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CONSUMERS PAY 50% MORE FOR FOOD TODAY THAN IN 1972 BUT FAMILY FARMERS SEE A LOSS UNEQUALED smog 1933 Inflation keeps up . Farm prices keep going down. THE COST PRICE WE’D LIKE TO CHANGE THAT TO KEEP EVERYBODY EATING Texas 127,11111 Farmers L AMA Union Mb. For more trains We are quite favorably impressed with your issue devoted to trains in Texas \(Obs.. Susan Reid’s suggestion that Texas, with its ability to fund massive highway programs, could take the lead in developing a statewide rail passenger system. It appears more obvious that such development will not come from Washington, where budgetary limitations have caused Amtrak to reduce service recently, contrary to the stated policy of the Rail Passenger Service Act that “modern, efficient, intercity railroad passenger service is a necessary part of a balanced transportation system; that the public convenience and necessity require the continuance and improvement of such service to provide fast and comfortable transportation between crowded urban areas and in other areas of the country.” As our organization realizes the need for a truly balanced transportation system in an age of increasing energy and environmental concerns and recognizes the fact that rail represents a comfortable as well as the most energy-efficient mode, we find that a major goal is to persuade the state government that it is suicidal to continue huge highway building programs which lead to an everincreasing reliance on private automobiles. Instead, the development of a fast, efficient network of intercity trains, convenient to both the business and pleasure traveler, would alleviate many of our growing transportation problems and would allow for the continued growth of the state without the fear of strangulation by increased motor vehicle congestion. Perry S. Huntoon, Vice President, Houston Chapter, Texas Association of Railroad Passengers, P.O. Box 61102, Houston 77208. IC2 and education Your article on the Institute for Constructive Capitalism \(Obs., prompted me to go to the Bible of capitalism, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, in search of some philosophical justification for the new foolishness at UT-Austin. Surprisingly, there is noneor at least none of the sort that the ministry of the IC 2 would find palatable. In the Wealth of Nations, Smith wrote at length on the “Expense of the Institutions for the Education of Youth.” He made two broad points. The first was that heavily endowed universities “diminished more or less the necessity of application in the teachers.” Smith wanted a simple supply-and-demand relationship between teachers and studentsthe teachers taught only what students would pay them to teach. When extraneous authorities \(the Church, the in this relationship, teachersnow interested in pleasing those outside of the universitybecame in Smith’s works “the meanest and most contemptible persons in society.” Now this is harsh language, but I suppose it should not carry an argument surprising to anyone familiar with most professional schools in this country. More interesting was Smith’s description of the purposes he thought education ought to serve in a capitalist society. “Discipline” was the primary end. The division of labor promised material abundance, Smith said, but it also would force many people to engage in work so menial in its character that they would “become as stupid as it is possible for a human creature to become.” Smith, however, saw no alternative to the radical corruption of the mind in capitalist society. The best that education could do was to make people more self-disciplined and more functionally competent. \(Smith more technical and less intellectually self-critical education became, the less liable we would be to “the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition, which .. . frequently occasion the most dreadful disorders.” An instructed people are “always more decent and orderly than an ignorant one. They feel themselves, each individually more respectable, and more likely to obtain the respect of their lawful superiors, and they are therefore more disposed to respect those superiors.” In plain English: respect for the powers that be. This is hardly a noble notion of education, and I’m not sure how it fits in with Smith’s other point. But at least there is some honesty in Smith’s confusionand that is more than one seems to be able to find in the circumlocutions of the IC 2 advocates. Richard Teichgraeber III, Dept. of History, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. ,-..OBSERVER Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Tex. 78701 IF YOU ARE an occasional reader and would like to receive the Texas Observer regularlyor if you are a subscriber and would like to have a free sample copy or a one year gift subscription sent to a friendhere’s the order form: SEND THE OBSERVER TOEL name street city state zip this subscription is for myself . gift subscription; send card in my name sample copy only; you may use my name $12 enclosed for a one year sub bill me for $12 MY NAME & ADDRESS \(if not shown THE TEXAS OBSERVER 600 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701