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other.” When the businessman writes to the regulators and asks for some information or some guidance, there is no deadline as to when the bureaucrats have to make a reply, no pressure on their being accurate. They can make wild accusations and they don’t even have to defend themselves. The consumerists are worried that the costs are going up. A significant portion in every price is because of this intolerable cost of regulation. The Federal Trade Commission comes in and says candy manufacturers shouldn’t advertise candy to children and I ask why? Do parents want to abandon the obligation to raise their children properly, or do they want to delegate that responsibility to government? You and I were raised with these candy advertisements. My parents regulated how much candy could be eaten in our home and when. Commission after commission is busy today deciding what is good and what is bad for the consumer. They want to decide what the consumer can buy, what he can’t buy, and what price would be “fair” if he’s even allowed to buy it. Consumer decisions based upon free market prices may not coincide with what is “good” for the consumer. Someone ought to have a little respect for the common sense of the average American working person when he is spending his own money. The consumerists have gone way too far. They have a right to advocate that companies represent their advertising with total integrity, but they don’t have a right to run the companies which too many of them are trying to do. Whether it be the regulators or the consumers, all that most businessmen ask are that the rules be clear and definitive. Ninety-five percent of them will follow these rules right to the letter. The reason businessmen don’t today is that the rules are so long and esoteric that no one can understand them even with a Ph.D. degree. Most of them just plain don’t make any sense. The insensitivity of the regulators just turns people off. It really does. More importantly, compliance has become so expensive that unless you are a company of some size, you can’t afford the legal advice that is required to be in compliance. We give . lip service to free enterprise and then create those kinds of conditions through government and government regulation that preclude the achievement of what we assume to be one of our essential national purposes. This leads us to make a determination as to wherein the real problem lies. We have become so politicized that there is a multitude of power groups and an increasing number of single-issue groups. What this amounts to is that we have all these tremendous pulls on the social fabric and one begins questioning whether the social fabric is strong enough to withstand all of these pulls and jerks. Whether it’s the white, the black, or the hispanics, the right-tolifers or the abortionists, the gun control or the anti-gun control groups, the various religious segments, the environmentalists, the consumeristseach one is virtually committed to the precept that if they can’t have their way on that one particular issue they are not going to play. We condemn the politician, and yet we say to him, “You vote any way you want to, but if you don’t vote right on the particular issue that I deem important, you will not have my support.” We don’t ask them to be statesmen any longer, with an overall concern for this nation. We ask them only to be concerned with one particular issue. This democracy is not strong enough to survive these attitudes. This “me first” thinking has made this nation susceptible to believing that what it wants is a strong leader. We always need strong leadership. My concern is what do we really mean when we say we want a strong leader? I suspect that some of us are thinking in terms of someone who would be autocratic, who would caress power and use it without sensitivity to the democratic process. Some of us yearn for that kind of power leader because we have resigned ourselves to the fact that there is really nothing that we can do. And even more disastrous, too many of us have concluded that we don’t even want to think about it. We want somebody else to do the thinking. Things have gotten so big that we really can’t control them through the democratic process. That’s the way we are currently thinking. I reject this, and I hope that you do too. Perhaps we need to give some thought to maximizing growth, but at the same time limiting the size of individual companies, especially mergers, the conglomerates and the multinationals. Once you limit size, you insure a multiplicity of businesses in each industry; and then and only then can you be assured that there will be an allocation of wealth and opportunity by impersonal market forces rather than allocation by political decisions which leads only to socialism or fascism. Now you ask, What are some of the remedies? We have to become a nation of opportunity once againmeaningful opportunity, one that is observable, one which Americans can see emerging on a daily basis. I can tell you a glamour story of how I started an insurance company with $25,000 that has today in excess of $150 million in assets. I can tell you a sad story that to attempt to do this today would require a capital basis of some $8 to $10 million, and I am not even certain that you could do it with that. We have become too security-conscious and have traded off security for opportunity and freedom. We do want security, but any society that seeks to eliminate anxiety in the economic realm to a great extent will pay the price of losing a lot of its freedom and most of its opportunity. A thriving economy will have many job opportunities. Unemployment for those that really want to work is an intolerable situation in a free democratic, capitalistic society. Smaller businesses are more labor-intensive and provide many more jobs, and more interesting jobs too. We need to use our taxing authority to produce the kind of society that we want. Realistically Americans have to make a philosophical determination of the kind of America they want and then we have to elect those politicians that will have the courage to enact the kinds of laws that will bring this about. To get there we have to regain our faith. We have to recommit ourselves to God and to people. It’s not that people were better in previous generations. It’s simply that they recognized the need for one another. We have the greatest nation on earth. Some of us don’t believe this. If their numbers increase, it will in fact no longer be so. There’s nothing in the good book that says America will always be the greatest nation on earth. Let’s you and I resolve this very day to become advocates for a free democratic society. Let us not succumb to these single-issue groups. Let’s have concern for the whole of this great country of ours. Let’s not be prey to the glib answers of the John Birchers and the Ku Kluxers and the other hate groups, for this nation of ours will survive only in proportion to the extent that we can begin and continue to love one another, to have concern for one another, and to be resolute that whether one chooses to be a farmer, a laborer, a businessman, or, yes, a politician, that his right to have access to any one of these areas is always open. That’s what a free America is about. We need to recommit ourselves to this precept. AELBernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board P.O. Box 208, Waco, Texas 76703 American Income Life Insurance Company 12 SEPTEMBER 7, 1979