwaters fine little book, "The Conscience of a Conservative”, written 15 years ago, and it echoed the best of his campaign speeches of 1994. The Republican slogan in that election was, "You know in your heart that he's right.” Ten years later, Barry Goldwater is still rigid. and a great many concerned Americans still know it in their hearts. breakdowns in the operation of nuclear plants. lf catastrophic accidents are impossi hie, why did the nuclear industry inst* on the law (the Price-Anderson aet which says accidents are not impossible' I tie law says liability for a nuclear ca tastrophe is limited to $500 million, wit! Hie taxpayers paying $405 million and Ihf electric ut ll it ifs only $95 million, ll nuclear power plants had to meet n market test fur insurance coverage the> would not be operating today. Nuclear mistakes could poison cart! and water irreversibly for a thousand years As alternatives NASA and ihe Na ttonal Science Foundation speak of tin feasibility of solar and wind power within five to 15 years. Wouldn't that Im* safe! and more practical? There is a meeting •'•I Coe college, Room (’ of the Union Feb. 24 at 2 p rn. for those wishing to know more I’. Korzei 1919 Gretchen dr ;

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