During this holiday season, please remember the neediest:
This year has not been a very happy one for Martin M. Once quietly successful, he has had more than his share of public embarrassment in recent months. Late last summer, he was kidnapped and tortured, escaping only after the payment of a debilitating ransom.
The anguish and humiliation of that terrifying experience had hardly begun to fade before the federal government began taking action to deprive Martin M. of the offspring he hoped would support him in his old age.
One child, Pershing II, is unloved by its European stepparents and may be taken away from Martin M. in an international dispute between the United States and Russia. The other, MX, is now little more than a memory, stripped from Martin M.'s nest by Congress. Martin M. has already suffered enough this year. Won't you make 1983 a happier one for him?
These days, Bethlehem S.'s once-steely countenance is stained with tears. No one seems to want what this ironman has to offer. As he makes his rounds of the nation, Bethlehem S. finds his wares rejected, either because his customers no longer can afford them or because they now favor those made of plastic, or aluminum, or those that can be purchased more cheaply from peddlers with foreign names.
The fires that once blazed within Bethlehem S. are now banked, and he wonders whether he -- and his friends like U. S., Republic, and Inland--are dinosaurs with no future. Won't you please help Bethlehem S. have a happy new year?
Like many in these troubled times, Braniff A. found herself consumed by debt. Too many credit purchases and not enough income left her deeply in the red. Even the sale of some of her belongings to friends couldn't raise enough to keep the bills paid.
At considerable embarrassment to herself and her standing in Texas society, Braniff A. was forced into bankruptcy court. She laid off most of her help and soon found herself unable even to reimburse the former servants for their loyalty and longevity. A West Coast relative's attempt to provide help came to naught. Today, Braniff A. is grounded and forlorn. Won't you help?
Not very long ago, General M. was the master of all he surveyed. With his offspring -- Chevy, Caddy, Pontiac, Buick and Olds -- he commanded an industry and oversaw vast changes in the American way of life in this century. But General M. now finds himself outranked.
Invaders from the East have usurped his former position as a captain of industry and left him gasping for breath. His former comrades-in-arms in this country are even worse off, all but trampled by the onslaught. Outflanked and surrounded, General M. has fought back valiantly, but the battle has been a losing one, and the foreign hordes keep hitting our shores in ever-increasing numbers. Barring a stunning reversal, General M. can only hope for help from a patriotic public.
Like all mothers, American T&T wanted what was best for her children. She nurtured and supported them as they became a success in their chosen field, then sat back and enjoyed their bounty. Unlike many children, they even called her regularly.
But now, the government says "Ma Bell" is more like Ma Barker, running an organization that threatens the national wealth and well-being. The government wants to separate Ma from most of her children and leave them to make it on their own in the world--a world, their mother worries, that is too cutthroat for her babies.
As you celebrate the joys of the holidays with your family, please remember a mother who may not have many more joyous days with hers.
The list goes on and it's easy sometimes to poke fun at Big Business, especially when its problems are of its own making. But behind the seemingly anonymous corporate faces are millions of workers doing their best to put out a product or perform a service, even as management blunders above them or the economy buffets the company around them.
This year, many of those dedicated workers are jobless, for one or both of those reasons. As we enjoy our own good cheer, our thoughts should be with those nearly 12 million Americans who faced the holidays unemployed.