Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Monday, March 11, 1974 prophet, poor politician Why stop outdoors burning? Another eftort is being made to ban all outdoors burning in Lethbridge, except for barbecues and except for special permits being obtained from City Hall This is being promoted in the name of progress Other cities have done why not Lethbridge? Burning wet kitchen garbage can indeed be a nuisance to the nearest downwind neighbors, and if that is not covered by the ordinary nuisance bylaws, then perhaps special regulations are in order But if the householder has accumulated old corn-flakes boxes, or old newspapers, or dead twigs from his trees, where is the logic in cutting them up and stuffing them in expensive plastic bags (made from scarce petroleum chemicals, no doubt) and hauling them with considerable expense to the city dump and there buried at considerable expense7 What is the sense of going through all that exercise when in a few minutes they could be burned, without danger or nuisance to anyone? In some places such as Los Angeles and London there is good reason for eliminating open fires, but surely not here And what is the practical difference, so far as the city is concerned, between outdoors incineration and an indoors incinerator, or between a burning barrel and an open fireplace? The more expensive homes and better-off citizens will still be able to burn their burnable garbage, but not the citizen who cannot afford a kitchen incinerator or a fireplace. Civilization and progress do not necessarily mean more gadgets, more garbage hauling, more trouble and expense. Art of the ridiculous The general reaction to the latest campus fad is an indication that society is shedding some of its cherished hypocrisies Streaking has been met with amusement, amazement, fascination, tolerance and indulgence, but has aroused very little of the indignation or disgust it would have met 10 years ago. Cdnsidenng the current state of the cinematic arts and the literary arts, to say nothing of the military arts, it is hard to consider streaking as more than one of the periodic celebrations of the ridiculous that have come to be expected from college campuses. Students seem more sensitive than the rest of society to the world's occasional need for comic relief. Social critics are going to have a field day. Some political analysts will conclude that streaking was invented by the White House as a distraction from Watergate. The literary world is already pondering the fine distinction between naked and nude. Sociologists will offer the thesis that streaking is a social comment. And onlookers, or those who would like to be onlookers, will indulge in remarks which reveal more pompousness than insight into the nature of bravery. The possibilities on the Canadian scene are tantalizing. Who will be the first streak skier? How about streak hockey? The opportunities to prove well, foolhardiness are nearly irresistible. Campus fads should not be underestimated as weapons. It is very hard to upstage Henry Kissinger, as politicians around the world have come to realize, but streaking seems to have caught the complete attention of the news media and it may well sweep Henry off the front pages. Unless ART BUCHWALD Some Watergate crimes WASHINGTON We have been warned by everyone that all the people indicted in the Watergate affair must be presumed innocent until proved guilty, and we concur But there are crimes they have committed for which they must be presumed guilty until proved innocent Here is a short list: PURCHASING CHEAP RECORDING EQUIPMENT FOR THE PRESIDENT This not only has caused Mr. Nixon embarrassment but could be responsible for his downfall. By trying to save a few bucks on tape machines, the former aides to the president must take the blame not only for tapes that do not exist but also for the erased ones that do. SLOPPY FILING METHODS No administration has had such messy files since Ulysses S. Grant Every time the special prosecutor or the House Judiciary Committee lawyers ask for a relevant paper, no one seems to know where it is. This is even more tragic when you consider that everyone around the president looked so neat and clean you just assumed they would keep neat files. BAD BOOKKEEPING Before the Watergate scandal, everyone assumed that President Nixon was surrounded by bookkeepers. It now turns out that no one had any experience in finance, and large sums of money kept getting lost and being put in the wrong ledgers. Probably the biggest problem was that everyone was dealing in cash which is harder to keep track of than cheques KEEPING SECRETS This is one of the most serious charges. As far as we know everyone kept secrets from everybody else in the White House. No one knew what the other person was doing. President Nixon, if we are to believe Mm, knew nothing at all. By keeping secrets from each other, it was impossible for the staff to stick to the same story when Watergate was uncovered. HAVING A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY ABOUT THE FBI AND THE CIA One of the many crimes ex-admmistration officials are guilty of is believing that the FBI and CIA would follow orders of the White House withoutjjuestiomng them. This false faith in these two institutions might have been the beginning of their undoing. The tragedy of Watergate is that the FBI and CIA could not be counted on to cover up goofs in the administration. BELIEF IN THE MANDATE This is not a felony, but a misdemeanor. Everyone around the president believed the election results in 1972 would guarantee that no one would be interested in how he won his mandate. Had Nixon aides not been interested in winning a mandate, there might never have been a Watergate. OVERACHIEVING AT FUND-RAISING The success of the Nixon fund-raising drive was one of the main reasons everything went wrong. Had the Committee for the Re- Election of the President been short of money, it never would have had the finances to get them in so much trouble. When you're broke you have no choice but to put funds into billboards and TV commercials. When you're flush you have a tendency to hire spies and private detectives to do dirty work for you PLAYING TENNIS WITH EACH OTHER The Nixon people only played tennis with each other, which kept them from knowing what the rest of the country was thinking. Had they let outsiders into their game they might, have realized that what they were plotting for the president was wrong. WEARING THE AMERICAN FLAG PIN IN THEIR LAPELS It is no crime to wear an American Flag in your lapel. But it is a crime to believe that by wearing one everything that you tell a grand jury automatically will be believed. By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Time and again Eric Kierans makes the mistake of being right at the wrong time. Being right, that is, ahead of everyone else. In politics it is far, far better to march on the wrong foot but in step with the majority. As one example among thousands: The penalty that Robert McNamara and McGeorge Bundy paid for their blunders in Vietnam was to become respectively, head of the World Bank and of the Ford Foundation. Kierans, a former postmaster general and minister of communications, has always been a better prophet than politician, which is why he is now an economics professor at McGill rather than head cf something or other. In public since 1971 and in private for the 2Vt years he was in Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's cabinet, Kierans has waged war against the giveaway of Canada's natural resources and against tax concessions to resource companies which enable some to pay taxes on just six per cent of their actual income. For most of the time Kierans was a voice crying alone. Exactly a year ago he completed for the Manitoba government a 50-page report on mineral policy which charged that the large companies were making "super-profits" while the provincial government collected just two or three cents for each of nickel, copper, lead and zinc hauled out of the ground. Kierans recommended a steep new tax system that would effectively turn the entire industry over to government in 10 years Kierans' report was attacked as unfounded" and one company vice-president called him "a Ugandan." Premier Ed Schreyer at first praised the report, then backed off, saying it was "too drastic and retrospective." Kierans' proposal for a complete government takeover was, like so many of his, a deliberate exaggeration for effect. To sell a point, Kierans likes to march to the end of a branch and then defy his critics to saw it off. In trying to do just that, Kierans' opponents discover they've climbed far further out on the "This is positively the last time the NDP offers the prime minister its full co-operation, Master Trudeau Oil price increase may be blessing By Edwin L. Dale, Jr., New York Times commentator WASHINGTON When a German, British or French or American motorist pays 20 or 30 cents or more a gallon for gasoline than he did a year ago, obviously he has less money to spend on other things His "real" total consumption must go down by some amount from what it would have been. But then somebody is getting that extra 20 or 30 cents a gallon What happens to the money? The answer to that ques- tion, while it is far from clear yet, is leading some people here and in New York and elsewhere to suspect that the enormous increase in world oil prices might turn out to be a kind of unplanned and unintended blessing in disguise. The shorthand way of describing the possible blessing is that the oil price increase is in process of adding a very sizable amount of money to world savings, and hence to the global supply of investment capital. There is a large and respected group of students of the domestic and world economy from economists to bankers who believe that a shortage of capital is probably the single greatest bottleneck to future growth and prosperity. This is debatable just as growth and prosperity themselves have become debatable but the idea of savings as a "good thing" has not vanished. But what has a leap in gasoline prices got to do with savings? The answer is that the money is going to people and places where much of it will not be spent on consumption. It will be. instead, "invested." which is the other side of the coin of savings. Some of it has gone to oil company profits, which can be spent only in dividends or new investment. Most of it is going to the governments and citizens, chiefly the governments, of a handful of countries that happen to produce oil and do not. in some cases, have any way of spending all the money. By definition they save it which means that, hi one way or another, they invest it The total supply of world savings is increased in some proportion to the reduction in total consumption of the motorist (and user of electric power and home heating) in the industrial world because of the jump in price of energy. It is the old equation: less consumption, given the same total production of goods and services, means more saving. This increasingly recognized fact of the world has not been missed in the government here, though it has certainly not been trumpeted. It received precisely one sentence in the economic report early last month of the president's Council of Economic Advisers: "There may be a stimulus to the rate of growth (in the industrialized as the higher oil prices extract funds from consumption and return them to investment via the investment of the oil- exporting countries." Herbert Stein, the chairman of the Council, elaborated on the idea slightly in an with U.S. News and World Report, but the overwhelming emphasis of government policy from the president down has been on the need to get the world oil price down. There is no reason to think LETTERS Innovations costly "Fired twice before for incompetence and yew want your job back who do yon think you are a prime Certain people always cry out against educational spending, be it for teacher salaries or school supplies. Teachers as well as school trustees want the best education for our young people. They know, however. that any innovation suggested to better the educational process will cost money beyond the present budget. So education is continued as it has since schools were first established, spending the least amount of money possible by putting 25 to 30 students in a room with one teacher and hope, by stone miracle, that the teacher can get every student in this classroom to learn most of the material intended for that subject and grade level. If the student is turned off on learning, the teacher is expected to motivate. If a student is in grade eight English but is reading at a grade six level, the teacher is expected to counsel. It is true that schools should be helping every student progress from his or her individual level in every subject but this can be done only to a extent under the present attitude towards educational spending. Diagnostic tests could be given to students followed by individualized or small group instruction, drill, etc. in separate smaller rooms under the guidance of another teacher or teacher aid, who would have at his or her disposal all possible learning aids slide projectors, closed circuit T.V.. computer terminals, programmed learning booklets, pictures, manipulative objects, learning games, etc. These innovations would require drastic expenditure and no longer would teacher's salaries be the greatest educational expenditure. However, unless there is a drive from all members of society, to really start spending money on in- novations to individual- ize instr'ic' 3n in the schools, we -r continue to demand be. cr trained teachers and i.-novators then tie their hands and trap them and their students in an 18th century setting with 18th century tools and expect 20th century results W.S. Lethbridge that this emphasis has changed. But as it is becoming increasingly evident that, in one way or another, the Arab and other oil countries are indeed "investing" their money, thinking is evolving. For example, it is now public knowledge that a Kuwait investment company has bought and will develop for homes and recreation an island off South Carolina. Assuming that the proposition is attractive, it would have obtained funds from somebody. If the funds are from "petrodollars." there are that many more dollars from others to invest in something else, such as new steel mills or nuclear power plants. Walter B. Wriston. chairman of the First National City Bank, said recently to this reporter, "God knows, the need for capital is there." Chauncey E. Schmidt, vice-chairman of the First National Bank of Chicago, gave an address to a conference in London last month entitled "a world dilemma: deficiency in capital investment." Citing various shortages he said: "There is hardly a crisis today, whether in the energy field or in agribusiness, where the wise allocation of the world's capital resources could not contribute greatly to a solution. For this reason, I am less concerned about the shortages involving our physical resources than I am about the apparent global shortage of the financial underpinning that is the first prerequisite for a healthy world economv." branch than they ever- intended. Today the conventional political wisdom has caught up with Kierans. Manitoba next week will bring down legislation to pump funds into Manitoba Mineral Resources to give that Crown corporation a lead role in exploration, and to change its royalty scheme from a percentage of industry book profits to a percentage of actual production (as Schreyer commented to me: "We've learned that 15 per cent of zero compared to the seven per cent of zero we once had. is still zero British Columbia already has gone much further. Premier David Barrett's new mining taxes will increase the provincial take from million last year to million in 1974. Newfoundland, long the most lax of all provinces toward resource developers, has just tripled, from 30 cents to 81 cents a cord, its tax on the pulp and paper industry. Even Ottawa has started to move. The oil export tax, begun as a temporary measure to soften the inflationary impact of higher prices, has become a permanent fixture; the National Petroleum Corporation will have the power to buy up established companies. What is taking place is a fundamental change in the attitude of governments toward resource development. Instead of private enterpreneurs free to exploit their properties according to the rules of the marketplace, resource companies are being treated as instruments of public policy to be themselves exploited in the public interest The best description of the change was by Secretary of State Hugh Faulkner, who in a recent speech said that "new rules are being written for the way in which large corporations must relate to government." Using oil as the example. Faulkner explained that "the national interest has been brought to bear on decisions which previously had been confined to'the board rooms of multi-national corporations Nationalist feeling, the fact that Canada's resources are in world demand, public mistrust of the oil companies have all contributed to the shift in climate So. naturally, has political necessity. The government extended the oil price freeze partly to please the New Democrats; NDP pressure probably will force the government to end its special depreciation allowances to corporations in John Turner's May budget. Kierans is keeping up the pressure. In a Canadian Forum article he calls Ottawa's- economic advisers "completely incompetent" and demands they be fired. But he now has another target in sight: the Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline. The National Energy Board hearings later this year seem a foregone conclusion since Trudeau has publicly committed himself to the pipeline. But then, one year ago the Manitoba mining companies were convinced Kierans' report had been consigned to the scrap heap- The front of the house needs re-painting. The Lethbridge Herald 504 Si S LWhbridge, Alberta IETHBRIOGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mafl Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DONH PILUW3 Managing Editor DONALD R OORAM General Manager ROY f MILES Advertising Manager OOUM3LAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager THE HERALD SERVES WE SOUTH"