Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 14, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, September 14, 1973 Gloomy outlook in Chile Whatever opinion one may have held of the avowedly Marxist regime of Salvador Allende, it was duly and fairly elected according to the democratic procedure of the Chilean constitution. It is sad. therefore, that after nearly a half century of keeping their noses and bayonets out of politics, the Chilean arm- ed forces have succumbed to the South American disease of military takeover. What will happen now in Chile is hard to predict, though the signs are ominous. The military forces are comparatively strong, and should have little trouble sustaining whatever form of government they choose to install. But the seeds of bitter class warfare are there, and sooner or later they must sprout and prow and produce their ugly fruit. Allende's main support came from what are usually considered the lower classes, the dispossessed, uneducated. ill-paid workers. His opposition included the officer class and the professionals, but its greatest strength was the small businessman, the small scale entrepreneur that Marxism calls, so aptly, the petit bourgeoise. Together they fomented the economic and political chaos that made military intervention inevitable, "to re-establish of course. From this distance it is risky even to guess at the degree of involvement on the part of major businesses, foreign interests, multinational corporations or such agencies as the CIA. But rumors will be flying; the Marxists will see that things like the IT's blatant offer to help finance CIA opposition to Allende are not easily forgotten. With Allende dead, the Marxist cause in Chile and throughout South America has a genuine and prominent martyr. There are elements in Chile and elsewhere, for that matter that will never accept the idea of suicide; whatever the evidence they will believe and proclaim that he was murdered by the armed forces, at the instance of whoever they wish to accuse at a given moment. Even those who accept suicide will see Allende's death as martyrdom: they will believe either that he was hounded to his death by the forces of evil, or that he chose to die rather than sub- mit. Either way he will be seen as a no- ble martyr to a nobler cause. If Chile is quiet now. it won't be quiet long. The president as institution A new and searching poll of American opinion finds most Americans think their president is deeply implicated in the afiair. Less than 40 per cent believe he knew nothing about it in ad- vance, and only 26 per cent think he was uninvolved in the cover-up. Only a quarter of those polled gave him a clean bill of health. This, in spite of his repeated and emphatic msistance that he knew nothing of either the action or the plot to conceal it- Conspiring to commit a crime, being an accessory to its commission, or withholding or concealing evidence of it, are crimes, just as committing the oilence would be. Many crimes are in- volved in the Watergate mess, breaking and entering, theft, forgery, bribery, per- jury, misappropriation and destruction ot public property among them. These are serious crimes, punishable by heavy lines and long prison terms. By definition, a person guilty of crime is a criminal. So, if the poll truly reflects what people think, most Americans believe their president to be a criminal. To many Canadians it may seem Grange that notwithstanding this view of their president, few Americans want him removed from office, either by resigna- tion or impeachment. In part this is due to recent disquieting revelations concerning the vice president, and partly to a strong belief that whatever his defects. Mr. Nixon still has the kind of strengths an American president needs in today's world. But there's another reason, too, that has more to do with the office than the man. It's the sort of thing Canadians, of all people, should be able to understand. The president of the United States, whoever or whatever he may be. holds a position in the hearts and minds of Americans very much like that of the British monarchy to Englishmen, and Canadians too. Just as a picture of the Queen, often beside the flag, occupies a prominent place in school rooms and public buildings in England and Canada, the picture of the president, usually with the flag, appears in school rooms and public buildings all over the U.S. Just as thousands of school children line the streets whenever there is a Royal visit anywhere in the Commonwealth, so American children turn out for a visit by their president. In this way the English, and to a somewhat lesser extent Canadians, learn to respect and revere the Crown; similarly. Americans grow up respecting and revering the presiden- cy- It should not seem strange, then, that this feeling does not wholly vanish when a particular incumbent falls short of the ideal. It shouldn't, at any rate, to those familiar with the rather mixed bag of English kings. Some have been saints and heroes, certainly, but there have been sinners, villains and even madmen, too. But whether loving or hating a par- ticular monarch. Englishmen and Canadians, too have been taught to revere the Crown. Americans aren't all that different. ERIC NICOL Giving greed a bad name Blame for ballooning food prices has been placed squarely where it belongs on the media minister Whelan and other .minorities, both in government and in the food industry, have pointed the accusing imger with deadly accuracy straight at us u retches who get our jollies by writing ar- ticles that will make the public throw its apron over its head and hide behind the freezer. The actual process of publishing these panic-producing stories is one of the best-kept of the editorial room. I am divulging the details now (Mother pleaded with me to make a full at considerable risk to my person, the last informer having ended up on the presses as i-mile of Sunday com- S Contrary to popular assumption, the media's inciting panic buying among the public is not mere sensationalism. Our com- puter rejects sensationalism. The machine insists on an orderly program of creating hysteria trorn one end of the countrv to the oi her Working alone, on impulse, the in- dividual newspaper columnist may be able to create a little scattered perturbation, but to produce utter chaos on a national scale re- quires disiplined team work.. Here is how the editorial day goes: U 9 a m. the copy boy enters the editorial room and pushes the panic button. Bells ring ;iil over the building, and in the washroom cubicles a sign flashes. NO LID I The news editor then checks the wire ser- vices copy to find the story most likely to cause the reader to run foaming at the mouth to the supermarket to buy meat even Ihough he is a vegelanan. 1! Ihe news editor can't find a panic-making story from CP. UPI. NYT and the other usually dependable sources of dementia, he tires a rocket into the city editor's office The city editor at once drops whoever he is doing. He summons his, meat-price reporter, a hard-eyed character, wearing a black snap- brim fedora, and walking bow-legged from riding rumors for all they're worth. The reporter carries the length of rawhide he uses to whip up hysteria, and coolly loads his wicked, double-barrelled Remington (one barrel for pensioners, the other tor persons on fixed The reporter then rounds up as many facts about food prices as he can distort. He also nails down quotes about prices from a number of persons whose anxiety level is known to be in excess of Don Knotts. Meantime the photo section of the new- spaper has sent out a photographer to shoot gruesome pictures of meat clerks com- mitting atrocities on price tags. The meat clerks would never think of doing such things on their own By II a.m. all this material is assembled on the editor's desk. The editor shows it to his secretary, and if she promptly jumps out the window he knows that the story is ready to go to the news desk, where specially trained copy editors remove any words that don't contribute to the tolal effect of havoc un- leashed. Finally Ihe story goes to the printers, who add to the black headline ink a chemical sub- stance derived from the sweat glands of mink that have eaten their young. One sniff of the news, and you are flying a bummer to the butcher shop. No wonder government official's and the food industry are cross at the media for alarming the public about food prices. It's people like us who give greed a bad name. I Hair warning By Doug Walker Morns wile of the new minister at er I'niteil Church, made some ijiiilc iem.irk.ihlv unguarded statements when she was with Klspeth and me one day. You (I better bo. careful what you Klspeth told Man. "Doug puts things like tli.il in Ihe paper Oh." said unperturbed, "he wouldn't leport anvllung 1 say it's unprintable." 'Don'l count on it." said Klspeth No immediate remedies for food prices By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator Too little of the Irue nature or cause of the food price rise has risen to the surface or been properly explained. Take, for instance, the so- called meat boycott. The power of the housewife has been extolled as if it were a new invention comparable to. say, the discovery of the wheel. The truth is that con- sumer price resistance is a time-honored weapon of Ihe market place as old as the market place itself. It is today no more than it has been from time immemorial, the check in the balance between supply and demand. Sooner or later, every com- modity is liable to face the price resistance level of the consumer at which point the supply will begin to outweight demand. Price resistance is second only to supply in LET THEM EAT State-operated gambling is failing By William Safire, New York Times commentator NEW YORK Coming out oi the political pressure cooker that is Washington, D.C.. it is a welcome relief to spend a day enjoying the serene, stately pace of New York City politics, where four candidates for mayor, yawn- ing and rubbing their eyes, have sauntered out of the starting gate. Topic A here is not politics but gambling. On the way to Manhattan from the airport, the traveller is smitten with billboard advertising urging him to buy a ticket in the state lottery: "It takes so little to win so much." In the state-operated off-track betting parlors a separate but similar state gambling enterprise bettors are chatting angrily and amiably about the "superfecta scan- dal." in which the order the first four horses finished in some races was alleged to have been tixed. The gambling fever, of course, is not limited to New York, since New Hampshire led the parade into state lotteries in 1964. six other states have followed suit and to date more than billion has been bet through these of- ficial get-rich-quick schemes. Roughly half that money is used by the states for worthy causes, the other half paid back to lottery winners. State officials love to raise revenues painlessly. Conser- vatives grumble that it is im- moral, tax reformers call it regressive, but politicians usually point out that "the gambling instinct" is in some people anyway, so why not take the gambling profits out of the hands of racketeers and steer them into schools and hospitals? Sounds sensible enough. Prohibition of liquor, which also went against human nature, led only to the enrich- ment of racketeers and public disrespect for law why not legalize gambling? We are beginning to see why not right now. A ship is built for the sake of the passengers, but after a while, passengers discover that the ship is being run for the sake of the ship. Lotteries in New York and elsewhere have shown that they cannot operate profitably on the customers they win away from illegal gambling That is why we do not see advertising that says "switch over to us. if you must gamble." On the contrary, we see advertising doing exactly what advertising does best: Creating a new market The ads for the lotteries are superb, prize-winning adver- tising examples; if you have never gambled before, you soon find yourself dying to plunk down your fifty cents to win a million dollars. But that was not the deal when the lottery idea was sold. "Show me the first numbers racketeer or a bookie who ever built a school." said the lottery lob- byists and enthusiasts. But the lotteries and betting parlors are not replacing the bookies and racketeers. Instead, the state agencies are struggling to create new markets among nongamblers. The numbers racketeers (private enterprise) are doing embarrassingly well against the state lotteries (bureaucratic enterprise) by offering better payments. The more gamblers that state lottery advertising creates, the more business numbers- racket ticket-sellers do. Beyond building new legions of suckers, state lottery advertising has effectively legitimatized and destigmatized the illegal play- ing of numbers- Seated at a typewriter in an unaccustom- ed office in New York, I called the telephone operator to let her know my extension. She replied cheerily: "That's a good number, I think I'll play it." (I hope she wins, I'd like to keep getting my The noble experiment of state-operated gambling is failing. Having lost sight of its goals, it has redoubled its ef- forts, which is the definition of fanaticism; the lottery must now justify its existence, so it is raising the adverlising budget Similiarly, the off-track betting public servants are making it possible to bet by telephone (aiming at people who have saved up for a rainy day) and titillating the appetite of the public with gimmicks like Exactas, Perfectas and Superfectas. The scandal is not in the fix- ing of a few races The scan- dal is in insisting that failure is success. In the cover-up of its failure to steal gambling from the gamblers, the state betting bureaucracy is cor- rupting and degrading not only the advertising business, but all the people who are being deliberately misled lied to. by their state government into believing that gambling pays off. The federal trade com- mission, which sternly insists on cigarette advertising truthfulness, is not interested in directing states to print in their lottery advertising the exact odds against Winning. And the four candidates for mayor in this town say nothing tor fear of upsetting the political Superfecta the seemingly preordained order of their finish. Letters Wo crying for help I would like to correct The Herald's district editor's story about the town of Pic- ture Butte in the issue of September 6 Quoting people is always a dangerous business, unless one has the statemenl in black and white, and I refuse to believe that Mr. Mcllroy would make a statement as printed in the article, quoling the Town of Coaldale and the Village of Nobleford If the town of Picture Butte made all its improvements without asking for help from the provincial government. Save trees The downtown redevelop- ment area contains a great many very fine trees and shrubs It would be a crying shame it the best of these were not saved from death by progress a la bulldozer and trans- planted around the city, in the parks or at the university or college. G. L HALES Lethbndge. then this is indeed a fact to be proud of, although I believe affecting the price of any given commodity. Such glamorization of an important but normal economic function will un- doubtedly produce polariza- tion between the consumer and producer. This kind ot conflict occurs in an inflationary environment and only distorts the demand- supply picture. It is a disser- vice to our economy. What is of much more significance, however, is the irresponsible response of many of our political leaders to this dilemma. Many have hopped aboard the bandwagon of "popular" sentiment with cries of ''the government should do or "roll back Ihe prices" and so on. Such lalk may make votes in the short term: it certainly does not make sense over the long run. Where are the responsible leaders who will explain the true nature of the problem? One would hope that it would be recognized that the present crisis was caused first and foremost by the government's monetary and fiscal policies. More specifically, there has been a convergence of a number of factors impinging on agriculture- unfavorable weather, previously depress- ed prices and profit squeezes and an enormously increased demand for meat. This last- named change is the result of growing world population, higher wages, more employ- ment and changed eating habits Some of these factors are of a permanent nature, others are cyclical and still others are temporary. The permanent change has been the result, in part, of the revaluation of North American currencies coupled with relative affluence. This created additional funds in foreign countries with which to increase their imports of our food products, particular- ly our grain and meat. Cyclical changes such as the ebb and flow of pork and poultry supplies and prices, are recurring phenomena with which all should be familiar. The temporary fluctuations include such factors as bad weather or diseased crops such as last year's corn blight. At any given moment or during any given year, the price may rise or fall dramatically, drawing excep- tional public atlention to it. but it is unfair to judge this rise or fall as of that moment. To judge prices of farm com- modities. one must look at them over a longer period of time, say 10 or 20 years. Only then can one assess the cost increases on a basis that has taken account of all the cycles and adjustment. While food prices since 1961 rose 60 2 per cent more than the 51 per cent rise in the con- sumer price our average food bill which took about one quarter of our after- tax disposable income in 1952. now takes only about 16 per cent of our spendable revenue. Too. everyone should make the comparison between our retail meat prices and the that the town of Picture Butte dollar equivalent in foreign is entitled to exactly the same provincial grants that all the towns and villages in the province are, and some of these grants are now available without asking. countries Our relatively low prices should lead to some hesitation before we adopt the agricultural practices of other nations. What should be realized. This, however, does not give then- is that our plentiful anybody the right to make people believe that other breadbasket and a paramount cause for its cause for its towns and villages would get success has been a relatively more help from the govern- ment simply because they did some "crying for help." I can assure readers that the village of Nobleford has never "cried for help." We have thankfully accepted the regular annual grants available for all the municipalities in the province. and we did make use in the past of any assistance available, as well to Picture- Butte as to Nobleford. "Crying for help" did not make Nobieford grow, but us- ing the ways and means available as directed by the provincial government did. Our mill rate this year was reduced to 69, and our finan- cial position was classified as very sound in the latest provincial inspector's report, and Nobleford is growing slowly but steadily. This was achieved by sound, well- planned government, and without shedding a tear for help. A. H. LUBBERS Mayor of Nobleford. free enterprise system guided mainly by supply demand and profit motivation. Also, price and market controls have been tried in most parts of the globe with disastrous results. We have heard a demand that government put more controls into this system and thai we install some magic bureaucratic system to "guide" our agricultural system. When we see what the end result could be, a controll- ed agricultural sector such as exists in many other parts of the world, our free system would be more fully appreciated Demands by politicians or consumer groups to "do something" about rising food prices fail to recognize the im- mediate remedies are not available Solutions lie further back more intelligent government financial policies and long-term measures which will encourage produc- tion by stabilizing prices. Any other "remedies" would be counter-productive. KAINAI NEWS The LethMlge Herald 5047th SI S.. I r.THBRIDGF. HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954. by Hon W A BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 Member ol The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers' Associalion and the Audit Bureau of Circulahons Cl 1_0 W MOWFRS Editor arid Publisher THOMAS H ADAMS. General Mannqer Pll I INO Wll I IAM HAY M.in.iciing I ditoi Ansociale Cdilor ROY Will I-T, DOUCil AS K WALKLR AdveiliMiiq M.irMqer f dilon.il fdilor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"