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The. Funding for Idaho reports is provided by the Friends of four 10 and 12. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a grant from the laurel Moore coming him foundation. Good evening. It's been called the issue of the 1980s. Democrats have embraced it the House of Representatives has given its blessing and more than 100 local governments are studying it. It's called comparable pay and simply put it's the notion that secretaries and nurses for example should earn as much as truck drivers or construction workers or in other words that it's not fair that jobs held mostly by women generally pay less than jobs held mostly by men. Comparable pace search has surfaced as a serious national issue last December when a federal judge ordered the state of Washington to give raises and back pay to fifteen hundred employees. That
order is on appeal but if upheld it could cost the state as much as a billion dollars. Washington's troubles stemmed from a study indicating that jobs filled mostly by women paid about 20 percent less than comparable jobs held by men. Other studies have reached similar conclusions and some states like Minnesota and Iowa have taken steps to remedy the situation. But others have balked at Union and feminist demands that they address the issue. And some have already found themselves in court. Eventually some observers believe the cost could be high enough to set the whole economy reeling. Tonight we'll get four different views of comparable pay. Beginning with the case for it. That comes from Betsy Thomas. That's the Thomas serves on the board of directors of the National Organization for Women. She chairs its economic rights committee. She joins us tonight in the studios of public television station KQED in Moscow. Clearly this could cost the taxpayers ultimately somewhere billions of dollars how do you
justify asking them to bear that kind of burden. This is a question to me. Yes OK. I'm sorry. And when the National Organization for Women and I and I believe this country stand against discrimination. And and that it is not fair to ask any segment of the population based on factors over which they have no control such as as ethnic background or their gender. Or the color of their skin to bear the cost of that discrimination. I think it's important to note that that. In the pay equity cases that we've looked at and that have been looked at particularly by APs me just does not take any job being a union of municipal workers. True. Yes. And they really are in the forefront in the courts and in state legislatures and working on this issue. But to take you know a particular job like nurses out of
the hat. And to take another job like truckers and say oh they ought to be paid the same. They really have taken several categories and it's usually knowledge and skills. Mental demands accountability and working conditions and then assign points to those. And then what we are saying is that people who end up with the same amount of points should be paid the same as another job that has of same points. And of course what for Additionally has happened. Is that there has not been that kind of point factoring. At low level jobs. The industry private industry has done it for years with vice presidents but it has not been done at the secretary of truckdriver level. We are saying you know this is an old method let's apply it to all working people and make certain that everybody is paid what their job is comparably worth. How did the how do the disparities come about do you think. Did employers set out consciously to discriminate
against women. I think not. But I think that. Employers have always tried to hire people for as little as they can. And and it is true. That. That. Racial groups are paid much less and that women are paid much less and that wants a a profession does become filled. With Women. Or filled with blacks that those jobs salaries do decrease. So no I don't think there was ever any of intense on the employers part to discriminate. I think there was a part on the employers part to have to pay as little as they could absolutely get away with what's wrong with that isn't that kind of the one of the cornerstones of the of the free enterprise system. And yet what we have to remember is that the free market does not set salaries employer set salaries.
And that's what we really really have to remember because opponents to this are say but this violates the free market while the free market has never. Ever set salaries. If the free market indeed were setting salaries we would have seen nurses salaries increasing over the last few years when nurses were at such shortage and it didn't. Nurses suddenly could move anyplace in the United States and get a job. But they were still getting a job for less money. You know nurses as a profession are one of the lowest paid professions in the country and it is also. Almost 100 percent women. What do you say to the argument of the disparity in salaries is really a matter of a female job ghetto it's a matter of the women taking time out to raise children taking more part time jobs like that. Well you know. I think what we have to remember with pay equity as we have to remember with so many of our issues is that
discrimination is wrong. And that we must fight discrimination and that when we hear arguments. Like you know this is going to create havoc for the family or that women have brought this upon themselves. But we have to remember is that those are. Issues that are brought up to confute to muddy the issue. It's factors that are brought into to muddy the issue. I mean you have to remember. That it's not been that. Far in our past where men were taking time off to go fight war. Yet they were given all kinds of benefits to go fight that war to take two to three years out of their careers and leave and go fight war and I'm I'm not saying that that that those men shouldn't have done that and or that ultimately they were freed up. Yes differently. And usually in the job that they left they were guaranteed that job or a comparable job upon return. They also usually received educational benefits etc. during the time that they were
gone. I believe that raising children ORD or leaving a job outside the home to take care of an old grandmother or somebody significant in the family is giving service to your country in the same way that men have traditionally given service to their country. By going off. For time in the armed services. Yet when women take time off to give service to their country to spend the first one to three years with their children at home after birth. They are given no credit for that. In fact that very same argument is taken and then held against them. Well we have to pay you less. No that's flat out discrimination. And it is. It's something that we always don't remember that we have to. Have to see through those kinds of arguments and then take them there full circle. So that we can see how ridiculous those arguments really are. Thank you. We'll come back in just a moment. Let's get the other side of the story now the case
made by those who think that comparable pay is a potentially dangerous concept and one that does interfere with the free marketplace. Jim where is the director of personnel for Intermountain gas company. He is the immediate past chairman of the world's largest personnel organization the American Society for personnel administrators. Just how dangerous is this concept do you think depends upon which concept we're talking about if we're talking about comparable worth of oil we're talking about a different issue than discrimination that we've just heard the presentation on discrimination is against the law. Discrimination has laws. There are myriad of laws protecting people against discrimination comparable pay or comparable worth is a issue that has been around for many many years. Fourteen years ago the economic community in Europe called the free market put into its charter that countries signatory to that the 14 Western countries had to devise a system of comparable worth so that no country could again an economic advantage over another 14
years. Those countries have been up able to come up with a system that anybody can buy. Also the. EEOC study did back in the late 70s for two years through the National Academy of Sciences and where they came up and said yes we think there's a problem. Again they couldn't solve it. And I guess that's where we're coming from is how do you solve the problem point factoring systems which are applied not only to the executive level but also to secretaries truck drivers and all through the line are employed by many many firms. And yet still we have apparently problems. You said it isn't. It's a different question from discrimination how is it not discrimination that a group of people who does a job on essentially the same level of skill and responsibility is paid less can discrimination deals with the out now discrimination of a male versus a female doing the same kind of work comparable worth or comparable work is like saying the price of a Cadillac should be exactly the same as a price of a Chevy
Chevette. And you run into a very difficult problem in trying to make those kinds of comparisons. To date no one has done a very successful job at it. One attorney in the Washington case said that the comparable pay if it if it became widespread could and I'm quoting jeopardize the pay scheme of every employer in the country is that is that exaggerated you think. No I think it could very definitely cause problems but I want to point out the state of Washington case was not a comparable worth case it was a discrimination case. There's a case where the state of Washington would knowingly knowingly discriminated against a group of people by not paying them in accordance with the point factoring system that had been put into effect was not a comparable worth case it was a discrimination case. And from the evidence that I've read and what I've seen very rightfully decided the way the courts quickly decided that case involved state government and most most it's brought so far have involved state government or private employers are vulnerable to here of course. Absolutely.
In a legal sense or in an economic sense in both senses if there were. That is to say that if there was legislation involved which said that a some sort of a system some sort of a massive system which I assume would have to be dictated by government would have to be used by all employers. Then of course it would become a matter of law of the land. So far that has not been done in the courts specifically stayed away from the whole issue of comparable worth. And I have some quotes if you'd like to hear them. For instance the overturn of the University of Washington case most recently dealing with nurses being used in faculty was overturned with a court should we. There's no way we can possibly get into this subject far beyond the capacity of the courts and I guess that's where we're at is that we've been in this business of trying to decide what jobs are worth not people well yes people also know what jobs are worth. And it's a difficult situation. It is this art. It is not a science. Let me go back to Betsy Thomas and let the two of you talk about that for a moment because I think that's a fundamental issue that is a it is a problem is it not coming up with a system that that is equitable in any sense.
No I don't believe it is I believe that it's quite simple that to take certain. Factors like I mentioned before you know knowledge and skills mental stop and mental demands etc.. And to point back to that. And we're not saying that that a Chevy Chevette should be paid the same as a Cadillac. We're saying that a green Cadillac should be they should pay as much for a green Cadillac as you do a yellow Cadillac as you do a white Cadillac or you should pay the same for Chevy Shabak. That's white as you do for one that's yellow and you can identify the green. That's right on the red kettle That's right headlight and the Washington State paste case it was a comparable worth case and one of the reasons that that the Washington case is is going to be more expensive than other states is because the washing the first. The static of the wash in Washington was 10 years old. And there have been three Studies in Washington and all the studies said yes it is true.
That the jobs where there are at least 70 percent women. Are paid less than the job classifications that are predominately. Held by men. And there were every study showed that yes indeed. That. That that was happening. And so it is it comparable worth case even though it's true this is not a new issue. We go back to Mr. Ware for a moment. She says it's not a question of a Chevette versus a Cadillac it's just a question of different color Chevette. And I would agree totally that the same colors or different colored shirts ought to be put out to be the same price. The problem is that comparable worth does not say that comparable worse is if you've got transportation it ought to be equal and you ought to pay the same port discrimination in comparable worth are two separate issues. Discrimination is against the law it's counterproductive to the economy. It's counterproductive to industry business the government and we have laws equal pay
laws that have been in effect for many many years to protect and to offer encouragement to people that are discriminated against because they happen to have brown yellow or red. Sure that's worse is a white human. We'll have to leave that particular issue there and go on. The serious national debate on this issue began as I said earlier although it the issue had been around for a while with the Washington state decision in December of last year. That's a decision that has been closely watched by government lawyers around the country. Leslie Goddard is a deputy attorney general who serves as a counsel for the Human Rights Commission. She has tried to assess what the Washington case means for a state like Idaho which already uses a form of a comparable comparable worth scale to set wage rates. First of all just in a general sense how do you read the implications of the Washington case and if you if you're willing to speculate it's chances of withstanding an appeal. I'd be willing to try to do that I would like to start out by by saying I think it's really interesting that our two speakers so far have disagreed on what the holding of that case was when I had a
comparable worth case or was it not. It makes sense to me that they would disagree on that because it's not really very clear. And just to back up a little bit to kind of explain where where I think the case gets muddy. I think we have to understand why Washington got into trouble and it got into trouble because back in 1994 it had an outside consultant study its jobs and look at those that were predominantly female and those that were predominantly male. That study came back and said that the job classifications that were held predominantly by women were paid less than ones that were judged to be of equal value to those that were predominantly had bought him the new they didn't act on that and that's right. If at that point it was a comparable worth issue. Now what happened is that instead of acting upon that recommendation the state of Washington adopted it. They they sort of said gosh this is a problem and we're so sorry and we have to do something about it. One year they appropriated funds another year they unappropriated them as I recall it was governor
Dixie we read yes I did 92 and I think she was the one who pulled them back. They didn't act. And yet they kept saying gosh this is awful for a long time until finally somebody filed a lawsuit against them. Now in reading Judge Hanna's decision you have to be careful to try to understand exactly what he's saying. I got the feeling that he got irritated with the state of Washington. For adopting those findings saying this a problem and then not doing anything about it. And it was that failure to act that he defined as intentional discrimination. So it isn't clear even if it stood up what it would mean that all the Rite Aid says that's right and it's not clear how the Ninth Circuit is going to handle it either because there is there's a good body of case law which Jemma certainly aware of which says that intentional wage discrimination is illegal. There's also a body of case law that says just plain comparable worth does not state a cause of action under the existing discrimination statutes. So I it would be hard to guess what the 9th Circuit is going to do with it it is going to be an interesting problem.
Let's assume for just a moment that comparable worth Mr. Ware's objections notwithstanding were to become somehow above the law of the land at least for government employees. How well does Idaho stack up right now do you think. I hope seems to be real pleased with the system that they put into place. And I think it's it's we should be proud of what Iran has done because it began a study at about the same time that Washington did just a year later not specifically looking for sex discrimination but wanting to have a pay plan for all of its employees that had internal equity so that this person who was had this value to the state would receive the same pay grade as this person who was equally valuable not looking for sex discrimination just wanting to be equitable. They looked at all the pay grades when they got their report back. They acted on it and it meant making some adjustments and that group they got adjusted the most was the clerical series where women had been concentrated but they had to pull it and they did. And I think Idaho should feel real proud about that.
Does that mean then that that Idaho taxpayers I'm giving the other side of it are paying more for their clerical employees that they are they in fact employ than than they should than they would in the private sector. I'm not real sure how right now the salaries for a clerical employees measure up with those in the private sector. It's possible that they might be a little bit higher but I'm really not sure about that. If it's difficult to tell what the implications of the Washington decision are or how or how it will fare fare on appeal I'm sure this is an impossible question. But how about the vulnerability of private employers is this after all was a was a suit against a government entity. The suit was decided under Title 7 and Title 7 applies equally to public and private employers. So I would think any employer be they public or be they private who does the same set of steps that Washington did or fail to do would be as vulnerable as Washington if that case is that bad.
If it's if it's essentially given a broad interpretation yes. Thank you will come back in just a moment. There are as we have already indicated there could be large amounts of money at stake here and anything that involves large amounts of money is of course of interest to economists Czechs grow teaches economics at Boise State University and it goes without saying that the issue interests him. I've described what kind of. But assume for a moment the broad interpretation of this case and assume that Judge tenners order stands up. What kind of implications economically are we looking at if this were to become a widespread practice. Well I think they're a little bit different than than than most people have been suggesting. Back during the days of the energy crisis when gasoline used to cost 30 or 40 cents a gallon at the beginning of it and then there was talk if gasoline goes up to more than a dollar a gallon the amount of money that Americans spend on gasoline is going to triple or. Like that well of course when the when the price went up to over a dollar a gallon people started buying less gasoline and buying smaller cars and those dollar figures that we saw in the press about how much people are
going to be spending on gasoline turned out to be wildly exaggerated. Now what I would expect to happen if we had wage adjustments a say for secretary said in an increase of let's say 50 percent. Or some large number is that one of the first things businesses will do is they'll find ways to do without secretaries or to economize on secretaries time that is have instead of one secretary per executive have three or four executives share secretaries businesses will start increasing the requirements for entry into a job that is called a secretary to make it far harder to get that job and all of a sudden will start to see college degrees for your college degrees required to be a secretary. So jobs will be taken away then from people with say only the high school degree. One of the nice things about clerical work especially for four or four women over the over the last 20 or 30 years in the United States
is it's been a type of job that one can drop into and drop out of. It's been a type of job. It may be changing now but it has been a type of job where your skills I didn't deteriorate really rapidly while you were out of the out of the labor force. It's been the type of job where if you have to be geographically mobile if a family moves where the husband's job is it's quite likely that a clerical job will be there. It's not quite a like will likely lead to other types of jobs. It's been it's had a lot of advantages for a woman who also has a second job maintaining a household. And I suspect that those advantages will wrap it would rapidly disappear under a plan that forced employers to increase their wages a lot. There's a bill before Congress right now that would essentially get the federal government into that into this particular notion and one thing it is a requirement that workers salaries not be lowered to do this. Relatively speaking though it would if you're going to pay certain groups of workers more you're going to pay other groups of workers relatively less are you not. It's going to change the economic balance of power is what I guess I'm asking.
It may to some degree. I mean the federal government with this with a civil service system has had a competitive approach to filling jobs that there are these competitive civil service exams. And of course if you're going on a lot more as a secretary than you used to be able to earn the competition's of the get stiffer for those jobs and the requirements for getting into a job will begin to rise. I mean that's that's simply goes. One can never predict with absolute certainty but if one can predict anything with absolute absolute certainty that is one of one of these that you can't. So it's not it's not clear to me that if one wants to wed do something to increase the pay that women get and increase the well-being of women in general in the United States that this is in the interest of women in general in the United States. Just briefly let me ask you about the I guess a difference of opinion that I heard and what determines wage rates in the private sector right now. Is it it. Is it a true supply demand model or are there as. As Betsy Thomas suggests some other factors at work.
There are a lot of factors at work in the market doesn't to anyone when it does when wages do move they don't necessarily move as rapidly as some people think they ought to. I think it's it's it's more true to say that overall compensation is quite sensitive to the market. In the case of nurses something like 40 percent of the people who have nursing credentials are not working in nursing and hospitals have found out that in general the reason that they're not working in nursing is not so much because of the pay because of the working condition hours. And we've seen tremendous adjustment in the way that hospitals have dealt with nurses in terms of working conditions hours of treatment on the job. There are all kinds of of boards of nursing supervisors who don't put up with near as much from doctors as they used to and those when we look at compensation as a whole it's. It's obvious to anyone who looks at compensation moves up and down with supply and demand in the market. There's simply no let me open this up we don't have a lot of time left unfortunately let me go back to Betsy Thomas
How about the question of the potential loss of jobs. Girls saying that they have to pay secretaries want they'll cut down on the number of secretaries. Yeah I don't see that I think that how many jobs are available has to do with much more than what people are being paid. I mean we've seen unemployment increased steadily over the last three or four years now. It's not that you know black and white of course but you know we've had terrible unemployment rates recently and we don't have comparable worth. The unemployment rates really have to do with a whole large number of factors not comparable worth. I also think that we've got to stop suggesting that women in larger numbers are dropping in and out of the job market. They're not I mean we all grew up with with Dick and Jane and Spot and. And mom and home and dad out in the workforce today that represents
seven percent of the American population. It's just simply is not true that women today are in and out of the job market. Women are in the job market. They frequently are the the bread the sole breadwinners for their families. Most single. Parent. Family families are headed by women. Most of those also live below the line of poverty. You know me and I think that while we have you know we we have to quit suggesting that what we grew up with is still true today. Women are not in large numbers in and out of the job market. They may be going from job to job to go back to Mr. Ware here we don't have very much time left. These two are just just quickly jobless U.S. jobless. I could see job loss. I do definitely she's still skilled increase because of the auto necessary necessity. You know in order to go to like word processing and things along this line it would be rapidly increased if this type of
activity took place. You want to point out there is one city government that has been very active in this area. That's San Jose and was a California because of a case brought by union mentioned before. Unfortunately when they did their point factoring analysis they found it in some categories they couldn't hire people and therefore they had to get special dispensation to pay higher rates to those specific jobs at the market and not allow them same. It's just difficult to do Reiser but they had to get concessions very briefly let me go back to Betsy Thomas is this the issue of the next 10 years for women. Yes I very definitely think it is I think that we're looking at the feminization of poverty. If women don't start being paid decently for the jobs that they do by the year 2000 100 percent of the people living in poverty in this country are going to be women and children and that is discrimination. Thank what we know. We are just about out of time I'm going to have to will this is a story we will come back to again I'm sure in Moscow thank you very much Betsy Thomas in Boise. Doctors choro Leslie Goddard
and Jim Ware thank you all very much. That's all the time we have. We'll be back here on Monday night. I'm John McNeil. Good night. Funding for Idaho reports is provided by the Friends of four and 12. The Corporation for Public broad. Funding for Idaho reports is provided by the Friends of four 10 and 12. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a grant from the laurel
Moore coming him foundation military didn't lose the war. SOJA tars who is a chav in the Armed Services Committee has made a public statement and I get many times that the war was not lost on the battlefield. It was a political and I said retired General William Westmoreland met with Idaho veterans. The media and the public in Boise yesterday. Tonight a report on the man whose name has become synonymous with the Vietnam War. Good evening. The war in Vietnam which ended more than 10 years ago is back in the news again on the national scene investigation into a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by troop commander William Westmoreland against CBS News has uncovered literally hundreds of thousands of previously secret documents that shed new light on the
conduct of the war. They show for example that Hanoi kept meticulous records of U.S. soldiers captured or killed apparently thinking that that information could be used at some point to bring pressure on the United States. The documents also disclose that this country dropped chemicals on Laotian soil and considered poisoning a strip of ground across South Vietnam with a mixture of radioactive dust and the internationally outlawed substance known as mustard gas. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were asked to evaluate that idea without regard to its political impact. But they apparently abandoned it after only a couple of tests in Boise yesterday Westmoreland was asked about that plan known as Commando level. But he said he knew nothing about it. The 70 year old retired Army chief of staff commanded U.S. troops in Vietnam between one thousand sixty four and nine hundred sixty eight. He was in Idaho to talk with Vietnam veterans and with area businessmen Westmoreland told his audience as you heard that it was politicians and not the military who were responsible for losing the
war. But he refused to comment on his suit against CBS which had accused him in a documentary of deliberately underestimating enemy strength in Vietnam. It's now in litigation when it will go to court and if it will go to court and it goes to court to probably do so in the next several months according to what I've been informed or what I read in the newspaper or them that's a matter of litigation. I cannot talk about the matter. If I did my lawyer would fire me. And if they didn't fire me I would charge him because this is no time to talk to matters in litigation. Producer Gary Richardson covered Westmoreland's visit to Idaho and talked with a retired general. Here's his report. The general kicked off his Boise visit with an address to businessmen some of whom were being honored for hiring Vietnam veterans. Then at a news conference he sounded the theme he was to repeat throughout his stay.
When I was about 20 months ago when the Vietnam veteran who's moved on mass to Washington. And they had a welcome home for themselves. Nobody else would do it. And Marshal the parade in honor of themselves nobody else would do it. And a dedicated memorial to their dad asking the government for just a piece of real estate on the moon was a private fun in my opinion and that was a turning point. The attitude of the veteran told him so and to the country and told of it at a public forum later. Westmoreland spoke again in support of the Vietnam veteran. I know they have it on veterans in order torun the Scheveningen but I just want them to know and I want you to know that those soldiers sailors Marines airmen and
Coast Guardsmen did an exceptional job and they're under unusual circumstances unusual because they were not only in a hostile environment overseas but when they came back. Your environment was hostile toward them. Some were abused. Many were ignored. You know that's never happened before in our society. This was a first in the psychological pressures on that and more substantial. But they have held their head high and as time goes by on the whole there are and I think the most eminent historian Douglas Pike University of California-Berkeley I think recognizes the most expert intellectual and academicians on the Vietnam War and the Vietnamese people. And he has
said in a paper that he recently gave at a seminar in Washington D.C. he said and I quote. The American military's performance in Vietnam was particularly impressive. It won every significant battle fought record virtually parallel in the history of warfare. Senator John Towers the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has made the public statement and he has told me he's going to make it again and again and again to the war was not lost by the military on the battlefield as it was lost in the halls of Congress. Now let me say as a veteran of three wars in 1967 and 68 timeframe I can say categorically that in my opinion America has never put a more effective force on a battlefield than we had during that
timeframe. William childs Westmoreland has been compared with MacArthur and Patton and less favorably with France's general Navarro often credited with that nation's defeat in Vietnam. Among his West Point classmates Westie was an inevitable general. He rose through the ranks in World War Two and Korea to become the U.S. Army's youngest ever major general. With the growing U.S. involvement Vietnam became the inevitable command. Twenty years ago Westmoreland stepped forward to meet his destiny there in the early years of his command a strategy combining search and destroy missions into the countryside and holding actions in populated areas seem successful and a trip home in 1067 to report to President Johnson and the nation. Time magazine's 1966 man of the year painted a winning picture of the war. He said troop withdrawal might begin within two years. In March 1968 following heavy setbacks though President Johnson brought Westmoreland home at the age of 54. Some saw the
change in command as the only way to change a Vietnam policy that seemed to be failing. But Westmoreland supporters saw him as a scapegoat and said he had been over directed from Washington and forced to fight a war on the cheap. Three months after his recall Westmoreland was named Army chief of staff since his retirement from the Army in one thousand seventy two Westmoreland has steadfastly waged the battle for public opinion that began in Vietnam 20 years ago and still continues today. Vietnam was different from any war that we have fought against a foreign power. It was not a front line war one it was not awarded to American people the father or man it was not the war that they visualized as typical of all wars like World War 2 where the American people were conditioned by a mini
war to movies about three years ago I was invited to New Delhi India. I talked to basically a foreign group there were a few Americans and a few British born and that there were representatives of South Asia and they were represented this is a most if not all of the countries standing association Southeast Asian nations. After my talk during the question period and in doing social mingling with these people I had one thing first home and the. Consensus was that from their standpoint those members of our xian countries specifically the Philippines Indonesia Malaysia Singapore Thailand all of which have been called in this is west of Thailand they said
they were concerned we won in Vietnam and threw them out on that and pointed out that we made a commitment. We held the line for 10 years. We gave the country 10 years to mature develop self-confidence and before that all been called as the West except Thailand. Make some improvements. Kaname to develop infrastructure greater degree than before to develop resistance against commoners. And that 10 years already knew what they told me all the difference. They were ready to resist having this problem come this precious virtual holding the line for 10 years and then they show North Vietnamese come down to the south and take charge. They saw the boat people ashore the concentration camps in Cambodia
and they concluded they wanted no part of that type of administration hard communist from those countries and staunchly for the free world and the economically they're doing relatively better than any other. Let me flash back to the vet from his book about it. Man who's at a strange place. The Vietnam veteran is not a drug ridden psychotic outlaw and really just one of the warriors myself. Listen to this. Ninety one percent say they're glad they're served and would do it again. There's no difference in drug issues between Vietnam veterans and non-veterans according to the Veterans Administration survey that our veterans are less likely to be in prison than other young men that age you're
quoting to a survey made by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Ninety seven percent of the veterans discharge under honorable conditions. That's the same as for 10 years prior to two thirds of the men who served in Vietnam enlisted they will volunteer two thirds of the men who served in World War Two were drafted following the address Westmoreland answered a question from a veteran in the audience at the highest levels of Johnson. Decisions were made that it could not be militarily one that military was unable to convince the advisors to President Johnson that a land work to be won and they advised the president to get out of Vietnam and save face as quickly as possible. If that's the case was it the military's inability to communicate to the government. I understand your question.
I don't think that I have absolutely no knowledge of the military ever showed why the political parties or. Senior levels in the government came to that conclusion. But I have no knowledge of that ever being advised by the military. The strategy of the Johnson administration was not to conquer Vietnam and unify the two through the use of force and such was not the strategy and Korean strategy was to try to force him to the conference table. I personally feel and this is very clever expressed in my book that long campaign could have been very effective and probably effective in doing that. Bombing campaign was often on her monitor public opinion at home which had a major impact. If Mr. Johnson had done what Mr Nixon and Mr Johnson
68 Mr. Nixon did in election due to an early 73 the outcome could have been different. Those remarks came last night in a speech at Boise's Capital High School. Producer Gary Richardson also talked with General Westmoreland yesterday. He began by asking the General when he first realized that the United States was not going to win the war in Vietnam. I have high hopes for Phil Jackson which is a for the people. So far. As a church member. The first Center for procreation. And that of president do what we had promised local authorities would do namely come to their rescue. You know if it and these broke the persecution.
When that. Took place I thought the jig was up. Looking back. Many people now call the. War the war that nobody wanted. How and why from your point of view did we get dragged into that conflict. Well it's a long story in the short program like a rather difficult if not hazardous to try to talk like that. But it goes back to the philosophical commitment from 1947. Goes back to a very strong statement the support of the independence of 54. We hope it goes back to the Kennedy years or the Russian way said look the price for your friend oppose and success of liberty get emotional.
And the. Factors strategy was adopted which was a strategy that evidently made it a long war and I think most everybody realized that more probably we heard a lot about the domino theory. Do you feel that the way that things turns out turned out it actually validated that. Actually. The Domino Theory folded in Indochina. South Vietnam was was lost because the North Vietnamese moved out after we had withdrawn. We had no troops all when they moved in. And they took over the South militarily using conventional ground forces. They then took over Laos and Cambodia and took over Cambodia. So they control all of Indochina over there. Were the three dominoes of Laos and Cambodia. But then it stopped. And it done not wound to the southeast and
didn't move them. Indonesia. Malaysia Singapore. Thailand. It stopped and stopped because we held the line for 10 years and gave those countries. All of my Ben the. Colors of West except oil and gave them revenge. We develop resistance to communist pressure. We're hearing talks again about. Things like the domino theory in Central America are there lessons we can learn from Vietnam to apply there. Well I think the bottom line lesson perhaps and most important is that we have to rely as a people. Leadership must realize. That we can accomplish anything in this country that has a large cost less. Considerable is not overwhelming public support. I mean that's the nature of democracy.
Do you see us in a war in Central America in the near future. Don't think so on and I hope not I don't think so. I think we ought to do everything we can do both of those regime to find good resists the mystical. What role do you think the public demonstration had in whining. Well. And a comment that made public through Boise I said that Senator powers. Chairman the Armed Services Committee had said that the war was not lost on the battle. Not lost by the American military or he says are lost in the halls of Congress. Certainly the military did not lose a battle over the cost. But politically decided that we should pull out and that was not overburden time. First step was to turn the battle over to the south and east. And frankly I think that was done too much you are really not prepared to defend their shores and predatorial the.
Proximity of the hostile hostile. Elements to the north and moved on. And the fact that the prior peace agreement. Allowed 100000 troops for what amounted to our thousand troops to step in and you saw. Which I think was. An unfortunate part of the room. Where do you come down. Well it is a statement of fact. This was the first war that were hyped into the living room bedroom of America. The first tell of a televised war. It is a fact that it was the first war of America before without censorship. That censorship and war tour in which the censorship and career. Of this war were no censorship. Press for more or less given a free reign
on the. So this was a new experience for the media and for the military in the military. I think there's a lot to be learned by that and I can't say that I have the answers. But there are lessons to be learned in that regard. Through. My analysis of the psychological impact televising more American people you're out and I feel like me ask you feel how much control do you think the exercise that the government in a free and democratic society should exercise over reporting of the activities of that government abroad. I think we should draw a distinction and you have blissfully in your question. There's a difference between reporting a domestic. Moore And that's been developed much. And the reporting. Of
foreign news. And particularly the difference when our country's. Commitment and international commitment. I think the distinction has to be drawn that for some they feel that. The media should soften which many of them dead than the most of it not more which saw from the adversarial role the government. The media does for with and have a role among them a. I'm not a mother of a predecessor. As part of our system. When a commitment is made of our land and men whose lives are on the line. I'm not saying that they should be necessarily such or not. But I think in the future it will be through the
national interest. That they saw Fung. That this area will. And I'm not getting into the detail to what extent this was or was not done and that now history will pass judgment on that. I'm merely making the point that there's a difference. Between the reporting of the West to know where people know what's going on they know the country they know that if as of. The latest murder or rape or back robberies on the front page they know that's not doubled all of them are. But you make a foreign commitment. I think you got a little different situation. I asked the General how the war had changed the way he looks at the world. Well it was it was an unusual experience. There's no question about it. Sensors have an impact on the individual's outlook. Perhaps in the visual personality but the last person that could detect the individual
self. I happen to be in that boat. But I haven't needed needed psychiatric treatment. People likened the Vietnam War to a national wound that is not quite healed and I think in that analogy the veterans would be sort of like trapped know very deeply in the world that might lie dormant for here is likely to. Cause pain later on. Are we doing enough. It's our commitment to the veteran enough to leave. Doing what. I think the burden of caring that the receptivity. Oh I mean other than on that front was sent over there to do what is what the country wanted done. The truth can be very proud of this or you know the military and soldiers don't let us walk in they don't all vote for them at all and then the truth
is the truth should have been I think that the sad fact of the little commitment political matter. As Reagan's as it was a noble cause we were cautioned That's was the inaugural address was present with what he said it was and consciousness that before the commitment was idealistic when the cost became great looked which was inevitable because of the strength of the war when the bus became great for both the American pressure. But. What about our obligation
to them. I could interpret. That. Many many. Never universally but you don't hear about or are beginning to manifest the kind of conduct about our obligation is America after. The first. The first evidence that I
have been looking father with a better brain than in the society of the Custos. One final question. You did touch on earlier today. The missing in action. Are we doing enough about that. I don't think we've done enough. But I do believe that the regen the instruction and training that. I feel that. We should trace down every lead every report every side. Pressure on the review to trot over to the remaining. Who's policy were shot were men that. Lost their lives. I think. The perception that ever the picture of another ten year. It's an
obligation to record I believe that it's not. Like you very much. Retired Army General William Westmoreland in Boise yesterday. That's all the time we have for tonight. Join us tomorrow night when we'll have a look at the hot economic and civil rights issue of comparable pay for comparable work. Good night. Funding for Idaho reports is provided by the Friends of four 10 and 12.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a grant from the laurel Moore Cunningham foundation. That's our time for tonight will be back tomorrow. I'm Mark Johnson provide. The funding for this program is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the friends of four 10 and 12.
Idaho Reports
Comparable Pay and Westmoreland
Producing Organization
Idaho Public Television
Contributing Organization
Idaho Public Television (Boise, Idaho)
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Episode Description
In the first episode of Idaho Reports the issue of comparable pay is discussed. Comparable pay is making the pay for jobs with a high number of women similar to the pay for jobs with a high number of males. In the second episode of Idaho Reports former General William Westmoreland is interviewed.
Series Description
Idaho Reports is a talk show featuring conversations with panels of experts about Idaho state politics.
Copyright Date
Asset type
Talk Show
War and Conflict
Politics and Government
Copyright 1984
Media type
Moving Image
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Director: Eisele, Ted
Director: Spain, Russ
Director: Hagenlock, Al
Editor: Johnson, Marc
Guest: Ware, Jim
Guest: Thomas, Betsy
Guest: Skoro, Chuck
Host: McNeil, Jean
Interviewee: Westmoreland, William
Producer: Wissel, Paula
Producer: Richardson, Gary
Producer: Summerall, Ann
Producer: Reichert, Bruce
Producing Organization: Idaho Public Television
Wardrobe: Goddard, Leslie
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Idaho Public Television
Identifier: 97.0 (Idaho PTV Tape #)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 01:00:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Idaho Reports; Comparable Pay and Westmoreland,” 1984-01-01, Idaho Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 26, 2024,
MLA: “Idaho Reports; Comparable Pay and Westmoreland.” 1984-01-01. Idaho Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 26, 2024. <>.
APA: Idaho Reports; Comparable Pay and Westmoreland. Boston, MA: Idaho Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from