Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 23, 1974)
V - '
, v V W V V 'W 'Sr
The Senate technique of fili
bustering is little more than a
waste of time, the taxpayers'
money and hot air.
Recordings of what sometimes
transpires on the Senate flooi
during a filibuster are almost as
ludicrous as the phony articles
inserted in the Congressional Re
cord last month.
The congressional publication
contained articles supposedly writ
ten by congressmen.
One article, for example, in
cluded a reprinted Ann Landers
column about an exhibitionist, fol
lowed by a congressman's remark
that it was a "darn insightful
In general, the Record "read like
Mad magazine,"' according to one
Although untrue, the articles!
probably related as closely to
proposed legislation as a Senator's
filibuster sometimes does.
During one of these talking
marathons, a senator may drone on
indefinitely, until debate is cut off
by a two-thirds majority of mem-j
bers present and voting. . ,
A senator who ; filibusters mayj
enlighten his colleagues on topics
ranging from great grandma's
recipe for pecan pie to the list of
registered voters in Chicago's
seventh precinct, i
Several hours sometimes pass
before exhaustion or boredom with
his material causes the senator to
Supporters of the filibuster con-:
tend it forces the majority to pause!
and re-evaluate the proposed legis-i
lation. They also say its tests the
majority's intensity against that of
the procrastinating minority. ,
Both contentions are little more
than idealistic gloss.
The filibuster's main purpose is!
not to allow time for reflection, but 1
to stop an important measure
without any publicly recorded vote
on its merits. ,
Because senators have to answer
to constituents on measures, they
sometimes prefer to vote for
unlimited debate , rather than to
vote on the merits of controversial
Traditionally, filibustering has
been the sanctuary, of the Senate's
Southern bloc in last-ditch stands
against civil rights legislation.
More recently, the filibuster has
been used increasingly by liberal
But the filibuster is not just a
matter affecting civil rights and
past history. If not curbed, it may
become an even greater threat to
future Senate effectiveness.
The risks of legislative delay and
inaction are at least as grave to the
security and welfare of the nation
as the risks of action.
A small minority must not be
allowed to block an action designed
to meet an emergent crisis, witnout
even voting on its merits.
Floor debate on proposed legis
lation either should be limited from
the start or cloture should be
altered so fewer votes are needed
to cut off debate.
. . i
ftI k BOk
4 d? lfc "yj
vvayc; ai iu yi iuc
As our economy flounders along in the twin
wake of recession and advanced inflation,
many voices have offered solutions.
The answers have been as different and as
varied as the personalities of the persons who
offered them. One of thedeas advanced as a
solution is the reinstatement of wage and
The track record of wage and price controls
in this or any other country Is highly dubious,
to say the least.
George Meany, Sen. Mike Mansfield, and
other wage and price control advocates are
aware of that history, yet they stili demand
such a rcinstltution. Why is this?
Part of the answer can be found In
examining a national psychological phenorn
enon: action. Any action at ail is thought to
be better than "just sitting there".
And that solution had better not take much
time either. We are Americans, we want
action and results right NOW. ..not tomor
row. If wage and price controls were reinsti
tuted we would nave action and results, but
not exactly the results we would want as a
country. The controls cannot bo effective by
themselves. We are a free market economy-,
and the constraint of individual factors within
that economy will only result in
As an example, look at the Soviet Union.
For more than 50 years, they have operated
under a rigid, centralized economic system.
They also have had controls not only on
wages and prices, but also on manpower,
natural resources, capital and education.
Under such a system, they seem to control
economic factors as much as possible.
mark b rosmussdn
Without arguing the morality of such a
system, we must admit that the Russians
have made groat strides in economic growth.
Yet, even with such broad powers . of
economic control, they still are faced with
some Inflation, as well as a chronic problem
of shortages within their economic system.
Even 'with 50 years of experience and the
power of a police state, Russia cannot
adequately "control" Its economy,
buried in budget
Capital construction priorities on the
UNL campus have long been bones of
contention among regents, taxpayers
and departmental spokesmen.
The issues have varied academics
vs. arts, arts vs. athletics, athletics vs.
practically everyone. ! The top dogs in
these struggles also have varied from
pressure group to championship team,
and from election year to election year.
The decisions made rarely mean life
and death, but one construction need
apparently buried for years under other,
"higher," priorities could be just that.
Life or death.
The tunnels which honeycomb UNL
are almost legendary. Expecting tales of
cockroaches, rats and long-lost fresh
men, the Dally Nebraskan sent a
photographer and reporter into these
tunnels on Friday. They emerged, not
covered with cobwebs; but bearing
evidence that some sections of the
four-mile network are in dangerous
need of repair.
Crumbling walls and ceilings, in
adequate ventilation and jungle-like,,
temperatures don't spell safe working
conditions. Add to these the fact that,
under "S" Street, the passages are too
narrow for easy escape in an emer
gency, and an ominous picture is
The inequality and ineffectiveness of the
meat-price freeze 13 a recent example that
shows the fallacy of depending on piecemeal,
artificial constraints to control our economy.
Our state usury law is yet another example
of the inherent inadequacy of such limited
attempts at control.
What if we applied wage an price controls
across the board? Would that solve every
thing? No, because wages and prices are
irrevocably intertwined with industry output
decisions, consumer demand, capital outlay
decisions and ultimately, the overall distribu
tion of wealth In our society.
There is no effective way any of these
factors can be controlled Independently Nor
con they be controlled collectively if we still
are to have a free economy and a free
No thanks, Mr. Meany, Sen. Mansfield
and others of your ilk.
Easy answers and calls for dramatic
affirmative action won't work in this case
The only "controls" needed to curb inflation
are those on spending, both consumer and
That doesn't sound as politically attractive
but I guess that's a peculiarity about the
truth, it rarely does.
monday, September 23, 1974
Powered by Open ONI