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E 1117 West 5th Street Austin, Texas 78703 REALTOR 41′ Representing all types of properties in Austin and Central Texas 155 interesting & unusual property a specialty. 477-3651 This publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International. Call toll-free 800-521-3044. Or mail ‘notary to. University Microfilms International. 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor. MI 48108. fact that any way you cut it practically all appeals for funds for worthy causes come in the name of poorer people asking richer people to lend a hand. That gets to be a drag for both groups and is an inordinate way to go about meeting human needs. It comes about largely because of the lousy way income gets distributed in this country. And what burns me is that a lot of so-called direct mail experts make a living going with hat in hand to raise big bucks for slighted people and programs and then take a cut right off the top before any of the contributed money reaches those it was intended to help. That’s an inefficient form of beggary. None of this is made necessary because of any shortage of wealth in this country. All you have to do is divide the number of people in our population into the Department of Commerce’s figure for the national income for any given year and you come up with a per capita figure that is more than enough to met the needs of every man, woman, child, and infant in the nation. We produce wealth galore. It just doesn’t get distributed very sensibly. Where’s the sense or the incentive in the richest five percent of Americans receiving more income than the bottom 40 percent? Or the richest one percent owning more assets than the bottom 90 percent? The accepted economic rules that determine who gets what for doing what or for owning whatever are heavily weighted to favor some few and are stingy with others. It’s this situation that needs looking into. Accordingly, my wife and I have decided that once the check for the million dollari clears the bank we propose to endow at the University of Texas a Chair of Chrematistics, the very first such chair to be established at any university anywhere. Don’t feel bad if you never heard of chrematistics. Neither has the University of Texas. Of course the people out there have a copy of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary that big one with 2,662 pages and will see there that it comes from the Greek word chrematistikos, which means the study of wealth as measured by money. That might not be the kind of thing the University wants to get into, but then . . . a million bucks is a million bucks. And don’t be surprised that the Greeks had a word for it. After all, theirs was a slave society in which the majority of people were poor and lived in houses of sticks and mud, not those marble temples shown on postcards. My notion of chrematistics would be a whole new study. Look at it this way: back during the War on Poverty days when it was thought that because we had the power we had the duty to eradicate poverty, millions upon millions of research dollars were made available to universities to study why some people are poor. The poor and our growing underclass were tabulated, tracked, interviewed, observed, and written about from their prenatal state, into their bedrooms, and right into their graves. You could say that they were studied to death. We know why some people are poor. What we don’t know much about is exactly how some people manage to get rich. Hardly anyone has examined the rich in recent years, except for a few novelists and screenwriters. Why not use the same sophisticated statistical techniques of regression analysis, coefficients of correlation, and least squares that were used on the poor to find out how such a very few can hog such an unseemly share of the national income? The old shibboleths about studying diligently in school, working hard on the job, saving your money, and maybe making a few prudent investments are still good enough to get one into some level of the middle class, or keep him there if that’s where he started. That’s not the point. The point is: how come so many who didn’t do hardly any of the above got rich? How come so many ding-dongs who hardly ever had to work a day in their lives or contribute anything worthwhile of themselves to the commonweal are living in palatial homes in the exclusive subdivisions of our cities? Wouldn’t that be something to spotlight? In doing so we would learn an awful lot about how economic “rules” get made. This is not a mere academic question. We witness today the squabble going on in Congress over whether workmen should be entitled to 60 days’ notice whenever a big company decides to close down here and move its jobs abroad. The President has vetoed the very idea. This is what the making of economic rules is all about. The proposed trade bill may be faulty on other accounts, but it ill-behooves corporation executives to fuss about this notice provision when they condone the acceptance of multimillion dollar golden parachutes provided to one of their own so that he will bail out to go do nothing in order that some corporate merger or plant closure can be completed. He gets richer and the others get poorer. This is the kind of situation a professor holding a Chair of Chrematistics ought to get his graduate students to looking into and writing theses, dissertations, and scholarly articles about. And maybe such an appointment shouldn’t go to a professor of economics. Maybe it ought to go to a professor of anthropology, someone who knows how to go about studying the weird, almost unfathomable beliefs of strange cultures. Well, it’s just an idea. Attorney: American Atheists, non-profit, educational group, seeks in-house litigation attorney, constitutional state/church \(often experience. $24,000 1st year. Immediate opening; no perks. Send resume to Jon Murray, AAGHQ, 7215 Cameron Rd., Austin, TX FOR LIBERAL PORTIONS AT CONSERVATIVE PRICES * REMEMBER SCHOLZ GARDEN * * 1607 San Jacinto * 477-4171 * Listed On The National Register of Historic Places “Go gather by the humming sea Some twisted, echo-harboring shell, And to it all thy secrets tell” W. B. Yeats P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 N East Dallas Printing Company Full Service Union Printing 211 S. Peak Dallas, Tx 75226 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23