Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 26, 1974 · Page 4
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 4

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 26, 1974
Page 4
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Editorial-Opinion Page The Public Merest Is The First Concern Of This Newspaper 4 · SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1974 House Feathers Its Own Nest Economy-minded voters -- particularly those with uncomfortably pinched pocketbooks from an inflation brought about at least in part by a long-profligate federal government-- will probably be interested in a well under-publicized action of self- interest by our present batch of congressmen. The House of Representatives, according to recently disclosed figures, has moved to increase its membership expense allowances by more than 59000 per man this year. The action was taken without formal debate, nor even a vote of the full House. These expenses, for those with deductive minds, help to explain a lot about the built-in strength of an incumbency. A primary new item of self-help is an additional allowance of $2,250 for stationery (the stuff used to send messages back to "occupant" in the congressman's home district). Making the allowance doubly sweet is that it is a blanket allowance and does not need to be accounted for, so that a congressman with ample stationery from other sources can simply pocket it. The scope and extent of the newly added allowances, oddly enough, comes to light just as congressmen facing re-election contests are back home denouncing inflation and reckless federal (the other party) spending. In the case in point, the boondoggle is _ the product of the Committee on House Ad' ministration. It conies partly, we presume, in response to Old Guard successes in beating back plans to reorganize and reform the House management and its committees..For what it is worth, Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt of this district, opposes reform efforts in the House, and has consistently supported every House effort in the direction of self-preservation. In this case, though, representatives may have gone too far. The public is not in a mood this fall, judging by election patterns to date, to tolerate continual rip-offs on Capitol Hill. Basically, this is the rundown: --Stationery: increased from $4,250 to $5,250 in 1974 and to $6,500 in August in time for the fall campaign; --Lease of office equipment such as adding machines, photocopiers and typewriters (with which to mail out campaign materials): increased from $4,200 to $7,800 a year; ---Rent for office space in a member's home district (a convenient campaign headquarters): increased from $4,200 to $6,000 a year; --Official office expenses outside Washington, D.C. (ditto campaign headquarters): increased from $1,200 to $2,000 a year; --Official telephone expenses outside Washington, D.C. (ditto campaign headquarters): increased from $1,800 to $2,400; --Postage stamps, in addition to franking privilege (which, in itself is a multi-thousand dollar a year subsidy): increased from $910 to $1,140. This jumps from $16,560 to $25,840, or a net increase of $9,280, if we've added correctly. Multiply tho increase by the number of congressmen and the net new subsidy -- all too obviously designed to help the "gang" keep getting re-elected -- comes to more than $4 million. A novel twist to the forthright way the congressmen approach this problem is that the new expense accounts are, in part, justified as necessary in order to legally distribute political tracts bearing the disclaimer "Not Printed At Government Expense." Such a system, we would hope, bears the seeds of its own demise. What Others Say... FOOLING WITH MOTHER NATURE Recreation - prone Americans often regard naturalists, ecologists, environmentalists, and those who just love and want to preserve nature, as nuisances to be tolerated but ignored if possible. Tolerated, that is if they don't get in the way From Oar Files; How Time Flies 10 YEARS AGO All ten party telephone lines have been reduced to eight party lines in the Butler Ford area. Herbert Hoover was buried today at West Branch, Iowa, 50 YEARS AGO _. A petition for the paving of East Spring is ready and will be presented to the city council Monday ni'ght. J. Paul Franklin, 11-year-old evangelist, will preach in Fayetteville Monday evening. He is 100 YEARS AGO ' William Thomas has purchased an interest in Conner's grocery store. This firm now runs a delivery wagon and will deliver all goods purchased of them any where in the corpora- near his birthplace. Election judges and clerks are invited to attend a briefing on duties. The briefing is sponsored by the League of Women Voters. a licensed minister of the Gospel. Black and white brocade are very elegant materials this sea- sot, for coats. They are advertised as having the softness of velvet and Ihe warmth of fur. tion free of charge. The Faycttevitle Cotton Gin is now prepared to gin all cotton brought in on short notice. Bring in your seed cotton and get your lint. of the so-called march of progress. But, for all the shrewdness of man, the natural laws of science of man, the natural : laws of science usually manage to have the last say. Now, comes a report that rain svater in Europe and the eastern United States is 100 to 1000 times more acid than it used to be -- in some cases practically as acid as pure lemon juice. Such a mixture, say the ccologists, may stunt the growth of forests and crops. The cause of the acid water comes from a totally unexpected source -- man's own ineffective efforts lo correct his own abuses. The principal cause, say the experts, is "the proliferation of anti-pollution devices on smokestacks, which filter out visible alter, but permit the escape of invisible acidic gases." , S e e m s the dirty-looking matter used to neutralize the gases, but the anti-pollution devices changed all that. There's a lesson here. It suggests one very obvious fact -- when man tampers with the natural balances more often than not he sets up an endless chain of detrimental effects he cannot control. -- Northern Virginia Daily Alas, The Poor (!) Broker WASHINGTON (ERR1 -Alan Greenspan, chairman of President Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, found himself in heavy flak after he expressed sympathy for the nation's stock brokers. "If you want lo examine who is hurt- Ing most in terms of percentage of lost income," Greenspan said on Sept. 19, "It's Wall Street brokers who are hurt the most." The remark may have been Impolitic, but it was far from erroneous. "A random walk down Wall Street reveals thai, even among those who have managed to survive in the business, humility has all but eradicated the irrepressible optimism, the limitless certainties, " Stanley H. Brown wrote in Fortune magazine. "Men who had slyled t h e i r lives around six-figure incomes have turned to part-time cab driving, bartending and other even less remunerative occupations," Brokers are hurling because the stock market is hurting. More than 3,700 of them dropped out of the business in the past 18 months, and more than 40 I'Drokerage houses either shut down or merged with others. Further attrition is virtually certain. "How bad is it?" wrote Washington Star-News reporter Duncan Spencer. "A-nian named James G. Murray III filed for bankruptcy a few days ago. He listed assets of $2.083 and liabilities of $920,316. This wouldn't be extraordinary except that he is a well known institutional block trader with Lehman Bros., one of New York's most famous brokerage houses." Still Grasping In His Hand Of Ice That Banner With "The Strange Device IT'S A FAR cry from tile h G a d y days of the mid- to-late Sixties, when W a l l Street seemed paved with gold. Brokers, counselors and hedge - fund managers could do no wrong. Such normally conservative investors as universities diverted more of their endowment money to so-called ''performance" slocks. It was an era oE prodigies. In an article in 1969 on youthful "business wonders," Fortune million belonged to Lowin, who 23, manager of a hedge fund with assets of $3 million. Of that amount, approximately $1 million belonged to LLowin. who had made his first killing by Investing an $800 student loan in the common stock of Ling- Temco - Vought. Such success stories are only a wistful memory today. WALL STREET has gone through bad times before, to be sure, only to bounce 'jack with renewed vigor. Butsome financial experts have concluded that the good old days may be gone forever and that drastic restructuring of the nation's securities markets is inevitable. This gloomy prognosis rests on the assumption that the small investor will continue to shun the stock market and that large institutiopal investors will continue to dominate it. It is further assumed that the institutions will concentrate their equity holdings in the nation's largest corporation. "If this situation is allowed to develop unchecked," wrote Business Week columnist John Carson-Parker, "the U.S. capital system must evolve into one similar to that of Europe, where the control of business financing -- and hence the control of business -- is in the hands of a small number of large banks. In such a system, equity money is unavailable to the majority of business enterprises, which are wholly dependent on loans." Another disturbing trend, from Wall Street's point of view, is the growing number of companies that are converting from public to private ownership. Taxi riders in N e w York's financial district should be advised to tip generously, if they can--the cabbie may be an ex-broker who needs the change. 1984: Just Around Corner By MARY COSTELLO (Editorial Research Reports) WASHINGTON (ERR) -Nineteen eighty-four is a decade away but many Americans seem convinced t h a t George Orwell's scenario in his novel 1984 is already dangerously close to reality. Fears of government and private data- gathering activities and official and unofficial snooping into the lives of private citizens have been heigtened by Watergate revelations in the last two years. "Stripped down to its essentials," a recent American Civil Liberties Union' study commented, "Watergate is the quintessential privacy issue." While Watergate-related invasions of privacy--wiretapping and bugging of opponents, the use. of government files to discredit "enemies," misuse of in- t e 11 i g e n c e agencies and breaking and entering--have received most of tiie attention, other aspects of the problem are being looked at more carefully today. Scores of books and articles on this subject are being published, private and government commissions are studying ways of protecting individual privacy and Congress is considering more than 140 bills on the subject. THE ISSUE OF privacy cuts across political lines. With a coalition of liberals and conservatives in and out of government leading the way, Congress is expected before adjournment this year lo complete work on privacy legislation that for the first time would place controls on the federal government's c o l l e c t i o n a n d dissemination of personal information about individuals. A four-year study completed last June by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights underlined the need for congressional action. T h e subcommittee i n - vestigators found 858 data banks with more than 1.2 billion records in 54 federal agencies. These data banks, the study reported, "are by no means all the government tiles on indi- viduals." At least 29 of the 858 data banks wore set up to collect derogatory information and well over half had no statutory authority for their existence. Individuals seldom knew that the agencies had information on them and, even if they did, rarely had access to their files. Neverthesless, it was "likely" that the information in these would be "fairly readily" shared w i t h other federal, state and local agencies, A recent survey conducted by the . Roper polling organization indicated that more Americans are concerned about private dala collecting that touches lliem directly than they are about ·government files. Private data collecting includes credit i n f o r m a t i o n , centralized medical, insurance and bank records, tests by employers of the physical and mental health and loyalty of employes or prospective employes, and the enormous re cord keep ing of the nation's schools. T h e Domestic Council Committee on the Right to Privacy, a White House agency SM up by former President Nixon last winter and headed by President Ford, has taken the position that its "initial privacy initiatves should focus on the federal government." The committee "believes t h a t federal example and experience in this complex field should precede federal directives to the non-federal governmental and private sectors." Critics of this view contend that state, local and private data-gathering agencies are already too large, too readily accessible to outsiders and too potentially dangerous to wait until after federal controls are implemented." TECHNOLOGICAL developments will make invasions of p r i v a c y far easier in the years to c o m e . Alan F. Weslin, author of the classic study Privacy and Freedom, imagines what could happened if Watergate had happened in 1980 or 1984. Ths White House "would have had that would have really held vidcs display terminals linked to a computer in Camp David some 'enemies files'--such as 500,000 political opponents to bo systematically h a r r i e d b y federal descretionary authority; a disloyalty file of 250,000 persons whose radical activities make them suspect; and a special file of those reporters and commentators whose output was considered biased." Several rcmemdics have been proposed to protect Americans against existing and potential threats to their privacy. Some call for the establishment of a national privacy board to h a n d l e public grievances against government agencies or private organizations--a plan, opposed by President Ford. Others want a constitutional amendment guaranteeing all Americans the right to personal privacy. Still others believe that legislation or administrative action piovde the best protection in a technologically advanced and advancing world. It is certain that all these suggestions will be examined much more closely in the decade before 1984 than they have been in the past. Bible Verse "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that cent me, h a t h everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from dealo unto life." John 5:24 Eternal life begins on earth! Isn't it good to know that if we face up to our need here, we won't be obligated lo facs the results of our neglect in eternity. "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your heart." Arkansas Editors Comment On Privacy, Prisons, The U. of A., And Ecology SOUTHWEST TIMES RECORD (F(. Smith) ·Attorney General Jim Guy Tucker should be encouraged in his announced 'intention lo draft legislation to l i m i t the amount and kind of information state government could collect and store on individuals. Tucker said he planned to have such a bill introduced at Ihe next General Assembly which convenes in January. He noted that government and business are collecting more personal information than ever before a n d that limitations a r e needed to protect individual privacy. The allorncy general added that the practice has "an awesome potential f o r harm" and referred to George Orwell's bpok "1084" which depicts a freedomlcss society dominated by the prying machines of government. We see no reason why cither government in general or business should collect and store vast amounts of information on individuals. It should, of course, be prohibited. There are exceptions, such as the police and FBI keeping files on known criminals. A business, for instance, might be justified in knowing something about the background and honesty of a potential employe. But the mere collection of information on private individuals, the prying into his financial status, the examination of his income tax returns, the keeping of files on his privale acts -- are all strictly uncalled for. The Supreme Court now has under study several cases involving the right of individual privacy. Forthcoming decisions might be of great help to Mr. Tucker in drafting his legislation. ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT The frustration caused by the Circuit Courl-of Appeals prison ruling is understandable. We've been hearing it all around, not only from Governor Bumpers and state legislators but from U.S. Dist. Judge J. Smith Henley in a weekend TV interview. The problem is that none of them knows precisely what the court wants Arkansas to do. Admittedly the prisons were terrible when Governor Winthrop Rockefeller took office in 1967. but since that time, the taxpayers and elected officials have tried to improve them. Judge Henley, who was so offended by the prison situation that he put them under federal control in 1970, was so impressed with the improvements that have been made that he relinquished control a year ago. Now the appeals court, based on appeals from prisoners and lawyers with all-consuming interests in cases of this kind, say that he must take the state prisons over again. The court says that what Arkansas has done is not enough. The $3.5 million medical center now u n d e r construction...The new women's prison...The mini- mum security unit that is just getting u n d e r w a y a t Tucker...The Curnmins-Tucker school district, where 600 convicts are educating themselves. . .The end of corporal punishment...Vocational courses in printing and data processing...The change from a prison run by trusty guards and a half a dozen free-world men to the exact reverse -- a staff of trained prison officials and only a half-dozen trusty guards. Yet, the court says that medical care is not all it should be. the barracks are overcrowded, prisoners are still cursed, racial discrimination has not ended, and prisoners put in solitary confinement as punishment have no guaranlee that they will not be denied some of the basic necessities of life. It seems to us t h a t there will never be a judge, a prison expert, or enough money coined to achieve all of Ihcse goals. If attained, they would make prison a finer place than the outside world. Prisons, after a l l , are places of punishment. They must be h u m a n e , of course, but they should neither be operated on false hopes (rehabilitation of a person depends more on his opportunities than his mind) nor should Ihcy produce false hopes for inmates (although guilty there's always a chance that a technicality might free them). "An immediate answer," the court opinion said, "if the state cannot otherwise relievo the problem of overcrowding, will he to Iransfer or release some inmates (or accept) no additional prisoners... The only conclusion you can reach from a sentence like that is that the condition of the prison is more important than the protection of society. This is hard for us lo accept. SPRINGDALE NEWS Members of the General Assembly and University of Arkansas officials have collided head-on over the issue of salary supplements for UA officials -more particularly the new university president, Dr. Charles Bishop, and the president at UA-Pine Bluff. Hopefully, the question can be resolved without serious damage lo the slate's cduational system. The matter came to a head recently when the Legislative Joint Audit Committee met at Fayeltcville. A couple of legislators feel the UA Board of Trustee is circumventing the law and flaunting the legislature by authorizing salary supplements for both presidents. Dr. Bishop receives a salary of $45,000 a year, while the legislature only authorizes an annual figure of 536,000. To compensate for this, the University of Arkansas Foundation kicks in an additional $3,000 per year to bring Dr. Bishop's salary total to $45,000. The foundation also provides a $iO,000 supplement to the salary of Dr. Hermon B. Smith, president al UAPB, making Smith the second highest paid official in the UA System. The motives behind this procedure are honorable lo the extent inat the only purpose is to provide salary figures that will attract high quality cducalors to the slate. That is a must if the UA System is to be effective and provide a high level of education at all of its campuses. But obviously flies in the face of the state's legislature and now has prompted some extremely critical remarks about the system as a whole. Some legislators are taking it as a personal afront, anil such ' a conflict between the General Assembly and the UA system could hinder t h e process and damage efforts to upgrade education in Arkansas. This is particularly crucial since both presidents involved are new in Arkansas and one -- Dr. Bishop -- is the head of the entire system. It's hardly the type of beginning he needs to be an effective administrator -- and that's a quality the UA system certainly needs al this point. Although the Legislative Joint Audit Committee took no action on the matter, it would appear that the situation needs to be studied and resolved. The philosophy of a salary supplement is not a good idea for any official who is responsible to the taxpayers; however, it would certainly bo less palatable if an elected official was involved, Still, the question poses a problem that could hinder the UA's overall educational program and damage its relationship with the legislature. That should be first and foremost in everyone's mind when Ihe question arises again. ARKANSAS GAZETTE Arkansas can be justly proud of its general record in Ihe fields of water and air pollution conlrol over the last 15 years or so. Under its regulations a good deal of what was dirty has been cleaned up and perhaps even more of what c o u l d have been fouling the environment hasn't been built at all. The winner in all this has been the public itercst, including the quality of life that most Arkansans at least are still able to enjoy. Rumblings coming from two s t a t e legislators, however, would indicate that they are more concerned about the mollifying industries than in assuring that Arkansans have air of reasonable quality to brcallie. This is the only summary conclusion that we find possible to reach, in any case, in Ihe attitudes and comments of Representative Boycc Alford of Pine Bluff and Senator Virgil T. Fletcher of Benton. It is obvious as well that a proposal Alford made last month of the legislative Joint Interim Committee on public Health, Welfare and Labor is a result of some legislators' ir- rilalioii at Ihe stand taken on Arkansas Power a n d L i g h t Company's proposed coal-fired plant al Redfield by Jarrell E. Soulhall, Air Division chief of the state Pollution Control and Ecology Department. Alford's proposal lo the committee is for a study "lo develop legislation" that would take some of the rcgulalory power away from the Pollution Control and Ecology Department. It comes along about the same time that other efforts are being made by substantial economic inle- rcsts, in a variety of ways, lo support AP and L's proposal as submitted to the slale Public Service Commission for approval. Mr. Southall told the PSC last summer as the agency was holding a hearing on the proposed plant that he would "feel comforlablc" only if the utility were allowed to build half of the proposed 3,200-mcgawatt plant at Redfield. Even then, he said production might have lo be curtailed occasionally to keep the plant's emissions from violating a state standard f o r sulphur dioxide that is more restrictive than federal regulations. What Southall has done, essentially, is stake out a middle position in the controversy over the plant, for his opinion sides with AP and L's contention lhat installation of scrubbers to remove sulphur dioxide f r o m plant emissions is too unreliable lo w a r r a n t their cost. Subse qucntly, Ihe staff of the PSC lias recommended lo the three commissioners who are studying the case that a position (CONTINUED ON PACE i)

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