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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, November 8, 1974 Ford and Congress face hard decisions That old myth again If ever there was a time that demand- ed clearheaded economic thinking, this is it. When the president of Bell Canada im- plies that his company is a part of the free enterprise system, he really must be taken to task. It is true that Bell Canada is a private business, as contrasted with Alberta's government telephone system, but it is a utility, nevertheless, and exists as a regulated monopoly, not as a free enterprise. If utilities were free enterprises, the 3ky would be hidden with competing .elephone and power lines, underground lines would create an even greater mess, and the service would be both chaotic and prohibitively expensive. Because of this, companies which serve the public are generally freed of competition, which is the essence of free enterprise and which provides a certain regulation, and are subject to other regulation, including provision of a specific rate of profit Although it is doubtful if much free enterprise exists anywhere in Canada, the words are used frequently as an emotional guidon to rally support. This is too bad. The controlled capitalist system as it does exist in this country has much to recommend it. Its dynamics, its ac- complishments, its contributions to the world have led other economic systems to its door in search of technology. It doesn't need to be mythologized to be defended. The president of BeH Canada, who was speaking to a Simon Fraser audience, was absolutely right when he said that profits are necessary for a healthy business. And he was right when he add- ed that it is popular now to decry profits. What he forgets is that the average Canadian sees the return on capital (meaning profits) rising faster than the return on his own labor, and he wonders why. Simply invoking the name of free enterprise isn't a sufficient answer. At the same time the average Cana- dian should show a little thoughtful con- sideration when the return on capital (meaning profits) falls below a reasonable and worthwhile rate, and thus imperils the system itself. He should remember that the system does not guarantee profits, that profits are more elusive and erratic than wages. THE CASSEROLE In an odd switch, the British ministry of agriculture has made a special allocation of scarce sugar stocks for distribution to beekeepers, who need it as feed to keep their oees from starving. In an attempt to justify a ruling that private clubs can properly bar people because of race, a member of the House of Lords law committee, is quoted as saying, "In the field of domestic or social intercourse, differen- tiation in treatment of individuals is un- avoidable In more important areas, such as military service, or payment of taxes, they strive to be more democratic, of course. Some high-school students in North Bay completed an interesting experiment recent- ly with the co-operation of the police and the management of a local grocery store. They entered the store and stole various food items in plain view of other shoppers, to test the public's attitude towards shoplifting. Their conclusion, after reviewing the evidence they collected: Nobody cares at all. The minister responsible for unemploy- ment insurance says between 50 and 60 per cent of those drawing unemployment benefits will be required to show there aren't job op- portunities for them. That would seem to mean the other 40 to 50 per cent won't have to show they can't find work. ART BUCHWALD Henry's jet lag WASHINGTON Anyone who moves as fast as Henry Kissinger is bound to get things mixed up What with all the flying around and talking to so many heads of state, it's no wonder that when he reports back to the in Washington the conversation :ould go something like this. "Well. Henry, how did it well. Mr. President I got Madame Gandhi to lower her price of oil to a sarrel "India doesn't export any oil, Henry.'7 It doesn't? No wonder she was so eager to do it "How did things go in the Soviet "Fine. Mr President. We're giving Brezhnev an atomic energy plant." "You weren't supposed to give the Soviets an atomic energy plant You were supposed ,o persuade them to cut back on nuclear weapons." "But I got Bangladesh to cut back on nuclear weapons. They promised not to make jny this year "We don't care if Bangladesh makes weapons or not What happened to you over there. Henry''" "I was moving all over the place. Mr. It's hard to keep all those -ountries straight. Who was supposed to get the atomic energy "Sadat of Egypt." "Oh. so that's it I asked Sadat if we could use his landing fields to supply Israel." "You were supposed to ask Portugal that, 4enry." "Of course. Mr President, how stupid of ne "What did you ask Portugal. "I asked them to give up the Sinai and get out of the West Bank of the Jordan." "What did Portugal say, "Thev said okav." "I don't know how to break this to you, Henry, but Portugal is not occupying the Sinai. They're occupying Mozambique." "That's funny. I asked Israel to give up Mozambique." "What did they "They said okay." "You really must be tired, Henry." "Oh I am. Mr. President, but the trip was worth it. We're giving the Shah of Iran two billion bushels of wheat." "Giving him two billion bushels of "Yup, as part of our aid program." "Henry, do you know that because of his oil exports the Shah of Iran now has more dollars than we "I thought that was Italy." "Italy's broke, Henry. You should have promised the wheat to Italy." "Darn Italy and Iran sound so much alike I always get them mixed up "What about the French. "Don't worry about the French. Mr. President. You can inform Sen. Henry Jackson the French have agreed on a new emigration policy for their Jews." "You were supposed to get the Soviets to agree to "I was? No wonder the French didn't argue with me. I'm telling you, this jet lag is something." "Okay. Henry, it's all my fault. I shouldn't have let you go to so many countries. Did you see the Pope in "I had a private audience with him and gave him your message. Mr. President." "Which "You'd like him to buy 12 squadrons of Grumman Hellcat fighter planes from us." "Henry, let me ask you one last question. If you asked the Pope to buy Grumman fighter planes, whom did you ask to pray for "King By James Reston, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Now that the election is over, President Ford and the new 94th Congress may have time to reflect on their common and extraordinary respon- sibilities. By the accidents of history, this elected Congress and this unelected president will preside over the republic through the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. And even more important, they will probably. determine whether there is to be war or a general settle- ment in the Middle East, and whether or not we will see some control over the economic, financial, and military chaos of the contem- porary world. The new balance of power between the parties on Capitol Hill will obviously influence legislation in the next two years on taxes, health in- surance plans, government jobs for the 5.5 million un- employed, military spending, wage and price controls, un- employment insurance, and many other critical domestic questions. But the present trends toward a fifth Arab Israeli war, increasing military competition, inflation and un- employment in the industrial world, and massive malnutrition, starvation and even death in the poor nations are likely to predominate over even the most important domestic questions between now and the next American general election in 1976. These are not questions that can be postponed or trifled with for another two years or left to the gifted diplomatic skills of Henry Kissinger. Hard fundamental decisions by the American government are required to avoid more bloodshed in the Middle East, and the new oil embargo that would go with it. These and many other unpopular acts of state can only be taken by the president and the Congress acting together. For example, preventing another Middle East war is probably the most immediate and most serious question. Lacking a general settlement in that part of the world, the economic, financial, political and military questions in the rest of the world are likely to get worse rather than better, and there is not likely to be a permanent peace there unless the United States is willing to make clear to the Soviet Union and the Arab states, not Israel concerned about arms imbalance By C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator MASADA, Israel Both geographically and historical- ly the grimmest view in Israel is that from the mountain fortress of Masada where less than a thousand fanatical patriots, known as the Zealots, held out for three years against the Roman Em- pire, after its legions took Jerusalem Then, rather than yield, they slew each other and themselves. This heroic episode, which has recently gained new meaning as a result of archaeological excavations here, is often referred to in current political terms. Time and again the world has been warned that in any final crux, if caught in an implacable squeeze by its enemies, resolute little Israel would again demonstrate a Masada spirit, preferring destruction to surrender Sometimes this is called a "Masada complex." Also, sometimes, it is interpreted abroad as an Israeli deter- mination if abandoned to fate to prefer the risk of ig- niting nuclear disaster over acceptance of defeat by the ring of surrounding Arab ar- mies. But the official line here is neither so dramatic nor so bleak, suggesting simply that "the danger of war is more imminent than the danger of nuclear war." Despite justifiable pride in its prowess, Israel remains acutely aware of the limitations imposed by its size and recognizes that it can im- prove its agility and expertise but not its massive power. A David, it is reasoned, cannot decide to become a Goliath. This inescapable fact brings with it the ultimate conclusion that small nations don't have a foreign policy, in the sense of flexible alternatives; they have merely a policy of ex- istence. And this policy of ex- istence ultimately depends upon the help of others. In Israel's case that means the United States. Israel's "policy of existence" relies upon American aid and con- tinued good will. It also relies upon U.S. determination to keep strong in the superpower race with Russia, a race whose continuation is sometimes obscured by detente. Therefore the Israelis are profoundly disturbed by their analysis of the relative conventional military strength of the two giants. Calculations are not made here in terms of total war and a nuclear holocaust which could not protect any Middle Eastern land. According to Jerusalem's reckoning, the United States now produces 500 tanks an- nually against 5.000 in Russia; the United States has a total force of 8.000 tanks against 45.000 in the Soviet Union west of the Urals. Kissinger assured Israel a week ago we are trying to right the balance. But that takes years. Israel reckons that the Russians are a poor people with a rich government which is allowed to act as the U.S. state department and Pen- tagon might act if not controll- ed by Congress. One result is that Moscow has invested billion in the Middle East since 1955, only billion of which went to nonmilitary projects. Endless Soviet material continues to pour into the area despite the immense cost of previous wars. Egypt, which still relies on Russian arms. LETTER Swimming lessons not a frill "I shop Saturdays Fridays 1 slink around the store making lists like an investigator for the Food Prices Review Board." Last Saturday's Herald