Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 30, 1974 · Page 44
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 44

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 30, 1974
Page 44
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RICHARD L. STROVT Grim Times Ahead On the Road Once Again WASHINGTON - It is somehow symbolic that as the world's economy gets grimmer and grimmer, three of Nixon's top economists aren't economists. It is an innovative idea, in a way. like having non- lawyers on the Supreme Court. But it may also suggest why about 85 per cent of those polled rates the administration lowest on economics. Dr. Herbert Stein, head of the Council of Economic Advisers is. indeed, an economist but he's leaving, and Business Week unkindly observes that he "has erred so badly and so often" that his "credibility is all but gone." Nixon last month, in a midyear economic review, named nonecono- mist Kenneth Rush to be his counsellor for economic policy with Cabinet rank. None- conomist William Simon heads the Treasury. Noneconomist Roy Ash heads the Office of Management and Budget. Simon and Ash are reportedly feuding, nonecono- mist Rush will keep peace between them, and they will all give Nixon economic advice. Sen. Proxmire invited Rush to testify before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee but Rush says he can't come because of executive privilege. The Employment Act of 1946 set up the joint committee to review the president's economic policy, but Congress is told the man put in charge won't appear. Proxmire had some well-chosen words about "arrogance of power" and "immaturity," but the matter is trivial. 1 think, compared to the really terrifying and worsening inflation in the free world. LIVING standards are falling in these rich countries, precipitating two struggles: At home -- who will bear the burden? Abroad -- which country can export its unemployment to its neighbor? Let's take the foreign scene first. Much of Europe (with the exception of tion, who were already hungry and must now find an extra $15 billion to buy goods, or starve. For the rich countries, there was a quick inventory recession last winter from which they are now recovering in part -all but Italy. There's always a weak sister in the crowd. Italy looks near bankruptcy. It can't pay its bill, it has borrowed 110 billion. It's possible the U.S. may have to decide whether to bail it out. Perhaps this overdoes it. but reasonable people are alarmed and it's touch-and-go. Italy has 2500 tons of gold valued at $3.5 billion on the official price and $12 billion on the free market price, and international central banks have just agreed to let her pledge this at the higher price, giving her more credit. But that isn't much with a trade deficit running at $13 billion annually. This sounds statistical and dull, maybe, but there's real danger that a chain reaction will set in if individual countries try to protect themselves by putting up tariff barriers, protecting home jobs and engaging in competitive devaluation. The nations have pledged not to do this but pressure is mounting. European politicians are busily proposing to regain a favorable trade balance by exporting more and more goods and importing less. That means exporting unemployment-. IN 1K9 NATIONS tried that. There had been peace since 1918. But the depression threatened Japan, and she invaded Manchuria for markets in 1931; that ended the postwar international order. Hitler came to power three years after the U.S. prohibitive Hawley-Smoot tariff. Economic slumps have shattering political consequences. So now we come to the United States. There is the same burden here on the poorest, pensioners and the elderly; the same desperate grab by corporations to keep liquid. In Japan, the great Netsugaku air- Uon today to the inspirational utterances of Nixon and his noneconomists? The great mass of Americans are confident that this trial too, will pass. Yet the fact is that if inflation continues at the present horrendous rate the dollar will buy only 54 cents worth of food, shelter and clothing five years hence, and 29 cents worth in 10 years. Today there is a big overhang of catchup wages to meet: American labor has been so nonmilitant in the inflation that the prestigious London Economist last week had a five-page supplement trying to explain it. The U.S. wage earners real earnings have plumeted ever 7 per cent in a year. Yet "the extraordinary truth is," says the magazine, that while there has been a "surge of strikes in almost every Western country... America has actually become less strike-prone." Extraordinary indeed; the magazine enviously remarks that this paradox "is not generally appreciated even inside America. Employers continue to complain about union irresponsibility." One man who knows exactly what he wants is the chairman of the Fed, Dr. Arthur Burns. The nation is in "jeopardy." he says (with some accuracy) and he wants the economy put through the wringer. Cut back, retrench; that's the administration motto. It will presumably make brutal unemployment. It is the current conventional wisdom for the well-to-do. A group of liberal senators, Kennedy, Humphrey, Bayh, Cannon, Clark. Hart. Mondale and Nelson, and men like Henry Reuss in the House, have a different approach. They suggest some form of tax relief for the poor who carry the heaviest burden of high food and fuel prices, to be made up by closing tax loopholes -- over $2 billion, for example, by ending the hoary old oil depletion allowance. It is doubtful if they can achieve it. It is doubt- Wfeai you do. wfeeo you're writing essays about te aoa- WasMqgUMEtiaas. is you go out quite much each year aad uaiagle with tfee WB-Washiagtoaiaos. wfao have lae Wash- iflgtooiaas far outfituobered but don't have them outtalked. So Diana and I kiss the daughters goodby and shake the hands of their husbands and pack things into the station wagoa and go out to see if the country is still here. We talk to people who don't make the papers, a man in Dayton, Va.. who tells us of this monumeat, the only monument to a Yankee soldier anywhere in the South, and to the people who put Wilkes-Barre. Pa., back together after the flood of '72. and a mayor in Binghamton. N. Y., who was still working in the family grocery store eve- nings'after tough days at City Hall" AND A ROAD engineer who took me through the tunnel under the East River Mountain in West Virginia, an incredibly long tunnel necessary before Interstate 77 can completely link the Middle West with the South. Oh, and after people in Kennebunkport. Maine, told us we'd never get a lobsterman to talk -- because lobster- men by tradition stand around not talking -- we ran into one geezer who'd spent his life tending the traps and yakked at us until the ears came loose from the head. And a woman in Carefree. Ariz., who went there to be happy and carefree and wound up telling us she wasn't happy now because people were moving in and messing up life. That's the way it is with some people. So we make sure the million little bags and cases and typewriters and files and all are secure in the wagon, and head out, not really knowing where we're going, because it doesn't matter. AS LONG AS we're out away from the great makers Otherwise... Tom Fesperman of the laws and the big judgments and the questionable contributions. As long as we're out among the victims. We head generally westward from North Carolina, on new tires and sparkplugs, thinking first to get up and over the Smokies, into that part of the country where the cattle and the wheat and corn and the plains are. where the White House and the Hill and the hearing rooms are out of sight. We head out this wide highway and find it's full of trucks that pass all the cars because most of the victims in the cars are still trying to hold at 55 mph and the truckers don't seem to see these speed limit signs. ; For the first 250 miles, up and over, into Tennessee, we learn safety lessons from these trucks. One's rear is decorated with a big sign: "Drive Carefully -- Some Motorists Are Recalled By Their Maker." Another's rear says: ' "Don't Tailgate Me." 1 find we must read these safety signs very last, speed. read them, because the trucks bearing them are out of sight, over the hill and gone carrying all those inflated goods before you can say Bill Simon. Unsafe at any speed, we're on the road again for the next several weeks, and the essays will come from Lord- knows-where. BINCS I Germany) has inflation higher than Amer- conditioning firm went bankrupt; in New ful if Congress, this sapless branch of gov- ica's 11'/z per cent, and it's much higher York the Federal reserve has had to spoon ernm e n t, will do much reforming of any DON'T BE SORRY! FIND OUT WHAT THOUSANDS OF OTHER AREA RESIDENTS HAVE WSCOVERED-YOU WILLSAVEBK) IF YOU SHOP AT BINGS BEFORE YOU BUY ANYWHERE! BINGS EVERYDAY LOW, LOW DISCOUNT PRICES ARE LOWER THAN OTHER SO-CALLED SALE PRICES. LET US PROVE IT! t r A ^ in Japan. The oil exporters in effect put a $60 billion tax on importing countries when they quadrupled the price. That meant, of course, there is $60 billion less with which to buy other commodities. The upheaval came when a world boom was already turning inflationary. The situation is particularly hard on some 30 have-not nations with a quarter of the world's popula- out over a bimon dollars to keep the F ran klin National Bank from collapsing. R oun d the world industrialists ask,- »H6w's your liquidity?" and secretly won- (j e r, "Who's next?" We haven't had apprehension like this for a long time. there was the electrifying voice of FDR j n 1933 saving that ^g on i y thing we nad to fear was fear itself but wno pays atten . can hold. kind. A month ago one would not have written to grimly. But the situations at home and abroad can hardly last; they interact. There is a potential isolationist "America first" mood in Washington, and a similar nationalistic mood growing abroad. Nobody knows whether the international line i SAVE 20%-30% to 40% ON FAMOUS BRAND FURNITURE OVER'/2 CITY BLOCK OF FURNITURE and APPLIANCES SAVINGS OPEN WEEK DAYS 9 to 9 SUNDRY 1 to 6 West Virginia State College and W. Va. College Of Graduate Studies Announce a Program of Community-Service College Internships Provide Community Service and Earn Credit too. If you are planning a career in human service and i you want education and training that are directly related to your career interest and college major, then you should investigate the University Year for ACTION program. . The ACTION program provides students with supervised field experience through a 12 month, full time work experience in an agency placement in the Kanawha Valley. ; Benefits: Nine months supervised community agency placement related to career interests and college major (Placement begins Sept. 3, 1974) 24 hours of academic credit. $175/month stipend. Full health insurance coverage. · Bassett t Stanley · Sawyers · Burlington House · Webb · Schweiger o C. B. . A AtKins · Forest · Lea ·Kemp · Dolly Madison ·Singer ·Classic ·Kelvinator ·RCA A V Admiral and many Others r · ^li, WF ,^i'f.#vv Eligibility: i Students at West Virginia State College majoring in m Sociology, Social Work, Criminal Justice and Psychol- ^ ogy. ^ Students entering the Masters of Social Work program A at the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. W Available Agency Placements: \ 5 Charleston Housing Authority Senior Citizens Project Kanawha County Headstart Youth Enabling Program A Charleston Work Release Center Young Offenders Project ^ North Charleston Community Center Central Day Care Board A Allergy Rehabilitation Foundation W Ftr Mttmttta, cMtact btftrt Jvly 15th: A Anne Norton ' Urban Affairs Center A West Virginia State College ~ Institute, West Virginia A 304-766-3216 " J LIVING ROOM SUITES F OVER 600 TO CHOOSE FROM f t Velvets · Traditionals · Spanish A · Contemporary A t Colonial · Mediterranean A · Sectionals · Vinyls, etc. ? A 2 pc. suits $1C095 f As low as start OVER 75 f STYLES A BEDROOM SUITES / · Mediterranean · Early American A % Maple · French · Pine · Oak .{f · Modern ·) Italian · Solid Cherry W as km GAZETTE-MAIL WANT ADS Bassett-Mediterranean DINING ROOM SUITES Large Selection in Stock For Immediate Delivery M«A^ CM!W VNW-Unj as low as SHOP US THIS WttKrTR- COMIMODES COCKTAIL TABLES · Mediterranean · Traditional · Early American Hundreds in Stock Save 25% OR MORE PLEHTYOF J' WOOD A DINETTE A SETS IN \ · Pine s · Maple 8 · Oak A with treated tops A Save 19 It 25% A 6wfcftC4Ti*j! * 1301-03-05 WEST WASHINGTON ST. f FURNITURE APPLIANCES 346-0353 4 OPEN SUNDAY 1-6-WKKDAYS 9-9

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