Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 26, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE LETHBR1DGE HERALD - Tueiday, January 26, 1971 Anthony Westell Cautious optimism Secretary - General U Thant and UN negotiator Gunnar Jarring have expressed "cautious optimism" on peace talks progress. That's a kind of euphemism meaning that some progress has been made, things look better than they did awhile ago, but don't be surprised if someone, or something, throws a monkey wrench in the works. The ceasefire deadline is February 5. Most forecasters think that it will be extended in spite of President Sadat's bellicose statements to the Egyptian people awhile ago. By some strange quirk of temperament Egyp- that "Nasser wanted peace the way many clergymen want to go to heaven - he agreed it would be nice but he didn't quite believe in it. But since Nasser there is more public emphasis on peace and on domestic matters." Mr. Sadat's aims in attempting to improve the stagnant economy may not be entirely motivated by his concern for the welfare of the people. He is undoubtedly trying to consolidate his position as Nasser's successor. Be that as it may, he appears to be more malleable than Nasser was. Opinions differ as to whether the Russians are tian politicians are inclined to make bringing their influence to keep the - _ i ii a... ' - - ___i.i: _ _____;, 4Uh 1\ /f i a1 1 *a o cf T f Trio .xn. rabble-rousing statements in public, which are not in tune with their private views. The Israelis are reported to be encouraged by .Egyptian Foreign Minister Riad's private statements during recent visits to London and Paris when he presented Egypt's position with surprising moderation. Terms spelled out by both sides so far have given general principles, but details are unavailable. One of the principal reasons for Cairo's more conciliatory - or perhaps a better term would be less belligerent - stand is that President Nasser's successor, Mr. Sadat, is more aware of, and more anxious to do something about, Egypt's economic plight. The Wall Street Journal reports a Cairo diplomat as remarking peace in the Middle East. If the Soviet Union has decided that it has already consolidated its position there, that it does not want to go any further because it could lead to a confrontation with the United States, then peace might come eventually to the Arab world. But the U.S.S.R. will hardly reduce its military commitment in the Middle East if the U.S. pursues an open-ended policy of aid to Israel. The path to peace is difficult and fraught with the danger of war. A general desire for peace on both sides is not enough to translate it into reality, and the political terms for' Middle East tranquility may yet prove too high. U Thant's "cautious optimism" is an apt term to cover the present state of affairs. The Dutschke affair Rudi Dutschke, the West German revolutionary who was the spectacular ringleader of the Berlin student uprisings nearly three years ago and was shot in the head by equally violent opponents, was given asylum in Britain, where he received medical treatment. He wanted to remain in England, but his application has been turned down. Denmark has evidently decided that Dutschke is no threat to national security. He is going to go there. The man on the street may well remark "good riddance," to this redheaded German firebrand. But on further investigation the methods used in making the decision on whether Dutschke should, or should not stay in Britain, do no credit to the Home Secretary Mr. Reginald Maudling. Dutschke's application to remain was heard by an immigration tribunal. He was not present to defend himself, nor was he represented by counsel. He was simply told that the tribunal had decided that he had not kept to the letter of the original contract, that he had engaged in political action, and that A light on 6th Avenue With the closing of Central School the pedestrian traffic light on 6th Avenue at 9th Street may be removed. Those responsible for the city's traffic flow should awaken to the plight of the motorist in that area. Why they have ignored the problem for so long is one of the local mysteries. Sixth Avenue is one of the two main arteries for leaving downtown Lethbridge to most of the residential areas. From any downtown street Hang-ups on the language Rethinking the unemployment situation rVTTAWA v hind the Let's get be-political slogans and the conventional social wisdom and take a hard look at unemployment. What does it mean in our society and what can reasonably be done about it? Two major problems arise when a man becomes unemployed. He loses his wages and he loses his occupation. The first problem is easy to solve if we are ready to pay the price. It is merely a matter of transferring cash from those who have jobs and incomes to those who don't. We have already moved quite a distance in that direction. Unemployment insurance makes up some loss of income and welfare payments guarantee a minimum subsistence. We are now going further by improving the insurance scheme so that it can pay two-thirds of lost wages up to $100 a week, and by directing higher social therefore he must go. Maybe Dutschke might have been a security risk, maybe he would not have been. This is hardly the point. The point is that he has not been given a fair chance to reply to accusations against him, and the quasi-juridical body which has extradited him, has not specifically spelled out the reasons for its decision. The proceedings are a disgrace to British justice. But let not Canadians believe that "it couldn't happen here." It has, in cases where immigrants seeking citizenship have been refused it simply by the decision of the Immigration Department. Reasons for refusal have not been given when sought. The decision is final and irrevocable just as it was in the Dutschke case. Dutschke at least is aware of why he has been given his walking papers. Many would-be Canadian citizens have been left bewildered, confused, and humiliated because a case has been found against them, based on the accusations of others, or a bureaucratic whim. To this day they don't know which, or why. there must be a left turn on to 6th Avenue, and nowhere west of 13th Street is there a traffic light for the convenience of any of that traffic. At the quieter times of the day there is no serious problem, but at the noon and evening rush hours the traffic impediment, trying to make that left turn, is aggravating and inexcusable. Traffic lights should be put up only where they are needed. Their only purpose is to facilitate traffic movement, not to restrict it. Somewhere along the downtown part of 6th Avenue such a light is long overdue. By Margaret Luckhiirst I N a newspaper office one is always conscious of terminology, for in writing news stories a definite style is followed in order to give uniformity, so certain words and phrases are definitely no, no. My father, who during his lifetime had been an English teacher, would have approved these restrictive measures for he felt that the English language had deteriorated badly in the last few decades. Around home he discouraged slang, and words like lousy, hi, swell, s'long, and many others, would set father in search of the Oxford dictionary from which he would read out the correct definition to the culprit guilty of using them. "What does so long mean," he'd cry in real agony, "so long for who or for what? What in the name of the Queen's English is wrong with plain old goodbye?" To greet liim with a cheery "hi" was to be ignored, or to be read a lecture on linguistics. "Who's high?" he'd bark, "go out and come back in again and say hello, or good morning!" We were always pretty careful with our speech around father, but we did pick up abstract phrases which admittedly, when analysed are rather meaningless. He couldn't tolerate a sentence with "I can honestly say," stuck somewhere in it. "What do you mean, you can honestly say-," he'd rage, "if you can't say it honestly, don't say it at all!'' Another irritant to father was that col- security payments to where the need is. If we are still sincerely concerned about hardship arising from unemployment, we can go further and introduce a generous guaranteed income. The issue is straightforward. Are we willing to pay the higher taxes necessary? If the answer is no, cry no more crocodile tears for the jobless. The second problem of loss of occupation is much more difficult. It involves the work ethic, the inbred moral belief that labor is noble and the religious injunction that a man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. In our society, to have a job is virtuous, and to be without one is to raise the suspicion of being a loafer, a waster, even a hippie. To deprive a man who wants to work at a job, is to rob him of pride. When the economy fails to provide enough work, there- fore, there is a great sense of outrage. The government is blamed for mismanaging affairs and told to get busy at once to stimulate business and make jobs. The trouble is that regardless of the government in power, we have not yet been able, and probably never will be able, to invent a Canadian e c o n o m y which employs everyone all the time. The Economic Council estimates that full employment for practical purposes now would be about 3.5 per cent of the work force without jobs. The level over the last 12 months has been about 6 per cent, which is high but by no means unprecedented, and now appears to be improving. The fact is that the economy moves in cycles and the trick is to prevent it from swinging to over-full employment and inflation at one extreme and to under-employment and recession at the other end. If we are prepared to go to a fully-controlled economy, we can perhaps guarantee everybody a job, although it may not be congenial or well paid. Very few Canadians want to go this far in surrendering the power of private decision. When the government suggested some 18 months ago an experiment in voluntary control of the economy by wage and profit restraint, as one way to ease the threat of unemployment, it was rejected by many of the people now complaining loudest about lack of jobs. When the Prices and Incomes Commission followed up last June by asking the provinces to use their economic muscle* to help hold wage and cost increases below 6 per cent, it received very little co-operation. The commission chairman, Dr. John Young, warned repeatedly that the alternative to restraint would be higher unemployment and was widely mocked fcr his efforts. Now lection of words making up the phrase, "be that as it may." Casual use of this one sent father's blood pressure up to a dangerous level. "Be what as what may?" he'd shout. "That doesn't even make sense; it's a conglomeration of words politicians use when they can't think of anything intelligent to say, which is quite often. Get rid of it!" He also insisted his family make good use of Oxford to clarify for ourselves proper definitions. To say that something was "most unique" had us scurrying to check whether this word could be compared or not. It couldn't. "Don't say something is happening "presently" when you mean "at present," and don't ever let me catch you using 'like' and 'as' interchangeably; Winston tastes good like a cigarette should! Bah! Learn your parts of speech and you'll never have any trouble." 1 learned my parts of speech but promptly forgot them, much to father's anguish. Occasionally, wl>en 1 really wanted to tease him about this thing he had about English I would really rock him back on his heels. "Hi, pop," I'd say, "1 can honestly say this is the most unique weather we're presently having, but be that as it may, spring is coining like always." It's surprising this poor beleagurcd proponent of English as she is not spoke, lived to such a ripe old age, considering what he had to put up with. that the alternative is so painfully obyious, perhaps he should ask the government for a mandate ta try again, But even if we can Improve our economic management to some degree, it still seems highly unlikely that' we can find gainful jobs for everybody. We have been talking for years about automation which eliminates many jobs, and about the problem of finding alternative occupations in the so-called leisure society. We ha^e accepted intellectually that a man may have bread without sweating and we have gone a long way in recognizing that not everybody can or should work for wages all his life. We don't now expect young people to go from school into jobs. We subsidize them instead to enrol in universities and colleges: 102,000 just 10 years ago, 298,000 last year, an estimated 350,000 this year, and twice that number in 1980, When an adult loses his job, we may even pay him to train for another one. Over 75,000 persons are now in Manpower programs. ? ? ? When a worker gets to around 60, we sometimes offer him a pension to leave the work force before normal retirement age, and to go off and enjoy himself. Until a few years ago, we expected the economy to provide jobs for all these people. Now we don't. In the sense that they don't work for wages, they are unemployed. But they do have income and they are for the most part, usefully or happily occupied, so they feel no loss of pride. Why cannot we take the same attitude to the 500,000 or so who are unemployed in the conventional sense? There are no jobs at present and many of them, in fact, may not find regular employment for wages for a very long time, if ever. But this does not mean there is no work. Education is work and there are hundreds of night classes available. Educational TV is just starting up and we can organize that to create more opportunities for useful work by those waiting for jobs. Academics take sabbatical years, businessmen and professionals enjoy long holidays occasionally, so why should we not encourage the unemployed to occupy themselves as they please for a time, reading, travelling, playing sports, or just relaxing, without feeling guilty? In summary, let us not deceive ourselves that the present level of unemployment is some dreadful accident or unique example of mismanagement, because in fact it happens rather regularly. And let us not pretend that the economy can and should provide jobs for all, because we know that it won!t in the age of automation. Let us instead be realistic, taking the hardship out of unemployment by paying a living income, and restoring pride by offering occupations other than work for wages. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Government action needed to check U.S. inflation By Joseph C. Harsch, in The Christian Science Monitor WASHINGTON - Decem-" ber's surprising figures on unemployment in the United States contained one particularly startling item. Unemployment in the building trades went up to 11 per cent; and it was already high, and well above the national average. All unemployment in December was at 6 per cent. In November, unemployment among construction workers was already at 9.1 per cent. Thus from November to December the rate for these men went up by nearly two full points; a very high rate of increase in unemployment. It put them almost at the top of the unemployed in the United States. The only group wih a higher rate were the teen-agers, at a steady 17.5 per cent. But the construction workers are among the highest paid of people in the United States. And their wage rises over recent months and years have made wage rises in other trades and occupations seem pallid. No Letter to the editor group of workers is contributing more to wage and price inflation than are the construction workers, Here is an anomaly which points, I think, to the heart of the inflation problem; and perhaps also toward the only possible cure. If the old laws of the marketplace, the laws of supply and demand, were working we would not have rising wages in an area of rising unemployment. The plain fact is that in the United States of today something new and different and totally unfamiliar in the Western capitalist system has happened. Wages have somehow come loose from the rate of employment. The condition shows up more graphically in the construction trades than elsewhere. Here we see very high and rqpidly rising wages coupled with unusually high unemployment. Shortage of work has had no downward pull on wages. Work is short. It has only driven wages higher. What use city planners? Could you, or perhaps some member of our city council, tell me what useful purpose was served by the use of the taxpayers' money to hire city planners. The council seem to be kept quite busy altering the planning to suit individuals who want an area rczoncd to their advantage. The Glcndalc area is a classic example. The protests of the taxpayers in this area have been rather studiously ignored. In view of the proposed action of council in this area, I would be interested in an answer to this question. In the event that the Marathon people., decide to build downtown, and state that they will have to have a block of 7th Street, and perhaps a portion of Gait Gardens, for parking area - will our council go along with that? If not, why not, as they will have already set the precedent? GLENDALE TAXPAYER. Lethbridge. This condition is novel. It has never happened before. The law of supply and demand always before pulled wages down, or at least left them constant in periods of low employment. And the same holds true of prices levels. Normally, in past human experience a decline in demand has led to a decline in prices. As we all learned, or thought we learned in college Economics, fewer dollars' chasing as many or more goods tends to bring down prices. But it doesn't any more. And the condition is not limited to construction workers. It applies across the wage and price board. The inflation has generated a momentum of its own. It no longer responds to the old presumed laws of supply and demand. This is of course why the Nixon "game plan" for the re-stabilization of the American economy has not worked. Mr. Nixon reduced the supply of money by cutting back the federal budget, quite drastically; by raising the interest rates; and even by reducing the normal supply of money itself. All of this should have checked the inflation at least by mid-1970. That was the plan. It should have put the brakes on both wages and prices. Cutting back on federal spending, and on the general supply of money, was the classic way of slowing down inflation. It worked before. It worked under the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Mr. Nixon watched it working. He would like to have had it working less effectively in 1960. But it worked. If the "game plan" had - worked as intended and expect- ed, the inflation rate would have been down to a tolerable level by mid-1970 and the refueling of the economy would have started to bring unemployment levels down by election time. Instead of the "game plan's" working, inflation gathered momentum and, in spite of unprecedented wage rises, the average real wage of the American workingman actually declined, by a narrow margin, during 1970. Mr. Nixon is firmly opposed to legislated wage and price controls. His opposition is founded on the formally sound theory that wages and prices can best be controlled by the marketplace. But the marketplace isn't working. The inflation is out of control. There is a very serious question whether anything short of hard government action can stop it. The alternative would seem to be galloping inflation. And who wants that? Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - The Public School Board has set $1,100 as the minimum salary for teachers, bringing the salary list to $14,-CG0 over last year. 1931-A delegation of unemployed transients appeared before council and stated they would rather go to jail than be moved to a horse barn at the fair grounds. 1911-The British people feel that Hitler is up to no good as the Nazi "after dark" raids have ceased for the past eight days. 1951-Canada agreed to relax immigration restrictions against India by throwing open her doors to 150 citizens each year for permanent residence. 1961-An unfitted flare that leaves the figure up to the imagination is Pierre Cardin's new shape for women's spring outfits. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor "THE HERAtD SERVES THE SOUTH"