The Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 9, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD January 9, 1974 What children learn Children learn by example. This is not an idle truism but an observable conclusion, as many parents have dis- covered to their dismay. Moreover, it is the foremost principle in the develop- ment of human behavior. This being the case, it is difficult to un- derstand how corporal punishment has been able to exist as long as it has in any school system. Obviously, while the prin- ciple may be accepted, the consequences are not fully understood. The object of any system of education is to teach, or at least to assist a student to learn. The first and foremost lesson learned by a child who has been strapped at school is quite simple and quite clear, that violence is an accepted form of dis- cipline. Any advocacy of corporal punish- ment in the school system should be bas- ed on the premise that this is a desirable lesson. The regulations, where they exist, as to how heavy and how long a strap may be and which parts of the body may serve as targets, as well as the self-conscious assurance of school officials that this is only a last resort bear a stunning resemblance to the thinking of a terrorist who is willing to let the passengers of the plane go but threatens to kill the crew if his demands are not met as a last resort. The analogy between terrorism and corporal punishment in schools is not as far-fetched as it might conveniently seem. Both desecrate human dignity. Both are subtle admissions of- failure. Both have a common purpose, the instill- ing of fear to achieve a certain goal. In the second half of the twentieth century this is not a noble purpose and the school systems should set a better example. The people's business The Lethbridge aldermen, especially Vera Ferguson, seem under a bit of mis- apprehension about their authority and responsibility. They were delegated by the voters not only to make decisions on behalf of the public but to keep the public in their confidence; not to discuss and decide secretly and then report their decision, but to deliberate openly and in full public view. They decide the people's business but it is still very much the people's business, not the secret concern of the aldermen alone. With regard to the possible sale of the city's power plant, this belongs to the people and its future is very much the concern of the owners. They have every right to know not just whether it will be sold but why it will be sold or not sold. They are entitled to have, at the earliest possible moment, the expensive con- sultant's report on the matter, and to know what the aldermen think about it. Why the secrecy? Why the desire of city council to keep the report hidden from the people even for a day? Why the fear of open meetings not later when the essential discussion is completed and only the formalities are left but right now. when the issues are being sorted out? No incentive to indolence One of the arguments against the negative income tax .appears to have been shot down by a six-year experiment conducted by University of Wisconsin economists. The help provided the poor did not prove to be the incentive to in- dolence that opponents have contended it would be. This is a conclusion that social workers with experience in administering supplemental assistance funds could have provided. It has added force, however, now that it is backed by the Wisconsin study. In the experiment various amounts of money were handed out to some 700 families in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for' a three-year period. The amount provided was varied, with eight different negative tax schemes tried on different groups of participants. The job behavior of the subsidized workers was compared with control groups of other poor persons having the same racial and family characteristics. The results showed no major differences in work behavior between the control groups and the subsidized workers. Although there are variations in the way the negative income tax plan is. conceived as indicated in the fact that eight different schemes were used in the experiment the basic idea is to make up the difference between what in- dividuals earn and a figure representing the poverty line. As a family increases its earnings the subsidy deceases and disappears at the break-even point. In the Wisconsin experiment the minimum income guarantees were based on the of- ficial U.S. poverty line of a year for a family of four. The guaranteed income idea has been widely discussed in recent years and has the general support of the Conservative party in Canada. It seems like one of the best ideas to have surfaced in the field of social development and will doubtless gain increasing support as people realize it is not a rip-off but a way to help those at the bottom of the economic ladder move above the poverty level. RUSSELL BAKER The president goes public President Nixon's celebrated commercial airline flight to California was a small step in a dubious direction. Eventually, a day may come when a White House correspondent s story will read like this: It was another one of those days for Presi- dent Nixon. "Bringing the presidency back to the peo- ple may be great for my image, but it sure makes it hard to get any work he told newsmen tonight as he browsed at the paper- back bookstand at the Philadelphia airport. The president was looking for an Agatha Christie or an Erie Stanley Gardner to help him kill an unanticipated three-hour delay in his flight to Providence, where he was scheduled to speak tonight to the annual ban- quet of the Daughters of the Sons of Bohemia. He had left Washington on a commercial flight to Providence with one stop scheduled at Philadelphia. There, as the plane touched down on the runway the pilot announced that the rest of the flight had been, cancelled. At the airline counter where the president sought an explanation for the sudden cancellation, he was told only that there had been "an equipment problem." "But I have to be in Providence in three hours to deliver a the president said. "That's life, said the airline clerk. After shopping from counter to counter, the president finally found an airline with a flight leaving for Providence three hours later. "With he said over his fifth cup of airport coffee, "I can get to the Daughters' banquet while they're finishing dessert. Subsequently, the flight turned out to be ovenoid, so there was no seat for the presi- dent when he reached the plane. In a burst of obvious anger he asked the stewardess if she knew the was dealing with the president of the United States. "Jiat because you are the president gives yon no right to lose, your temper with she replied. The president appeared angry enough to continue the argument, but he was prevented from doing so by federal marshals, who for- cibly removed him from the plane and might have detained him for questioning had he not apotofiwd profusely for creating a scene. "All right, Mr. one of the told him, "we're not going to make Mltitat. of it this time, but hereafter you'd bettor watch how you behave around air- ptMW." After phoning Ms regrets to the Daughters ON THE HILL Joe Clark, MP for Rocky Mountain .mini i -i .0- In order to have disciples we must have discipline. Trudeau's new philosophy By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator of the Sons of Bohemia, the president took an airport limousine into Philadelphia. His cashmere overcoat sustained a substantial burn when a fellow limousine passenger dropped his cigarette in the president's lap. At Philadelphia's 30th Street Station where he hoped to catch a late train back to Washington, the president discovered that he had only in cash and would have to write a cheque for the train fare. When the ticket agent asked to see some identification, President Nixon produced his White House pass. "Don't you have a driver's asked the ticket agent. When the president said he seemed to have misplaced his drivers license, the agent said, "a likely story, Mr. President. Step aside now. The paying customers are getting impatient." Finally the president was able to borrow the fare money from the White House cor- respondents, who stated that they thought it better to manipulate the news than spend the night sleeping on railroad station benches. Talking with newsmen on his way back to Washington, the president expressed concern about how long he could continue to do his job if he keeps on living as people do. This mor- ning he said, the bus to the White House had been 45 minutes late, and so crowded that he had had to .stand all the way. As a result he had had no .chance to read Professor Kissinger's latest plan for world peace on the bus. It had poured rain just as he got off the bus, so he was soaked during the three-block walk to the White House and had to spend the morning drying his suit on the radiator which, naturally, made it impossible for him to meet with the Cabinet or even to see people in his office. At lunch he had tried to outline his Providence speech for tonight, but the waitress told him he would have to clear out if he was through eating because other people were waiting their turn at the counter. A 3 o'clock conference on the economy had to be cancelled since the president had to be at the airport at 5 p.m. and knew that you can never catch a cab on Pennsylvania Avenue once the rush hour begins. the president left the tram in Washington tonight, he had a 45-minute wait for a bus to his modest row in the Glover Park district of Washington. He hopes his car pool driver, if happens to read this story, will pick him up at his house in the morning. Prime Minister Trudeau seems to have emerged from a long interlude of bruised and brooding silence much wiser than when he entered it on a bitter election night. He emerges with two great as- high intelligence and that sheer luck which Napoleon demanded, above all, in his field marshals. About the intelligence we need not argue. Everyone rec- ognizes it; also the arrogance and appetite for power that accompany it. About the luck we must surely luck of having a Conservative opposition whose ability to b'ur its thoughts and bungle its affairs is nothing less than genius. Even in his time of troubles Mr. Trudeau hardly deserves such a break. While these facts are clear enough, his latest demarche is not so well understood and merits our careful con- sideration. He has decided, if I read him correctly, to tell Canadians the truth, or part of the truth. It is a cautious beginning, thickly sugar- coated but by the standards of politics an act of some courage. For the first time, so far as I can recall, a practising politician and party leader has questioned the affluent con- sumer society. And that is indeed heresy writ large. The words of his recent New Year's message are worth a second reading. "To continue our present rate of con- he said, "would be. to deplete in short order the heritage of countless cen- turies, to squander mankind's only legacy on this small, finite planet We are asked to adjust our demands to nature's limitation, to realize that unrestrained consump- tion by individuals, and economic sweepstakes among nations, are not acceptable ideals." Only the prime minister himself, not a ghost writer, could have written those words. They bear the Trudeau trade mark and literary style unmistakable to any reader of his books. Moreover, he seems to mean what he writes. He has finally grasped the obvious, rather late, but in Canada perhaps not too late, and he is willing to share it with the public at some political risk. No politicians can lightly challenge the car- dinal myth of his society. In any case, Mr. Trudeau's heresy is a lot better than his earlier ironic slogan of "participatory de- mocracy" when he was steadily concentrating power in his own office; his sneer at the "work ethic" when men must always work in some fashion if they are to keep their sanity and earn an honest living; his notion that, somehow, our problems could be solved by gleaming epigrams or philosophical soliloquies on street corners. Still better is his verdict that "we will find new sources of satisfaction and rediscover the pleasures that perhaps have been too long forgotten amid the artificial abundance of our consumer society." This may be heresy but it is truth. Not all the truth, however. The same man who now recommends the simpler life and regards it as inevitable anyhow, continues in the next breath to promise us a more affluent life. What else can the government's budgets mean? The forecasts of perpetual economic growth, the reckless destruction of the currency and the people's savings, the ever-increasing revenues and expenditures, the boasted Canadian management of business so much superior to that of any other gaudy gestures of hubris, wherever they may lead in financial terms, contradict Mr. Trudeau's sud- den discovery of the planet's limitations. Here we witness a painful ambivalence and political schizophrenia common to politics the world over. No public man can entirely es- cape it if he is to win elec- tions. Thus, in Mr. Trudeau's case, the moralist struggling with the politician, the philosopher with the vote getter, the arrogant parlia- mentary leader with the even more arrogant NDP minority, the Trudeau of the lonely, tranquil mind with the flam- boyant actor of the television screen. As Lord Durham might have said, two opposite faiths are at war within the bosom of a single government. At least Mr. Trudeau has begun to challenge the ruling faith, gingerly but openly, like a prisoner in Plato's dark cave of shadows. He has seen, in his favorite phrase, that the universe un- folds not as men desire but to suit its own mysterious ends. He is not opposed to con- sumption, since all life depends upon it. He sees no need of only of conservation. He favors a reasonable sustainable living standard when, like everyone on Sussex Street and elsewhere, he enjoys it, and why not? But he realizes that the depletion of the planet's resources can go just so far without making human civilization, in Hobbes' famous dictum, poor, nasty, brutish and possibly quite short. All this is sound credo for the philosopher, though a grave hazard for the vote getter. How grave, not nearly so grave, I venture to think, as most politicians imagine. For if the Canadian people have any common sense and durable virtue at all, they want to hear the truth so long gift-wrapped in the tinsel and double-talk of politics. They will acclaim the man who tells it, even partially, and forgive his mistakes if he confesses them. Well, Mr. Trudeau has made his beginning, only a begin- ning. Now, after his private New Year's celebration, and planetary breakthrough, let us watch his resulting public pol- icies. An influential British economics journal has buried the argument that prices and incomes policies are ineffec- tive in controlling inflation. The Economist, widely read and traditionally opposed to wage and price controls, points out, in its November 17 edition, that Britain has beaten world in controll- ing domestic inflation and says that Britain's success can be largely attributed to the wage and price controls policy imposed approximately a year ago by Prime Minister Edward Heath. The British success is doubly-impressive, because the achievement was made despite a large labor union movement which is opposed to such policies and despite the fact that the country must im- port most of its food, which automatically creates higher prices. The Economist says that in the three years since 1970, six- teen countries enjoyed a slower rate of inflation than Britain. Over the past 18 months, 13 countries did better than Britain. Compared with a year ago, 11 did better; on a six month comparison, nine. And over the three months to September of this year, only Austria, Switzerland and Germany beat Britain. The Economist calls the achievement "a miracle" and says, "the government seems to have made a large part of inflation disappear as if by magic." Right now, it looks as if Canada could use a little of that magic. Canada, according to The Economist report, now has the third highest inflation rate in the world. In the three years since 1970, fifteen countries had higher annual inflation rates than Canada. In the past three months, Canada's position has deteriorated to the point where, now, there are only two countries in the world with higher inflation rates than Canada Greece and Japan. It is likely, with the advent of the energy crisis, that Canada may soon have the highest inflation rate in the world. September consumer price index figures reflected the highest August to September increase in Canada's cost of living in at least 13 years and the highest 12 month increase in 20 years. October consumer price index figures were not much better. They represented the highest month-to-month increase for the month of Oc- tober, since 1962. It is becoming increasingly clear that at an annual rate of inflation which is now running at 8.7 percent, the federal government can no longer af- ford to simply'reject a prices and incomes policy. As Robert Stanfield said, in a speech in Charlottetown on November 10, 1973, "if this is the government's idea of a good year it's imperative that we throw them out of of- fice before we have what they think is a bad one." Letters Misdirected remarks In a news article appearing in The Herald (October I was quoted in reference to a letter received by the town of Pincher Creek from the Red Deer law firm of Beames, Chapman, Foster McAfee which firm was acting for the town and numerous other municipalities in connection with the first phase of the Calgary Power Ltd. rate hearings before the Public Utilities Board. The remarks attributed to me in the article in question were intended to refer to Calgary Power Ltd. and were not in any way directed to the above law firm. I deeply regret my remarks being published in the manner in which they were as they were not intended to refer to the law firm at all. MAYOR JUAN J. TERAN Pincher Creek. Vandalism coverage The board of trustees of the Taber School Division are sincerely concerned regarding the extensive coverage given the recent vandalism that oc- curred in one of the Lethbridge schools. It is the feeling of the trustees that coverage such as this gives the culprits exactly what they are seeking which is peer prestige and attention in general. This coverage also encourages them to do more BEITS WORLD of the same while giving other potential delinquents ideas and encouragement. While we realize that the news media are in the business of presenting news to the general public, we sincerely ask that the conse- quences of coverage of this nature be considered. T. J. PARKINSON, Chairman Board of Trustees Taber. THE CASSEROLE The press spokesman for Egyptian Presi- dent Anwar Sadat at the Geneva talks and the press spokesman for Israel's Premier Golda Meir were once classmates at Harvard. Moreover, they both attended classes given by Henry Kissinger when he was a Harvard professor. This is accepted as a good omen by observers in Geneva. The metric system is coming. Road signs (speed limits and distances) will be in kilometers in late 1977. Temperature reports will be given in both for six weeks starting in early 1975. and then only in centigrade. Precipitation reports will change in late 1975. Grain volumes will start switching in August 1976 and be completed in a year The latest report from the Canadian -notrif commission doesn't mention 'rom acres to hectares, but traditionalists can be sure that the existing roads, based on the original sur- veys in miles rather than kilometers, will not he moved. Women libbers of the world will be glad to know that Italian juries can now have a female majority, something that had previously been ruled out by law. Kerosene is the main supply for lights and heat in the villages of India. These have gone up in price by more than 25 per cent, one proof of the fact that the oil crisis is hitting the third world hardest. 1973 by NEA, Inc "Maybe I'd better try a little less fashionable The U.S. postal service is testing a claim that cars can run efficiently on a mixture of gasoline and water. It has tried the mixture in four mail-delivery trucks and plans to expand use once the feasibility of the idea is clearly demonstrated. The method originated with a University of Oklahoma engineer who claims that it is more efficient and a lot cheaper than the richer octane fuels with which the industry has sought better combustion and greater engine efficiency. And a lot slower? 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge. LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher sawss ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. 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