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September 12, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-09-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thi M~JL.

5fte Sfrl$9an DaiIg
Eighty-Five Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Friday, September 12, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

The rich get richer

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PRESIDENT Ford registered anoth-
er triumph in his continuing bat-
tle with Congress Wednesday when
the Senate failed to override his veto
of a six-month extension to the
Emergency Petroleum Allocation
Act (EPAA). Unfortunately, the Sen-
ate vote was no victory for the Amer-
ican consumer who will suffer the
inflationary and recessionary reper-
cussions of this flex of economic
and political muscle by the American
oil industry.
The expiration of the EPAA will
permit the immediate decontrol of
the price of "old" domestic oil (pro-
duced before December 1972-ap-
proximately 60 per cent of total
United States consumption), sending
the price of a barrel of oil from its
present controlled price of $5.25 to
the current world price of $13.25, an
amount set arbitrarily by the Organ-
ization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC). President Ford
justifies this seemingly exorbitant
price rise by claiming that decontrol
will provide capital incentive for do-
mestic oil companies to explore and
drill in the U.S., thereby lessening
American dependence on foreign
The President also feels that his
decontrol program, by prohibiting
the Congress from exercising any
authority over oil prices, will allow
"free market forces" to determine
the real price of the commod-
ity. This, of course, is inconsistent
'Put simply, the relaxation
of oil price controls means
that the rich will get strong-
er, and the poor will become
weaker. The hope of any
economic recovery in the
near future will be shattered
to the detriment of all Amer.
icans, except, of course,
those who own substanta
interests in the oil industry.'
with Ford's overall economic philoso-
phy which stresses the virtues of un-
restricted free enterprise and scorns
the excessive economic Intervention
of past administrations.
Unrestricted 'free
TN HIS oil policy, Mr. Ford displays
first, his remarkable ability to
safeguard the economic well-being of
the American oil industry; second, a
rather naive view of the structure of
the petroleum business in this coun-
try; and third, his blatant Insensitiv-
ity to the needs of the American con-
sumer, especially those of the middle
and lower income brackets. The con-
tention that the existing profit mar-
gins of Shell, Exxon, Ashland, etc.
are not sufficient to stimulate ade-
quate production is dubious to say
the least.
The major oil companies have
been enjoying a period of unprece-
dented high profits in the past few
years and yet domestic oil produc-
tion has steadily decreased. Conse-
quently, none can guarantee that
still higher profits will promote the
industry to seek and find more oil
in the United States.
Ford's celebrated return to the free

market in oil is economically unreal-
istic simply because the oligopolistic
structure of the industry (i.e., a
small number of firms controlling
the market) has destroyed any trace
of economic competition in the pric-
ing of oil. The elimination of all gov-
ernment controls on petroleum will
give the major companies license to
ma ninulate prices at will.
The American economy will be
suscentible riot only to the political
nower plays of foreign oil magnates.
but also to the insatiable financial
huneer of domestic oil cornorations,
who have nroved in the past to have
e minimaim of public gonsciousness in
the marketnlace. The price of the
ration's most integral nroduct will
he dictated by a vroun of peonle mo-
tivated solely by personal acquisitive-

A boost for Big Oil
THE SHOCKING effects of higher
oil p r I c e s will reverberate
throughout the entire American
economy. The Library of Congress'
Research Service has estimated that
the cost of gasoline at the pump
could rise between 15-20 cents per
gallon. The overall cost of living
could increase 2 per cent, if not
more. Six hundred thousand work-
ers could be added to the already
huge unemployment rolls. These
disasterous effects of decontrol will
be felt most quickly and most severe-
ly by working Americans whose lives
have already been damaged by the
nation's poor economic health and
the Ford administration's Ill-conceiv-
ed economic policies. Some will be
forced out of work, and those who re-
tain their jobs will spend a large
proportion of their paychecks on the
Put simply, the relaxation of oil
price controls means that the rich
will get richer and stronger, and the
poor will become poorer and weaker.
The hope of any economic recovery
in the near future will be shattered
to the detriment of all Americans;
except, of course, those who own
substantial interests in the oil indus-
As President Ford's decontrol pro-
gram is implemented, the seven or
eight major oil companies will con-
tinue to tighten their grip on the in-
dustry itself and to concentrate and
increase their power within the
American economy. Though many
people in Washington are consider-
ing proposals to ease the shock of
immediate decontrol through grad-
ual implementation or taxing the
"windfall profits" of the companies,
most have conceded a complete polit-
ical victory to President Ford and
Big Oil, a victory that insures their
unchallengeable control over oil
The effort of many concerned
members of Congress to limit the
power of the oil corporations via
price controls has proved fruitless.
However, this does not mean that
the country should submit passively
to the whims of the major oil com-
panies. If anything, the present situ-
ation calls for a major national
evaluation of an industry whose un-
restrained actions affect the day-to-
day lives of almost every American.
'rJIS SHOULD con be confined to
stop-gap measures such as price
controls, but should reach to a com-
prehensive examination of the pre-
sent nature of the industry and pos-
sible policies for future limitation of
its enormous political and economic
Snitting the pie
Such an evaluation has been un-
dertaken by Sen. Birch Bayh (D-
Ind.), whose conclusions represent
a dynamic-although for the pres-
ent utopic - alternative to the pres-
ent system of oil exploration, produc-
tion, distribution, and retailing. Bayh
contends that the root evil of the
oil dilemma is the degree of "verti-
cal integration" that marks the
structure of the oil industry. (Verti-
cal integration being the complete
control, from the time when the oil
is yet to be discovered to the mo-
ment when, as gasoline, it is pump-
ed into an automobile, that the com-
nanles hold over every facet of the

Legislation has been introduced
to attack this vertical integration by
limiting oil companies to participa-
tion in only one aspect of the oil
business: either exploration, drilling,
refining, or one of the others. This
would serve to disperse economic
clout among hundreds of firms with-
in the oil industry, making it more
competitive an dthus less capable of
exercising dictatorial control over
the price of oil.
Realistically, Sen. Bayh's propos-
als have little possibility of evenI
serious consideration by the 94th1
Congress, much less passage or im-
plementation by the existing execu-
tive branch. Nevertheless, they do
indicate an innovative mode of
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law still


BERKELEY, Cal., Sept. 8
(PNS) - An obscure law that
made possible major govern-
ment scandals including mas-
sive Army spying at the 1968
and 1972 Democratic conven-
tions and the secret White House
slush fund of Richard Nixon, is
still on the books. It's called PL
Passed as an emergencyreso-
lution within hours of the death
of Robert F. Kennedy on June
6, 1968, PL 90-331 immediately
authorized the Secret Service to
protect all presidential candi-
dates and paid for security ar-
rangements at the Kennedy fu-
But the real kicker was that
it empowered the Secret Service
to command. the resources of
other departments and agencies
of the federal government in the
performance of these duties. In
theory, PL 90-331 put much of
the federal apparatus at the
beck and call of a relatively tiny
government agency.
As a result, the following hap-
* A domestic war room in the
Pentagon, set up on the heels of
the Martin Luther King assas-
sination in April 1968, became
fully operational two days after
PL 90-331 was passed. Then
known as the Directorate for
Civil Defense Disturbance and
Operations, today the war room
is called the Directorate of Mil-
itary Support.
PL 90-331 also vastly expand-
ed the swapping of intelligence
information between the Army
and the Secret Service under
the Civil Disturbance Informa-
tion Collection Plan. In fact,
this exchange had been going
on informally ever since the
Warren Commission recom-
mended it in the wake of the

"In 1972, Secret Ser-
vice agents assigned to




ports on the involve-
ment of alleged com-



in McGovern 's


paign to presidential
advisor John Dean."

exhaust fan - "in order to pro-
vide additional security." As
time went on, additionalre-
quests for items ranging from
den windows to. ornamental
brass lanterns came directly
from the President's personal
representatives and were duly
ratified by the Secret Service
under PL 90-331.
Since PL 90-331 was passed,
two waves of sensational reve-
lations have hit the public 'con-
cerning government violations
of citizens' rights. First the Ar-
my spying scandal in 1970, and
then Watergate.
Yet Congress has failed to
take any action on the law that
made much of this possible.
The two Senate committees
which spearheaded congression-
al investigations into both scan-
days, the Ervin Committee on
Army Surveillance Operations,
and the Select Committee on
Watergate, failed to call wit-
nesses from the Scret Service.
And neither of the two commit-
tee reports made reference to
PL 90-331 itself.
As a result, PL 90-331 remains
in force. In theory, its deliber-
ately vague language could still
be used by an unscrupulous ex-
ecutive to marshal the resources
of federal agencies in domestic
surveillance and security opera-
tions. Last time it was the Ar-
my. Next time it could be the
Post Office.
Peter Dale Scott is a pro-
fessor of English at the Uni-
versity of California and au-
thor of many books on covert
politics. Copyrigbt Pacific
News Service, 1975.



John F. Kennedy assassination.
The Plan itself had been set up
in May 1968, following King's
murder, and in anticipation of
violent anti-war demonstrations
at the Democratic Convention
that August.
" Under orders from the War
RoomdDirectorate, plain-clothes
Army agents moved in en masse
on the 1968 Democratic Conven-
tion in Chicago, infiltrating the
MrcCa rth yi t e and anti-war
forces, mingling with delegates
on the convention floor, report-
edly intercepting telephone mes-
sages from McCarthy's cam-
paign headquarters.
As Secret Service spokesman
John W. Warner explained to
members of the press after the
Army spying scandals broke in
1970, the Secret Service had
borrowed the military agents to

furnish protection under PL 90-
0 In 1972, Secret Service agents
assigned under PL 90-331 to pro-
tect presidential c a n d i d a t e
George McGovern provided re-
ports on the involvement of al-
leged communist sympathizers
in McGovern's campaign to
White House presidential advis-
er John Dean. Dean later told
Senate Watergate Committee
members that he passed the in-
formation to Charles Colson,
who then tried to have it pub-
9 From 1969 to 1974, the Nixon
Administration, largely through
Secret Service requests, tripled
the size of the White House staff
by drawing on the personnel,
and budgets, of other agencies.
Total cost of the expanded
staff, according to one Office of
Management and Budget (OMB)

official: $100 million yearly. But
the fact is that nobody really
knew. Because of PL 90-331, the
costs of the staff were hidden in
the budgets of a wide array of
federal agencies and did not ap-
pear in the White House budget
In 1974, in the midst of the
Watergate scandal, three House
committees reported how PL 90-
331 had been used as a justifi-
cation for the $17gmillion spent
by the federal government on
Richard Nixon's properties at
San Clemente and Key Bis-
cayne. The General Services
Administration had assisted the
Secret Service by supplying
such equipment as a fireplace

Letters to The Dailv

To The Daily:
The following letter was sent
to Leonard Woodcock, President
of UAW-International, after ob-
serving proceedings of the last
three membership meetings of
the UAW Local 2001 (University
of Michigan Clericals Union):
We expected that the Univer-
sity of Michigan would offer us
as sparse and poor a package as
they possibly could. It would be
in their interests, of course, to
do so.
We expected that our Bargain-
ing Committee would make mis-
takes, and not come up to our
greatest expectations. They are,
after all, new at this sort of
We did not expect that the
UAW would sell out to the Uni-
versity of Michigan in the inter-
est of gaining an agency shop.
We understand the need for an
agency shop, but we are also
aware that since it costs the
University nothing to have one,
it need not have been the prime
moving force in the negotiations
of the contract. After all, that's
what the whole gig is about -
the cost to the University of

line, the UAW seems to have
lost sight of its essential goals
and become top-heavy, and for-
gotten that they are the human
beings they represent, and these
human beings have to live with
the contracts they negotiate, and
hence should have a say in their
own destinies. Idealistic, per-
haps, but if we hadn't felt that
way, the union would never
have been brought to the Uni-
You didn't tell us when we
were fighting to bring the union
onto campus, that anyone who
did not agree with the Bargain-
ing Committee or Carolyn For-
est (the absolute despot the in-
ternationalappointed to "guide"
us), would either not be recog-
nized at membership meetings
or would have the power in the
microphones cut so they could
not be heard. This is not exact-
ly democracy in action.
Already your people have
started writing by-laws for us.
There has never been a commit-
tee elected by the membership
to write the by-laws, but "the
International knows best."
ALREADY, THE Bargaining
Committee has chosen offices
they plan to run for, and the
salaries they expect to gain. All

:. The Lighter Side
i Prep class of '75:
Taking the low roadj
^'.ramĀ°.c4.i .;iYmF.4Dick W est d
WASHINGTON UPI - All that recent muttering about the
younger generation going to the bow-wows apparently was wasted
Statistics now at hand credit today's high school students
with an academic attainment that scholar for centuries have
striven for in vain.
Today's students have managed to improve their grades while
at the same time absorbing less knowledge.
According to the College Entrance Examination Board, last
spring'shigh school graduates who took college entrance exams
scored 10 points lower in verbal skills and 8 points lower in math
than the class of '74.
It was the 12th straight annual decline and the biggest single
drop on record.
TO THE UNTRAINED eye, this report might seem to corrobo-
rate suspicions that the modern adolescent mind is not the sharply
honed mental instrument it was when you and I were young, Mag-
gie. But sit tight for another statistical jolt.
According to other figures, those selfsame seniors who did
so poorly on their "collegeboards" graduated with higher high
school grade averages than the 1974 graduates.
Like the lower college entrance test scores, the higher grade
averages followed a recent trend. Thus high school education ap-
pears to have established a definite pattern of better grades with
less learning.
If that suggests that instructional standards are slipping in
public schools, perish the thought. Any of the teachers now on
srike will tell you what a grand job they are doing.
IT MEANS, RATHER, if we old grads but admit it, that to-
day's students are more intelligent than we were.
I'll be frank to say I was never smart enough to improve my
grades while lowering my informational input. To the contrary,
the less I learned in class the more likely my report card to drop
below the Plimsoll line.
Hoping to find out more about this heartening new develop-
ment, I called in an official of the National Education Associa-
tion -d akd how i+ tnme to rtass-
"Evnmnle is mtill irnortant in the learning process, and to-
dnv's hih srhool kids are consumers as well as students," the
offiriesl-rooind. c
"T'lsee nrafit4 inrreasP while the aility of the merchan-
di'e d-terirates. Thev see Prices beine raised as the size of the
nnckaL, esrinks They see service decline as service costs esca-


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Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm 353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Al 1). .. . r----n,. w.- anitn

that needs to be done is to write
the salaries into the by-laws that
have been written for us, but,
without benefit of an elected
committee. But, "the Interna-
tional knows best."
We could have lived with a
poor package.
We cauld have accepted our
Bargaining Committee's mis-
takes and recognized that they
made an effort.
But, we cannot live with a
union that does not care enough
about its membership to allow
them to dissent nor to be heard
should they choose to disagree.
Meanwhile, the clericals at
the University walk a tightrope
-on the one hand is an admin-
istration that basks in the vic-
tory of an economic triumph
gained through the negotiations;
on the other, a union that has
-:aninari vitnr inthn tev.

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