Random Thoughts .. . On Population How To Do It Sirs: You carried last week a very meaningful alegory on interAmerican imbroglio by Tom Sutherland. If the United States would say to Castro: “You don’t need gold or silver, nor ‘foreign’ money. You must provide your own money, stamped with Cuba’s authority; and that will enable you to supply enough to put every ablebodied Cuban to work at useful employment. Then, your trade can be on the barter basis, the heart of all international trade; and we will agree to allow you the exchange value we establish \(we meaning Cuba and the Unityou or sell to you.” It is utterly silly to hold on to gold or metals for “soundness” of money; and even greenbacks have dropped below the bank deposit transferral by personal bank checks. The whole of national and international money is bookkeeping. Just as the banker keeps the deposit balances of the people; the nations, if they would set up the international treasury system, each keep the deposit balances of all others, and payments would be made by checking against the balances. Mr. Sutherland ‘closes with a very cogent observation that we could give more care to the other nations’ economies; but he fails to catch the vision of showing them how they can do it, rather than how they can borrow from us. His closing observation that we could train young people in other languages that they might go and “show them how to improve their conditions” is the only unselfish, danger-free approach. S. W. Adams, 2002 South First Street, Austin, Texas. Apologies DALLAS There is mounting concern for the rapid population rise in Latin America and Asia. Advances in medicine, public sanitation, epidemic control, disaster relief, and agriculture have enabled more and more people to live, thrive, and multiply. It is expected that the “havenot” countries will gain much more rapidly in population than the “haves”. Asia, by the year 2000, will jump from a present 11/2 billion to 3.7 billion; Africa will more than double during the same period, growing from 237 million to 517 million, and Latin America will increase its present 206 million to 592 million, almost triple its present poptilation. At the same time, Europe will creep forward from 424 million to 568 million, Soviet Russia will grow from 215 million to 379 million, and the United States and Canada will expand from 197 million to 312 million. A Literary Discourse Talk in a Classroom ARLINGTON If only on grounds that the public colleges obviously need innovations, I pass along an exciting classroom tactic a friend and I engaged in here. This professor, who teaches American literature, decided it would be a change of pace for his class to hear a two-way literary discussion. Some of them, he thought, may never have heard writing talk. I am no teacher, nor well-read, but I form opinions very quickly on the basis of insufficient reading, and talk quite a lot, and am his friend, so he asked me to come into his class this day, and we would talk. exalted position in the heritage of the rogue novels from Cervantes. Caring little whether I was up to the occasion, I very much enjoyed it, and also heard from my professor-friend, who could see them as I could not, that the students were straining for every word \(perhaps for every RabelAt one point a girl behind me interrupted us to say that she did not like Whitman and did not remember anything she read from him nor wish to linger over him, as she did over Emily Dickinson. Knowing, perhaps, that her contemporaries would understand she was insulting me, while I would probably not, she said she could understand why I like Whitman, as I was like him. \(I would like to be, I allowed, beaming; an insult from another heritage can THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 6 Dec. 2, 1960 SPECIAL CHRISTMAS GIFT RATES. ‘ Send the Observer to a friend for Christmas. First gift subscription, $5. Second gift, $4. Each subsequent gift, $4. The Texas Observer 504 West 24th St. Austin, Texas Gentlemen: Please enter the following Christmas gift subscriptions. I understand you will notify each recipient of the sender of the gift in a note from the editors. I also understand that I will be notified at once, and by Dec. 16, if for any reason the Observer cannot be delivered before Christmas. rourummeummums MMMMM lomminsimmoismmummormerims. Name V X Address V City, State X Name Address X City, State X II Name Address City, State X IIMINIOSIIIIIIIIMIIIIIM11111111111111111101111111111111161 MMMMMM 11111111111111111111111111111U MMMMMMMMMMM IN Sirs: My deepest apologies for not having subscribed to the Observer before now. In the past I have enjoyed the benefits of your remarkable work through the library. In other words, by reading without subscribing, I have been rather similar to the scab laborer. In the future, however, I propose to relish the fruits of your efforts in an honorable -fashionby paying for them.. . . Two rather militant. liberals are responsible for my enclosed check. . . . The Texas Observer is surely the most outstanding periodical in the state. Your deep and comprehensive reporting, your determination to go behind unreported reasons and dig up real facts, your predilection for telling stories untold in “major” newspapers, and your consistently logical presentation of the liberal outlook must be cherished and retained. Glen A. Waggoner, 215 Moore Hall, SMU, Dallas 5. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 “BOW” WILLIAMS When Your Home PCo h li ec c Ir Expires, vih l s About Special Savings On Our Homeowners’ Policy ‘ GReenwood 2-0545 624 NORTH LAMAR, AUSTIN Let’s Abolish the Poll Tax! We can make a case for a big -charity drive to spread birth control information to the backward peoples of the earth, so that unwanted children need not be born to misery and starvation. Some of us may be having nightmares of the unwanted millions spilling over into the USA and trampling our nicely kept lawns, our pansies and geraniums. AN THIS SUBJECT I am somet/ thing of a sidewalk authority. There is a saying among the lower classes in Mexico “Soy padre de mas de cuatro.” As a father of more than four I have a right to be heard. We Joneses have made quite a mark for ourselves in the population field. My Grandfather Jones had seven sons and three daughters, all still living. The noisy, bawling, brawling Jones household is worlds away from the aesthetic, ascetic, antiseptic, prophylactic homes in which an only child, son of an only child on both sides, is lavishly doted upon by four anxious grandparents as their last wan link with tomorrow’s brash new world. But we Joneses modestly step aside for the Latin Americans. A few years ago a picture appeared in the Raymondville, Texas, weekly, “El Tiempo”, of an old-timer and some of his offspring. It showed five generations, including a newborn great-grand-granddaughter. Still alive at the time, the old man had one hundred fourteen living descendents, known and accounted for. Only a dozen or so were on hand for the picture. That is some kind of record. I wish to call this case to the attention of the world population experts. MEANWHILE, the Anglo-Amer ican couple lives in a fourbedroom house with central heating and air conditioning, wall-towall carpets, two cars, two baths. And only two children. Mama and papa both work to pay for this layout. And the kids are juvenile delinquents. This lust for material wealth is the best population control device I know of. We in Texas can see close at hand something of the Latin American population problem. Every year we get a flood of wetbacks from Mexico to work in the fields. These people have tilled the same soil surrounding their thousand villages, for 200, 300 years, fed their sheep and goats and swine, their chickens and cows and beasts of burden. The soil has blown and washed away and lost it fertility, yet the people remain. I have seen the rocky slopes of Jalisco and Durango, which once produced abundant corn and wheat and built proud towns. Irrigation projects are set up and thousands migrate to work new lands: along the Rio Grande near El Paso, McAllen and Brownsville; in the fabulous cotton and wine valley of Torreon; in the northwestern states of Sonora and Sinaloa. But always and everywhere in Mekico there is a surplus of untrained hand labor and mouths to -feed, a crying need for capital, for equipment, for pavement, for buildings, for credit, for human comforts. Thousands of families live out in the brush on Mexico’s west coast with no shelter but a cabana of mesquite posts with palm fronds for a roof. I read recently that heavy rains had forced thousands of these migrant sugar cane and tomato field workers to flee the flood waters, and many lives were lost. /I was in Guadalajara last year when the tidal wave inundated Colima and Manzanillo. I was in Tampico not long before the disastrous floods and hurricane that devastated the town. Thousands of families lived in wood shanties on high posts along the stinking rivers and bays, not unlike pictures I have seen of Puerto Rico, Shanghai and Calcutta. Thousands more lived in abode houses, and in tin-roofed barracks built during the -1900 oil boom by foreign companies. There was no sea wall to hold back the hurricane waves, no flood control upstream on the three rivers which converge on the hapless town of Tampico. Some said five thousand died, buried in the mud of dissolving adobe walls and river muck, lashed about by high winds and waves, sucked under by raging currents in the streets. Nobody knows how many people lived there. Yet I understand the city is risen again on the same estuary, exposed in front and behind to the same dangers, and people still wait an hour and a half, as I did more than once, for a creeping ferry to cross any of the several rivers and backwaters which divide the city . . . IDON’T SAY that Mexico haS no doctors. I was impressed to see a maternity hospital rising in the small border town of Nogales, Mexico. Local doctors are building it. They have taken the business away from the midwives. Indeed, I must give Mexico’s devoted medical profession its share of the credit for a population rise, in my .short memory, from 20 to 30-odd millions. Perhaps what U.S. doctors need is some competition from the midwives and curanderos. Two hundred dollars, indeed, to deliver a baby! Medical and hospital rates, drugs and prescriptions, are considerably less expensive in Mexico. Down there a young doctor does not expect to own a Thunderbird or a Chrysler, a motor boat and a country estate. The American insistence on twin beds for man and wife is a continual cause of wonder and disbelief in Mexico. “You mean they don’t sleep together?” they ask. This twin bed idea may be of interest to the population explosion experts. Malthus didn’t think of it. ROBERT N. JONES I sat to the side of the room on the front row, and he at his desk. Since I was not restrained by consideration of the backgrounds of the students or by the context in which the. class was held, Arlington State College to be precise, I found myself running along quite happily in defense of Whitman, whom my friend thought mediocre, but about whom my only regret was his evident failure to tell the whole truth about himself. ABOUT THOREAU I
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