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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 20, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta ini Is inflation a permanent fact of By Maurice Herald Ottawa commentator Students Imrd to figure An odd phenomenon has shown up in European universities and it is troubling the Students just don't want to graduate. All over growing numbers of students seem determined to delay completion of their and are adopting all sorts of strategies to that end. Some gear their programs to slow taking the minimum per- unstable number of courses each and then working just hard enough to avoid outright dismissal. A number of four-year and even some three-year programs can be stretched out for six years in this way. Other students go along at the ordinary pace for a couple of then that their interests have changed so they must start afresh on entirely new subjects. The most puzzling are those who do everything study hard all and then fail to show up for final examinations. Students -who delay graduation for any leason cause real problems for the authorities. University places are scarce in and a student who occupies one for an inordinate length of time denies it to someone else. In some West Germany for waiting lists have grown so long that many would be students grow tired of waiting and give up the idea of attending university. Plan- in these be- comes haidly more than guesswork. It is not only this growing use of delaying tactics that has European ministries of education in the past few years the number of students who drop out entirely has risen dramatically European stan- that All too these are students in medicine or an- other of the who com- plete several years study success- fully and then often within a few weeks of what was thought to be their graduation with profession- al credentials. Needless to a thorough inves- tigation of this new student attitude is being and this will take time. But a preliminary finding is that many of those whose studies are needlessly dragged or aban- doned before came to university vath serious misconcep- tions as to what these institutions are all and while usually able to manage academic couldn't cope with their own. It is not that a frequently proposed interim expedient is a program of student something that for yeais has been an ordinary fact of university kfe on this but which Euro- peans have always dismissed as need- less coddling of students. Report can be ignored Nobody needs to get excited about a recent news report from Britain that a committee of medical and sci- entific experts has concluded after a 10-year study that adding fluoride to water supplies may be harmful. Any anti fluondationist can produce scores of such made by When evaluated these studies gen- erally prove to be of no consequence because of one or more of the follow- ing the people making the studies lack qualification for doing the land of research the con- clusion are based on insufficient or irrelevant bias prevents a prop- er assessment of the evidence. The British study will likely be worth- less as a result of some such inade- quacy. So far the researchers remain anonymous and the evidence on which their claims are supposedly based has not been made public. No evaluation of the report is thus possi- ble and until that situation changes no notice need be taken of the mat- ter. Few things have been subjected to such close and continuous scrutiny as the effects of fluoride in water both naturally present and artificially induced. The consistent conclusion of properly conducted re- search has been that fluoridation is safe and beneficial. The layman has to trust the experts here because he is not qualified to conduct his own research or to evalu- ate what others have done To fear that the vast majority of medical and dental personnel who endorse fluoridation are involved in some kind of plot to endanger public health is to be excessively to ac- cept without question a report that runs counter to repeated studies is to be not suspicious enough. Thus until the British report is made public in detail and has been subjected to critical examination it can safely be ignored. The referee is expendable Does Canada have bad This is the question we must ask our- following the withdrawal of the Ca- nadian contingent from the international truce commission in Vietnam A number of different reasons have been cited as to why Canada had to leave the party early. 1. The Canadian troops wore green which reminded the Vietnamese of a hated American unit Green The Canadians all looked like John to the average who decided to shoot first end read the film credits later. This suggests that if the Canadian Forces are to be effective on peace-keeping mis- sions they need a new one that doesn't remind anybody of anything. Possibly the quartermaster general can get in touch with the person who design- ed Carmen Miranda's head-dress. Not only was it remote from John it could be eaten as emergency rations. do I have to be the one to think of these 2. The Canadians flunked the Intema- tinal Commission of Control and Supervi- sion because they would have preferred a straight salary to working on a commis- sion. Tins charge is so silly we can dismiss it at once. It is also untrue that the Ca- nadians wandered around the rice paddies asking for Uncle Ben. 3. The the reason given for the failure of the Canadians to relate to the group in Vietnam is that they ex- pected both sides to honor the terms of the truce agreement.. This gave them the same status as that of a WCTU convention delegate turning up for a party at Hugh Hefner's place. They didn't mix well. The other members of the truce commis- sion were but it was clearly un- derstood which side they were neutral for. The Canadians confused everyone by let- ting their neutrality influence their behav- ior. They acted as though truce violations were inexcusable regardless of who com- mitted them. This attitude was totally alien to a part of the world that is unfamiliar with the rules of British fair play. The Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese assumed that the Canadians would be impartial in favor of the Americans and the Saigon govern- ment. When the Canadians complained about being shot and having men taken prisoner and the communists were shocked by tlie breach of protocol. If the Canadians were not prepared to shoot why did they volunteer for peace-keeping duty in the first In congratulating the repatriated Cana- dian Prime Minister Trudeau described these problems as incred- ibly complicated What he omit- ted to mention was that the three other members of the commission Poland and Hungary have adjusted to the situation by going about their namely billing the ICCS for li- B-girls and other souvenirs of Sai- gon. It is plain that if Canada is going to vol- unteer for future truce-supervising mis- the troops must be trained to inte- grate with the political realities in that larger part of the world where the name of the game is that the referee is expend- able. OTTAWA The federal Gov- ernment has a curious habit of revealing in its actions policy assumptions which are if stated. One is that inflation is a per- manent fact of life in the mod- ern world. The Government may act to the econ- that to bring an uncon- trolled Inflation under control. But whether Ottawa is attempt- ing to impose its will on events or inflation a tide that moves with varying force in one direction and can- not be reversed. There is much talk at the mo- ment about indexing or tying pensions and similar payments to the cost living. Such de- scriptions of the actions being taken are inaccurate. But the Prime Minister was accurate when he said in the statement of Monday night that benefits the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement plans if Parliament ap- be made respon- sive to price and that the Canada Pension Plan. as will provide the full escalation of these pen- fully protecting their pur- chasing If pensions and benefits were In fact tied to a cost of living they would move up or down in accordance with the in- everything for .w- Kinda shakes doesn't NDP contemplating forcing election By Anthony Toronto Daily Star commentator A key NDP strategist analysed the political situation this week and made a profound he went out and bought half a cow to store in his home freezer. His reasoning was that the minority Liberal government or will control the cost of living. From that flows his opinion that the NDP cannot afford to go on supporting the government in the Commons through another winter of rising prices. So an election in the fall now Is quite depending mainly on whether the rail strike becomes so serious that the government has to recall Parliament to pass back-to- legislatin. Once Parlia- ment were in the oppo- sition parties would find a way to force a vote of no-confidence on the issue of food and there would be an election in late October or early Novem- ber. Although the NDP caucus of MPs will not officially decide its attitude toward the govern- ment until the special meeting next my friend the strate- gist thinks the facts of this po- litical situation have already dictated the policy. After the election last October reduced Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's Liberals to a minor- the New Democrats dscided their wisest course was to sup- port the government for the time being. They feared an early election in which the need for majority government would be the issue and they would be squeezed between the two ma- jor parties. They wanted to demonstrate to the country that minority government by extracting useful legislaton. But the New Democrats rec- ognized that every time they voted with the Liberals against the they would become more closely identified with Trudeau and the govern- ment Their own supporters would become more cynical and troubled by the and the public would eventually be- gin to lose respect for the NDP as a distinct alternative. They had to keep balancing the advantages of the position against the disadvantages. At some the disadvantages would become too and then the NDP would withdraw its support. That t'me has come. The NDP has won rnost of the easy political points it can hope to gain. It can claim to have forced the Liberals to raise old age cut taxes on low income groups and introduce plans for a major increase in family allowances There is not much left to be done in the area of socal welfare for a year or two. The issues now are much difficult. Energy for and how to control inflation. The NDP can win no points by supporting the liberal government on problems such as but it could very well loss points. The question for the New Democrats now is not whether to withdraw support from the but when and how. The Commons is adjourned un- til the middle of and it would be a few perhaps a or after that before the opportunity arose for a vote of confidence on which the NDP Letters to the editor Altered meaning My as altered by The Herald contains a number of serious mistakes. I stated that a free society has a duty to make available a var- iety of viewpoints as express- ed in men's clusive and I stated that such magazines running counter to orthodox Christianity Not should be sold in areas of restricted admittance. I did not say that hate liter- ature should be sold in such areas. I listed not with the less of- fensive men's magazines that have a place in a free society. On the is one of the best examples of hate literature and its philosophy is one that would appear intellec- tual only to someone with news- paper English. I much enjoyed citizen's mockery of the type of person who sees police as a subversive element in society. Wouldn't it be terrible if some- day bank and Marxists were to be repre- sented on law enforcement MRS W. T. KNIGHT Bow Island Editor's The Herald re- grets the distortion of Mrs. Knight's due to the copy editor's unfamiliarity with thte tjpe of literature referred to in her letter. Developing delinquents We often read and hear about the increase in crime and about the eroding moral fibre in our society. Prominent psycholo- gists consider the family back- ground as an important factor in the development of the de- linquent for that the criminal. I was reminded of the truth of the above through an incident. Some children m our neighborhood seem to be in the habit of snatching money from other children arid their parents seem to encourage them in this. my little boy got some money from me and went to buy some can- dy or ice-cream from the cor- ner grocery store. a little he came home crying that a girl had snatched the money from him. I told him to go and tell her mother. When nothing I accompan- ied him to the girl's house was not concerned about the loss of but was con- cerned about the future of the lltllo cril-n WVion T tallnul tn she said that she would make the girl return the but I could sense that she knew about the matter. Other chil- dren told her about other such cases in my presence. She asked my boy to return later. When he went she told him that he should get the money from the girl. When the boy contacted the she told him that her mother had told her not to return the money. When my boy complained about she told him not to go or play near their house. When parents encourage anti- social behavior in their chil- they arc raising little criminals and con-men I hope such parents realize the extent of harm they are doing to their children and the prospective cost to society in terms of wasted human re- sources and maintenance of correctional institutions. Lcthbndge CONCERNED ABOUT THE could join with the Tories to de- feat the government. That would mean an election in December. But it might be terribly unpoplar. Who wants to interrupt his Christmas shop- ping to go to the That raises before the New Democrats the awful prospect of having to support the Liber- als through thick and thin until about March. Who knows what political damage they nlight have suffered by The way out is to force an elec- ton as soon as possible. That re- quires of course the opportunity in the Commons before the regular session resumes in Oc- and a creditable issue. The railway strike may pro- vide the opportunity. If the workers lose patience with ro- tating work stoppages and de- clare a national or if the companies decide to lock-out workers rather than surfer end- less regional the situation may become a crisis rather than a nuisance. The government would soon be forced to summon The issue would be food prices. The New Democrats be- lieve that this is a popular issue on which the average Canadian would be prepared to go through the inconvenience of an election m order to express an- ger at the government. The NDP would be thanked rather than blamed for forcing an elec- say the party strategists. The Me of the government and the political future of the country lie therefore in the hands of the railway workers. There is however a cau- tionary footnote to this analysis of the political situation. My NDP friend was probably wrong to go out and buy half a cow for his because many experts expect beef prices to ease down next month. He may be equally shortsighted in believing that the public is ready for an election and mad enough at the government to vote for opposition parties who themselves don't have con- vincing ideas on what to do about inflation. dex. if Inflation waa considered other than a per. manent the Govern- ment would make careful provi- sion for movement in either di- rection. After it Is normal for when pensions are before to warn against irresponsible douandi and to assure the House that the burden proposed is all that can reasonably be imposed on the nation's taxpayers at fha particular time. If inflation should be suc- ceeded by it would be found assuming that thesa calculations are the burden was excessive unless the Government's costs also fell. But it has apparently oc- curred to no one to make such prudent provision for movement in either direction. It is enough to provide that pension pay- ments be now quarterly although with a two month time lag. Thus at each stage the Government adds to its fixed in the latest in- stance by about which was once considered a substantial sum. If inflation continues to gain we can doubtless look forward to even more frequent escalat- ions involving ever larger fixed costs. The reasonable conclusion seems to be that policy is based on the assumption that we can- not have another deflation. If the economy should behave per- versely in some temporary fluc- the Government under a law truly relating pensions to a cost index would have to with- draw benefits once conceded to the nation's pensioners. Among politicians this is an unimagi- nable prospect. Perhaps this Is our situation. Inflation has had a long persisting even in periods of relatively high unemployment. Some people have managed well enough in the inflationary years to regard the phenome- non as a good thing which ought to be welcomed. in- cluding those whose savings have been are naturally resentful. Those with longer memories recall the very grim defla- tionary years. They also seemed endless to a generation which endured them. It would be easier to accept the view that inflation has been permanently outlawed if gov- ernments generally had a better record of managing domestic economies and their common international concerns. But our own which is perhaps not unique in this appears to snter- tam contradictory ideas of the state of the outside world. Through all the monetary crises of recent our Ministers of Finance have remained com- mendably confident at every stage that the uncon- trollable would be controlled at the next meeting of financial experts. less dis- ciplined Ministers of Finance have been utterly baffled by tha crazy course of gold prices and Lave said so On the other It te the official view in Ottawa that we can do nothing about inflation because the world is out of joint. We have confidence in the world on some on others no confidence whatsoever. Pol- icy can be upset by the gnomes of by Arabs controlling oil by American politi- cal scandal or by an unexpected crisis. If inflation creates an ar- tificial and distorted price how can we be proof against some incident precipi- tating a crisis of confidence with consequences some of which may be quite as irra- tional as the recent gold There are various reassuring as always. Are they reassuring enough to justify a belief in the ureversibUity of in- flation as a new law of the eco- nomic If the belief is it is very certain that the Government or some suc- cessor will find itself in grave difficulties. Words such as will go out of fashion and it will doubtless become a reproach that former Ministers spent and committed future expenditures with such gay in tha apparent conviction in this most fortunate of money grows on trees. The Uthbridgc Herald _____ 5W 7th St. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. Proprietors and Published by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Clin Mail Rtglirrttlon No nil rtw Prm tnd IM Dilty Nowtpww PuMMwrv AtMciiTton and ttw Audit BUTMU of cirwttltMi CLEO w Editor PuMMur THOMAS H. ADAMS. Otnorcl MuwfltT DON PILLINO WILLIAM HAY Edgy Auoeliit Editor ROY F. MILES K MMgor ;