Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE HERALD-Thurtday, August Ford's inflation remarks apply in Canada End to Nixonomics Generally, Canadian commentary on recent agonizing events in Washington has been sympathetic, discreet and temperate. This is fitting. The internal problems of any country, especially the choosing of those who are to govern it, are that country's own business. And when the political process is as traumatic as the Nixon-Watergate thing, friendly nations must show that they are indeed friends. But it would be ridiculous to pretend Canada won't be affected by these events. Every nation of the world will be. U.S. military and financial power is so awesome, and its influence so pervasive, that every political shift in Washington is felt in other capitals, most of all in nearby Ottawa. Several eastern commentators to the contrary, the removal of Nixon from the White House will have a beneficial affect on Canada. It will be felt in the economic sphere, where there is such an intimate relationship between Canada and the U.S. Throughout the last dramatic year of Nixon's presidency spectacle followed spectacle so breathlessly that people saw Nixon only as the one who was im- plicated in the Watergate affair, who fiddled his income tax returns, who filled the White House with unprincipled men. They forgot this was also the president who capriciously and disastrously sub- jected the nation's economy to his own curious fiscal notions, derisively called Nixonomics. whenever the pollsters and pundits thought the public craved White House intervention. The legacy of this ill-conceived economic meddling is the inflation that afflicts most of the western world. Whatever the economists may say about supply and demand curves, productivity, multipliers, money supply, cost spirals and the other phrases they use when ex- plaining economic phenomena after the event, the uncapping of inflationary pressures in the U.S. came about with Nixon's green light to big business to pillage as it wished, and the deal he made with big labor to grab as much as the traffic would stand. The outcome is well and painfully known. Business and labor helped deliver the massive electoral college vote Nixon wanted, and forthwith set about pushing prices, profits and wages to un- precedented heights. The total effect has been economic anarchy, a circumstance in which management and organized labor fare very well indeed, but at the direct expense of the unorganized. Economic anarchy scarcely pauses as it crosses borders. It happened, and is still happening. Prices and profits are at record levels, and so are the wages of organized labor. Who cares if prices rise, as long as in- comes rise faster? But the poor, the old, and anyone else who lacks the protection of a politically potent organization, are suffering real privation. As long as Nixon was in the White House, and his appointees were "managing" the U.S. economy, this situation was bound to continue. Now, it should change. No one expects an im- mediate reversal of all inflationary fac- tors, but it is a safe bet that neither Ford nor any U.S. administration in the next few years will follow in Nixon's economic footsteps. Nothing but good can corne from that. OTTAWA President Ford's address to the Congress on Monday evening has obvious and important implications for Canada. The unprecedented events in Washington have aroused a Canadian interest in American affairs which is not likely to disappear overnight. While the Nixon Administration and the Congress floundered in the Watergate morass, U.S. influence was minimal and, in a sense, negative. The effect By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator of spreading paralysis in the feeling will be enhanced by American republic was, the fact that Mr. Ford is an naturally enough, to discredit unpretentious, eminently the advocates of republican institutions here and to reinforce the Canadian prefer- ence for parliamentary in- stitutions. There is no reason to believe that this will change. But a new Government is taking shape in Washington and, as on previous occasions, there will be general sympathy for a President assuming power in difficult circumstances. This likeable man. If Mr. Nixon's views were at a discount (except in foreign the new President, at least for the time being, is sure of an audience. The problem pressing most urgently on Mr. Ford is in- flation and that remains a serious problem here. He did not on Monday challenge the Congress with a new and full blown economic program in the manner of a President who has fought for and won a popular mandate. After all, he had been in power only a few hours and had barely begun to assemble his team. But he was concerned to get things moving because the state of the economy, as he said, is "not so To that end he could exploit his chief asset; the goodwill of a Congress which still evidently regards him as one of its own. Inflation is the product of many causes, varying in importance from time to time. But ever expanding Oppression in South Korea Keeping the proverbial blind eye turned on what is happening in South Korea will become increasingly more difficult for the United States and the allies who fought the bitter war two decades ago to save the country from Communist oppression. President Park Chung Hee's tyrannical regime is not just an embarrassment but an affront to all who cherish democratic freedom. When President Park set aside the constitution to make it possible for him to continue in office beyond the stated time the warning was given that South Korea was moving toward outright dictatorship. The emergency measure proclaimed last April forbidding all dissent against President Park's government was consonant with that image. There is undoubtedly some reason for maintaining vigilance against the possibility of aggression from North Korea but it scarcely warrants the harsh suppression of internal criticism now being experienced in South Korea. The recent sentencing of a past president, a Roman Catholic bishop, two Protestant ministers and an academic to long priso.i terms for opposition to President Park demonstrates the dictatorial tendency to employ any excuse to assure power. Korean Christians are reported to be resorting to the old tactic of the slaves in America of using the language of religion to voice their grievances. It is a subtle kind of defiance that might not do more than make the oppression bearable but which can also telegraph to the outside world something of the depths of discontent within the nation. Sooner or later the United States will have to lean on President Park to desist from his flagrant denial of human rights. The sooner this happens the better. "Granted it may seem high at first... but if you figure it out mathematically it comes to only 42 cents per bite." Argentina's political problems intensify By James Neilson, London Observer ANDY RUSSELL The golden plover WATERTON LAKES PARK Up in the tundra country of northern Canada and central Alaska, the wilderness traveller will observe a small, beautifully feathered bird nesting in summer. Its eggs are laid in a small hollowed out place in the moss and lichen and match it so perfectly that unless one sees the birds close by, the nest is very difficult to locate. For the golden plover is a master of camouflage choosing its nesting site with an eye for concealment, where there is no cover. When a grizzly, wolf, man or other animal happens to wander close, the attending bird puts on an agonizing display of similated in- jury, staggering off with ruffled feathers and dragging wings just out of reach to lure the intruder away. Sometimes a curious caribou is seen trotting after the bird with nose ex- tended, while it tumbles and cries just out of reach. The golden plover is about the size of the common killdeer and belongs to the same family. It is a very handsome bird with a black mask over its face, black throat and breast all bordered in white, and a bronzy- gold mantle over its cap, back and wing covers. But what is unique and not a little astonishing about this bird is its migration habits, for when fall comes the mature birds take off in a Great Circle navigational route that takes them in an arc away out over the Atlantic Ocean and eventually lands them in southern Brazil and Uruguay, six to seven thousand miles from their nesting grounds. The young birds winter in the same region but get there by an inland route without the guidance of older birds. In spring they all return north on an overland route avoiding the open ocean entirely. It is an amazing com- bination of navigation, endurance and instinc- tive compulsion employing certain natural endowments of which we still know very little endowments that make man's most sophisticated navigational instruments look crude by comparison. But still, man's mechanical ingenuity has enabled him to better understand bird migra- tion on the inter-continental flyways. In the initial development of radar during the early days of the First World War in Britain, strange, inexplicable blips would appear on radar screens, completely bewildering operators. As radar was still top secret in Britain, there was no way to compare these observations outside the military in other parts of the world. But at war's end, radar was far less secret, and the as they were known, were found not to be celestial bodies, but flocks of migrating birds. Since then radar has played a big part in the ornithological studies of migration habits and is used to observe travelling Hocks by day and night. Although it is impossible to identify species on the radar screen, different echoes are produced by various groups of birds. For instance, ducks and geese register much different than warblers. Direction and speed of migration can be computed. Indeed, some radar is suf- ficiently powerful to pick up a single bird fly- ing at feet. However it cannot see birds flying close to the ground or in the proximity of rain clouds. But even radar is crude compared to the marvelous built-in "instrumentation" of birds, and among these the golden plover stands out as being one of the most amazing intercontinental migrators of the entire world. BUENOS AIRES When General Juan Domingo Peron died on July 1, the middle fell out of Argentine politics. Nothing his widow, Isabel, who succeeded him as president, can do is likely to put it back again. In her first month as the western hemisphere's first woman president, the problems her late husband kept at bay by a judicious mixture of charisma and cunning have intensified. She has had to make some precipitous decisions that have hurt powerful interests. The Radical party "loyal op- which did its best to be visibly separate from Peron without actually oppos- ing him, has been infuriated by official and quasi-official moves to take over the private television stations. The left- wing Montoneros have denied Senora Peron's right to say what is Peronism and what is not. Isabel Peron has also been the victim of bad luck. Thir- teen days after her husband died the leader of the mighty trade union confederation, the GCT, died of a heart attack. Adeline Romero was a moderate who served as a buffer between business and labor, and between the restive grass roots of the union move- ment and the rich and conser- vative GCT establishment. Two days after Adeline Romero died, Arturo Mor Roig, the interior minister of the last military government, and the man who drew up the blue-prints for the return to democracy, was gunned down in a restaurant. His killers are believed to be Montoneros, who are also believed to have murdered a middle of the road newspaper editor on July 17. These assassinations sent shivers down the spines of many Argentines, who saw them as more milestones on the shortening road to civil war. Senora Peron is also unfor- tunate in her closest aides. The man who has her ear is the social welfare minister, Jose Lopez Rega, who has been the grey eminence of the Peronist movement ever since Peron returned to Argentina in June 1973. Lopez Rega is one of the strangest individuals in politics anywhere. He is a former police corporal who became Peron's manservant soon after the caudillo's overthrow 'in 1955, and then his secretary. He is also an astrologer, given to unex- plained disappearances dur- ing which he attends magicians' conclaves abroad. During Peron's long years of exile in Spain Lopez Rega often waded into the Atlantic to "communicate" with his homeland. He is the most feared man in Argentina, and is believed to be in very close touch with the ultra-right wing "death squads" who have murdered hundreds of militant left-wingers. Peron was a very clever politician indeed, and he knew how to bide his time. His successors lack his patience. Where Peron was a master of salami tactics, shaving off a bit of press freedom or provincial autonomy here and another bit there, so protests were muted, Lopez Rega and his friends are prone to reach for the meat cleaver. The first signs that the new rulers of Argentina lacked the late caudillo's subtlety came in the middle of July when armed gangs claiming to represent the television workers' unions, tried to take over some private television stations. They arrived in plush limousines provided by the presidential press secretariat and said they were occupying the television stations in the name of "the people." The Radicals are keeping in the background in their desire to take the country to new elections in 1977, but they ex- pect to pick up a steady flow perhaps a flood of sup- port from disgruntled Peronists. Their efficient par- ty organization blankets the country. In contrast, the Peronists, are split on every conceivable issue apart from their reverence for their late leader. LETTER All governments are socialist Out of character By Doug Walker George Goodwin of Calgary is not noted for paying his wife compliments so naturally Eveline was anxious to tell us about one that got away on him. He had been in some kind of discussion with the fellows where he works when com- parisons were being drawn. Apparently Goody got a little excited by the discussion and exclaimed, "I don't know who is better than I am but I know that I have the best wife of any of you." said Elspeth, "he really did get carried away." The Alberta government's purchase of the Pacific Western Airlines confirms my suspicions that all governments in this country are socialist to one degree or another and not one stands for free enterprise and individual rights. Premier Lougheed claims this acquisition is in the best interests of the Alberta citizens. I disagree with him. What his government has done is immoral, because it takes wealth and power out of the hands of the people and places it in a central body. The continuing trend of acquiring more and more wealth and power by his and other governments, is dangerous. "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." This quotation not only holds true for business and people, but governments as well. It is becoming more and more evident that our governments not only want to control all the wealth, resources and land, but they also want to own it all. If this thinking continues, we will all eventually find ourselves owning nothing and working for the government. I always thought that the government was to work for me. Not me for it. AH governments have a terrible record of running companies efficiently and they have very few examples of success to point to. When companies run by people are poorly managed, they are eliminated through competition. Not so with government ownership. The taxpayers are forced to keep such enterprises going. The takeover of companies by socialist governments is negative because the money spent doesn't create one new job for the country. Also, substantial amounts of money paid for these purchases only adds inflationary fire to an overheated economy. In subsequent elections, I am sure the voters will tell the politicians that they want governments that have enough faith in people to allow them a measure of wealth, power and control over what is theirs. MARVIN T. LEE Toronto Should the left wing of the Peronist movement publicly defect, Senora Peron will, in effect, be heading a minority government. The Left represents between 20 and 30 per cent of the movement. It was the Left's contribution that brought Hector Campora to power after the knife-edge elections of 1973 and opened the way for Peron's triumphant return. It was the Left which broke the army's will to rule, and the left-wing leaders think they have the muscle to break Senora Peron as well, should they shift to outright opposition. Lurking on the sidelines are the armed forces. Their egos were badly bruised during their seven years in power, when their lack of ad- ministrative imagination ruined the bright hopes they had when they so blithely took over in 1966. The memory of those drab years is receding, however. The disappointed military chiefs who presided over the experiment have been put out to grass and the younger men think they can do better. They have many ex- amples of "successful" military rule elsewhere in Latin America, notably in Peru and Brazil. Argentina is now one of the very few bastions of civilian rule in the region, but is by far the shakiest. Should guerrilla attacks increase in fury (and all the signs say they will) and the economy deteriorate (and it is being savagely buffeted by the shock-waves from last year's energy one of the would-be men of destiny may take the plunge, just as Juan Domingo Peron did 30 years ago. Should that happen Argentina's democratic ex- periment will be short-lived and the prospects for democracy in Latin America will be bleak indeed. government is obviously a very important competitor for goods and services; almost uncontrolled government spending and surging prices have developed together and it is difficult to believe that this is mere coincidence. Mr. Ford's attack on spending was a central theme in his speech which was very well received. The situation in Canada is similar. Under the Trudeau Administration expenditures have been mounting at an astonishing rate, partly because of the proliferation of government programs and partly because programs themselves have become so loose. It may have been fortunate for the Government that the last election was so completely dominated by the issue of controls. For on the issue of extravagance the Liberals were vulnerable and remain vulnerable as some Ministers (probably including Mr. Chretien from his recent remarks) would doubtless concede. What is happening in the United States under Mr. Ford's leadership may, therefore, have the effect of sharpening public interest in the problem of mounting expenditures here. The Trudeau Government was, of course, rather lavish in its election promises but these are redeemable over four years and their existence constitutes, (in the an additional reason for a war on waste such as we have not seen in years in Ottawa. The Conservatives, after their election defeat, determine the most effective way of playing a reduced role in Parliament. Presumably they have little to gain from opposition to policies for which the Govern- ment can claim a popular mandate (although detailed criticism is a normal But there is an opportunity to focus on wasteful expenditures and such an not vitiated by spending be well regarded by the public in these inflationary times. If this is the Conservative inclination, it will be important to name a strong team to the Public Accounts committee This is chaired by an Opposition member and the retirement of Alf Hales is a of regret. From the standpoint of experience, the most obvious replacement is probably Lloyd Grouse, a Nova Scotia businessman. There are other good possibilities. But a balanced representation is also important and the committee deserves higher Conservative priority than it has sometimes appeared to have. Although parliamentary control of the purse has weakened, exposure remains a weapon and no doubt a considerable deterrent. Waste is a good target (since it is naturally resented by those who have to pay for it is also so large a one in present circumstances that in the last Parliament it even drew intermittent protests from NDP members, normally known for their tolerance of government spending. The best way for Ministers to head off such an attack is, of course, to impose more salutary checks on the growth of government and on program spending. Not another new girdle? The lethbridge Herald 504 7th St S. Lethbndge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"