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Lethbridge Herald {Newspaper} - 1974-01-15,Lethbridge, Alberta Economists fail to overhaul theories By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL - Modern-day ecooomists have Just about the worst forecasting record on record. Unlike the original prac-tithmers of political econ«ny, like Adam Smith and Kart Mafx, whose theories pro> jected a torchlight some dis> tance into the future, economists have consistently failed to recognize a single one of the half dozen or so economic events that have shaped our world in the past twenty years. They have, moreover, failed to accurately predict the indicat<H^ they recognize. Robert Heilbroner, an American economic commentator wrote recently, "No conventional economist of stature, much less the profession as a whole, predicted the advent of chronic inflation, and those who did were dismissed as antiquated fogies.. . I am unaware of any leading European or American economists who warned of the coming turn in the international fortunes of America and Japan. I am certain the profession as a whole has no such premonitions. The multinational corporation, which has become the main instrument of international economic relations, was discovered by Business Week and Fortune long before it appeared in the American Economic Review.” Heilbroner offers no pat answers as to why today’s economists have failed so abysmally to forecast the unfolding of events. Perhaps vested interest^'and a desire to see things as they might be rather than as they are play too important a part. More likely modem day economists are still trying to apply theories to a society which no longer exists. Society a hundred years ago could be described as having an economic engine and a political caboose. Classical economic theory, which explained how the economy worked, did not have to deal with the effects of the political system on the economy. . Today society is pulled by two engines, one economie and the other political. Political structures today are far more powerful and influential than they used to be. Som<itimes they work with economic forces. Sometimes they work against. To ignore the influence of power politics in defining ecwomic trends today is to invite failure. Yet the economics profession today, neo-classical to the end, is still trying to apply classical theory. All this notwithstanding, it is not difficult to foresee that 1974 will not go down In history as one of Canada’s vintage years. It will, instead, be a year of considerable economic frustration. A large part of the surge in consumer spending in 1973 seems to have been related to the belief that with prices rising rapidly, big-ticket items — like cars — should be bought while the buying was (relatively) good. Prices will keep rising through 1974. People will take a firmer grip on their pocket-books and spend less. Housing construction will not continue at the pace it has . been either, partly because housing costs are rapidly outstretching the financial reach of more and more Canadians. Canada can eacpect to export less. The economies of our major trading partners have already bran damaged by the energy situation. They will buy fewer of oar products even if oil supply is restored very soon. What this means in human terms is that unemployment — which is not an oteolete concept no matter how hard the government would like it to be — cannot help but rise even higher than the almost six per cent it averaged out to in 1973. It is likely that 1974 will challenge 1961 for the dubious honor of being the year of highest annual unemployment. It is to be hoped that in 1974,Book reviews economic policy makers will try harder to devise policies to ease the worst effects of what is to come. Equally important for the longer term, It is to be hoped that today's economists come to grips with the fact that nineteenth century political economy is dead liie theories to explain it are no longer ac curate to explain and forecast the woritings of our present-day economy. What is needed now is some hard work to fashion a new theory that recognizes the extent to which power politics shapes economics. When that happens, we may again find that the economics profession has some relevance. Why can^t Plumptre be like us ? By £va Brewster, local writer Ritual suicide committed “The Temple of Dawn" by Yukio Mishlma (Random House of Canada Ltd. 330 pages, 98.U).    . It has often puzzled me why an author as brilliant and gifted as Yukio Misfaima would commit the tbost violent kind of ritual suicide (seppuku) imaginable at the peak of his successful career, aged 45. For that reason rather than the fact that Mishima's writing has been compared to Hemingway’s, Proust’s, Gide’s and Sarte’s, “The Temple of Dawn” offers a fajscinatiog insight into a complex character. From the very outset, Yukio demonstrates his adoration of youth and beauty and his fear of g^wing old and ugly and suicide is a recurring thane in his books. “Beauty stands before everyone,” he asserts, “it renders human endeavor completely futile . . . ’’and “the present moment is all.. ■ what’s a beginning? Nothing, Everything is ending.” In spite of his skepticism, Honda, hero of the story, is a mystic, deeply convinced that a young Thai princess is the reincarnation of his friend who had committed suicide in prison. To further sui^rt his beliefs and in an avid search for enlightenment, Honda goes on an exhausting pilgrimage to all the holy places in India. I could not always follow his reasoning, his rejection of everything ugly, deformed or otherwise reminding him of human mis> ery. Yet, he always returns to logical thinking on a level my western mind could sympathize with. A successful lawyer who had abandoned altruistic ideals and had even given up a judgeship because he felt too deeply “the limitatioDS of the law as far as saving people is concerned,” Honda had very definite ideas. He'genuiaely believed that “giving legal standards to the majority of people was probably the most arrogant game muikind had thought up. U crimes were committed often out of necessity or stupidity, could one not perhaps claun that the mores and customs upon , which such laws were based were also idiotic?” He “concealed in liis heart a certain romantic respect for the self-confident criminal.” Likewise, he concealed feelings of hatred and contempt for repentant offenders. Temple of Dawn spans a sew & save sale COME IN NOW, FOR FABULOUS BUYS ON ,?IN(SER SEWING MACHINES. . -^hen you yoll your Singer Sevwn^ CftnUa-.W'MflPle wiip know win itibwWie wondefful things ydU'Can dtf With a    _ 'Rowing machine, built with the incoTTiparable qijalily that means yedrs ofrweperidftble performance. • ^ free Cabinet Offer on Touch & Sew"^ Machines You get a handsome cabinet FREE with this Singer sewing machine during our Sew & Save sale. It features the Flexi-Siitch* system for sewing all the new knite and stretch fabrics — plus the exclusive Push-Button Bobbin and built in Buttonholer. T!ie one and only Touch & Sew. V'ith free cabinet. Another chance to Sew & Save! 336 \ «pisi / / PRICES SLASHED on FABRICS! 60”POLYESTER CRIMPKNITS $2.69 yd. Reg. $4.60 yd 60' IMPORTED ACRYLIC SEERSUCKER SUITINGS $2.99 yd. Reg. $4.99 yd. 60' ITALIAN BRUSHED ACRYLIC PLAID $2.9» yd. Reg. $5.00 yd. 60" IMPORTED NOVELTY PLAID SUITING $3.99 yd. Reg, $6.00 yd. 45 "PRINTED NOVELTY KNITS $1.99 yd. Reg. S2.9B to 3.93 yd. 45" POLYESTER TWILL SUITING $3.99 yd. Reg. $5.00 yd. A SINGER ZIG-ZAG MACHINE FOR ONLY 99 Regular .ilig.gS Sure we re best. We tauflUt tne world to sew. Carrying I'ase or cabinet extra, 11 'fl Singer's fabulous Fashion-Male^. This machine helps you siew (he laiesi fashions so easily you won't believe ii ! 11 does s(raighl and reverse stii t hes. Sews hut loiihotes, sews on button.s, overedpea, even mends. And it has the exclusive Singer drop-in froni bobbin that ends bobbin fiimblinp forever' CREOIT TERMS AVAILABLE SINGER Sewing Centres and Participating Approved Dealers 'Tradimarlt of Singer (’ompany of ('nnncin period from L940, a year before outbreak of war, to 19S0 wben Honda, a rich man now, owns a villa in Japan where symbolically 'be watches his guests’ dissipa-Uoii through a peephole in tbe shelves of his library. His obsession with the Thai princess and that “reincarnation” is finally destroyed and his life bereft of any value. Most of Mishima’s writing represents the symbolism of his ancient Samurai family background. Harrisoo of the Washingtoi Post wrote about him: “He forced tbe Japanese to ccnsider where they are going more dramatically than anyone else since the Second World War, and he has done so with a distinctively Japanese symbolism.” This may be true of his chosen method of death as much as of his many books including The Temple of Dawn and, although 1 cannot personally perceive the motivaticHi behind the death orientated mind, this bocdc is worth reading for the writer’s exceptionally fascinating üteraty style as well as for his almost scary Imaginative power. EVA BREWSTER COUTTS - “I would like to tell you,” cooed, Mrs. Plumtre in a New Year predicUoo, “that food prices will go down. However, this isBotgoingtohanwn; they will keep rising.” My own predictiODS happen to be the same, extended over a wide range of goods other than food and 1 offer them gratis because, were I to be proved wrong, I could more easily reconcile fallibility with my conscience. At ieast I would not have to account for eamuig an undeserved 40,000 of taxpayers’ money. Not that I believe Beryl norotie will be found to be a false prophet. Any housewife watching her performance as well as the practices of our stores and supermarkets during the pre-Christmas period, could have come to the same conclusions. What’s more, she would have discovered that some people actually like being duped for the sake of seas<mal good will. On the local scene, for Instance, two ladies were arguing in L-Mart over their choice of identical packets of a turkey gravy mix. They obviously liked prepared sauces enough to fall out over this matter. One had found hers priced at SSf each while the other came across the same it^ in another comer of the same store costing only 39f for two. “Put yours back and get two,” suggested the latter but, "how can you be so cheap at Christmas time?" retorted the other sharply. “I don’t mind spending a few cents more for my family at this time." In Woolco, someboify discovered identical five-piece-bathroom mat sets at a difference of over $2 on two sides of the same display counter. The obvious answer to her inevitable question was: “The dearer item is new stock.” “Fair enough,” she said to the salesman, "but why not draw attention to the cheaper merchandise while supplies iast? How many people go round the same counter to look at prices on the same objects once they found what they wanted?” She echoed my every-day sentiments but, as soon as the clerk had turned his back, she switched the cheaper for the more expensive price tag. Noticing me watch, she said sheepishly; “I don’t want my friends to think I am mean.” Yet, t too fall prey to such periodical stupidity. For the man in my life, I had found just what he needed — a telephone pen that sticks to any surface (for a while) and, what’s more, matches tbe color of the noisy intruder into our privacy. However, having already bought him a stereo he helped to pay tor in the end because, without my glasses, I had misread tbe price tag, how could I possibly admit to spending a mere 98« for this elegant object? The obvious answer was to peel off tiie fat, round label but tins simply revealed, on the cardboard backing an imprinted, irremovable, equally fat 88». Double pricing? Of course, but my inunediate reaction was one of annoyance at a normally expensive, downtown stationer adding a mere lOt to my present. Finally, because store managers so often excuse high prices by blaming shoplifters for their deficits, I made a point of watching people in crowded stores during the pre-Christmas rush. Maylie, I wouldn’t make a good store detective but the only two rnis-deeds discovered were a small child sticking a wet finger from his mouth into an open candy counter, stroking chocolates as if they were live pets and then returning the resulting sweet mess to his pink tongue, and at the perfumes, a couple of middle-aged iadies spraying the whole contents of sample bottles over their fur coats. The only outcome here was that people made a lot of room around a scent that would have made a rauslt ox faint. In both cases I felt the store had asked to be exploited and that it was a small return for the nasty practice of double pricing. Most of us housewives, who entertain our families with running commentaries on such incidents, would gladly furnish the government with similar observations without a salary exceeding anybody’s needs. To me, the beautiful giant Christmas card of Jasper National Park from the ministry, a sincere letter of thanks, and the promise that my report on a research into another matter of concern would be applied to new schemes in the offing, are all the reward any well-off, honest Canadian could wish for who genuinely wants to help the economy. It seems to me, as long as too many like Mrs. Plumtre are paid out of all proportion for doing their duty and for offering platitudes to a gullible public, they share the blame for spiralling inflation. To misquote Professor Higgins: “Why can’t Mrs. Plumtre be like us?” Coll«g« Shopping Mall — PhOM 327-2243 Books in brief "The Fashion Dlcttonary" by Mary Brooks Plcken <Fiuhenry And Whiteside, 49* pages, $14,95). An inspirational book, no larger then a novel, yet packed with'iiprto-date information ai^ fashion terms. A history of fashion at your fingertips providing illustrations and definitions, silhouettes,' fabrics and a new and un* usually well-researched section on synthetics. Alphabetically listed and cross-referenced for easy access to vital fashion information, apropos terms such as hot-pants, midi, maxi, mini, micro-mini and Levis have been included in this new edition. Line drawings and a multitude of photographic illustrations courtesy of tbe Metropolitan Museum of Art and The National Gallery of Art are Included. ANNE SZALAVARY "You and 1 ud Yesterday" by Marjorie Holmes (Morrow, dUtrlbuted by George L. McLeod, Umlted, »1 pages). Marjorie Holmes has suc< cumbed to the adage Uiat the “good old days’* were indeed far better and happier than current times. She convincingly supports her theory as she recalls the days of her childhood in Iowa in the 1920s. Many people who can recall with nostalgia the lame period will respond warmly to this book. Marjori.e Holmes is probably best-known as a regular contributor to Woman’s Day magazine (A Woman’s Conversatirms With God) and as author of a book of contemporary prayers, “I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God." ELSPETH WALKER “Beasts of the Southern Wild” by Doris Betts (Fltihenry & Whiteside Umited, 19S pages. I8.M). Human suffering is the theme of these nine short stories. The range is broad: a dishgured girl who visits a faith healer, the ordeals of childbirth, care of a cancer patient, the worid of fantasy. Beasts of the Southern Wild, is a story about suppression of whites by blacks. Benson Watts tells of the strange journey undertaken by a man wtw just died. The only story likely to raise a smile is. The Glory of His Nostrils. Wanda Quin-cey is restored to sanity when the right man moves in to solve her problems. Doris Betts writes about human relations in a very competent way An interesting book for short story fans and for students of creative writing. TERRY MORRIS Management by objectives-questions By Terry Morris, Fleetwood Elementary School In my first article (Jan. 10) on MBO I suggested (a) it was wrong to compare schools to factories and (b) students may suffer when the pass/failure straitjacket, implicit in MBO philosoiAy, is imposed on schools. Let’s consider three more aspects of the Management by Objectives plan, (1) Apart from what might happen to students, there’s the possibility MBO is just another fad. A captive audience (students), docile employees (teacheri), and indifferent bankers (parents and taxpayers) provide a perfect situation In which gimmick merchants can do tiielr experimenting, using students as guinea pigs. With fringe benefits firmly linked to the amount of sympathy shown for the latest innovations, many teachers (active and hibernating varieties) are only too anxious to jump on the latest ln> novative bandwagon. Students become a means to an end «nd if this sounds like negative criticism, read ttie review of the Ford Foundation r^rt, ‘A Foundation Goes to School’, in the ATA Mageitne, May/June 1973. MBO may not be another educational miracle pill but it does leave some very Important questions unanswered. What is going to happen to students who can’t and don’t make Ute magic pass mark? What provisions will be made for parents and teachers who don’t accept the naranteed product idea of MBO? How will the plan be evaluated? School administrators have received five school days off to learn about MBO, trustees will be holding a retreat before approving MBO, and a supreme commander is likely to be appointed to act as midwife for the MBO prodigy. Classroom teachers know the happy event is coming tiut there’s little indication of what we’re supposed to do with it and when we're going to be trained to do whatever we're supposed to do. (2) There is tiie danger MBO will create a paper blizzard. Teachers will be so busy writing fictitious behavioral objectives, and filling in record cards they will have no time left to attend to students. Some of the volumes of behavioral objectives already written are truly weighty things (useful as bookends teachers report), a credit to those who wrote them but of uncertain value to students. Perhaps it was this kind of bureaucratic blizzard Uiat Dr. Wyman, president of the University of Alberta, had in mind when he said moat governments "are assembling armies of bureaucrats costing many millions of dollars” to centralize educational decisions within the government itself. (3) Finally, let's have another look at MBO and students. Robert Townsend in, ‘Up the Organization’, discussed the importance of objectives for business and wrote, “Once these objectives are agreed on, the leader must be merciless on himself and on his people. If an idea that pops into his head or out of their mouths is outside ttie objective of the compai^, he kills it without a trial.” This emphasis on a ruthless and absolutist power structure scares me for it could so easily happen In our schools. The teacher, who should be working with children, sharing with them the pleasures and thrills of learning, becomes little more than a dessicated calculating machine. Instead of a warm, vibrant personality, a seeker of knowledge, a reader of books, a lover of beauty, culture and life itself, we have an impersonal record keeper who will be closely supervised by an army of expensive non-teaching educators. Students may gain a few extra percentage marks but there is the danger they will lose out on tiie humanity and compassion that should be part of sdiool life. There are many people who will welcome the opportunity to shuffle piles of papers and while away the hours checking teacher/student performance points. However, those whp.are left to do the work in the classroom may think differentiy about this latest innovation. I think Uiere is merit in the scheme but there are a great many unanswered questions that should be answered before school trustees give their final approval. Some public reaction from parents, trustees, and the ATA would be helpful. Priddy souads. Here we go again on pronunciation (and please, Mr. Printer, if you’ll just not spell it "pronounciaUon,” it will save readers and the writer a lot of postage). Mrs. Joseph T. Somers of Plttsbuiita, Pa., is vexed by our "carelessness” in pronouncing f s. She notes that qiality often becomes qualldy, that litter becomes IMder and Utat brtter becomes bedder. If this nonexpert on phonetics could venture a guesa, it would be that when the t is followed by an unaccented syllable, for which the tongue is allowed to drop, the tongue-dropping begins with the t (which accounts for phoiedkis, for example). But the t feta its full proper sound if it is at the end of a word (MMxpert or rtgM, for inatsnce) or if it is followed by an accented syllable, for which the tongue is normally raised (set-’TSB or inTENSE, for iostanct). Whether the d soonds are improper is debatable. One dtctioiitiy — Webster's unabri4f«d, third edition recognizes them; (tie rcit do not. In any event, it is likdy that John Smith in bidding good night to Betty Jones will continac to say, “I’m going, Bed4y, bje. ’ Misplaced comma. The point about to be made won’t shake this planet to its innards, but it is worth making anyway. The following sentence is by no means atypical: "The question Is whether the novel is behind, or ahead, of iU time.” A phrase embraced in commas that way is really an interpolati<Hi in the sentence; the rest of Uie sentence should read properly wiUnut the phrase, But does it here? Would you say, "the novel is behind of its time”? Obviously not. The comma should be inserted after “of.” Shewed vs. shew*. The past tense of thaw is showed, and no one disputes that. The past participle, however, raises a question of usage. A news article contained this sentence: "The marshal was asked in the interview whether Mr. Kissinger had shewed him a co|iy ot the agreement.” People in the know would class that use of Avwed as a rarity and would favor nuking it sIwwb, In the passive voice shewn is mandatory: "The marshal was shewn (not Aewed) a copy of the agreenMnt.” ;