Is there one identifiable group that perpetrates more telephone "toll frauds" than any other group?
Yes, there is: college students.
Undergraduates by the hundreds try to cheat the Bell System by placing calls they hope will be charged to somebody else's account.
I have bad news for toll fraud perpetrators. Ma Bell is a canny old gal. She knows all the tricks because she has dealt with a thousand others who were even smarter and more larcenous than you are. And she has now run out of patience. Just as merchants wearied of being victimized by shoplifters and began prosecuting them, the Bell System has also decided to prosecute.
If you try to cheat the company out of its fee, you will learn to your sorrow that you have committed a criminal offense. You will be tracked down and prosecuted. In the end, you will wonder how an educated person could be so foolish as to to risk a criminal charge in order to save a dollar or two.
The Bell System security people are under orders to break up the racket. Don't say I didn't warn you. LOOPHOLES REVISITED
A recent column dealt with a newsletter that specializes in telling its readers how to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. I did not publish the newsletter's address.
The day that item appeared and for several days thereafter, readers phoned at a steady clip to ask for the address. They wanted to subscribe.
I explained to them that I didn't publish the address because I didn't want to drum up business for a group that sells advice on how to beat the tax laws. If the advice works, our tax structure is endangered. If it doesn't work, all the subscriber gets for his money is trouble with the IRS. Either way, I don't want to be involved.
Today I have a new one for you. It is called "Management Magic." A subscription solicitation for this one was sent to David H. Scull of Annandale and forwarded by him to me. The letter of solicitation indicates that if you subscribe you will learn:
"Four ways to get out of an ironclad lease."
How smart businessmen are winning tax deductions for money they spend on their hobbies and the cost of getting to work each day."
"Legal ways to keep union organizers off your premises."
"What you don't have to show a tax examiner."
"A time when you don't have to bargain with a union even though you've agreed to. NLRB will back you up."
"A quirk in the tax law that makes the 'Chapter XI Company' an especially attractive acquisition."
"How to transfer your business to your heirs tax free and walk away with an income for life that is partly tax exempt."
District Liner Schull's comment is, "When we talk about regulations that are too minute and burdensome on private business -- which clearly is often the case -- maybe we should be equally sensitive to the efforts made to wriggle through every loophole available, regardless of the intent of the law." All I have to say is: Please don't ask me where to write or call to subscribe to "Management Magic." SHOP TALK
Viola T. Aliff has two pet peeves that relate to newspapers. She is irked by lines of type that are missing from a story (and may or may not turn up elsewhere in that story or in some totally unrelated story). And she is annoyed by a story that ends in mid-sentence, as this one did recently:
"Jockey Rudy Turcotte allowed Cure The Blues to settle into stride and straighten away in the backstretch. There Turcotte asked the 2-year-old for speed, spurted past Century Prince and widened out to the wire by five lengths. The bay"
"The bay what?" Viola asks. "I thought your new typesetting process would eliminate things of this kind."
Yes and no. A story that breaks off in this manner is caused by a series of human errors, and human errors will always be with us. On the other hand "wild lines" (lines of type that turn up where they don't belong) are far less likely to occur now and may be almost completely eliminated. THESE MODERN TIMES
Which reminds me: Mrs. I. McFeely of Chevy Chase has sent me a little sticker that was probably set into type on a video display terminal. It says:
"To err is human. To really foul things up requires a computer."