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Plus All You Gan Steal—
(Continued From Page Six) The spirit of the times caught in little incidents, by occasional bursts of candor, such as one insurance ex ecutive loosed on a meeting of busi nessmen. "I'm in the insurance busi ness," he said. "My job is to protect business people against loss. But I'd be a phony if I stood up here and didn t admit that my four children have all gone through school and never spent a nickel on pencils, eras ers or paper pads , . ." The business men roared their amusement. At a large Philadelphia district of fice of a national corporation, an as sistant sales manager told one of his salesmen; "Joe, if you don't do better than this you'll have us all in hot water. Who ever heard of paying only $8 a night for a hotel? Or spending $1.75 for dinner? I don't care what you spend. 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In a New York publishing firm, the secretary of an editor regularly picks up the accounts of the sub-editors on the tenth of every month with the line, "All right, boys, time for your creative writing reports." It never fails to get a laugh. And even in the red-carpeted halls of the- National Council of Churches —according to a former executiv there is frequent, if muted, use of the term "swindle sheet" on expense-ac counting day. 10% PADDING, MINIMUM TEST OF COMPETENCY • ' Any competent expense - account writer can pocket 10 per cent of the amount he allegedly spends. If he's really savvy, he can put away as much as 50 per cent. On an annual expend iture (of record) of $2,500, any rea sonable larcenous man can net $800, or the equivalent of at least $1,000 in taxable income. One Chicago fork-lift-truck sales manager spent sixteen days winging around the nation to district sales offices. He turned in a tab for $850. He really spent just a little more than $500. When he ate liver, it be came steak on his report; a $1 cab ride became $3.75; a $10 hotel room grew into a $17.50 suite, and so on. A former executive of one of the largest television networks tells this Farm Electricity: Use Up; Cost Down WASHINGTON, D. C.—(CNS) — Farm people used 14% more elec tricity last year than in 1957, Agri culture Department spokesmen re port, The average farm family used 472 kilowatt hours a month, compared with 415 kilowatt hours in 1957. By using more, they paid 4% less for each kilowatt hour than in the pre vious year. story; One day, shortly after taking an administrative job, he was invited to lunch by a sub-functionary of one of the popular daytime serials. The executive was taken to New York's swank restaurant, the Colony, and treated to a lavish meal that cost his host no less than $45. When it became obvious that his host had nothing in particular to discuss with him, he be came curious. He decided to make a sub rosa study of all his co-workers' expense habits. He asked for, and got, his vice president's approval. He did not have far to look for clear evidence of syste matic cheating by all managerial em ployees. A typical example of the ex treme to which the practice was car ried was illustrated by one of the close friends of his original host who was a low-echelon unit manager of a now defunct quiz program. The man's weekly salary was $116.87. His week ly expense averaged $167. happen when I finished my study. If he thought he was through find- ing exorbitant items he was wrong. In the higher echelons, it wasn't unusual to find things like; "Flowers, for - 's opening, $25." "Those guys," he says, "had more friends with birthdays, openings, anniversa ries or funerals than you can imagine. And they always sent $25 worth of flowers. A $35,000-a-year man would typ ically spend $15,000 to $18,000 on expenses a year, much of which went for hard-to-check items like "home entertainment" of business associates. "At last, when I was done, I turned over my consolidated reports to the boss. He said something like, 'Good ness, this is terrible, I'll certainly tell the executive committee about this. . . .' I never heard anything more about it." NO PLACE FOR AN HONEST MAN The honest man, thoroughly disil lusioned, quit his job. "It goes on all the time. I know that. But I found myself torn between what I knew was right and what my friends thought was permissible. I said to hell with it. It wasn't worth it." This, admittedly, is an extreme ex ample, drawn from an extreme busi ness. In less volatile, less profitable, fields the expenditures are far more modest, but the technique is the same and the number who play the game is greater. The seers among us can make end less capital of the abundant signs of decay. Little of the above would be possible except that stealing is socially acceptable. No doubt a great deal of its acceptability is a result of«high in come taxes that encouragé men to find income that cannot be taxed. High living costs put pressure on the breadwinner to become a bread-steal er. So great are the rewards, and so few the risks, that the temptation is simply greater than any but the most ethical man can resist. Instead of industry asking, "Are we pricing ourselves out of the mar ket?" perhaps it had better ask it self, "Are we stealing ourselves out of the market?" ft 99 Medical Expenses Continue Upward The cost of medical care—which has climbed twice as fast as the gen eral consumer price level since 1947— will continue to soar upward, accord ing to a newsletter published by a New York consultants' firm. The newsletter attributed future medical care cost increases to the sta bility of the number of doctors pro duced by medical schools, the inability of consumers to postpone purchasing medical services, and the lack of con trol over new developments in the dis tribution of medical care. A study made by the consultants shows that today the average Ameri can spends 5.3 cents of each consum er dollar for medical care compared with an expenditure of 3.7 cents some 30 years ago. It reported that total U. S. expenditures for drugs and ap pliances during the 1947-57 decade climbed from $1.9 billion to almost four billion dollars. The newsletter also points out that while the American people have "rushed into" prepayment, insurance and employee welfare health insurance benefits "took of only $3.5 billion of the $15 billion total U. S. medical expenses in 1957. —IUD BULLETIN. programs, care >» "I found tab after tab," the execu tive told me, "for lunch at the Forum of the Twelve Caesars or Le Pavilion —both top-flight New York restaur ants—for three or four of his buddies with a total bill of $80 or $90. Then, the next day, one of the other four would put down the others for lunch at Twenty-One or the Colony with a similar bill. I don't think those guys ever went to any place more expensive than Chock Full O'Nuts, but you couldn't prove it by their expense ac counts." Shortly after beginning his investi gation, the executive went to the West Coast with his vice president on busi ness. "We got to a gift shop in San Francisco and he told me to buy a crystal vase for him. 'Put it on your expense account,' he said, with a wink, 'and I'll okay your account'. By then the zealous investigator began to realize he was tilting at a windmill. "I was shocked," he says, "and somehow I knew what would ' '