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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 22, 1975)
U.S. oves winner
but supports loser
It was in the 43rd year of our lightning campaign to wipe the
dread Viet-Narian guerrillas out of West Vhtnnng. At last we had
achieved Peace with Honor-mainly by getting the hell out of the
Of course, the West Vhtnnngians went right on fighting the East
Vhtnnngians under their dedicated military leaders, General Wyn
Na Phieu and General Lu Sa Phieu. But things were going badly.
The beloved President of that bastion of democracy, General Mi
Thieu, called an emergency meeting of his cabinet.
"My brothers," he said, "and my second cousins, too, we are
suffering disastrous losses."
"In Whar Dhat Province or in Wot Dhat Province?" asked
General Wots Ghang Ahn, who wasn't too bright.
"No, you idiot, in Washington," said General Thieu. "The
American Congress has cut our aid to a measly $700 million a year.
If this keeps up, we'll suffer the greatest loss of all-namely our
villa on the JFrench Riviera."
"I've got it!" said General Ahn. "Let's win some smashing
victories to restore American confidence in our ability to defend
"Are you out of your rice-picking mind?" said General Thieu.
"Boy, you sure don't understand the mysterious Occidental mind.
Now, here's my plan ..."
Under Thieu's orders, the famous Vhtnnngian general, Hoo Oat
Don Dar, took personal command of the battle. Executing a series
of brilliant maneuvers reminiscent of von Clausewitz, in two short
weeks he managed to lose What Dhat Province, Wot Dhat Province,
two armies and his gold-hilted sword in a crap game. .
There was panic in the capital-the American capital that is.
The President personally called General Thieu.
"Dee-fense, dee-fense!" said the President. "But don't worry. I
am personally sending you a shipload of WIN buttons, which I have
"And I'll get you a couple of billion from Congress," said the
innacofre . bystander
And they did. In a month, General Hoo had lost half of West
Whtnnng and Yaw'Nin Gulf. Congress lost its mind and passed the
Yaw Nin Gulf Resolution. Unfortunately, General Hoo got so use
to losing that he lost his balance in a Gin Seng Parlor and fell into a
vat of Gin Seng (a heady native brew).
In his stupor, he appointed General Wots Ghang Ahn to replace
him in the field. .
"Congratulations, Glorious Leader, General Ahn proudly
reported to General Thieu a week later. "I have recaptured all our
lost territory and our two lost armies, which I found lost in
thought in a dance hall. Victory is ours! For the Americans dearly
love a winner."
"Ai-yee!" said General Thieu calmly. "The Americans may love
a winner, you fool, but they only support losers."
"I guess I lost my head," said General Ahn contritely.
"Not yet," said General Thieu. "But how about a week from
(Copyright Chronicle Publishing Co. 1975)
ad economy nothing new
Front page, back page, cover story, TV
special newsmen and print endlessly tell us the
economy is in "bad shape," as Mr. Ford so
astutely observed in his State of the Union
The President declared inflation "Public
Enemy No. 1" but then acknowledged that the
country is in a recession. As one passes
ever -lengthening lines outside employment
offices, it becomes obvious that this is so.
But what makes these economic conditions of
such critical importance that they merit the
overwhelming amount of press coverage they
Surely inflation is not news to the elderly
widow who cannot afford an adequate diet or
sufficient heat for her home on her fixed income.
Unemployment is not new to many people in the
inner cities or in some rural areas.
Each of these groups has known for years that
the United States has severe economic problems.
Why, then, has there been such an air of urgency
and crisis surrounding the economy of late?
The answer 'to this question lies in the
traditional American love of democracy.
Ideally, American democratic society rests
upon a belief in equal opportunity for all.
Ihstorically, however, democracy too often has
meant that the majority live as they want, while
the minority suffer as they must. Thus, as long as
the majority is reasonably comfortable there is
little concern for problems among the minorities.
The 7 per cent national unemployment rate is
of serious concern in the White House, Congress
and throughout the nation. Yet a perpetual
unempooyment rate of twice that goes
practically unnoticed when it is confined to inner
city areas or migrant farm workers. Similarly,
moderate rates of inflation have plagued the aged
for years, and yet the aura of crisis surrounding
inflation has only developed quiet recently.
It seems obvious that the criteria for declaring
an economic crisis is not whether there are severe
economic dislocations within the United States,
but whether there are economic afflictions
troubling the majority.
American-style equal opportunity is a great
ideal, but if you begin with groups of unequals
and treat everyone equally, you end up with
more inequality. The poor, the aged and other
victims of economic dislocation have long been
relegated to inequality in comparison to the
middle and upper class majority.
This is witnessed by the annual failure of
Congress to pass any significant program dealing
with welfare reform, tax loopholes closure, social
security reform or basic economic restructuring;
while it seems that Congress will move rapidly'
this year to "cure" the nation's economic
Congress and the President must move quickly
and effectively to combat the recession and
inflation. The middle and upper class majority is
getting restless and increasingly ill-humored as it
faces rising food prices and plummeting auto
The majority of Americans see no
;ontradiction in demanding action to ease their
own economic problems while ignoring the
perennial problems of less fortunate Americans.
We have long believed that poverty and
unemployment are the reward for a lack of
ambition or initiative.
Even liberals confine themselves to finding
ways to use government to ease the burden of
poverty or to train individuals in marketable
skills. Archie Bunker and the liberal essentially
agree in placing the burden for finding work or
breaking out of poverty on the individual.
It is increasingly clear that this view is
erroneous. The poor, the aged and other
economically disadvantaged groups have long
rhymes ond reasons
known that they have little or no control over
their economic or employment situations.
If an individual is a member of an ethnic
minority, comes from a low-income background,
is aged or a migratory farm laborer, he or she will
probably be poor andor unemployed. In most
cases, these people will have trouble finding work
and even greater trouble keeping it. The
individual has little control over these factors and
is more or less adnft in the economic seas.
It seems that Americans can no longer dismiss
poverty and unemployment among the minority
and mere laziness or lack of training. We as
Americans must realize that discrimination and
a vested interest in keeping a portion of the
population disadvantaged also play a role.
This perhaps may shed some light on why
middle or upper class Americans tend to view the
present economic, crisis with such concern, after
ignoring the crisis among the minority for so
long. The majority are beginning to realize that
they, too, are at the mercy of uncontrollable
Those among the middle class unemployed
cannot believe that they are lazy or untrained.
They are merely coming face to face with what is
a fact of life for many Americans.
Perhaps an economic crisis will serve a useful
purpose (in a perverted sort of way) by
illustrating that employment or unemployment,
poverty or wealth, are not merely dependent
upon training or the willingness of individuals to
Those of us who did not experience the Great
Depression sometimes do not understand this,
and those who did forget.
r III A
Wednesday, january 22, 1975
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