Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tuwdoy, January 14, THI UTHUIDGI HERALD 5 A working approach to next budget By Bruce WhitertoDe. Canadian syndicated commentator The budget will be presented to Parliament soon in an atmos- phere of uncertainty about the future and concern about the present. In such a situation it is almost impossible for the gov- ernment to do anything other ;han slate its view of the pres- ent situation, manipulate policy to make curren; measures more effective, while generally hold- ing the status quo until after the future direction of our econ- omy becomes more apparent. There are discouraging signs that the inflationary spiraj is moving upward again even be- fore the economy has returned to an even keel. However, he- cause of genera] lack of ade- quate statistics and the slow- ness with wrdch existing statis- tical series become available, there is a fairly substantial area where doubts can ens: and where opinions can differ. Taking one series of statistics and interpretations of events, it is possible to paint a fairly glowing picrure of an economy coining reasonably well into balance after one of the great- est inflationary sprees in his- tory-. The rate of increase has slowed down from !96S rates. On the question of wages, it is reasonably obvious to most people that the explosion is con- tinuing. The signs that wage settlements are excessive are multiplying. First year wage settlements for long-term con- tracts provide for wage in- creases of more than eight per cent More economically ori- ented analysts view anything above five percent as too high and they are upset if more than a very few people manage to obtain income increases of more than that figure There are also considerable signs that too much money for economic comfort is still in the hands of consumers as a result of the previous tax. cuts as well as the rapid wage gains suU being negotiated. Perhaps one of the best ex- amples of the excess funds in the hands of the public can be seen in the demand for home mortgage finance. The current rate of housing starts would pro- ride for a new house for every Canadian family within sixteen years. Certainly the average bouse las'; longer than that so current rates are clearly unsus- tainable. However, many of the institutions lending in this mar- ket report that the amount of finance they have had available this year is well up on that for last year. This would seem to indicate that, as a result oi in- come increases and tax cuts over the past year, individuals are now in a position to think about buying or building a house at a time when they otherwise would not have been able to do so. On balance the government, which has access to more de- tailed and varied statistics than those available 10 the general public, is likely to agree that inflation is the bigger threat. The budget could contain some self congratulations about the progress of the economy, how- ever. It also should include some measures to contain tie possibly damaging effect of the demand power still in the hands of the consumers. This will be difficult to achieve in the pres- ent precarious position of the Trudeau govemmen: in t h e House of Commons, but never- theless, it still has to be at- tempted in order to forestall more trouble later ia the veer. In simple terms the govern- ment could attack the problem in either of two ways or by a combination of boi First, it could attempt to curb the in- crease in the money suoply ar.d reduce the amount and rate of interest of credit available. Sec- ond, it should s.tempr to resist the pressure to continue the U-X cu: for incomes scheduled to expire on January 1. 1973. I: perhaps should make changes in the structure of this tax to make it more selective, or implemem some other measure to make employers more resis- tant to excessive wage de- mands. The threat of removing tariffs or changing the interpre- tation of import dumping could be helpful in giving the govern- ment more muscle. Such meas- ures, of course, would put an even greater burden on the bus- iness world which under pres- ent and proposed legislation has borne a lot of the w e i g h t of present government moves. Aside from attacking the de- mand position as its source in the hands of consumers, it could mean a switch of public spending on projects which are of questionable value and yet consume tax revenues. A prime example would be the sacro- sanct revenue sharing pro- grams with provinces which promote waste ful spending. Provinces believe that they have to implement new pro- grams such as highway build- ing which shared erJEJlv with the federal government. If these programs are not put in pisce. provinces are inclined to fee! thct they lose out as they are not getting some "free'1 federal Such cutbacks probably have a grest deal of artraction to a government uhich is having considerable dificulty holding its own spend- m.E. In one stroke it could help balance its own budget '.rilhoiiL taking money out of the hands of those who truly deserve as- sistance. Concerning the scope of the budget, several fundamental de- BLOOD DONOR CLINIC "Sorry I'm a bit late getting here I've been waiting for it to get below .08." velopmenls deserve to be rec- ognized and debated and others clearly delineated. The scope of the federal government is rising. Federal expenditures as a percent of our gross national product averaged about 28 per cent in the early 1960's and in this year may total about 33 per cent. Enlarged government activities should be clearly iden- tified to help policy makers to improve decision-making. Better control over the budget will require an overhaul of the budgetary process. No budget- ing by our government can be effective when the budget pro- posed by an administration va- ries sharply from actual re- sults. The urgency to improve this budgetary process is great; ore hopeful outlook for the problem "is that there seems to be some awareness of it. At the stan of the calendar year, the government would have to submit a budget whose terminal is two years ahead rather than one year. Er- ratic variations in tax rates do little even if they are favorable or result in lower tax rates. Over the past year from June 1971 to May 1972, we had four tax chanses. This freouency of shifis make it difficult to plan intelligently or to take advan- tage of rate changes. Invest- ment plans tend to be post- poned unni there i; greater as- surance about the outlook. Equally important is fee need to defuse at least pan of tie political debates that so often contribute to budgetary imbal- ances and economic distur- bances, in view of the tenuous hold on power by the Trudeau government. The efficiency and suitability of budgetary pro- grams should be reviewed by a non-partisan body attached to the House of Commons and should render reports to the House. It should be charged to study the efficiency and suitability of budgetary programs. It could also project each year the bud- get surplus or deficit that would promote sustainable economic grovrih. leaving long range forecasting to the Economic Council of Canada and to the House of Commons the task of completing the revenue and ex- penditure profile. A quasi independent group would relieve the House of Commons of some of the politi- cal press-jres that occasionally disrupt the economy. Tt would act in a limited way to spear- head changes that politically might be difficult to facilitate but are urgently necessary for the country. In any case, the tolerances within which the budget must be managed are going to be narrowing until the outlook for the economy can be clarified. In a misguided zeal to jockey for position, the various parties in ibe House of Commons must c--- back on rhetoric and avoid pressure on the government to oversumulate trie economy. South Africa runs out of white men By Stanley Uys, Loadon Obsen'er correspondent CAPE TOWN I[ was only s 01" time before South Africa ran ou; of white men. Vow i: has happened. The four whites have discovered thci; they no longer pro- all the skills and man- areris! expertise needed by a poouiaiion of million. Trie is playine hav- oc with basic apanheid atti- i.jdcs. Skill- have always been mcrcpo'iv cf whites, making them the elite among workers in country. color bar too. t h a t blacks could ro; easily iher eco- Now :his siruc'LUre is bedn- nir.g to break down. Mr. Bauu- ifiT government sill k would rather be "poor than rich racial- ly but crsdually is the principle of Afri- The minister of labor. Mr. Yiljoen. has laid down the conditions under wtach it take place: thai "iw whiles s.'..i'.: !x> nismissed or re- "whites and v. coir.i: the w.me wrk siv.il no: !x? pormitiod to work and that 1 nc. white shall ever receive in- structions from a non-while.'1 The first condition is ben? observed, bu; the other two are already Ivinp brenched, vill to Iv breached in ri'te and more ;lobs. In lime, I' s leod to ra- c .V fririior. but by then white writers will be presented with ;.'i accomplished fact. I" n d e therefore, Yorker's covcrnmont has r c, labor policy. It has such a h.immchng ovw years from employers, ceo- nomisis and opposition cijns over the labor shortage that it accepts that the color bar can no be rigidly en- forced. But it waiiis io conirol [he pace of African advance- mt m so that it does noc ai> taironize its white followers or allow the Africans to establish a power base in the economy. This explains why. in one it declares thst white workers will rot }nold an inch or :hei- territory and, in the next, announces that it has ta- ken on non-whiles to per- form jobs in the siatc-conrroi- led railways that, until recent- ly. ihe presene of whites. Tne chronic shortage of skills in the country is responsible for the present infation which threatens to spiral dangerously high this year: too much money is chasing too few goods. In- creased productivity, by com- mon consent, is the answer to the country's economic prob- lems. This gives Mr. Vorster's government a political incentive to permit, whore possible, the covert or even overt crossing of color bar: such erosion of it5 electoral snpron thai hn> oeeunvd has boon among wliiie and collar workers chafinj; under the cost of lining. At the next elecuon. nl the present rale of inRaUon, Lhcir loyaliirs will lx> even further. One estimate that has boon made Ls that, by 1990, South Africa will need 3.500000 skill- ed workers in professional, technical and administralivo posts, in clerical and sales jobs, and in industrial work, flicrc uill be, at most, 1.750.000 wliites to fill these When one looks at the coun- try's labor ratio, il is obvious Hist tlw color bar canrot sur- vive. Of ecorAMnirally ac- tive population, only 20 per cent Ere white. The rest non- v.'hiie 6-S per cent African. 10 wr cent Colored t mixed race descent', and per ccnr Asian. As ore observer has put it. ''The steam that drives Scurh Africa's economic locomotive is iar from being while." There is another to the government io relax the in- dustrial color ;he integra- tion of non-whiles skilled joSs would brini; v.iih ii higher v- sges and a sstiy-expanced co.tsumer mnrkcr. Eu; acnin tl'fre is the fear thai the non- whites u-ould lr-.nsla-e eco- romic power poiitical pow- er. The pressuro that is being ex- on the government is rot only to relax the industrial col- or bar. but also to recognize African trade unions. Vr.der the country's Industrial Conciliation Act. African unions are not ille- gal, bm they are not recognized officially Africans are ex- cluded from the definition of an "employee" and they have no collective k'.'paiuinii powers therefore. There arc only 13 A frican trade unions in the. country with a combined mem- bership of 20.000. Africans, too, are not nllowod to strike. Recently. Ihe Tr.ido I'nion Council of South Africa, wlxvsc- Tnc-mbtTS consist of tho more enlightened unions, lus takon the Ic.id in socking the affilia- tion of African unions, and in p-cssir.p for their official rec- by the The povv'-nimo'.it, houwor, shows no signs of budging. It is firmly conr-nced if Afri- can unions are given collective birgair.ing richrs and official recceniticn. they beronie :'r? instnir.'.er.is of "scitiiors" seokir.g io white riiie. Labor dispuies will con- to be settled, by "l.-.bcr comrr.itiees." of govemrr.er.t-spcoiiKed wliite btxir offices frovcmment- African members. The o: skills ajtd t h e of rococr.ition io trice unions two in i-.ich i-'.e posir" T, of African v.vr'vo-s in Africa be invorovec. is a eron- tj ir.civa-e ire of bb.ck v.orkers A rr.'on' fO per cent of Africans j-i ihe privaii- stsrtor enrn less than Sf-5 a which is just iir.der [Jn? r'nium lire income for 5.11 Afri- can family of five. In rb? public Stvtcr Lhe position is >tany busiressmon agree that i; is to pay their black worko-s bcttor but ilion? is also a i moral in tlx1 whito Sov.ih Afri- have Nvn gripped by a rolhviive ovc- the by to iiiinnn-t1 the V..KCS ar.d vo-i.irg oi i heir omrloyivs in Souih Africa is adding a riinonsiotT. I.M. to the pnynicnt of "consciorsco money.0 White employers of thai I here is a limit to wa co t lioy ean ixe tl tlu-y mrs; first producUve. tlicy bofoix; llwy can rai.cc above a certain feveL This is a way of tiling the government to relax the indusrria! color bar, the principal barrier retarding the productivity oi black workers. Possibly the most interesting rieve'opmen: LT the labor field has been the request made re- cently by the right-wing while Euikiirjg Workers' Union to ihe fova-nrnent to scrap job ressr- and io allow the rate for job io be psid instead. Tne union has no: tcien up (hi> a'.uiude for sl- Tn-? fact is that tl-e cr-or hsr ras broken down s.i far in the building industry t'-.at uiiite building feel by cheap black la- lv-. Mr. Berg Beetce. ihe union's secretan" "Thorp ro lob tion leti in the building indus- try, and in the circumstances I support the rste for tin? job rs the secor.d best way of pro- teciir.g our while artisans." This is ;he new fr.cior in ihe l.-.Kir situation in South Afri- ca. e'.nn'oyei-s, wo-kc.'s. and confronted by ihe slow m.: un- of blacks into a whole ivinge of jobs, are beginning to Like ihe view that. rather than soo this advance take place in .in implaiuiftl. dis- organized way. they shmi'd help redirect il into conlrolled labor channels. The spectre of a population of 13 million non-whites acquring a in t.V white man's economy, but having no U'copurtxi clunnels through liieii lo present thrir priov- .i.-ecs n-.id d o m a n d f has brougli: nt leas; soiue while South Africans lo their senses. Chamber horrors By Eva Brewsler It has been said that Alberta is the only province in Canada where me majoritv of citizens are in favor of the death penalty. I cannot confirm or deny the truth of that contention but, in a limited survey of my own, a curious fact hss come to light. Many men of a certain age group, who most ardently advocate the return o! death penalties, were the very people re- fused to fight in the Second World War. .Most of them had been conscientious ob- jectors on religious That their privilege and one should have nothing but admiration for people courageous enough to stick to their principles as long as these are sincere and consistent. It may have been a coincidence that a majority oi the same group suggest replac- ing the barbarity of barging with more ''humane1' gas chambers. It became clear to me that cone of them had ever seen an execution or hsd any knowledge of the hor- rors of death by gassing. This is not a pleasant subject to contemplate and one I thought forever buried deep in my sub- conscious mffid. for my geaeraiior. of help- less prisoners hive witnessed more ings than an execution can crowd into a lifetime and seen more people daily driven into gas chambers than the maximum num- ber of cattle killed in the most efficient slaughterhouses. My oun opposition to the 62ath penalty, even for premeditated murder, is there- fore not based on any false sentimentality for I have DO illusions about the value of individual human life. It is a cheEp com- modity in a world where, to this day. the killing of innocents on political, racial or religious grotmc's oftsn warrants no more than a small paragraph on the back page of a newspaper, if that. For that matter, even the .dual standards of human thought and behavior are no; surprising in a so- ciety where the most powerful and. pre- sumably, democratic govemmen: on earth can rush to the assistance of victims of natural disasters with massive aid and. at the same time, mete out death and de- struction lo a nation of peasants elsewhere. There is. however, a case here for straightening out some of those opinions originally based on moral principles. Had those men defending such ideas beeri in that war of ]950 to 1945. when their religion demanded they sacrifice untold millions of lives (o (h? grandest spree of mass-murder ever known in human his- tory, they might think twice about the jus- tification of condemninr, io death a single delinquent human being now. Had they helped to liberate just one of the many concentration camps strewn across the face of Europe, they might have seen the very visible traces of agony the victims of death sentences left behind. Before deciding on even the method of executing a criminal, they should make a pilgrimage to one of the -pm-mir.- gas chambers in Poland or Germany which have been turned into shrines for poster- ity. After all, it was there that gas was first used for the purpose of killmg of man on a grand scale. In those chambers, they will find the imprints oi thousands of hands clawing into walls from floor to ceiling. The higher up they Irak the tinier will be the marks of fingernails of children lifted high 03 their parents', brothers' and sisters' shoulders to gasp that last precious breath of orygen in a death struggle so violent that even babies had the strength to permanently mark concrete. How dare I compare the murder of Inno- cent minions with the judicial death pen- alty carried out m a criminal to protect modern society? There are many reasons but the most important are probably these: The millions I am about were COD- fiemaed to death lo "protect society'1 to quote the law of that time. Once you ac- cept the principle of a death penalty for that purpose, ihe interpretation of tie law is wide open to abuse and errors. It only serves to prove my point Ait the legality of that large scale murder in Europe must have been recognized by those who re- fused to fight i: on religious and moral grounds in the Second World War. It could also be arg-jed that few men art born criminals. The majority ere driven to to be a menace to society." The time is murder by circumstances or mental fllrjess. Yet. the children gassed in Germany were killed because would have grown up fast approaching when science will be able lo predict, by g child's types of chromo- uomes or by other devices, the potential murderer. Society can then decide whether to protect itself by isolating such children or putting them to death lit; an unwanted animal. And. talking of "putting to death'1 s mur- derer, it is beyond my ability to under- stand why "civilized" people have to argue about the advantages of gassing over hang- ing should the death penalty indeed be con- sideretJ necessary. Even s- animal that canno' be saved is given a painless injec- tion iid permitted to go to sleep peace- fully. kind of people are we to not even consider this much more humane al- ternative instead of current methods o? execution, all equally oarbanc? Report to readers Doug We ike r Prod from API seminar The American Press Instimte xras ed in IMf to help improve lie quality o: newspapers and overcome the credibility gap between ibem and their readers. This is done through two-weel seminars for people in various areas oi newspaper reporters, advertisers, nanasers. editors. Participants are nom- inated by tie management oi local news- papers who consider the cost to be an in- vestment in the production of a better paper. It was my privilege to artend the seminar for editorial page editors and uyiters last Se'otember. I was one oi 26 men and wom- en the seminar prcors wits circulaiicns ra-jrirg frcm 'The Herald' lo 700.W.' Tne Pmi-dc'.pi-ia from pans o; the led snrf tJuee Canadian cities. We hsd 20 three-hour sessions together. Ten ot ihe sessions consisted of talks and riisciissior, on of interftsi 10 ediior- ia! These sessions were desicied to backfround tor the cxintimiinc [ask o; comrrienlinp on the news. Tlie o'.her ten sessions were lo specific aspects o: writirg and p.-.je txhunj. Top men in the fiield took charge cf six of the sessions on organiza- tion operation c: the e.li'ovia: page de- socess lo ihe ediioria! p.icc: wrii- inc: rdiiori.il .ind makeup: (he role of Ihe edilori.il pace ]n each inslance the ciis-ussion lender had an.ilysed rospor.se? from (he participant and sample p.ipes from (heir oarers. Thus (hoy were able lo m.iko bolh confral and sper.fic eommenis about what wo doing well or badly. Thivc sessions were in ;ho form of clinics, i a clinic wilh and editors S.'.ll Iv.ke Vi.ih: Oakland, Cali- fornia: For! Smith, Arkansas; Roanoke, Red- ding, lYnnsylvania. Prior io .coing lo New York we had exchanged papers for s. with the oiher members of the clirJc so that we couM eive our critiques oi t-hec during the seminar. There was also a final sharing session with all seminar partici- pants. Outside the forma! sessions there were other opportunities for Since aie our meals togeiber in a special room and lived in the same hoi el there was a let of interesting informal discus- sion. We were ail gueas of the NeT York Times for dinner and an evening of ques- tioning the staff oi the editorial paee of that great paper. There was 2 special of ihe United hecdqusr.ers with a mee'iins with the head of the i> forrnsrior. serv'res. Sight-seeing, men: church added vs'.uibie dimension ro the experience. One of the things being done by sever.il of the papers represented ai the seminar. and strong ly recom mended for a 11. is a weekly column of this nature discussing iho operation and policy of the local paper, Many of Ihe tan dines and some of the susnicion surrounding a publication could be cleared by such a column. Four years ago T mace a brave on just such a venture. After 1 h.io discuss- ed aspects of my work as editor I ran few columns by staff members work b'.r soon ran ait oi writecs, Al'.houch orijv ngsin I ro go; others to wire, this time T will attempt to keep it goinc myself if snoVer .-Kni! (V narvr tn F. he- cf h-Mird the I have some idea of IN? sort of Lhincc readers nvcM bo in inc discussed. An inutation i? howfA'er. for rffldors to rues'ions by r-.r.il to me msy gel answered Immediately ir c.cf course I hnpc lo cover ail somewhere along Lhe- lino.