32 / CHRONICLESntax is being diverted to the ethanolnindustry. And the new legislaturenvoted, after long debate, to keep thentax break; after all, they’d promised.nIf our legislators had had the Iowanreport in front of them back then, theynwould have known that “direct andnflexible methods of assistance, such asnloans, grants, and principal and interestnbuydowns, are much to be preferrednover tax concessions, which arenblunt instruments.” (Oh, this is purenpoetry!) Tax concessions are hard tonfocus, adjust, and remove — evennwhen they’re no longer needed. Andnother businesses will expect similarntreatment. The “likely consequences”:n”erosions of the tax system’s ability tongenerate revenue and its public acceptability.”nI couldn’t have said it betternmyselfnThere’s more, much more. Hownabout a grassroots vindication ofnBOOKS IN BRIEFnCharles Murray’s Losing Ground:n”The state should move cautiously innexpanding assistance, because it is difficultnto determine whether assistancengenerates benefits commensurate withnits costs. … As a practical matter,nassistance programs cannot be expandednto meet the ‘demand’ [read ‘desire’]nfor assistance.” Or this: “A businessnseeking state assistance should ordinarilynbe required to obtain most of itsnfunding from private lenders” becausenit’s a good indication of the business’snviability. Or the suggestion that a statenshould engage in information andn”marketing” programs only if (a) thenstate does have a good business climatenand (b) segments of the business worldndon’t know it. Or this: In spite ofnlegislative turnover, the state mustnhave a “formal and explicit” commitmentnto “tax system stability.”nThis is subversive stuff!nNative Land: Sagas of the Indian Americas, by Jamake Highwater, Boston: Little, Brownnand Company; $24.95. In flowing, occasionally “poetic” prose, Highwater, himself annIndian, examines the legacy of his people “in this ancient land newly named America.”nClosed Borders: The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement by Alan Dowty, NewnHaven, CT: Yale University Press; $20.00. A professor of political science at Notre Dame,nDowty pleads for “open borders that would allow individuals to emigrate or immigrate atnwill.” Unfortunately, in his examination of “rights,” the professor forgets that not onlyn”individuals” would partake of “freedom of movement,” so would the masses. Dowty mightnchange his outlook if he had to face a crowd of Salvadoran campesinos camping out in hisnbackyard.nThe Selling of Fidel Castro: The Media and the Cuban Revolution, edited by William E.nRatliff, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books; $19.95. A concise and clear look at thenshame of the American media, in a typical episode.nCuban Communism, edited by Irving Louis Horowitz, New Brunswick, NJ: TransactionnBooks; $19.95. Heavy, documented, unrelenting, this atlas of a disaster impassionatelynrecords the agony of a nation. Ninety miles away from the United States, a totalitarianndictatorship flourishes—invisible or disguised—because recognition would demand action.nThe U.S., once mindful of its back door, may wish the problem to go away, but it will not.nPowerful diseases demand powerful medicines, which may either hurt or be barely palatable.nImages and Identities: The Puerto Rican in Two World Contexts, edited by Asela Rodrigueznde Laguna, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books. “At that time (1960’s) we alignednourselves politically with the Blacks, thereby defining ourselves as a people of color. . . .nPrograms such as Affirmative Action, bilingual education, and open enrollment in collegesnand universities were implemented,” writes Nicholasa Mohr of the trials and tribulations ofnPuerto Ricans, or “Nuyoricans,” in their self-imposed exile. Unfortunately, ethnic pride in an”nation of nations” such as the USA, while useful for a particular ethnic group, is disruptivenof the whole, as homegrown politicians in various immigrant countries of origin know so welln(e.g., suppression of the Miskito Indians in Nicaragua, genocide of Hungarians in Romania,nBulgarian annihilation of Turks, Albanian extermination of Greeks, etc., etc.).nSpanish American Writing Since 1941: A Critical Survey by George R.’ McMurray, NewnYork: Ungar; $19.50. An extremely useful reference text for anyone interested in thenflourishing art of letters “south of the border.”nCanaima by Romulo Gallegos, Norman, OK: The University of Oklahoma Press; $19.95. Anveritable thesaurus of savagery, this novel by a major Venezuelan writer ponders on thenmeeting of man and jungle. “The whole land,” writes Gallegos, “is sown with mirrors wherenyou can see the most distant and confused things. The point is to look at them withoutndisgust.”nnnWhat’s most amazing here, perhaps,nis the unashamed defense andnpromotion of free enterprise byn—forgive me—bureaucrats. They declarenoutright that they can’t “controlnthe geographic and industrial patternnof economic activity in Iowa; that isnbest determined by free market choices.”nThey admit that “policies do notnthemselves create jobs,” and that thenultimate success of the state’s economynwill be determined as it has alwaysnbeen: by private investments. Thenwriters understand that their job isnmerely to encourage private investment.nThis study was mandated by Iowa’snDemocratic legislature and, accordingnto Lane Palmer, one of the directors,nhas bipartisan support in both houses,nas well as the support of the state’snRepublican governor. Sometimes thenworld does make sense.nJane Greer lived the first half of hernlife in Iowa.nLetter From Albionnby Andrei NavrozovnHow I Expanded My MindnA few weeks ago I went to Munich tonsee a dentist. The meaning of thatnexperience had not dawned on me innall its vastness until recently.nThe very word “travel” is repugnantnto me. I have never used it to describenmy movements, since I always feel Inam going somewhere for a reason (atntimes, admittedly, rather trivial). Butnto feel otherwise, in my system ofnvalues, would be indecent.nYet all around me people travel.nOne spends a truly unforgettable Venetiannholiday in the worldly atmospherenof the Excelsior and the cozynintimacy of the Des Bains. Anothernchooses Porto Cervo, the heart ofnCosta Smeralda, staying, perhaps, atnthe Cala di Volpe. At any rate, thentravel brochures they receive in thenmail suggest that they might.nAt last, it seemed, I had the opportunitynof finding out more about thennature of such shameless indulgence.nThe ostensible reason for the journeynmade for the flimsiest of pretexts, yet itnsufficed to quiet the first pangs of myn