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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDCE HERALD Tuesday, May IS, 1973 Learning to live with big unions Why ivon't controls work? Figures released by Statistics Can- ada make it very clear that inflation is not being controlled. Besides the continuing rise in food prices, fi- gures show that commodity prices as a whole rose by 1.5 per cent last month, which comes to 18 per cent annually. The cost of clothing, by the same measurement, is rising at an annual rate of 14 6 per cent. Hous- ing costs are going up even faster. On the income bide increases e been less spectacular, but e been In a few instances new contracts gained by bargaining groups have been for in- creases of iive per cent or less, but most have been in the six to 10 per cent range- Whether realistically or recklessly, depending on political perspective, governments at all levels have tacitly accepted the inevitability of further increases in wages and prices, by building into their financial planning an annual inflation factor of seven to 10 per cent. Yet the management that raises prices, the unions imd dissociations that negotiate higher incomes, and the governments that mciease spend- ing and tax levels, all loudly publicly r'eplore inflation, all pre- dict social disaster if il is not curbed, while they all earnestly disclaim any responsibility for it. Management has a case for saying that price increases are thrust upon it. If a firm's costs for materials, supplies, wages, utilities, taxes, etc. continually rise then it has to raise its prices, or go broke. Labor can make as reasonable a plea. If the cost of living continually goes up, wages must keep pace. This is particularly so when it can be demonstrated that employers' profits and dividends are at normal levels or better. Government cannot absolve itself so.easily. No one denies that if every- one else's costs go up so do those of the government, or that it has to col- lect enough in taxes to pay its bills. But the government has another ob- ligation, that of managing the coun- try's economy. It claims to do this managing, so can hardly pose as a victim of it. Wage and price controls have long been advocated, in several quarters, as an anti-inflation device. The gov- ernment speaks of having a contin- gency plan for some such controls, but has consistently refused to imple- ment it. It insists controls simply won't work. One wonders how anyone can be qmtc so sure of Uiis, especially as the last time such controls in- situated in Canada, they seemed to work rather well. That was during the Second World War, a time when there were all the pressures the economists and pol- iticians now say are "over-heating" the economy. Imperative demands existed for almost all commodities. Canada could export all she could produce. Goods of every kind were in short supply. Housing was scarce. Unemployment didn't exist. Of nec- essity government spending was ex- panding at a prodigious rate. What more would be needed to stimulate inflation? 'Ihe govemmnt's response was to establish the Prices and Trade Board 'which, its several sub-agencies placed strict controls on prices, rents, wages and interest rates. These controls, together with a stiff tax on excess profits, kept the economy and incidentally the value of the dollar remarkably stable throughout six wartime years and evidently without inhibiting a tre- mendous war effort. But, one can hear the experts cry- ing, that was different! Indeed it was. Then, the government was determin- ed to control inflationary pressures, and with the war to justify whatever it felt had to be done, it didn't worry about what either its supporters or the opposition thought about the mat- ter. It just wanted to get the job done- There is a job to be done control inflation again. It may well be that the government is right when it says wage and price controls are not the way to do it. But it would be helpful to hear some truly convinc- ing reasons why not. A two-way responsibility Providing a ''home away from home'1 for travelling young people is a worthy project for any city. In Lethbndge it will be especially ap- preciated. Youths hitch-hiking through forested areas can seek overnight shelter in the woods but here, on the open prairie, with vast stretches of highway between main centres, young people must sleep on road allowances unless they can af- ford motel accommodation. The Herald has encouraged the es- tablishment of overnight accommo- dation for youth throughout Alberta and the coming of the Canada Winter Games to Lethbndge furnishes an additional incentive for such hous- ing. The opening of the city's hostel, Friday, in the south wing of the lo- cal YWCA will enable 30-40 young people to enjoy a comfortable bed for as little as fifty cents a night. Though the hostel, financed by the federal government and the city, is just a summer venture, it could very well develop into a permanent facil- ity. Its success will depend on its management. The director, Dan McCaw, and his staff of three including Julia Wilkie, Ian Morrison and Charles Kee, have banned all liquor, drugs and offensive weapons as well as loitering on the YWCA lawns. Abusing the rules re- sults in the termination of one's stay. The hostel will open in late af- ternoon and close at 1 a.m. with all hostelers required to leave by 10 a m. the next morning. A three night stay is the maximum allowed. Staff members will be on hand at all times to provide counselling, assist with job placements and provide health and general information of the area. It is expected an employment liaison worker will be available. One dollar food vouchers will be distrib- uted daily to hostelers in need. Mc- Caw and his three assistants will be directly reponsible to the advisory board made up of local residents, with whom they will confer regular- ly. Operating a city hostel successfully is a two-way responsibility the city to the travelling young people and the youth to the local taxpayers who pay the rent. The city is obvious- ly meeting its responsibility. It is up to the staff to see that the hostelers meet theirs. The future of hostels in Lethbridge will depend on the latter. The casserole It's all in the way you look at it. There are two ways of looking at a re- cent story of the sale of some ancient Greek coins for a price of To the pessimist, th's is just some mme evidence of how badly inflation has cut the value of our dollars. The optimist, on the other hand, sees tHs as an indication that some day our 1973 dollars, like the greek coins, may really be worth something again. brands of liquor, 12 of them full page ads, and 12 less than a full page. This fascinating datum may be of inter- est to anycn 2 searching for a theory to ac- count for the energetic protests that are voiced, or, more properly, printed, when- ever there's talk in Ottawa of curtailing liquor advertising. Sometimes when we're bewailing our lot, it helps a bit to know that there are others who are even worse off. If that is really the case, then a few federal civil ser- vants who are having a hard time with the government's edicts on bilingualism may take some comfort from the news that the government of Somalia has informed its civil servants, all of them, that either they learn to read and write or they'll be fired Counting advertisements in magazines isn't everyone's idea cf fun, but at least it's a relatively harmless way of wasting time. Anyway, it is now possible to an- nounce that a recent issue of Time maga- zine contained exactly 47 advertisements of one sort or another. Just over half of these 24. 1o be precise vcro for various And 18-year old ex-student in California (well, where else would it is suing the San Francisco school system for a million dollars, on the grounds that although he graduated from high school, he can read at only a grade five level. Th-3 statement of claim charges the school system, with misrepresentation, negligence, and breach of promises made to educate in accord- ance with state laws. One hardly supposes he'll win his case, because of the shattering precedent it would establish, but doesn't the idea open up some fascinating vistas? One doesn't like to get into a rut, but i''s hard to resist the "strange bedfellows" phrase when, one sees that the Alberta School Trustees Assocition is making com- mon cause with a score or so trade unions affiliated with the Edmonton Construction Trades Council in protesting the iniquities of the Alberta Labor Acl revisions. By Bruce Whitcsloue, syndicated commentator A strong case can be made now for critical questioning of growing union power. It is a reflection of the extent to which intellectuals are imprisoned by perceptions of past realities that there remains an obses- sion with big business power when big union power is loom- ing as a far more uncontrolled political and economic force. Opportunities for the abuse of big business power have been effectively curbed both by gov- ernment legislation and the im- pact of world-wide competition now that tariffs have been re- duced so drastically. Unions are living on the mor- al capital of history. They have had a glorious past, in which they really represented the exploited underdog. However, it is arguable now that everything has changed. Organized labor has reached a peak in terms of the proportion of the active population so categorized. La- bor has turned into a conserva- tive interest group oriented to- ward maintaining its status. In- dustrial workers have never been as rich as they are today and are afraid of any change in either their job opportunities or wage levels. At the same time, technologi- cal change, as manifested in highly centralized, very heavily capitalized economic cub-sys- tems like continuous assembly lines and processing plants have transformed the industrial balance of power and given la- v v y-T CIA involved in political crime By Carl T. Rowan, syndicated commentator days after the Watergate burglary of last June 17, my wife and I went to a screening party at the Motion Picture Association headquarters here. We chanc- ed to sit beside Richard Helms, then director of the Central In- telligence Agency, and his wife Cynthia. The pre-film conversation turned to Watergate. "This Watergate thing is so ridiculous that if you wrote it as fiction the publisher would laugh jou out of his Cynthia said. Helms laughed and, in the course of a brief discussion, dropped one comment that, as my close friends know, has bothered me ever since. "Cynthia and I had been up late and had just fallen alseep when they telephoned me to tell me that these fellows had been arrested in the he said. Letter to the editor Moral decline blamed Although we are living in a scientific age, we often take a very symptomtic approach to our problems. There are those who would advocate that sex education in our schools is the answer to the present avalanche of sexual difficulties which is rampant among our youth and our society in general. This is about as logical as claiming that teaching history in our schools will prevent wars. I have yet to read or hear of anything to indicate that the youth who are having sexual problems are any less know- ledgeable about sex than those who are remaining free from sexual sin. It makes about as much sense to say that the youth who are getting into trouble with the law are doing so because they do not under- stand what is right and wrong in regard to their legal rights. We have plenty of sex educa- tion in our society (most of it negative) but we could cer- tainly use a little more (each- ing of high moral standards. Kow can we expect anything but problems when the follow- ing are all too prevalent and characteristic of the trend in our society today: Peop'e in high positions speaking out in favor of free love: book stores and news stands pedalling por- nography; movies that sell sex as a commercial commodity: TV shows and TV commercials which pour out a flood of sick sadistic, and suggestive sex sit- uations. Yesterday's smut has become today's literature. (We don't seem to realize that mental pol- lution is just as devastatingly destructive as the physical pol- lutants which we are now so concerned about.) Wo encour- age permissiveness, granting maximum freedom while re- quiring a minimum of respect and responsibility. II is about lime that we ical- ized our social problems are in- creasing at approximately the same rate as national stand- ards of morality are decreas- ing. We are straying from the basic Christian principles which have made our nation strong. ie., we have taken the sab- bath day, which the Lord desig- nated a holy day and made of it a holiday, a day for pleasure and sport. Well did the apostle Paul de- scribe our day when he said that we would be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. (II Tim. Like so many of our problems, the tide of sexual permissiveness, so rampant today, will be stem- med only as we become spir- itually motivated and are per- meated with the spirit of Christ in our lives. An active, sincere failh in the bssic teachings of .Tesus Christ is the greatest nerd in our so- ciety today A CONCERNED PARENT Lethbridse 'Crazy Capers' She 's beautiful from the waist downl I asked myself and my friends for months, "would anyone call the CIA director in the wee hours of the morning about some arrests in a burg- lary unless the CIA was involv- I remembered my own days as an agency head and knew that nobody calls you at 3 or 4 in the morning unless they have a colossal headache to lay on you. But I just couldn't write about that remark. I couldn't prove CIA involvement in Watergate, and I didn't want to believe the CIA was involved in this kind of political crime. So the most I could bring myself to write was this, on August 6, 1972: "The previous employment of seveial of those involved in 'the Watergate caper' and re- cent strange revelations of big money floating into bank ac- counts out of nowhere have aroused some serious misgiv- ings that the Central Intelli- gence Agency was involved. But for what reason? Not partisan political purposes surely." I guess I wasn't cynical enough or mean enough to put my larger suspicions into print. I truly regret that bit of cau- tiousness. Well, the chilling truth is now out. The CIA has become involved in political crime as ordered by the White House and that is a sinister development that overshadows everything else that has gushed forth from this cesspool we call Watergate. E. Howard Hunt, the convict- ed Watergate burglar and ex- CIA agent (and who knows v.hcn if ever he became an "ex" has testified that the CIA provided cameras, dis- false papers and other assistance when he and G. Gor- don Liddy burglarized the of- fice of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, now on trial in con- nection with the Pentagon pap- ers. The New York Times has re- ported that the CIA role was ap- proved by Gen. Robert E. Cush- man, Jr., Helm's deputy and now the Marine Corps command- ant. How can I interpret Helm's comment at that movie party in the light of these recent dis- closures? I can only conclude that the CIA was up to its armpits in the dirty work masterminded by Hunt and Liddy, in the Ells- berg case but also in the Water- gate crime. I can only conclude that this vast organization with all its secret money, all its cap- acity for eavesdropping and other dirty tricks, was turned into an apparatus for perpetu- ating the power of Richard Nix- on and his cronies. And that stinks more of Nazi Germany than anything yet re- vealed in this sordid parade of criminality from the White House. My hunch was right about why they called Helms in the wee hours. Those arrests at Watergate represented a seri- ous peril to the CIA that had had a bundle of troubles in re- cent years and could scarcely afford to get caught playing dirty partisan politics. One simply has to assume that the "technical assistance" the CIA gave Hunt for burglar- izing the psychiatrist's office was also employed in the bur- glarizing of Democratic party headquarters. You can bet that this kind of corruption of the purpose of the CIA was not taken lightly by Helms (and do not believe for a moment that Cushman ap- proved this frightening gambit without Helms's I can damn well guarantee you that the CIA became involved only on direct orders from the president, or orders from Hal- deman or Ehrlichman, claim- ing to speak directly for the president. In either case, no presidential assistants or appointees such as Helms would undertake so serious a violation of the intend- ed role of the CIA without as- surances of presidential know- ledge and approval. So that old campaign button finally speaks the truth: "NIX- ON'S THE ONE." There is a question that hounds us all, and the answer is almost unspeakable except in private surroundings. When a president is riding the top of the world, hogging the glory and the head- lines with re-election virtually assured, why resort to such malevolent police state tac- tics? It defies rational explana- tion. There are some mental and emotional abberations some- where. The craving for power was affecting the judgment and stability of someone. The question is whether that someone is among those who were fired or have resigned, or is it someone who still pulls the strings of national destiny? bor an ascendancy over man- agement in industrial conflicts; unions in any one sector have developed in ability to bring large segments of economy to a standstill, or at least to inflict high levels of damage. It simply does not pay em- ployers, whether they are con- ducting a contracting business, a provincial electricity business or the waterfront, to resist even quite huge demands for pay in- creases. There is a technology now where the costs of idle cap- ital equipment are so huge that it is better to settle pay claims quickly. Labor, not capital, is now the critical and scarce means of production. The new militancy of em- ployees is manifested in lack of control over the size and scope of their demands, if union management appears to be too moderate, union leadership could very well be overthrown by the rank and file. In short, the unionist is rap- idly becoming the overdog with big union power one of the largest uncontrolled forces ia the developing Western society. This would not be a problem if the consequences did not look so serious. The fact is that union power is J.t present a negative social force in many instances. What began as an egalitarian move- ment has often become a force for inequalitarianism and the ar- bitrary redistribution of in- comes through inflation. Union- ism is increasingly successful in getting large money wage in- creases for its well-organized membership. Less strategically placed people in society, unor- ganized and retired people, small business, farmers and the self- employed are at an increasing and unfair disadvantage as a result. Wage increases of the well- organized unionists, being far in advance of the productivity increases in the economy, are pretty inevitably matched by price increases. It seemed once to be an un- changeable feature of our econ- omic system that the national income cake stayed divided pretty well between wages and profits. Recently, there have been indications that there has been a changed share of the national cake in favor of wages. Hopefully, companies can be- gin to hold or increase their share once again. In the long haul, the capacity of the econ- omy for sustaining the growth of real wages depends on re- investment which mainly comes out of profits. Even if the dividends get squeezed, it is worth asking the union worker just who he is succeeding in beating? The mythology of unionism is based on the Marxist concept of a division of society in which the poor worker is pitted against the rich living off huge unearn- ed income. By far the biggest recipi- ents cf dividends are the big institutions, the life insurance companies and the pension funds who run plans on behalf of retired people and many of modest means. The old industrial struggle of unions versus companies is an increasingly outmoded concept and, further is a messy way of settling things. For too long, unions have been content to limit their interest to earnings. In many ways, the problems prevailing in industry, such as job content and the conditions of employment are an indictment of both union fail- ure and management deficiency. Greater worker involvement in management is the best reci- pe for better industrial rela- tions, one that has not been ade- quately explored and yet an idea "whose time has come." There is no reason why employ- ees should not be given great- er control over the jobs to be done through consultation back- ed up by shop floor discussion groups and by integrated insti- tutions for negotiation on areas like job safety, discipline and productivity. Finally, there should be an appointment of worker directors so that work- ers' interest can be identified with that of management. The way to eliminate conflict is to seek out more areas of co-oper- ation. As John Maynard Keynes said of his own proposals, "A general plan like this, to which all are required to conform, is like a rule of the road every- one wins and no one can lose." The Uthbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBR1DGE HERALD 00. LTD., Proprietors and Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaoer Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Associate Editor .ROY, f- WILES DOUGLAS K. WALKBR Advertising Manager Editorial Editor THE HERALD SERVES THE ;