"THE ENTIRE US POPULATION got a pay increase May 24, when Sears, Roebuck issued a midsummer sale catalogue with more than 4,200 price cuts. Prices in new catalogues were on average almost 10 per cent less than those in the previous one, with reductions ranging from 6 per cent for children's wear to 19 per cent for drugs and 42 per cent for nylon nightgowns.
"US Labor Leaders, always clamoring for higher "purchasing power" should recognize, this is the best way to get it. Lower prices put money into everybody's pocket, not just the pockets of a few union members. And they do it without strike losses or inflation."
— The Letter Review,
Fort Erie, Ont., June 20/55.
While a reduction in price to the consumer may not put money in the consumer's pocket, it does take less out, and thereby increases his purchasing power.
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"What does Reuther want next?" (Walter Reuther; President of the United Auto Workers'Union, who obtained the Guaranteed Annual Wage).
"Personally, I'd favour a four-day week. Then you begin to give people the real benefits of progress through a longer week-end. Labour will be a hobby for the labouring man, who will be preoccupied with culture."
— Human Events.
If Mr. Reuther would couple with this a demand for falling prices and falling taxes, he'd be on the right track.
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Prime Minister St. Laurent, addressing the Canadian Bar Association in September, said that there is "a general tendency on the part of the citizens... to expect more and more of their government, and particularly of the central government..."
"If those demands are to be met it naturally follows that the government has to be endowed with the necessary powers and financial means to make that possible."
The Prime Minister, according to the Canadian Press report, added that there seems to be an increasing body of opinion that feels the state should become directly involved in assuring the welfare of its individual citizens, "or at least of those who do not seem to be able to look after themselves adequately.
"And when such a body of opinion in a democratic society represents the will of the majority of the population, the governments, if they are to remain democratic governments, have to take practical steps within the bounds of the constitution to carry out that will."
Two observations are obvious:
1. If a 'majority' asked for poison, would the 'democratic' government be duty-bound to administer the deadly potion? If not, why not? Have the electors a 'right' to demand, or a government to grant, policies or results which have no basis in Moral Law? And because 51 per cent decide to make themselves secure with the confiscated wealth of the other 49 percent, does this decision, because of its 'majority' status, have any validity rooted in the Moral Law?
2. The implications of the Prime Minister's address are that, in order to satisfy demands for 'security', we simply have to centralize power in Ottawa, and thus slip into socialism. Mr. St. Laurent might well consider the opposite policy — a policy of establishing every man in his own right through a process of decentralizing power. The individual Canadian does NOT need Ottawa to plan his life for him or pay his doctors' bills in order to enjoy a measure of 'security'. What he does need is adequate purchasing power to look after and pay for his own needs and order his own life.
These questions are at the very crux of the crisis facing mankind today.