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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, June 11, 1974 Private enterprise should dominate Bv Ian D. Sinclair, Chairman of Canadian Pacific Ltd. Half the evidence The abbreviated version of remarks by the head of Canadian Pacific, reprinted on this page, is important reading because it presents a strong argument that most Canadians refuse to contend with, and because it is a point of view far too seldom and too timidly stated. There are those who dismiss Mr. Sinclair by arguing that since capitalism is evil and big corporations the most evil all. it logically follows that there can be no merit in anything a man such as he might say Therein lies the danger to Canada. Too many Canadians are not thinking straight. They deliberately shut their eyes'to whatever does not fit their prior bias. They pass judgment while excluding half the evidence. I'nbridled free enterprise is a thing of the past. Complete socialism, with abolition of private ownership and private enterprise, is mathematically possible, perhaps to some even plausible. But every economic system must be built upon capital. In one system, the people freely save by deferring consumption and thus they create capital privately. In the other, the state forces them to produce more than they consume and the saving becomes state- owned capital. That is how the Soviet industrial system was built, and no one can deny tliat it works. One question is whether the price was too high, and another whether it works nearly as well as the system of private accumulation ol capital Canada economically is quite committed to the system of private capital. It is effort based upon private capital from which the state gets all its revenue for public services and welfare. Private capital is expected to supply most ot the jobs, create most oi the goods. There is no serious sign that Canada is ready to abandon the private capital system. But by destroying the motive for private capital, the system is being steadily undermined. That motive is the hope of profit. Under monopoly conditions profit can get out of line and the state has the right to intervene. But the public can be harmed much more by depriving people of the motive to save and to invest. Without capital and without profit this country is dead. That., it seems to us. is Mr. Sinclair's message, and every Canadian who refuses to reckon with it is not honest with either himself or his country. Summertime It's hard to take a summer election seriously. But then, it's hard to take anything seriously in the summer. This is "the time of year when one tends to think of today, and elections concern tomorrow. Summer is the one season when it is permissible to be hedonistic. It is a time for deferring both ambitions and cares. for doing things because of the sheer pleasure of doing them. It is a time for climbing mountains just because they are there, for fishing and throwing the fish back in the river, for walking three miles in order to hit a small white ball 80 strokes. It's a time when the most penetrating thought which is apt to cross one's mind is the recurring conviction that people, and children in particular, have forgotten that water also assuages thirst. Summertime is a celebration of joy. It erases the grimness from existence. Although it has its attendant responsibilities what to do with the children today it is mainly a time to relax and enjoy things as they are without fretting about what they might be. In a word, it's recess. Summer can affect elections, since the unmotivated are less apt to vote, but elections have little effect on summer. The parade goes on. symbolic and reassuring. The reasurance is coming this year at an opportune time, since it had begun to look as though mankind, in his intense concern about inflation, resource development, government by terrorism and food shortages, was in danger of forgetting that life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. Summer is arriving providentially with' its annual reminder: Forget tomorrow: enjoy today. Everv vear needs a summer. THE CASSEROLE The Associated Press carried a story about a London journalist who moved across town and later received a letter from the gas company, with both his name and new address completely correct, asking that he inform the company of his name and address so that a small refund could be sent to him. Weft, there's nothing like being really sure. A week or so ago it was disclosed that the I'.S. State Department had ok'd delivery of million worth of Ford cars and trucks to Cuba. The announcement noted Chrysler had been authorized to sell Cuba vehicles worth S24.2 million, and that General Motors was still negotiating with the Cuban government. What makes this disclosure really interesting is an almost concurrent announcement by U.S. Commerce Secretary Frederick Dent that "security interests of the United States require a continuation of the Cuba trade embargo." Following are excerpts from a speech in Montreal June 4. Let us emphasize and let us not let Canadians forget that it is the market economy the private sector that has provided the driving force in our economy and the social benefits we all enjoy. We have it within our grasp to raise the living standards of all Canadians to new levels of prosperity. But this can be prevented from happening by divisiveness. internal strife and misunderstanding on the part of government most oi all of the nature of economic growth and its requirements. We have the remarkable situation whereby a worldwide scarcity of those raw materials with which Canada is plentifully endowed threatens to force private capital out of the resource field. Nothing could be more perverse, more ludicrous or sound more silly: but it is true. Look what has happened! As resource prices have risen, after a prolonged period of excess supply, both federal and provincial governments are reaching out grasping arms for the alleged surplus, the so-called economic rent, which is being generated. In certain cases the total claims by government exceed the total surplus including normal profit. This will be the case for oil production in Saskatchewan if the proposed federal budget becomes law. In other cases, the clash of governments has produced only confusion amongst resource developers who do not know what tax and royalty costs are or will be. In still other cases, the claims for rent have been couched in such ill-defined and open- ended terms, that no rational investor will commit himself. Aside from the voracious appetite for dominance being displayed by governments, and aside from the clumsy- handed and self-defeating manner in which they have attempted to satisfy these appetites, a serious confusion underlies the whole process. Resource developers are being asked to play a game of roulette in which the rules are something like this: "If you lose, too bad you are big boys: if you win. the size of your winnings on the winning round is clearly unconscionable in light of the size of your bet and we will tax vou heavily, under rules which we shall set when and if you win." The smart gambler, and resource developers are gamblers, cashes his chips and plays in some other game. This is not the only game- in town. Step by step, the public is lured into the belief that government knows best, that all problems have simple- answers, that solutions are costless and that there is no need to be concerned about the longer term drift of policy. An integral part of ad-hocism is to identify a culprit who can be brought to task and blamed for the turn of events Who better than the private sector Much has been said about the level of corporate profits that bears no relationship to reality. What is overlooked when comparisons are made between wages and profits is the fact that very large investments have had to be made to fuel our economic growth and increasing prosperity. Between 1949 and 19 7 3. for example, employment rose by 78-per- cent without allowing for the substantial reductions in hours worked while the stock of real invested capital increased by 236-per-cent, some three times as rapidly. Over the same period, real wages per employed person more than doubled, for an average compound annual increase of some 3-per-cent, while real profits per unit of invested capital showed no discernible trend. True, the profit rate fluctuated widely as one would expect because it is the residual. But the real profit rate in 1973 was well below the levels reached in the early 1950s: in 1970 and 1971 it was the lowest in the entire 24- year period. The only conclusion to be drawn is that the gain in productivity over this period accrued to labor with none going to the providers of capital. Bearing in mind that the huge increase in real invested capital was the basic reason for the growth in productivity which made possible higher real wages, one has to ask who is ripping off whom? The other simple fact to be considered is the increasing weight of government in our economy. In 1944. total government spending by all levels of government, excluding intergovernmental transfers, exceeded 50-per- cent of our gross national product. We were fighting a war. By the late 1940s, this ratio had fallen to some 22-per-cent. It then crept up to a level of 29-31-per-cent. where it remained from 1958 to 1966. In 1967. the ratio literally took off. adding an average of one percentage point per year for the last seven years to its present level of 38-per-cent. Extending the trend line is the road to disaster. The country is drifting towards statism, towards a larger and larger governmental role in the management and control of our economy. A very basic question to be asked is whether the record of government in managing its affairs is such as to engender "You want the election campaign stuff or the funnies Uneasy times for Ottawa's mandarins By Anthony Westell, Toronto Star commentator Expo 11 Getting around By Georgean Harper, local writer There are the usual direct transportation services of buses, trains and planes daily into Spokane. It is assumed a greater percentage of visitors w.-i drive into the city. There are no good maps for the special purpose of rriving to Expo and getting into and aroui.d Spokane. Any regular service station will supply travellers with the usual mileage maps of Washington and Spokane city However, these are either of too large an area to be efficient, or too detailed of the njy to make it easy to follow the exit streets whVn coming in on the super highway. By the time the driver or co-pilot have found the name listed on the detailed map in small print, he is blocks past it on the freeway. Consult the local AMA if a member, or the Tourist Bureau. Touring West Book 1974. has a hrscf. easy to follow city map of Spokane and a very good map of the Expo site which could be of help. When travelling to Expo from the north sin the major highway which goes thi men Coeur d'Alene to meet the super highway 90. There "is a large tourist information bureau in the final stages of completion on Uie border between Idaho and Washington This is a good spot to stop, to rhork maps, and to pick up any extra information Tourist guides and suggestions of pi a res to visit and see within a few days of Spokane are displayed in abundance there. is a major consideration for Canadians journeying to the I" S. The government has assured the gas Motion owners that they will not be short of gas around the Spokane area during Expo lime However, we did see gas stations in Spokane with "Sorry out of gas temporarily" Mt'ns in their windows during the early ovrmng We talked to owners who said their gas allotment is supplied on a projected oMimation and that they are convinced that in 1he middle of summer with all the crowds at 1hat 1hey will be short of gas As good Canadians we filled up in Yakk at the Canadian border, and paid 70 cents per gallon Gas prices were S3 9 fonts in a major shopping mall m Spokane We were advised to fill up during the early hours of the day and to avoid needing gas on the weekends. At the entrance to each of the 5 major gates at Expo there is a large attractively colored map of the area. A few minutes study may give a brief idea of where one is. but it is no help whatever once into the grounds and wishing to locate specific pavilions and points of interest. Go to the information centre immediately in front of the United States pavilion to obtain a small blue and white Safeco Co. map. This is the best map found of the Expo site as it gives the pavilion locations with their printed names On the back of this sheet is .given the weekly schedule of major professional entertainment a very handy quick guide. The official Expo map <50 cents charge) plus the Official Souvenir Program and Official Guide Book