Page 8


ANDERSON & COMPANY COPPICE TEA SPICES TWO JI3PPE1L4M sfounic AUSTIN, TEXAS 7S731 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip respect them enough that in some cases they refuse even to talk with their reporters. KENT HANCE, who in August indirectly praised Saddam Hussein for helping push oil prices upwards, is now predicting $50-a-barrel crude oil. “I think the market is psychologically driven now,” Hance, a Republican railroad commissioner said. He is not entirely pessimistic; if war breaks out in the Middle East, Hance foresees $72-a-barrel oil, according to an Associated Press story. Hance described the soaring oil price increases as a “mixed blessing” for Texas. “Royalty owners and producers are going to see their checks today double what they were two months ago,” Hance said. ELIZABETH Maxwell Lee must feel a little better about herself. The New York native, who now serves as headmistress of the Hockaday School in Dallas, was named a section of the Dallas Times-Herald. What might have diminished the honor just a little was the Zero against whom Mrs. Lee’s heroic virtues were measured: Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein. ELLIOTT NAISHTAT, a lawyer, former Senate General Counsel, and former Observer softball team utility person running against incumbent Republican state Representative Bob Richardson, recently showed up at the door of Greg Wilson, a Republican County Commissioner. Naishtat was handing out pushcards and asking for support. Arnold Garcia of the Austin AmericanStatesman described the odds of the encounter as astronomical. Not so. Naishtat dedicates two to three hours each day to an old-fashioned shoe-leather campaign and is determined to cover 90 percent of the homes in the district. EASTERN EUROPEANS who have lost faith in state socialism and are rushing to embrace the so-called capitalism practiced in this country might want to take a look at a soon-to-be-published study entitled Modern American Capitalism, written by the University of Texas’s George Kozmetsky and Robert A. Peterson and Gerald Albaum of the University of Oregon. The study showed that the public’s faith in capitalism had declined 5.9 percent during the last decade. What’s more, 53 percent of respondents surveyed in 1989 believed that capitalism must be altered before human welfare can be improved up from 47 percent in 1980. Surprisingly, men’s attitudes had changed the most after the Greed Decade; 52 percent of men surveyed last year thought capitalism needed changing a figure 21 percent higher than nine years earlier. Continued from page 7 We’re next to last in the share of state budget allocated to environmental concerns Next to last in benefits for poor families Dead last in environmental spending per capita Dead last in spending for mental health and retardation. But have heart, campers. We’re not at the bottom in every single category. Texas ranks right at the top in the amount of groundwater contaminated by pesticides; At the top in infant mortality In air pollution In teenage pregnancies Number of children living in poverty Unemployment High school dropouts Gap between the rich and poor Cancer per capita Number of AIDS cases Illiteracy rate Crime rate Pounds of pesticide applied We’re numero uno in job-related deaths Number of factories with a high risk of cancer Hazardous waste production Bank closings and rural hospital closings Executions and people waiting on death row. That’s a record to be proud of right there, after four years of leadership. That’s what this election is about. Not just about those statistics. But what’s hidden underneath those statistics. Thousands and thousands of Texans. People with tremendous ability and big aspirations who’ve been held back by the fact that Republicans in government, Bush and Gramm, and Clements and Claytie tend to be very poor gardeners. What they do is they pull up the flowers and water the weeds in our society. Let me tell you just about one of these people. One of these flowers. I’ll tell you just a quick story about a woman over here in Dallas named Ruth Shaver. She worked for the Safeway Corporation for 22 years until 1987 when under Reaganomics, something called Kohlberg, Kravis, and Roberts amassed $4.1 billion in junk bonds and they took over the Safeway food market chain. Now Kohlberg, Kravis, and Roberts are three individuals who could not bag a line of groceries if their lives depended upon it but now they own the biggest grocery supermarket chain in our country. How ‘re they going to pay for that supermarket chain? Safeway didn’t make enough money to pay off the bills. The way they paid for it is selling off the stores and shutting down the stores. And what that means is you lay people off. Sixty-three thousand people in the United States were laid off because Kohlberg, Kravis, and Roberts took over Safeway. One of those people was Ruth Shaver. She’d worked her way up to $12.06 an hour. She’d been a checker and she’d helped to remodel some of the stores. She was loyal, she took great pride in her work. But at 46 years of age, Ruth Shaver was dumped on the streets by Kohlberg, Kravis, and Roberts. Ruth said “Safeway left me high and dry.” Her severance pay ran out in five weeks time. It took her seven months to land another job. But she didn’t get $12 an hour at that job. She got $5.70 an hour. She went from making $24,000 [per year], middle income, down to $12,000 a poverty income in our society. She lost her Buick, because she couldn’t keep up her payments on it. She’s now moved into a trailer house in Dallas, Texas. Ruth Shaver said “I was good at what I did, I do a good job even at mopping the floors and taking out the trash. That’s just the way I am. I think they want a bunch of teenyboppers who they can pay $3.35 an hour to. A $200 million payroll was lost in Dallas by the layoff of 8,814 people like Ruth Shaver. Now that money goes to a handful of bond investors in New York. Of that 8,814 workers, a thousand still don’t have jobs three years later. Those that’s got a job took from a one-third to a two-thirds pay cut, just like Ruth did. Four people committed suicide. At the top end of the deal, things are a little brighter a little bit happier. Messrs. Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis, and George Roberts, each of them profited $40 million in personal income in 1987, the year of that takeover. Henry Kravis himself is now the toast of New York goes out to dinner with Oscar de la Renta and Donnie Trump and all the fun gang over there. He was the vice chairman in New York of the Bush for President Finance Committee so he gets invited down to the White House with Barbara and Poppy to have dinner. He gave $10 million to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the next day they named a wing of the museum after him. Henry’s a philanthropist now. But I’ll tell you what, there are bricks in that wing that were paid for by Ruth Shaver, who lives in a house trailer in Dallas, Texas, tonight. That’s what this election in 1990 is about. Because that’s what Republican government is about. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15