Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 3, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, January 3, 1975 Improving the unemployment situation A simple solution By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator The question of autonomy for Canadian subsidiaries of American firms has taken on local interest with the sugges- tion that all industries which might con- sider locating in the city's industrial park be screened for American content. Concern about American control over Canadian business has been smoldering for some time and not just because of feelings of abstract nationalism. Within the past year, sales to Cuba by Canadian subsidiaries have been hampered on several occasions by the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act. The latest instance concerns the sale of office furniture by a Canadian firm which is entirely owned by an American firm which, in turn, does not want to become liable under the U.S. act. However, as the Ottawa Citizen points out, Canada has no one but itself to blame for this predicament. There is a simple remedy. The U.S. act is not applicable in a country which requires all firms within its borders to obey only its laws, regardless of whether they are branches of some foreign company. Such a provision was included in the 1972 Competition Act, which was never passed. It could be included in the revis- ed bill or it could be passed as a separate bill, thus eliminating an abrasive point of contention between the two countries. This might not satisfy the Committee for an Independent Canada but it would solve one of the practical problems of American investment in Canadian in- dustry and should be welcomed on both sides of the border, since it would eliminate the-fear of liablity on the part of American parent companies but main- tain avenues for investment. Of all the recent welfare legislation, unemployment in- surance has become the most controversial. More and more, its failures are being recognized: that it is harmful both to the individual and to the community as a whole. At first glance, social justice should be the principal supporting argument for un- employment insurance. It appears unfair that those least capable of bearing the burden of unemployment and least responsible for its causes, should bear the burden. Perhaps, too, worker produc- tivity would gain because of an increased feeling of security. The trouble with most of these arguments is that they appeal to the emotions. Unfortunately, compassion cannot surmount the problems connected with unemployment insurance which, inherently, is an un- workable idea. Superficially at least, un- employment seems to con- form to the tests of an in- surable risk: it applies to a sufficiently large group of people, and over a large enough range of operations to permit the operation of the law of averages, and the economic loss theoretically can be wholly or partially compensated for by indem- nifying the idle worker on the basis of former earnings. Here, in Canada, and elsewhere too, the essential features of an insurance scheme were long ago ig. ored in response to inevitable political opportunism so that the program became nothing more than a vast scheme for handouts out of public funds. Relief for the destitute ob- viously is an obligation of society, but relief or general subsidies cannot be grafted on to a genuine insurance plan. When seasonal workers were promised access to the un- employment insurance plan, the last vestiges of any in- surance aspect were ended: contributions just could not be large enough to earn payments. It should be noted that voluntary unemployment in- surance plans, widely prevalent in Europe in the early part of this century, broke down because they were not actuarily sound. The same now can be said of our un- employment insurance system. Further, in the event of a major calamity or depression, the strain of cyclical un- employment of a severe sort will lead to the complete Public transit discouraging There isn't, much encouragement for the automobile owner to patronize the city transit system if he is not persuaded that it somehow serves the public good. He may gain some satisfaction from believing that he is helping to keep the system going for those who cannot afford a car or that he is doing his bit for conservation and the prevention of pollution. But the aggravations surely outweigh the satisfactions. In the first place there is the hassle of finding the correct change. The shortage of coins being felt by many businesses creates a problem for the regular bus patron as well. This difficulty could probably be overcome by reviving the practice of selling tickets or monthly passes at city hall. Then there is the deterrent of having to wait for long periods at unprotected bus stops in the cold weather. When the streets are icy the buses do not manage to keep to their schedules. Waits of 20 or 25 minutes in the late afternoons are not uncommon. Unless there is some way to insure buses the right of way no solution to this problem is apparent. The fact that the automobile is given priority over the pedestrian is nowhere more evident than at bus stops. When the bus patron gets on or off at his stop he frequently has to struggle through snow that has been piled up as a result of street clearance. If the city cannot af- ford to clear sidewalks it might at least consider digging out landing strips at bus stops. A final daunting prospect for the automobile owner considering giving up his car and using the city bus system is that of having to curtail his social, intellectual and religious activities because of the fact that buses give such limited service at night and on Sundays. No doubt the solution to this situation cannot be expected until more patronage makes extension of service feasible. Deputy Mayor Vera Ferguson is right in continuing to press for discussion of public transportation in any study of the philosophy of movement of people in the city. There must be ways to improve public transportation even if they are not obvious at present. The more attention the subject gets the more likely it is that the ways to improve will be found. Winter Games boosted "Quit your beefin', it beats taking the bus." The Canada Winter Games, fast approaching, got a big .boost when the Lethbridge Native Sons emerged vic- torious in the Junior B hockey tourna- ment last weekend. The team won the right to represent Alberta in the Winter Games by virtue of its weekend perfor- mance. Having a local team competing in the February Games should assure good crowds for the hockey series at least. That is suggested by the fact that with the Native Sons playing in the finals on Sunday night nearly fans were attracted to the Sportsplex. Perhaps people should support sporting events sheerly out of interest in the competition and maybe that will be so to some extent at the Winter Games but there is a natural pull in having a local team that cannot be denied. Thus having the Native Sons in the Games will add a good deal of interest. Congratulations go'out to the players and those who work with them for the achievement of winning the tournament. Also, a word of commendation is in order for those who organized and ran off the tournament. Likely they are the same people who will be helping with the February Games, which is a good portent. Investigations should be just beginning ART BUCHWALD Stories you won't WASHINGTON If 1975 is anything like 1974, we can expect to see many wild newspaper stories. I can't tell you what they will be, but I can predict that these are the stories that you will not be reading in your papers this year. TEHRAN, Iran The oil-producing countries meeting here today announced that they were lowering the price of oil by 54 a barrel. The Shah of Iran told newspapermen, "We made a mistake when we raised the price of oil as it hurt the economies of most of the countries we deal with. To make it up to them, we plan to roll back prices to 1970. The goodwill of the world is more important to the oil countries than the few extra dollars that are at stake. We hope everyone will forget how in a weak moment we let greed get the best of us." WASHINGTON President Ford announc- ed today he was going to take strong measures to turn around the economic slump in this country. He told reporters, "I've made up my mind and I've decided to take a stand. Government controls are the only answer to the problems we face. Appealing to the good sense of the American people is the stupidest thing any president could do." NEW YORK Muhammad Ali admitted to Howard Cosell on television last night that he wasn't the greatest fighter of all time or, for that matter, even now. "There are probably nine or 10 heavyweights as good or better than I will ever be. "I've been lucky during my career, but it can't last. There's something wrong with box- ing when someone will pay a bum like me million for one 'night's work. I'm just not worth it." WASHINGTON Nelson Rockefeller has applied for a loan from Bebe Rebozo to buy a home in Florida. Rockefeller said, "It was either getting the loan or having to sell my wife's jewels. As everyone knows, I'm not a rich man and I don't think I've done anything wrong." PARIS The French government an- nounced today that it was giving up its desire to be a world power and would take a back seat in any future international negotiations. A spokesman said, "The United States has always done what's best for France and, in the future, we'll let her speak for us on all substantive matters." GENEVA, Switzerland The price of gold dropped to an ounce when world speculators bought Italian lire and English pounds instead. One banker said, "We con- sider the lira and the pound the two strongest currencies in Europe, and we don't want to be stuck with gold when they are revalued up- MOSCOW Henry Kissinger told reporters today that he made a big mistake in his last negotiations with the Russians. "They really made a fool of me, and I'm walking away from this conference empty- handed. This isn't the first time it's been done to me. I guess my weakness is that I trust everyone I talk to. I should be more careful, but diplomacy really isn't my forte and if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed at Harvard." WASHINGTON George Meany of the AFL-CIO said at a dinner last night that one of the reasons for high prices was exorbitant labor demands that were preventing businesses from making a profit. "It is he said, "the unions worked harder and longer and stopped saying, 'Gimme, gimme, gimme.' NEW YORK Walter Cronkite, last night on the CBS News, did his show twice. Cronkite explained on the air that after he finished the first time and said, "And that's the way it he realized it wasn't that way at all so he decided to do it again. WASHINGTON "Four out of five shouted the man on the desk in the newsroom, as the bottom fell out of the lives of John Mitchell, Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Robert Mar- dian. The appeals courts will determine whether justice triumphed in the Watergate coverup trial, or whether truth triumphed at the ex- pense of justice. But the deci- sion of the nine women and three men puts the seal of finality on the seamiest episode of our time. When Mr. Average Man pronounced the verdict of guilty on four formerly power- ful men, the reaction of other average people was that they must have deserved it, and thank God it's all over. But it's not over. Up to now, inquiry into the unlawful use of the law has centred on Watergate and its aftermath, but the investigation of the abuse of power has only just begun. Guilt is guilt, and it is not lessened by an examina- tion of "root however, Wednesday's ver- on the first, day of the final quarter century of this milennium LETTER Prices set too high It has come to our attention that the price schedule for events in the coming Canada Winter Games could possibly discriminate against families and persons of lower socio- economic ability. The games have been wide- ly advertised as having the un- qualified support of the whole Southern Alberta community. Certainly there is growing ex- citement, and anticipation about the games, but we feel that the spirits of many families will be dampened when they learn how expen- sive it will be to observe the events. The schedule of 50 per event and for children and students is expensive enough- in the mornings and afternoons but J1.50 for everyone at night and for all finals will undoubtedly, limit participation of most families and certainly that of By William Safire, New York Times commentator about the unlawful use of the law has been put on ice to protect us from distraction until the Nixon men were jailed? Perhaps now a Congressional committee will look into the surveillance of newsmen by L. B. J.'s Marvin Watson, hinted at and hushed up at the House Judiciary in- quiry. Perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union will volunteer to represent Mrs. Martin Luther King in a law- suit against the FBI for il- legally wiretapping her late husband. For the office of the special prosecutor, these are the days of Jill Wine and roses, with the acquittal of Kenneth Parkinson the lone exception in an otherwise perfect record. Even Harry Dent was forced to plead guilty to a mis- demeanor, and the indictment of some Hubert Humphrey aides has helped present a nicely nonpartisan image. But soon some hard questions will be asked, and not by diehards or partisans. How can we account for the sweetheart relationship that appears to exist between the special prosecution force and the FBI? L. Patrick Gray, a fine and patriotic man, has reportedly admitted destroy- ing evidence during the cover- up. Why has the former FBI chief not been prosecuted? Because Pat Gray could blow' the whistle on a dozen top agents of the FBI, requiring our senior citizens who are on trials on a variety of crimes fixed incomes. and generally lowering The general community of morale. That would be attack- Southern Alberta has en- inS present power, not past couraged the Canada Winter power, and that is not done. Games and in return we feel Another example: William that the fullest spectator par- Sullivan, a former high FBI official, has not been placed under oath and asked the kind of question that might em- barrass FBI men currently in office, or might conflict with sworn testimony of our supreme commander in Europe. Sullivan has been un- well, but the reason he has not been called is that the special prosecutor does not want to get into those sticky areas of "bag jobs" and political spying. On those same lines, Cartha Deloach, a close aide to J. Edgar Hoover, has not been asked under oath about the wiretapping of Anna Chen- nault in 1968, and of the subse- quent illegal FBI intrusion in marks the end of Watergate and the beginning of a broader self-examination. The forthcoming exposure of the Central Intelligence Agency also has to do with the unlawful use of the law. When the New York Times recently blew the lid off CIA domestic activity, a headline writer automatically narrowed the wrongdoing to "The Nixon Years." But we are coming to see that these illegal practices began well before that. During the Watergate investigation, Charles Colson put forward a theory that the CIA had more to do with Watergate than met the FBI. This was ignored; even when Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee issued a report detailing the curious coin- cidences of CIA involvement, the idea was resisted as somehow taking the blame away from then-president Nixon. Now, a year after his testimony was taken in secret by the Senate Watergate com- mittee, we see that Howard Hunt was in a CIA unit that spied on Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign. Why was this testimony suppressed "covered up" for a year? What other useful information the U.S. political process in that year's election campaign. But the law enforcement es- tablishment, of which the special prosecution force is a part, does not want to foul its own nest. Perhaps' the nation's interest in the unlawful use of the law will wane with the satisfying clank of prison gates behind the four men pronounced guilty today. I hope not. No vendetta is needed. No "getting even" by besmearing dead men's reputations, no prison sentences for lawmen who operated in the approved context of their times. But needed after Wednesday's verdict of guilty is a searching look at who else was guilty, what set the pattern for the excesses being paid for today, so that we can gain an under- standing of why some upright men go wrong. collapse of our way of handl- ing payments to the un- employed. Insuring against unemploy- ment cannot work under the best of circumstances. Even if enormous cash reserves, were accumulated, the reserves could norbe turned into cash for the payment of benefits in time of depression without severe loss to the unemploy- ment fund: to liquidate these reserves in an unsettled money market would tend to a" further depression of general business conditions. This may cause even further un- employment. On the other hand, government could attempt to meet unemploy- ment payments by "printing money" which would erode confidence and promote the type of inflation-ridden economy which now confronts There are all kinds of bad side effects of any unemploy- ment insurance program. The contributions of employees tend to increase costs and prices and the contributions of employers lead to increased wage demands. Then, reliance on unemploy- ment insurance in times of need curtails the incentive to save, and thus reduces savings, which are necessary for our economy to prosper. The unemployment in- surance program is detrimen- tal to employees' loyalty and increases labor turnover. Also, the psychological side effects of unemployment in- surance are harmful. Work increasingly is looked on as being purely optional instead of being a vital necessity in order to survive. Workers do not even feel the need to contribute to the payment of unemployment insurance premiums. Increased malingering becomes a way of life for too many people. Unemployment insurance promotes evasion of respon- sibility: governments turn a blind eye to all kinds of abuses; workers believe that they have only rights, no duties, and employers are given no incentive to maintain employment. A true insurance program would have to offer financial rewards to employees, who would build up credit (in the form of reduced premiums) by not applying for unemployment insurance payments .and to employees, who maintain payrolls." It is obvious now that there must be a recognition of the key here: "Unemployment according to John Maynard Keynes, "because employers are deprived of profit." Therefore, the only real improvement in the un- employment situation con- sists in preventing un- employment, not in ex- pedients for distributing the loss occasioned by it. Obviously, compassion and justice require assistance for those truly in need. By and large, the working public would gladly support any such proposal. However, un- employment insurance is another one of those "pie in the sky" ideas that cannot work, a fact confirmed by re- cent events. Berry's World 1974 by NEA, I ticipation should be encourag- ed through use of such conveniences as day passes and family passes or tickets allowing a person entrance to all games events. This group is particularly concerned that participation in the Canada Winter Games not become dependent upon financial ability. We would hope that some change might be made to ac- commodate those less able to pay. "I've decided I want a career, Teddy, and I'm afraid playing house doesn't fit in with my plan..." The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th SI. S. Lelhbridge. 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 GROWTH GROUP OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH (20 CONCERNED MOTHERS) Lethbridge ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor KENNETH E. SARNETT BusMess Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"