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A Pub” ,.: Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance Co.Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer The Slow, Steady Erosion of Our Liberties Theatens Us All by Martin Stone Chairman of the Board, California Business Magazine If this country is to avoid the kind of oppressive society outlined in George Orwell’s “1984,” we must always be on guard against intrusions into our liberties and freedoms. There will never be a time when free people can relax their vigil against the coercions of government. These coercions come in many forms. Generally they take place one slice at a time. The first slice always appears relatively innocuous, but when power is transferred from the individual to government, the new government power is seldom relinquished and is usually expanded later. The problem we have in this country is that those who are concerned about protecting specific liberties are divided into two general ideological groups. Each group seems to resist government intrusions into areas of its own concern while paying little or no heed to intrusions into other areas. Liberals fight to protect the freedoms of speech and press and insist on maximum protection of civil liberties for the underprivileged and the accused, while showing little concern with intrusions on business’s right’s. Conservatives fight against government intrusions into business affairs and for protection of the privacy of business and personal financial information, while showing little or no concern with political intrusions into rights and freedoms outside the business/financial area. Government employees and political officeholders, on the other hand, have no such division of concerns. They are always interested in expanding the power of government in any and all directions. What we as citizens must understand is that every such expansion of government power represents a diminution of individual rights. Consider some of the following issues that have been discussed recently in the popular and business press. Two bills pending in the [California] state Senate, both authored business property torough legislation. SB771 would require that all comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policies contain mortgage insurance coverage of up to 12 months for employees who lose their jobs and must continue to make mortgage payments. I agree that we ought to do something to protect such individuals from home foreclosure, and that “something” could take the form of mortgage insurance paid for through some modest addition to comprehensive insurance premiums. But Sen. Greene’s proposal would require that insurance companies add this feature at no additional cost to the insured. Who the hell does Sen. Greene think is going to absorb this cost? Is he sufficiently naive to think insurance companies can add such coverage without being compensated? Is it the American tradition to order businesses to incur costs without the opportunity to be compensated? Not content with this piece of confiscatory legislation, Sen. Greene has added SB829, requiring all health-care insurance contracts to include provisions for continued coverage for 12 months for workers who lose their jobs. Again, this insurance would be furnished at no cost to the employee. Who, then, is to absorb the cost? Most importantly, by what right can government order this taking of property without compensation? Both of these bills are colossal infringements on personal rights and freedoms. Sen. Greene is a staunch liberal, always in the forefront of those seeking maximum protection of the civil liberties of defendants and the downtrodden. He frankly doesn’t give a damn about the rights and freedoms of those who don’t meet his category of favored constituents. In all likelihood, Sen. Greene has little respect for perhaps even little or no belief in our system of free enterprise and private property, and he probably doesn’t realize that our free economic system is a basic foundation on which our individual freedoms rest. I have the same sort of opinion about Assemblywoman plant closure bills that would impose various requirements on businesses that close down operations in California \(see have been defeated in the state Legislature but are now being proposed in Congress. On the other side of the ideological spectrum we find socalled conservatives so obsessed with the idea of protecting our “national security” that they are willing to throw away the basic freedoms our national security apparatus is meant to defend. Witness the recent Reagan administration proposals to block public access to information about government activities. In order to stop leaks of classified or otherwise secret information, the administration has proposed that virtually all government employees with access to such data be subjected to periodic lie detector tests, even though such tests are not considered sufficiently reliable to be accepted in courts of law. Furthermore, the administration has proposed that hundreds of thousands of government employees be forced to sign secrecy agreements under which they can be severely penalized if they ever disclose confidential information without government clearance. These measures would require that current and former government employees who criticize government waste and bring corruption to light clear their public disclosures with the very people they are accusing of waste 11111″ American Income Life Insurance Company EXECUTIVE OFFICES: P.O. BOX 208. WACO, TEXAS 78703, 817-772-3050 BERNARD RAPOPORT Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19