Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 31, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD TKur.doy, May 31, 1973 Russia heads for big economic crisis The collapsed triangle Two additional decisions seem log- ically to lie ahead for the directors ot the local YMCA now that the step has been taken to concentrate on the physical education program. Some- thing would seem to have to be done about the name, and the relationship to the United Way. For many years now the YMCA has lived uneasily under its Christian flag. By giving some expression to a vaguely spiritual outlook retention of the historic name was justified but not altogether convincingly. One former YMCA secretary, for instance, a couple of decades ago did a study on staff unrest and concluded it was due to the hiatus between the avow- ed aims of the association and the actual practice. By abandoning even a token em- phasis upon the mental and spiri- tual aspects of the famous Y triangle in favor of the third dimension, the physical, only the most tenuous ar- guments Cad us made for a Christian connection. If the YMCA is now to be openly an athletic clubs shouldn't it be so designated? An equally serious question has to be asked about supporting the Y with funds donated through the Unit- ed Way. It is fairly obvious from the fee structure that the Y caters to mid- dle and upper class people who do not need to be helped by charity. Perhaps the United Way should assume responsibility only for the sustaining memberships paying the fees for boys who cannot afford to subscribe. In view of the fact that an exten- sive program of physical education is carried out in the schools and by the city recreation department, the direction taken by the YMCA away from its historic emphasis is a little mystifying. Less concentra- t'on on the physical and more on the mental and spiritual would be under- standable. A touch of irony Acres of new spaper space and houis of air time been devoted to the sex scandals that erupted in Britain recently, and engulfed at least two cabinet ministers. The way in which the whole sordid mess came to light may be of interest. There is an odd little irony, too. For some time there has been grow- ing uneasiness on the part of the British public over the ever more ag- gressne activity of London's pornog- raphy pushers. Reacting to tins, the police have been quietly but persis- tently probing into the vice business, v, ith special attention to pornography and piostitutaon, which in London as elsewhere seem to go together. Feeling the heat, so to speak, one of the leading vice profiteers worked out a clever little scheme for dis- couraging these unwelcome atten- tions. Evidently believing the stories he'd heard about the police always being "discreet" when they find that the aristocracy is involved, he can- vassed his underworld colleagues con- cerning any prominent people who might be among their customers. When he had collected a few big nsrnes, he contacted Scotland Yard, where he explained to a highly rank- ed official how terribly embarrassing it might be if the police continued to press their enquiries. The ploy didn't work. Instead of curbing the inquiry as the vice boss had hoped, the inspector (Or what- ever) promptly passed the informa- tion up the line to the home secre- tary, who relayed it to the prime minister. To his considerable credit, the PM duected that the investiga- tion continue to be vigorously pur- sued, regardless of any embarrass- ment political or otherwise that might result. The results are well known. Oh yes, the irony. It was public disquiet over the easing of por- nography controls that occasioned the police action that eventually en- meshed the two ministers. One of them, Lord Lambton, has been well known for his ultra-liberal views on pornography, and made quite a stir a few years ago by vigorously op- posing police attempts to prosecute and suppress the then notorious sex novel Fanny Hill. The No legislation can be all bad. Even 21st U.S. Constitutional Amendment, which outraged the morality-legislators by re- pealling prohibition, may turn out to have its uses. In a recent case involving a cancelled liquor licence, the US. Supreme Court found the 21st Amendmn't gives each state total control over who may hold a liquor licence and who may not. This could have an enormous effect on sex shows, the is- sue that hroguht the matter before the court, because it means that if the state licencing authority doesn't like the kind of show an establishment offers, it simply cancels its liquor licence. That surely will bring about some re- straint. With all the artsy talk about adult entertainment, the right to choose, the evils of censorship and so forth, not one of these places would stay open for five min- utes without the income from sales of li- quor. And entertainment norms cross the border fester than anything. Several people have mentioned getting quite a sfeock from a headline on the front page of the May 3 issue, which red "War- rant issued for president" As it turned out, the president referred to was top man of an insurance company that's been under fire from the attorney-general's office But it goes to show how jumpy this Watergate business had made some people. tame day later, one supposes a judge in another Texan jurisdiction topped that handsomely by sentencing another man who lulled a policeman to years. Doubtless some enterprising judicial rec- ord seeker will soon order an even longer stretch, and eventually someone is bound to get tha ultimate million year sentence. It's just a matter of fame, as one might say. But it really doesn't matter very much; under the (yes, Virginia, even in Texas) anyone is eligible for parole after 20 years, regardless of the original sentence. Something just has to be done about the denizens cf the valley of Vilcabamba in Peru. These hardy people, who live in a remote valley high in the Andes moun- tains, are badly addicted to raw rum and tobacco, yet an embarrassingly high per- centage of them have the audacity to live to be 100 years old or more. All sorts of experts are studying this phenomenon, but so far the best the ad- vocates of health rules and the good life have come up with and it really isn't very good is that if the Vilcabamians would eschew demon rum and the vile probably they'd live to 150. Bobby Riggs may have blown it, after all. When Riggs, a less than youthful 55, thoroughly whipped Margaret Court, a bssome 30 and quite possibly the best wom- an tennis player of this or any other gen- eration, more than a few oldsters smiled appreciatively, and some of the less gal- lant anti-liberationists allowed as how the male victory, especially considering the age disparity, should help to put things back where they should be. But then Riggs got to talking, and those who know him well claim that when this happens he doesn't always know when to stop. This time, he didn't. Before checking the flow, he'd unburdened himself o' this gem "I think men shoulJ be allowed to play m women's tournaments. Every- body ought to Know there's no sex after 55 anyway'' The gu> stick to tennis. In reference to a recent ecktoiial pre- dicting shaipiy increased prices for gaso- line, it is noted more and moie publica- tions are now making similar predictions, though without trjing to guess how large the increases will be. Now the Kiphnger Washington Letter, published by the shrewdest forecasters in the business where politics and economics are being mixed, has come out with the flat statement that imported oil prices will go up by 50 per cent by 1978, with at least a proportionate hike in gasoline prices a strong probability. They really do things "big" in Texas, all sorts of things. A week or so ago a jury in San Antonio sentenced a man to 2000 years ti pnson for the murder of a police officer. The There's probably nothing to the rumor, said to be circulating in Washington, that John Mitchel and Maurice Stans having been cabinet ministers, are to be allowed to make the license plates with the low numbers. As the press modestly accepts plaudits over Watergate that are showered upon it by oy well, mostly journalists if ou want to bs that particular, it might be useful to gue fauly wide exposure to an observation by Editor Don McGiliivray of the Financial Times of Canada, who ad- monishes his colleagues "Muckraking is a necessary and honorable part of the journ- nliifs trade. Bui like marriage, it should not be undertaken lightly, but discreetly, soberly, and a the fear of God." By Lajos Lederer, London Observer commentator There is mounting evidence that Russia is steadily drifting towards an economic crisis similar to that experienced in the mid-1980s preceding Stalin's great purges. For the first time since Leon- id Brezhnev and Alexei Kosy- gin came to power in 1964, the Kremlin is admitting senous shortfalls in industrial and ag- ricultural production, in plan- ning and quality control. Prav- da the official mouthpiece of the Sovie1- Communist Party, has demanded an immediate inquiry into the failure of "large number of factories to deliver goods in time, which has caused a chain reaction throughout the country" appar- ently seriously affecting pro- ductivity. At the same time Pravda sharply criticizes the shabby quality of goods produced by many state industrial enter- prises. The paper gives a num- ber of examples for the first quarter of 1973 where factor- ies failed to deliver goods in time. This deteriorating situation is partly due to the inability of the Soviet central planning to produce goods of the right qual- ity and to continued neglect of market research. The enormous waste created by lack of adequate research and efficient planning is best illustrated by a bulletin issued by Leningrad University. It says: "The entire increase of footwear production in our country 40 million pairs per year piled up in the ware- houses, unsold to the popula- tion; and for the last three years footwear stocks in the re- tail network have increased by 65 per cent whereas retail sales have grown by only 22 per cent." The bulletin reports the same situation in the clothing indus- try, where, it says, "during 1970 production rose by 24 per cent, but more than half of the goods did not find buyers." One manager of a shoe plant explained in Pravda why he found it hard to give custom- ers good quality shoes. Forty per cent of the leather deliv- ered to his factory in the first quarter of this year had been unusable, he said. Only three- quarters of the artificial suede which the plant required was delivered, and the factory had been told it would receive only 60 per cent of the buckles and 50 per cent of the zip-fasteners it had ordered. Similar inefficiency of ning prevails apparently In the heavy industry, which Is a much more serious matter, and threatens the Soviet Union's 9th Five-Year Plan, adopted in November, 1971. But the main cause of the present economic crisis is the continuous and ut- ter failure of the Soviet lead- ers' agricultural policy. Ever since Stalin collectiviz- ed 98 per cent of the land in the 20s, Kussia has been incap- able of producing sufficient food for its population. The precari- ous food situation has been a major reason for the moves towards detente with the West in recent years. Mr. Brezhnev's recent gigan- tic purchases of wheat (30 mil- lion tons from America and Canada) and butter tons from the European Econ- omic Community) proves that Marxist economic policies do not succeed in practice. When everything belongs to every- body nothing really belongs to anyone; hence nobody really cares. This natural human re- action must be clear to the So- viet leaders. After all, they can see that the peasants who own the 2 per cent of the land not collectivized produce almost two-thirds of the potatoes con- sumed, 40 per cent of the vege- tables, 60 per cent of the eggs and 38 per cent of the milk. It is true that the wheat crisis has beeen accentuated by a kige-scale failure of the win- ter wheat crop, due to unusual- ly poor snow cover. All the same, a state which after half- a-century's existence, with the very best soil at its disposal, in a world of developed chemical and technical science, is incap- able of producing enough bread and butter for its people has admitted its bankruptcy. The situation is causing in- creasing anxiety both in t h e Soviet Union and its allied countries in Eastern Europe. If the crisis is not resolved soon it could end the careers of both Mr. Brezhnev and Mr. Kosygin. Japanese financiers zoom into Latin America By James Neilson, London Observer commentator BUENOS AIRES The Jap- anese economic invasion of Latin America, which began in earnest towards the end of the SO's, has been stepped up dra- matically. In the past year Jap- anese investments rose from million to nearly million. While this is still small compared to the million United States investors have sunk in the region, the increase has been rapid enough to make US. businessmen talk sourly about "an economic Pearl Harbor." Japan's economic offensive coincides with a gradual U S. disengagement. U S. business is bearing the brunt of a hurri- cane of nationalism that is sweeping the region. The North Americans themselves are find- ing Latin America less profit- able than before, while opinion in the US. itself is demanding the return of money invested abroad for use at home. Latin Americans have given the numerous Japanese trade missions scouring the region a guarded welcome. For many decades now they have been treated patronizingly by Euro- peans and as a junior partner by the U.S. Few are willing to exchange one form of economic dependence for another. Worried businessmen are still digesting the Australian woolmen's experiences there, Japanese bulk purchases sent the price of wool sky high, but as soon as the buying stopped it plummeted back to earth. Latin Americans are uncomfor- tably conscious that they rely on the export of farm goods and raw materials for foreign ex- change, and that these exports are subject to wild price fluctu- ations that make long term planning very difficult. Tempor- ary overstocking by industrial- ized countries causes unwel- come troughs in their sales graphs, troughs that translate into hardship and political prob- lems at home. In consequence Latm American governments are seeking permanent agree- ments with the Japanese, rather than quick sales. In competition with the U.S. for economic influence the Jap- anese have six advantages. 1. The Japanese have no rep- utation for economic imperial- ism in Latin America. Unlike the U.S. and some European Letters to the editor Appreciates editorials In the course of life most of us get our share of knocks! Criticism seems to be the fav- oite sport of some people. So a word of appreciation is in order, I like to pass it on. I want to congratulate The Herald on two fine articles m the May 26 Herald. One was the editorial "Fight drunken- ness." The other, "Permissive- ness needs discipline." It would be so easy for some of us who have been trying to do something to control both of these to say "I told you but it would serve no purpose. Somehow man never learns anything except the hard way. "The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind'" In any given space of 24 hours, or 24 years, truth and right may be no match for falsehood and wrong, but when these last two had their little day of triumph, the former rise to rule. The great physical laws that rule the universe wilt not change for anyone. Surely pollution is an example of this. There arc laws that must be obeyed! Man can- not ignore them, la the moral and ethical sphere there are likewise laws that will not per- mit trifling. But I must stop. I am not trying to add anything to the fine articles to which I have re- ferred. I just want to express appreciation for them. G. A. EASTER Pincher Creek The Y club I've just dicovered the Leth- bridge Family Y now accepts a bank credit card for purchas- es and payments. Since not too many are likely to put hair shampoo or T-shirt purchases on their account, it can only be meant to encourage mem- bership and lesson payments. Quite a materialistic comment on an organization which start- ed with a basketball, running shoes and the Gospel of Jesus. The Y seems to be getting more and more a club for the middle class. JUNGLE JIM LeUibridge countries, especially Britain, they have not yet tried to alter government policies to suit their interests. 2. The large Japanese com- munities in Latin America are serving as economic bridge- heads. About a million Japan- ese immigrants and their de- scendants live in the area, more than half of them in Brazil, chiefly in and around the dyna- mic industrial city of Sao Paulo. They possess banks, cinemas, restaurants and newspapers, all part of a complex economic in- fra-structure. Much of the Japanese invest- ment in Latin America is being funnelled through these com- munities, which provide invalu- able interpreters and experts on local customs. As these com- munities were built up by poor immigrants they did not play a major role in their host soci- eties, and so did not acquire the reputation for snobbery that besets the British, or arro- g a n c e and disproportionate wealth that causes the Ameri- cans so much trouble. With the new influx of highly paid busi- nessmen, however, these com- munities are bound to start throwing their weight around. As in South-east Asia the "ugly clannish and arro- gant, could soon become a prob- lem. The Japanese are not likely, on the other hand, to meet with the sometimes thinly- disguised racial prejudice that faces them in Europe and the U.S., where talk about the "yellow whether face- tious or not, does not go unnot- iced in Tokyo. 3. Latin Americans are still unworried by pollution, which is regarded as a necessary evil if industrial expansion is to take place. Brazil, with huge under- populated areas at its disposal, has openly invited Japan to ship its "dirty factories" to them. The Japanese are hurrying to oblige. 4. Japanese investors are proving far more flexible than their U.S. rivals. They do not insist on being the sole owners of their subsidiaries, or even on having a majority holding, a demand that is almost a fetish among U.S. firms. Instead they are quite content with 20 per- cent or so of the shares, enough for them to steer business to- wards their trading companies. This makes their money go futher, spares local suscepti- bilities, and enables the Japan- ese to enter into partnerships with Latin American govern- ments, and governments in the region are playing an ever-in- creasing role in national econ- omies. These four advantages may all be temporary, but two other factors are likely to be perma- nent. First, Latin America is fabu- lously rich in the raw materials Japan needs but unlike the US. does not possess at home. The continent is littered with mineral deposits which have hardly been scratched, such as the world's largest iron ore fields straddling the Brazil- Bolivia border. The Japanese are also contributing to fishing in Peru and farming in Brazil, hoping thus to assure the home islands a supply of cheap food, such as Britain did in the nine- teenth century. Secondly, Latin America Is rapidly approaching economic take-off. The region has more scientists, technologists, and capable administrators than any other under developed area. In 1972 Latin America's gross product increased by a healthy 6.7 per cent, industry grew by 9 per cent. This, if continued will m'ake Latin America a major customer for the sophisticated manufactured goods which Japan has few riv- als in producing. The stage is set, therefore, for increased economic inter- pretration between Japan and Latin America. Already they are a new hope for Latin Americans striving to find a place in the sun. G> vm t, KIA, 'You didn't fare anything to do with Watergate, did yw'f The Lethbrid0e Herald _____ 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBREDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Registration No. 0012 bvr of Tlw Canadian Pren and Canadian Dally Newspaper Mlttan' AtMelation ant the Audit Buriau of CLEO W MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS. General Manager DON PILtINO WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor POY F MILES DOUGLAi K WALKER Mvtrthlng Manager Editorial colter "THE HERALD tttVES THE SOUTH'