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Why not dimes. your inovroneo problem with me Oahe You NM bo wader sop oblisstisu MARTIN ELFANT 201 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 SUN LIFE OF CANADA Readers on LBJ, FEPC, the Natural Gas Tax, Truck Loads On Taxation Sirs: I am especially grateful to you for publishing your stories on the taxation picture. They should serve to inform the people of the need for a natural gas tax and a state income tax to help support the public schools and other state agencies that are in dire need of additional money. William P. Richardson, 2700 Bonnie Drive, Fort Worth. 4. B. Johnson Sirs: I am enclosing my personal check for $7.50 for a twoyear renewal. We couldn’t get along without it. By reading the Observer, the New Republic the Christian Century, and the Reporter, we are able to get some factual news. I heartily agree with the statement of Sen. Proxmire of Wisconsin, that Lyndon Johnson does not give the real Democrats a chance to vote their convictions on bills which would really help the “people” of our nation. He is so dictatorial, he sees his power as leader as a means by withholding chairmanships of committees or just not being placed on a committee. In other words, they vote as he wishes or else. It’s really alarming to think of a man of his type being in such a position of power. I could admire his ability of manuevering if it were used for the good of our nation rather than to forward the large ambitions of L. B. Johnson. Byron Skelton doesn’t speak for me when he says Texas is 100 per cent for L B J for President. I will not vote for him. I hope he will not be permitted to steal control of the delegation and go to San Francisco and make Texas look as ridiculous in 1960 as they did in 1956. I just hope many people will write Sen. Proxmire and congratulate him on his , courage. Jane E. Howell, 2514 W. Clarendon, Dallas. Kind Words Sirs: .1 am delighted to renew my subscription to the Observer. Wherever I go I feel lost when I don’t have the latest from the “conscience of Texas.” The gOod you are accomplishing in Texas is amazing … R. N. Mason, 837 Hawthorne, Crete, Neb. Successful Ad Sirs: I wish to thank you and your publication for the nice display advertisement \(to wit, ed.’s note: “If you don’t subscribe to the Rails Banner, Go to Hell. warming to see the response we received from just one insertion. Of course, we didn’t sell any subscriptions, but a lot of folks did go to hell. Check herewith. Ernest J. Joiner, editor, The Rails Banner, Rails, Texas. \(Subsequently, as Joiner and his wife flew off to Mazatlan without the Duggers, who decided against going along for the sake of their two children, Joiner said: “We did get one subscription some Greek in Dallas. He called me. Sounded like a Greek.” This proves It Pays to Advertise, although we do not wish to be Every Word Sirs: I read every word of every issue of your paper, then pass it on to some friends who do the same. Keep it up. E. E. Elliott, Box 143, Canyon. FEPC; Consumers Tax Sirs: Ordinarily I and the Observer are the best of friends, agreeing on all things and advo eating the same sorts of measures …HoWever, I have noted two different items of late which disturbed me somewhat … The first of these was in your excellent issue on “Issues” of Jan. 16. On page 7, under the heading “Civil Rights: Plain Principles,” you made a few tatements concerning discrimination in employment. You pointed out an objection to an FEPC law, to wit: “in effecting a private purpose, a private citizen cannot properly be prevented from exercising his private prejudices.” … While I agree that people cannot and should not be in any way discomfited because of prejudices they might hold, I must observe the F EP C laws, as they are designed in those states which have them, are designed not to punish or to attempt to eradicate prejudice, but rather to prevent the detrimental effects of discrimination resulting from prejudice. The difference between prejudice and discrimination is not simply a fine-line matter of definition. Prejudice is an attitude which springs from various factors in the personal background of the prejudiced individual. As an attitude, it is no more to be enjoined than is any other attitude. To attempt to curtail prejudice directly by law would be an attempt at thought control. Discrimination on the other hand is an act, and an anti-social act at that. It has certain consequences, as does any act, both for individuals involved and for the society as a whole. As its consequences are detrimental to the degree that they cause needless economic disadvantage in an economic-oriented society and to the degree that they prevent the optimum productive utilization of man p o w e r in a productionoriented society, the act of discrimination should be attacked by legal means and should be eliminated, if at all possible. This still allows individuals their prejudices, no matter how irrational they may be. But it does do away with the consequences of an anti-social act, discrimination. To argue against FEPC on the grounds that people have a right to be prejudiced is the same sort of thing as arguing for lynching on the grounds that Negroes have to be reminded of their place when they attempt to exercise voting rights. Society must protect the right to hold attitudes, but must protect itself against any detrimental acts growing from attitudes. The second item which disturbed me was in your editorial “New Style Sound,” January 31. Though the sound itself is well worth marking, some of the accompanying comments on the tax issue contributing to the sound dismay me. In the first place, I cannot for the life of me decide whether you are for such a tax or not. You note your objection to selective business taxes, but you follow this up with what seems to be a formula whereby this tax turns out to be not q!,ite so bad, or at least not detrimental in the way such taxes are usually detrimental, that is, by hitting those least able to pay. I think the amateur economics involved are those which lead to the conclusion that not all of the tax will be passed on to the consumers. I would wonder at the state of American enterprise if the gas companies don’t figure a way to pass on the tax and add a few pennies of their own using the tax as a justification. The business of supply and demand intersecting at optimum price which you mention just ain’t so, at least not anywhere outside of an economics textbook …. As for why the companies and Mr. Alcorn are so agitated about the matter, I would say that they would probably just as soon not have to raise prices noticeably just at this time. It creates a poor public image and the companies don’t like poor images of themselves, even when they’re runing a monopoly markt. \(It may be that they don’t see how they was saddened by your handling of this one. Stick with the right kind of tax. Even if this is some kind of improvement over what there is now \(and I doubt that it approaching equity. …. I’ll be looking forward, as ever, to your next issue. Cheers, Robert B. Haldane, 604 Corto Square, Richmond, California. \(In response to this excellent letter, we refer readers to our note in Feb. 28 Stump on F E P C. Mr. Haldale is too contemptuous of the realities behind the opti mum price theory, but we agree the natural gas tax is mainly a tax on consumers and are opposed to it to the extent this is so. Only the personal income tax is completely immune to this criticism; we advocate it; it had not even been introduced early this week. On Truck Limits Sirs: I … see that you are opposed to raising the truck load limits in Texas. I cannot understand your position, as there are only three states in the union with such a low load limit … The biggest majority of truck lines operate in many states, and the majority of loads coming in the state of Texas are straight loads. By this I mean the entire load of freight is consigned to an individual company within the state of Texas. All of the adjoining states have higher load limits. Therefore, if they load their trucks to capacity, they must unload part of their freight before entering Texas, which is a costly operation. …. As usual, the cost is always passed on to the consumer …. A large portion of thd gas tax paid to thel state is from the trucking companies, and much more additional would be paid if the load limits were increased. At first thought a person would think that the union would be opposed to raising the load limits, as each individual road driver would transport more freight for the same amount of money. The last time the road limits were raised, instead of making less jobs for people, the employers of the trucking companies made many more jobs, as their business increased tremendously, and would increase again if the load limits were raised. This would bring more revenue to the state. R. G. Miller, secretary-treasurer and business manager, Local 968, General Drivers, Warehousemen, and Helpers, Teamsters, 1803 Everett St., Houston 9. More Notes Sirs: The Observer is excellent in all respects as a newspaper. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 March 7, 1959 Your reporting on the present session of the legislature is to be commended. Your quality of reporting is needed greatly in Texas. Mickey M. Sparkman, 2043 6th St., Port Arthur. Sirs: These are days in which Texans generally are awakening to the towering capacities of their Attorney General, Will Wilson. I would rather have the Observer’s reports on this uniquely American phenomenon than those of any other periodical I know. Bill Dazey, Tokyo, Japan. Civil Rights Sirs: Pertaining to civil rights, Senator Johnson will find it easier to manipulate by his magic power the vote in the U. S. Senate than in the Democratic national convention or the electorate of the nation. The U. S. Senate does not necessarily represent the will of the people. There are ten states in the union with a population, according to the last census, of 4,921,640 which have 20 votes in the Senate, while New York State with more than three times this population, has only two votes, or Texas with nearly two times this population has only two votes. The first test vote of 22 in the Senate on civil rights seemed small but they represented. a substantial majority of the people. I hope the South does not bolt the party, but if they can’t stomach the Democratic platform and candidate, they have 4 perfect right to secede. The Democrats can elect their ticket without a single electoral vote from the South. R. B. Tuck, 4402 Greeley, Houston. issue on Issues Sirs: Your Ideas on Issues is simply a splendid piece of work. I’m proud of the Observer found in the vangard of Texas progress. I feel less optimistic that the powers in the driver’s seat will read it with profit. Gretchen Goldschmidt, 315 Adams St., San Antonio. Executions in Cuba \(Letters to editors can be quite important; they are the most direct expression from the people. We were taken with this one in the Manchester Guardian Weekly Sir,Mr Alistair Cooke accuses Fidel Castro of ignoring “the cold, but necessary, distinction between retribution and justice.” What is this distinction? The word “justice” has a wider meaning than the word “retribution” but there is a valid and important sense of “justice” which means precisely “retributive justice.” Therefore, to call a policy retributive is not to call it unjust. Whether the executions in Cuba are just or unjust depends not on whether they are retributive or not, since all punishment is by definition retributive, but on two whether the punishment was appropriote to the crime. The trials were carried out in so brisk a manner that one may perhaps doubt whether these two conditions were satisfied. But if the accusations of Castro’s party are true, the guilt of the prisoners was not such as to require much time to establish; and the crimes of which they were accused were of a kind to which most people would immediately consider an extreme penalty a fitting penalty. I myself disapprove of capital punishment as a general principle, but if capital punishment is accepted at all, as it is by most people, then there is a perfectly valid case in morality for it to be inflicted on persons guilty of the murders and other atrocious deeds of which the men who have been executed in Cuba were accused. If Castro’s critics, here and in America, are to establish their case against him, they will certainly not do it by talk about “blood baths,” still less by protests against “retribution.” They must investigate the evidence for the guilt of the accused \(and execufreely invited them to do in offering to receive 350 foreign journal lists. As things now stand, one cannot but seek a psychological rea
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