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But is this World Sick?

Ever attend a Political Convention?
Ever listen in on a used-car salesman's pitch?
Ever listen to builders, owners and architects haggle?
Ever heard the method used in Real Estate sales?
How much TRUTH did you hear?
How much HONESTY?
If this article sickens you — you may be better off than you think.


How many keys do you carry? Is your automobile locked? Is your home safe? Are your children home from school?

What about shopping? Do you readily cash your personal checks where you are not known? What kind of identification must you carry?

Ever notice how the clerk eyes you when you find you must pay for a cup of coffee with a large denomination bill?

It's a suspicious world.

And it's surprising how much of our time and concern is taken up over dishonest, cheating, lying, conniving hypocrites whose consciences seem seared, and whose principles have long since disappeared.


The Defensive Citizen

From the time when you first had your lunch stolen in elementary school, to the time your home was burglarized, you have had to learn the bitter lesson that this world is filled with crooks!

Probably, you, too, indulged in it a little.

Most people admit to having committed at least one act during their lives for which they could have been jailed. Did you merely steal your neighbor's fruit? Merely snitch a few marbles at the five and dime? Merely pilfer a couple of hubcaps, or "borrow" some tools from the boss, or use the stamps and stationery from the office?

Probably you did so defensively. You found almost everyone seems out to cheat you, so you felt justified in a little cheating in return.

You face income taxes, state taxes; duty on imported goods and local taxes; gasoline tax and tax on your cigarettes and beer (which are taxing your health).

Arid, you're constantly bombarded by dozens of money-soliciting groups for everything from local, communal welfare projects to food for Vietnamese orphans.

And you resent it.

So what do you do about it? If you're like most people, you take the defensive posture of the double standard. You not only try to watch the other guy — but you even try to better him, if you can.

How many TRULY honest people do you know? Your local butcher? Insurance salesman? Auto dealer? Tax consultant? Your neighbor?

And what about your politicians and business leaders?

Shockingly, studies coming to light in recent years prove that honesty is rapidly becoming a shopworn, tired slogan — seldom practiced — even though still talked about.

So today you expect to be cheated. That's why you try to be careful of peddlers, con men, "bargains," and "sales prices" in your shopping choices. That's why you try to protect yourself wherever possible by checking labels, sizes, and manufacturers' guarantees.

But in spite of all your precautions — you're still being cheated, stolen from, and possibly robbed and assaulted from time to time.

After a while, it's only natural that social callousness are built to keep us comparatively unruffled in our societies of the double standard — imperturbable as we paw through our collection of licenses, identification, keys and insurance cards we must carry.

You probably should EXPECT to be cheated — in our world. Look at what happened in New York recently.

A young man whose father owned and operated a fish market and who, therefore, knew a great deal about fish, found a typical example of this in New York fish markets.

He, together with inspectors of the city's Department of Markets, found tilefish being sold as more expensive red snapper; found fillets advertized as flounder were really cod; found examples of mislabeling almost everywhere.

And not, mind you, in the small neighborhood stores, but in the largest and most highly respected chains of supermarkets in the city!

Who were the culprits?

They were the "respectable" businessmen who cheat, mislabel, steal, misrepresent and lie almost as if by habit. It's as if businesses use cheating as a POLICY on the premise that anything you can get away with is fair!

And why do they cheat?


Businesses Expect to Be Cheated!

They cheat because they fully expect to be cheated! Every manager of every supermarket knows he can discount a fair percentage of his year's profits as shoplifting, pilferage, accidental or wanton destruction of perishables, damaged cans and bottles, stolen or "borrowed" shopping carts, or a chance of a once-in-a-while robbery!

While the checker smiles as he rings up the totals, he's also wondering if you have any goods concealed in your clothing. When he asks for your credit number for that particular store before accepting your personal check, or demands a driver's license for identification — he's doing so because he has ended up holding a considerable number of bad checks — written by those who also live on the philosophy it's fair to cheat.

Result? They feel the only possible way to "come out even" is to cheat a little.


The Government Expects to Be Cheated

What about the man who looks over your income tax return?

First, he's suspicious. That's his job. He knows the reasoning of the average citizen concerning his income tax return. It runs something like this: "It's MY money, isn't it? I worked hard for it — so what's the matter with trying to hang on to a little more of it? I can see the need for taxes — but not for THAT much taxation!"

So the average citizen stretches his report to the limit — hoping he's not among the many thousands whose returns are selected at random for routine "audits" each year.

Yes, even the government expects to be cheated. Cheated out of FIVE BILLION DOLLARS EACH YEAR by false tax returns alone.

But the government of the United States would be tremendously relieved if this were the only area in which it is cheated.

During my naval service, I was in the Security Department on a naval air base. Our job was manifold. We had to watch the naval personnel and the civil-service employees, who would steal tools, parts, copper tubing, electrical wiring, and almost anything of value. Workers within a motor pool compound would drive their trucks near the fence, toss over certain pilfered objects, and then, under cover of darkness, attempt to retrieve the stolen objects.

Tools came out the gates under hubcaps, under seats, in trunks, inside worker's tool boxes made to appear as their own, or taped under the hood. Every gate guard knew he could detect only a small portion of the goods actually stolen each year. The loss in dollars was monumental — typical of every military base on earth, whether employing civilian laborers or not!

What kind of people were these? "Honest" laborers. Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mechanics. They were clerks, secretaries, supervisory personnel.

Example: The fire chief, a civilian employee, had held the office for many years. During my tour of duty, our civilian investigator (who used Navy time and equipment to figure the odds on the dog races) conducted an investigation.

It was found the fire chief had padded his time cards for years — had been on vacation, but turned in cards for sick pay; left early; but turned in a card for overtime, ad infinitum. He maintained two separate bank accounts, and apparently, two separate women.

Hearing of the impending action against him, he reacted immediately. I arrived, with others of the department, only minutes after his automobile had been found parked outside the base, with a hose from the exhaust taped to the window. He was dead — a suicide.

Why did he misrepresent, cheat, steal? He had a good job. Security. A lot of friends — an environment that was of his own particular choosing. But he felt cheated. He felt he was underpaid, overtaxed, unappreciated, and exploited. So he felt justified in retaliating.


Attitude toward Crime

Most people remain absolutely opposed to crime, as such. But the private definitions of what constitutes a crime; whether or not the crime was justified because of the circumstances is becoming increasingly cloudy in the public mind.

Law enforcement officials decry the near-obsession of the modern courts with insuring the protection of the CRIMINAL and his "rights," instead of strengthening the laws prohibiting and punishing criminal acts.

Recently, a man brutally murdered his wife. After the crime, he became remorseful — went to the police and confessed. After signing at least two separate written confessions, including his leading police to the garbage dump where he had deposited the body of his wife, the man was held for trial.

Today, he's walking the streets as a free man. The courts held his "rights" were violated when no legal counsel was provided to inform him, at the moment of his confession (which, by the way was voluntary, and not coercive) that such a confession was not necessary.

The judge threw out the confession as evidence. Without it, there was no case. Merely a woman's body in a dump, with no physical evidence or clues as to her murderer.

Is this true justice?

And so it goes. The public obsession with protecting the rights of criminals has made it increasingly unclear who is handcuffing whom.

However, it is not only the public attitude toward organized crime, toward the more flagrant or violent crimes that is alarming today — but the attitude toward what people consider allowable under certain conditions.

The average citizen wouldn't invite to dinner, for instance, a burglar. But he would invite to dinner a man he knows has cheated on his income tax — perhaps even hoping to pick up a few tips on how to cheat on his own. So long as criminal acts wear respectable clothing, it seems, the public finds them acceptable.

But the public is sick!