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February 28, 1951 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1951-02-28

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Politics and Inflation

SINCE THE middle of January when wage
and price controls were imposed, this
country has been entertaining some rather
false and unrealistic ideas that inflation
can be stopped without losing political
friends.
It has been agreed that the wage-price
freeze method of stopping inflation is on-
ly a temporary means for tackling the
decreasing value of the dollar. If it is
rigidly enforced our barometers of the
economy (Consumers Price Index, for
example) may indicate that the inflation-
ary spiral has been checked. However, if
the government permits lax spending po-
licies, the pressure of deficit spending will
build up and only postpone inflation un-
til the wage and price controls are remov-
ed.
The administration's current program to
stop "inflation is failing because it attempts
to hold the line on prices and wages and at
the same time keeps peace with political
supporters. Soon after the wage and price
freeze had been announced, the administra-
tion began granting exceptions. First the
coal miners got their $1.60 per day raise,
agricultural products covered by parity were
allowed to go untouched by controls, wage
increases were allowed for meritless work
and length of service, escalator clauses were
kept intact and the Federal Reserve was
forced against its better judgment to keep
government securities at an unrealistically
low interest rate.
As a result of the administration's at-

tempt to adjust "inequalities" for the farmer
and labor, inequalities are being created for
other groups, such as those with fixed in-
comes.
Fundamentally, the problem is due to an
inequality in the volume of goods and serv-
ices on one hand and purchasing power on
the other. A desired equilibrium can be
achieved by either increasing the productiv-
ity or decreasing the purchasing power. The
changes of increasing productivity seem
rather doubtful for the immediate short
run. Our economy geared to wartime is near
its peak now and any immediate increases
are hard to picture. However, we can at-
tack the problem from the purchasing pow-
er side,
Three possible measures for a successful
fight against inflation might be:
1. A drastic tax program which will hon-
estly try to finance the mobilization on a'
pay-as-we-go basis.
2. An end to the favoritism that the ad-
ministration has been showing special poli-
tical and voting groups by making a price
and wage freeze, a true price and wage
freeze.
3. An end to the unrealistic Treasury De-
partment policy of pegging federal securities
at a low interest rate.
These points are not entirely wise from
the political standpoint, nor are they de-
signed to be politically wise. They are de-
signed to curb the inflationary trend in the
surest and most equitable way.
-Ron Watts

ORIS FLEESON:

RFC Feud

WASHINGTON-There are more pots call-
ing more kettles black in the current
luarrel over the Reconstruction Finance
Corporation than Washington has seen in
many years.
The Congress is investigating White
House influence on the RFC. The White
House has retaliated by investigating
congressional influence on the RFC.
Conservative senators view with alarm
the administration's power to name RFC
lirectors and sway their loan rulings. New
Dealers accurately reply that the most vocal
lefenders of the free-enterprise system-
Including banks, insurance companies, and
he Republican National Chairman, Guy
Gabrielson-have tapped the RFC till for
by far the greatest amounts of the taxpay-
ers' money.
Members of Congress piously berate the
RFC bureaucrats for failing to withstand
influence directed against them. At a word
rom the White House RFC produces a
housand letters from members of congress
DRAMA
THE RESPECTABLE PROSTITUTE by
Jean Paul Sartre and THE RED PEP.
PERS by Noel Coward. Presented by The
Arts Theater Club at 2092 East Wash-
ington
[HE ARTS- THEATER CLUB began its
first series of plays last night with Sar-
re's Respectable Prostitute and Noel Cow-
rd's Red Peppers, and if the club keeps on
his way it will doubtless prove one of the
sappiest things to happen to drama in Ann
krbor in a long, long time.
There is not a great deal to be said about
he Club's production of Coward's curtain
alser. Sonya Raimi and Jerry Lepard were
he Peppers, but without much volatility
nd with a certain measure of inaudibility.
esides, I am usually rendered uncomfort-
ble in the presence of people imitating
ockneys unless they can do it very well.
ut with this behind them the players
uckled down to the Big Chore, and deliv-
red the entire thing with an intelligence
nd enthusiasm which, if it can be sustain-
d, will give play production in this town
boot in its drooping bottom.
The play itself is, as are most of Sartre's
plays, so simply symbolic as to be almost
allegorical. Here we have The Tradition
Ln the persons of the senator and his son;
over there are the Great Undecided, thinly
veiled in the person of that old standby,
the Honest Whore. Even the situation is
a tired one: innocent southern Negro is
pursued by supremacist lynch-mob. It
is the people and what they say that
ounts in this play--they are, mst of
hem, eloquent and explicit. They can
and do describe their emotions and de-
ine their attitudes to a 'fare-the-well,
md this is what gives the play its per-
;onal and immediate feeling, in spite of
he kimple terms in which It is cast.
In the roles .of the only two inarticulate
rsons involved, the prostitute Lizzie and
ie fugitive Negro, Joyce Edgar was strong
ad sharp and Al Wall was brief but sub-
antial. Miss Edgar, whom you may re-
ember from an earlier Sartre play here,
Losed Session, strikes me as likely to prove
substantial support to the Club's future1
terprises. She is a good actress.
The more prolix persons of the play, the
nator and his son, were delivered by Dana
car and Warren Pickett. Mr. Elcar, re-

demanding attention to their constituents'
pleas for aid.
LAWYERS ATTACK the influence peddlers
who neglected to drop in at some legal
night school and get a degree so they could
plead confidential relations between lawyer
and client. The 5 percenters are preparing
their own lists of lawyers here who haven't
tried a case in court since they were sworn
in at the bar but who wax very prosperous.
Practically all hands are right. The dif-
ficulty is that nobody is attacking the
basic questions proposed by the hearing.
One is the breakdown of the independent
agencies and commissions, because the
Truman administration does not furnish
them leadership and strong members.
Another is the showing that capitalist
strongholds - banks, insurance companies,
etc.'- are cutting their losses on bad loans
by inducing the RFC to bail them out, in
whole or in part. According to Senator Ful-
bright, the First National Bank of Boston
cut its losses on the Waltham Watch Co.,
via the loan Waltham arranged with RFC;
Massachusetts Mutual Life and John Han-
cock insurance companies got a similar hap-
py issue from some mistakes in judgment
when RFC loaned Texmass corporation the
taxpayers' millions.
This is true of other parts of the country.
Be it said also that the labor unions cheer-
fully put their pressure on to maintain bus-
inesses that competition was sending to the
wall. Labor unions worked effectively, for
example, in the Waltham case.
When the capitalists stop taking their
risks at their own expense it is serious for
them as well as a prime example of hyp-
ocrisy in their attitude toward government
spending and the new deal. Through the
RFC they are ducking past errors of judg-
ment. Their insistence in the current war
contracts on amortization favors which all
but wipe out their future risks is further
evidence of impairment of that pioneer spirit
which has been one of the great virtues of
capitalism.
Yet Senator Fulbright says plainly that
he has been warned there is absolutely no
hope of wiping out RFC. He adds that his
subcommittee's only assignment and inter-
est is to make it function better.
The RFC has done good things. It can
even plead the effective alibi: the net of
RFC operations is a profit; it is in the
black. Senators -from small states, the west
and south especially, plead that it has per-
formed an important social function in help-
ing their sections to develop, including their
many small businesses.
Significantly, the Hoover Commission
task force recommended abolition of the
RFC. But the commission didn't.
Perhaps the fact that RFC is in the black
despite monumental errors of judgment
proves that somebody somewhere is selling
America short. That is a real subject for
inquiry.

A mendment
Ramifications
THOUGHTS OF DEMOCRACY never fill-
ed a hungry man's stomach. But in the
course of persuading nations such as
France and Italy and the colonial coun-
tries not to taste Communism, the United
States' main emphasis has been that life
wouldn't be worth living if it was at the
cost of political democracy.
It is undiluted hypocricy to ask people
in nations threatened by rising internal
Communism to follow' us on the demo-
cratic road while in America that road is
being narrowed. At the present the most
obvious consequence of the passage of the
new constitutional amendment is the con-
fusion it will leave in the minds of the
peoples whom America is trying to im-
press with the glories of democracy.
And, although limiting presidential ten-
ure to two terms does not take away any
great measure of our political democracy, it
is a needless weakening of the right of the
American people to choose their leader.
The new amendment places an added
load on the backs of State Department of-
ficials trying to sell democracy abroad. Our
emmisaries of democracy find the job al-
ready complicated by numerous instances of
inexplicable irrational behavior on our
part.
When pointing to the advantages of
American democracy our salesmen are
stopped cold by references to our color
lines, poll taxes and increasing limita-
tions on free expression of belief. And
now the foreigner may wonder if it is al-
so democratic to place a binding limitation
on the tenure of presidents. Whether it
is democratic for the will of future ma-
jorities to be limited by the acts of poli-
ticians blinded by revenge.
It is high time that those who have their
voice in government are made aware that if
nations are to follow us on the democratic
path, our democracy must be authentic. Ev-
ery effort should be undertaken to make
our democracy as pure as possible instead
of going in the opposite direction. A syn-
thetic democracy will have absolutely no
appeal to the hungry peasant.
-Paul Marx
John Hopkins
Pflan
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY has pro-
posed a plan that can revolutionize the
country's educational system, but one that
may easily turn out to be a complete fizzle.
The school's administration has out-
lined a program' of study that would per-
mit students to complete their university
education at their own speed. Under the
plan a fairly bright student would be
able to graduate in four years with a
master's degree. Each student would re-
ceive individual consideration on his course
of study-there would be no general re-
quired courses.
In a university the size and caliber of
Johns Hopkins the plan has a good chance
to be successful. But whether a larger school
which puts less emphasis on specialized
graduate work could make a go of the plan
is questionable.
To be possible in a large school a definite
time limit would have to be imposed to pre-
vent loafers from cluttering up the univer-
sity while they proceed at a needlessly slow
pace.
More important would be the need for an
outstanding counseling service that really

would take an interest in the individual,
rather than merely approving required
courses as is done now. Perhaps this can-
not be done with universities at their pres-
ent size. But if some method can be worked
out so that the Johns Hopkins idea can be
put into effect throughout the country it
would be a step toward a truly progressive
education-one that is designed for the stu-
dent.
-Vernon Emerson.

SUFFERI NG FRCVrt- '
FROSTBITE, CHI LBLANS?
HOT UNDER THlE COLLAR?_
oi1 3*11,
OL7]
GOP~

that he was in the White House
when ruthless barbarians threat-
ened to overrun this world. Yes,
the political smearers are rejoic-
ing today, because they have suc-
ceeded for a time, but they will
never succeed in erasing from the
minds of a free American people
the story of a country squire from
Hlyde Park, with a Harvard ac-
cent, who never once failed the
people, and who the people never
failed!'
-Eugene D. Mossner
Capital Punishment . .
To the Editor:
IN RE grad student Adomian's
non-intellectual dissertation on
the virtues of capital punishment:
May we proffer a few questions,
and suggest answers for your con-
sideration?
1. What is the basis or' back-
ground for your so enlightening
analysis of this social problem?
Answer: Possibly your graduate
studies in ballet-dancing and/or
basket. weaving.
2. Since you are a strong advo-
cate of the capital punishment
philosophy, can you present sub-
stantial, factual evidence (not
emotional outbursts, please!) that
capital punishment has been an
effective deterrent where it is the
law?
Answer: The evidence (compil-
ed statistical studies) shows no
correlation between vindictive
treatment of criminals and con-
sistent lowering of the crime-rate.
A humorous, but pathetic, exam-
ple: In medieval England, the law
would cut off one ear if an indi-
vidual was convicted of a crime.
Much of the population walked
around with no ears. Moral: Even
so fiendish a punishment was no
deterrent for crimes less heinous
than murder.
3. Following your emotional,
non-sequitor reasoning (which
says that non-capital punishment
law doesn't bring back the dead
victim, and therefore is useless,
we ask:
How do you propose to bring
back the dead victim?
Answer: Your reasoning leads
to this conclusion - possibly
through the capital punishment
of the killer ...
-Robert S. Ernstein, '53L
Marvin L. Failer, '53L
* * *
Capital Punishment .. .
To the Editor:

q 'SGK t:5.--- - ..
009A 746 w~.IW+ $M4 Pe+, 4w

Music Criticism .. .
To the Editor:
WHAT A pleasant surprise it
was, to .read Louise Goss's in-
telligent and constructive music
criticism of the Cincinnati Sym-
phony's concert!
After the many violent and
quite unnecessary antagonisms
which your "regular" critic, Har-
vey Gross, has aroused in readers
in the past, it is refreshing to
read a criticism not saturated
with flimsy abstractions and meg-
alomaniac value judgments.
The true worth of musical cri-
ticism, it seems to me, lies not
so much in stimulating contro-
versy, as it does in aiding the in-
terested layman to form intelli-
gent value judgments and to ac-
quire a certain consistency in per-
sonal preferences often we walk
away from a concert with a va-
gue feeling of something having
been especially beautiful or not
well-done, and we then welcome
the guidance of the qualified cri-
tic the next day, who helps to
bring our thoughts into focus.
Responsible criticism, backed up
by valid and lucid reasoning, as
demonstrated by Miss Goss is,
therefore, a highly satisfying and
long overdue change.
-Paul Fairbrook
(Editor's Note - We are pleased
that reader Fairbrook liked Miss
Goss's review, but would point out
to him that she has been one of
The Daily's "regular" music critics
for the last year and one-half.)
*w * *
Capital Punishment -. -
To the Editor:
IN THE Michigan Daily of Feb-
ruary 23, 1951, Professors John
B. Waite, Roger Heyns and Don-
ald Freedman declared their op-
position to establishing the death
penalty in Michigan.
Professor Waite, a recognized
authority in the field of criminal
law, gave as his reason the argu-
ment that the death penalty will
not deter murderers from their
crimes. He must, of course, have
other reasons to support his ob-
jection to the death penalty. If
Professor Waite means that the
death penalty will not prevent vi-
olent, passionate murder then I
agree with him. But I cannot in
the absence of factual proof to,
the contrary believe that it is not
a strong deterent to deliberate
planned murder.
I don't believe we can support
the anti-execution view on the
grounds that it will protect the
man who is convicted of a crime
for which he is blameless. Mis-
carriages of justice are the rare
exception in our courts. Is it not
just as possible that an innocent
man may die while serving a life
sentence as it is that he may die
in the electric chair?
In some cases psychologists like
Professor Heyns may be able to
rehabilitate murderers. Until the
state is twilling to engage psychol-
ogists and psychiatrists in the
number necessary for this work,
I cannot see how this argument
should block present enactment of
the death penalty. It would be
foolish to argue that since not all
murderers can be rehabilitated
we should execute all killers. But

is it not equally foolish to argue
that because we may be able to'
rehabilitate some murderers, no
murderer should be executed?
Granting for the sake of debate
the value of psychology, should,
we not try to provide this treat-,
ment to those who need it before
they commit murder? The as-
signment of more psychologists
and sdcial workers to our courts
to work with first offenders and
those who display anti-social atti-
tudes would reap greater gains
than "rehabilitating" the murder-,
er serving a life sentence. In shortI
I think that Professor Hyns should
consider cause and not effect.
I believe the sole issue is wheth-
er we are going to allow murder-
ers to live out their lives which
.- f n.t

'#

XietteP4 TO THE EDITOR
The Daily welcomes communications from its readers on matters of
general interest, and will publish all letters which are signed by the writer
and in good taste. Letters exceeding 300 words in length, defamatory or
libelous letters, and letters which for any reason are not in good taste will
be condensed, edited or withheld from publication at the discretion of the
editors.

may run vrom one o ouyears
more or less in prison at the ADOMIAN'S letter of the 25th
state's expense where they are of favoring capital punishment,
value to no one, themselves in- showed little respect for the facts.
cluded? I don't believe it neces- Judging the desirability of capi-
sary to point out that liberal par- tal punishment to lie in its ef-
ole boards have released into so- fectiveness in deterring major
ciety murderers who have served crimes, the following evidence is
but 15 or 20 years of their life available.
,sentences and who have commit- Quoting, from Crime and Its
ted murder or other crimes again. Treatment by Wood and Waite,
Only about six of the 48 states pp476-477:
do not have the death penalty. I "Statistics -of homocide rates in
rather think that it is Michigan the United States, as compiled for
and not the great majority of the different states by the Bureau
states who are out of step on this of the Census, and covering a per-
matter. iod of ten years (1919-1928) ap-
--Chester J. Byrns pear to indicate that capital pun-
* * * ishment is. in no way a deterrent
New Amendment to murder. On the conwary, it is
s h o w n conclusively that states
To the Editor: which put their criminals to
death . . . . The figures are 8.3
THE REPUBLICANS have never per 100,000 for a ten-year aver-
forgiven Franklin D. Roosevelt; age homicide rate in the capital
for running for a third term. Now, punishment states, as over against
they supposedly have revenged his a rate of 3.6 in the non-capital
act by passing an Amendment to punishment states." Considering
the Constitution of the United just our own area, "Among mid-
States, forbidding a President to western states the ten-year aver-
run for a third term in the White age homicide rate for four that
House. How stupid! The Eighti- have the death penalty was 8.15,
eth Congress which passed this while that for four non-capital
bill and the state legislatures + punishment states was 4.3 per
which ratified the amendment 100,000 - about half as large.
have not- only limited the Presi- Moreover, the figures indicate
dent of the United States, but that there was an increasing
have limited the voters as well trend of homicide during the de-
from electing the man of their cade in' many of the states, which
choice. was decidedly sharper for those
I am not one to hold that the states that attempt to curb mur-
Constitution does not need alter- der by legal killing." The evidence
ation. Sound and constructive is similar for other regions of the
change of our laws makes for pro- country, and for cities matched
gress, but legislation such as this according to size.
recently passed amendment is -Thelma Batten
neither sound or constructive. It * * *
arose only from prejudiced minds
who thought that by this amend- Adomain Replies *
ment they might yet take one To the Editor:
more slap at our late President.
President Truman said in 1948 FULLY expected when I wrote
that the Eightieth Congress was my views concerning capital
a "good-for-nothing Congress." punishment that some student
This fact is becoming clearer ev- would answer logic with emotion,
ery day, for it was this Congress and reason with abuse, invective,
which initiated the 22nd amend- and sarcasm.
ment instead of doing something Mr. Helmrich, your very first
worthwhile. But I am quite confi- sentence is false. Those were not
dent that someday this Amend- my words. A good undemocratic
ment will be repealed by thinking method of debate is to make your
lawmakers who will have some- opponent seem like a beast in one
thing more to do in times of Na- way or another and this is your
tional peril than play silly politi- method of discussion. You ex-
cal tricks on the American public. ceeded my anticipation however,
And all the more confident am Mr. Helmrich. I hardly thought
I that despite all the efforts of all anyone would g e t hysterical
the haters of the 32nd President enough to cloud the issue as you
of this nation, that men, genera- did and to extend frivolous name-
tions from now, will honor and calling to implying that I am a
respect the name of Franklin De- Nazi or a Communist. I ioted
lano Roosevelt in every country eight examples of name-calling
on earth, and they will thank God and slander. Why not call. me

i

Looking Back

Gulantics

35 YEARS AGO
PRESIDENT WILSON called on the coun-
try-to support him against efforts being
made in Congress to abridge the rights of
Americans to travel on the high seas be-
cause of the German submarine menace.

Return

T HE UNIVERSITY'S largeness has tri-
.umphed again over the student body.
With numerous events scheduled for
the weekend, many people overlooked Gul-
antics. They've been regretting it ever
since.
The show was very successful-some of
the best campus talent in years was un-
covered-and three members of the faculty
also joined in the fun. But it only ran one
night.
Agreed, with prizes given for the winners,
there would be no competitive element the

20 YEARS AGO

WITH VIGOR and emphasis the Supreme
Court upheld the constitutionality of
the Eighteenth Amendment, transfering the
battle of the liquor laws to the field of re-
vision or repeal.
* * *
10 YEARS AGO
THE BRITISH announced the capture of
the capital of Italian Somaliland, and
unofficially claimed effective control of the

BARNABY

Your Fairy Godfather decided not to
pursue those robbers after all, m'boy
when their car hit eighty. We Private

Gus was I hated to disturb the household, little
on your boy, but I tore my last clean sheet. And
veranda, tivondered 'if my laundry is ready yet-

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