The continuing boom in gold is leading an increasing number of economists and monetary authorities to think about the unthinkable: a return to gold-backed currency. Trial balloons for remonetization of gold are now appearing every few weeks. Among them:
• In September the Wall Street Journal reported that the 11-member International Monetary Advisory Board had issued a report suggesting a return to gold-backed money. Among the 11 members are National Bureau of Economic Research president Martin Feldstein, University of Southern California economist Arthur Laffer, and several leading European bankers.
• All through October Business Week kept quoting European bankers who pointed out that US efforts to demonetize gold have failed miserably.
• The November 5 Fortune carried a major article by Martin Mayer (author of The Bankers) making the case that paper money has failed and the world economy needs to return to gold.
• Economist Laffer has taken the case to the public in a major article in the Los Angeles Times. Among other points, Laffer cited the price stability enjoyed by Great Britain for more than 200 years (from 1718 to 1930) while it was on a gold standard, compared to soaring inflation ever since.
Besides all this talk, transactions in the world economy increasingly point to a central role for gold. The French government is doing a booming business in bonds indexed to gold—the Giscard bonds. The pooled reserve fund of the new European Monetary System includes some $30 billion in gold, about two-thirds of its total. Singapore's is the only central bank officially in the gold market these days. But unofficially, according to both Mayer and Business Week, quite a number of other central banks are involved; among the suspected buyers are Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, and Japan.
What is absolutely beyond question is that no central banks other than the US Treasury are selling their gold. As Mayer points out, this is simply an international application of Gresham's Law:
Whatever the new rules are at the IMF, the world's monetary authorities want to keep gold as the convincing reserve behind their currencies—as the "good" money that everyone will accept in a crunch. And if the governments don't trust each other's paper, the world's private hoarders are unlikely to disgorge their gold.
Hasn't the US Treasury disposed of too much of its gold hoard to consider remonetization? Hardly. Since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, US gold reserves have declined by only eight percent. But their value has soared from $10 billion to over $90 billion during those same years. That's within hailing distance of the $140 billion in dollar holdings by foreign governments.
In view of all these developments, it seems to be only a matter of time until the details are worked out to restore some form of gold backing. Even Jimmy Carter seems inclined to agree. Asked about remonetization at a recent news conference, the president first said he doubted that it's a prospect but then quickly added, "Certainly not for this year."
Tax Revolt, International
The spirit of Proposition 13 is catching on in both West Germany and Great Britain. Or at least that's the hope of the organizers of new tax-revolt groups in both countries.
The German group is the six-month-old Citizens Party, founded by ex-tax-collector Hermann Fredersdorf. According to the New York Times, Fredersdorf hopes to do for his country what Howard Jarvis did for California. In the past decade German taxation has increased from 34 percent of earned income to a whopping 46 percent. As a result, resistance to taxes has become a solid political issue. A nationwide poll in 1978 showed 55 percent of the population willing to consider tax evasion. Fredersdorf's party hopes to take advantage of this new antitax sentiment. Its platform is based on less taxation, less bureaucracy, and more individual freedom, earning the label "liberal" in the classical (libertarian) sense.
Meanwhile, CUT, Britain's fledgling taxpayers' union (see Trends, Sept. 1979, p. 18) recently brought Howard Jarvis to speak in London. Jarvis wowed his Islington borough audience with the economic effects of Proposition 13 in California: 560,000 new jobs in the private sector, 25,000 fewer in the public sector. The news media ignored the speech, but it roused CUT's members to do the unprecedented: they are asking for a referendum on the scheduled 32 percent increase in local property taxes (the third major increase in three years). If the government grants the request, it will set an important precedent for the future, signaling the end of unquestioned government growth. If it turns CUT down, of course, the government will only add fuel to the fire of what could turn out to be a full-fledged British tax revolt.
Air Deregulation Benefits
On November 1, airline deregulation celebrated its first anniversary. What have been the results of this new competitive freedom?
To begin with, there has been a considerable expansion of service. Routes formerly served by one or two carriers often have five or six today. (A large fraction of new route awards have not yet led to actual airline service, because of shortages of both fuel and aircraft.) Some smaller cities, where service by large carriers was uneconomical, have experienced cutbacks, but in nearly every case commuter airlines have stepped into the breach. Commuter lines are growing by leaps and bounds as a direct result of deregulation.
Now that entry to the industry is no longer controlled, there have been changes in its composition. Former intrastate lines—PSA, Air California, Air Florida, and Southwest—have quickly branched out across state lines. Regional carriers have added new longer-range routes, with Allegheny changing its name to USAir (to reflect its larger market) and North Central merging with Southern to become Republic Airlines. Pan Am is merging with National, to acquire domestic routes so long denied it under CAB regulation. And one wholly new airline made its debut in November—Midway Airlines, based at Chicago's little-used Midway Airport and offering service initially to Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City with three DC-9s.
What about prices? Has all that new competition really led to lower prices? It turns out that despite rising fuel and labor costs and some increases in basic fare levels, the average price paid by air travelers has, in fact, decreased. In August 1977 the average US airline passenger paid 8.11 cents per mile; in August 1979 the corresponding figure was only 7.97 cents—a 1.7 percent decrease, in current-dollar terms. But once the effects of two years of inflation are factored in, the real decrease is more like 22 percent, despite soaring fuel costs. So by that measure, too, deregulation must be counted a success.
Even environmentalists have something to cheer about. Because of increased load factors caused by price competition (that is, a higher percentage of seats filled, meaning fewer flights with loads of empty seats), the amount of fuel consumed by the airlines will be 22 percent less by 1981 compared with what it would have been had regulation continued. So concluded the CAB's recently released environmental impact statement on deregulation.
What caused the stock market crash 50 years ago, initiating the Great Depression? For years, Keynesian economists have told us that there was insufficient purchasing power among consumers and that government had to assume a major role in the economy, stimulating demand to ensure that all production could be purchased. Monetarist economists have argued that too much money prior to the crash and too little afterwards was the chief culprit—and urged government to manage the money supply more wisely. And many commentators blamed the crash on excessive speculation, lending support to government interventions to control the operation of stock and commodity markets.
What if all these explanations are wrong? If that were the case, many of the props would be cut from under the vast government structure created in the wake of the crash and the depression. But could they all be wrong?
Economic analyst Jude Wanniski thinks they are all wrong. And in a recent Wall Street Journal commentary he presented his alternate explanation. The key to it is the theory of "efficient markets"—that transactions in the marketplace reflect new information nearly instantaneously, showing up in changes in prices.
Wanniski's theory is that news of the imminent passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff and anticipation of its disastrous effects on world trade and commerce directly precipitated the crash. The tariff—a huge increase in duties on 20,000 commodities—was virtually certain to lead to retaliation by other governments. And Wanniski believes stock market traders could foresee these effects. He chronicles the slide in the Dow Jones Index during September and October of 1929 as it became more and more certain that the bill would pass. The market decline continued for three years, bottoming out at a DJI of 41, only reversing at the time of FDR's nomination in 1932—on an antitariff platform.
While Wanniski's theory is not proven, he points out that it is the one explanation that accounts for the fact that stock markets crashed around the globe, not just in the United States. Moreover, it is consistent with the classical economic view, summed up in Say's Law, that "supply creates its own demand," that is, that there is no need for government to stimulate demand, since markets do this quite well if they're left free to create supply—free, that is, of such interventions as tariff walls.
Exchange Controls Axed
In another step toward increased economic freedom, the government of Margaret Thatcher has abolished Britain's World War II-era exchange controls. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Geoffrey Howe told Parliament: "There will from tomorrow be full freedom to buy, retain, and use foreign currency for travel, gifts, and loans to nonresidents, buying property overseas, and investments in all foreign currency securities. Portfolio investments will be wholly freed and the foreign currency securities need no longer be deposited with an authorized depository."
REASON correspondent Antony Flew reports from London that the inspiration for this move was a 1979 monograph from the free-market think tank Institute for Economic Affairs—Exchange Controls for Ever? written by Robert Miller and John Wood. Once again, we are seeing the power of ideas to change the world.
South African Progress
The last few months have seen an acceleration of the South African government's attempt to dismantle portions of apartheid. While the structure itself remains standing (the pass laws, for example, have even been strengthened), more and more of its bricks are being removed, under the one-year-old government of Prime Minister Pieter W. Botha.
Early in 1979 the government made important changes concerning the townships where urban blacks live. Residents are now allowed to hold 99-year leases on their homes, rather than simply renting them—and may soon be allowed outright ownership. Previous restrictions against commercial developments in the townships have been abolished, allowing stores and shopping centers to be built. The result will be the evolution of places like Soweto from giant housing projects into full-fledged communities.
In addition, nearly all of the white-only restrictions on jobs have been eliminated, largely prompted by a massive shortage of skilled labor. Since 1971 the number of Asians and Coloureds employed in professional and technical fields has grown by 71 percent; black employment in those fields, by 49 percent. And "petty apartheid" continues to be dismantled. Theaters, hotels, and restaurants are now free to become "multiracial," and "white only" signs have been removed from many public facilities like airport restrooms and Capetown buses. Multiracial team sports continue to expand.
But the most important changes have occurred in the past few months. Botha's government in October announced that from then on all black workers would have full union rights, the same as whites. Until then, only blacks classified as "permanent residents" could join unions; that excluded the two million from the tribal homelands who work in urban areas.
The next day Botha caused a sensation by announcing that the government would consider changing the Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act, which prohibit marriage and sexual relationships between people of different races. Leaders of the Dutch Reformed and Methodist Churches hailed the news, as did leaders of the opposition Progressive Federal Party. "Those acts are among the foundations of apartheid," said PFP leader Kowie Marais. "If he is serious about scrapping them, the PFP will applaud it as a step in the right direction." Marais pointed out that similar laws were abolished several years ago in Namibia "without the sky falling."
The government has given early retirement to its chief censor, J.H. Snyman, whose policies were proving to be an embarrassment to Botha's government. (Snyman was responsible some years ago for banning the children's book Black Beauty.) And the government, on appeal from a censorship decision, lifted the ban on Nadine Gordimer's new novel Burger's Daughter. The country's leading English-language newspaper, The Rand Daily Mail, had made the ban moot by publishing the full 3,000-word text of the decision banning the book, complete with quotations of all the "offensive" passages.
Finally, the government is also studying changes in the country's political structure. To begin with, it is considering expansion of the tribal homelands to make them more viable, economically and politically. A commission under Minister of Cooperation and Development Piet Koornhof is studying a federal structure in which not only Asians and Coloureds but also urban blacks from the townships would be represented. This would reverse the present policy in which township blacks are considered citizens of distant homelands that many have never even seen.
These changes are not coming easily. Botha's National Party was rebuffed at the polls in special elections early in October, as conservative voters stayed home in droves and those who did vote cut the party's winning margin by half, compared with the 1977 general elections. Nevertheless, Botha's policy of "adapt or die" seems to be unshakable, boding well for the future of liberty in South Africa.
Free-Market Energy Solution
Yet another study on the energy crisis has concluded that a return to the free market offers the best hope for solving our problems. This time it's a Ford Foundation study, carried out by a 19-member task force assembled by Resources for the Future. Titled Energy: The Next 20 Years, it pulls no punches in its analysis and conclusions.
Declaring that the United States "is not running out of energy," it proposes rapid decontrol of oil prices without a windfall profits tax. The higher prices will spur both conservation and the search for alternative fuels, while higher profits will lead to expanded domestic oil exploration and production. Natural gas pricing should also be decontrolled, for the same reasons. In fact, says the study, decontrol of oil and gas, together with changes in electricity rate structures, is the most important action that can be taken to encourage conservation.
"In general, we say reduce the role of the government wherever you can," says Hans Lansberg, chairman of the task force. Which represents quite an about-face for a study funded by the Ford Foundation, which only a few years ago underwrote the 1971-74 Energy Policy Project that produced the notoriously wrong-headed study A Time to Choose.
Private School Victory
The North Carolina legislature has passed bills eradicating that state's control over private schools, and the court promptly strengthened the legislation. Faced with a legal battle between the Department of Public Instruction and private school groups resisting the department's enforcement of state rules on their schools, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that state control of private schools had already been decided by the legislature.
Some of the specific regulations pushed by the Department of Public Instruction would have required that:
• all private schools be approved by the State Board of Education before beginning operation;
• all teachers and the curriculum in private schools be approved by the DPI;
• private school classes run concurrently with the terms in public schools;
• attendance records be kept and reported to the state;
• instruction in private schools be "substantially the same" as in public schools;
• private schools participate in the state's student testing program;
• any schools not meeting state requirements be closed.
The new legislation dismisses all curriculum, teacher, attendance, and term requirements and substitutes the following requirements:
• Intent to start a school must be reported to the state school superintendent.
• Health, fire, and sanitation rules applicable to all public facilities must be met.
• Private schools must administer their own student testing programs.
With this victory under their belts, opponents of State power predict that the next battleground will concern home education. Inquiries on this subject increased from 2 to 30 in 1978, and the North Carolina attorney general has issued an opinion that parents do not have the right to educate their children at home. The question will probably end up in court, and if its action this time around is any indication, the North Carolina Supreme Court may give educational freedom another boost.
The FTC vs. the AMA
Concurring with a 1978 commission finding that the American Medical Association and its affiliates have engaged in a "conspiracy to restrain competition," the Federal Trade Commission late in 1979 ordered the AMA to lift all restrictions on doctors' advertising. The FTC ruling called the restriction a violation of federal antitrust law and further barred the AMA from taking disciplinary action against doctors who participate in health-maintenance organizations, which charge a set annual fee to patients and pay doctors a fixed salary.
The AMA responded with a press conference at which it roundly denounced the ruling and threatened to appeal the order to the federal courts. The powerful organization has a membership of about 200,000—53 percent of all the nation's physicians and 72 percent of office-based physicians—and seems disturbed by the free-market implications of the order.
FTC Commissioner David A. Clanton, in an accompanying opinion, wrote that "ethical principles of the medical profession have prevented doctors and medical organizations from disseminating information on the prices and services they offer, thus severely inhibiting competition among health-care providers." The AMA is specifically ordered not to interfere with the amount or form of compensation requested by doctors.
The new ruling, however, softened the 1978 recommendation that would have barred the AMA from regulating doctors' advertising for a period of two years. It now allows the organization to immediately adopt "reasonable ethical guidelines" for advertising.
Professionals are rapidly becoming the target of federal antitrust rulings. Witness the recent elimination of the ban on advertising by lawyers and the FTC attempt to end bans on eyeglass advertising. The FTC is now eyeing the AMA's control over such programs as Blue Shield, which may be a factor in large medical bills.
Refugees Hard at Work
According to a government survey, most of the 160,000 Vietnamese refugees who have relocated to the United States since May 1975 are self-supporting. More than half report monthly incomes of $800 or more.
Initially, some Americans feared that the refugees would end up on the public dole because of cultural and language differences. The refugees, however, quickly took low-paying jobs all over the country, and today 90 percent of their income is from wages and salaries. Even among those Vietnamese who can't speak English, 90 percent have found employment.
After a monthly fee of $10, Sprint Ltd. will charge you only 49 cents for a 4½-minute call between Los Angeles and Reno between 5:00 PM and 8:00 AM—a charge that is 59 percent cheaper than the $1.22 the Bell System currently charges.
The Sprint service is being offered by SP Communications, a subsidiary of Southern Pacific Transportation Co. Lower long-distance costs aren't new to the business community, but this is the first time residential consumers will have a chance to cut their long-distance phone bills, SPC says the service is available in 80 metropolitan areas and doesn't require any new wiring or equipment other than the regular push-tone telephone.
The service is a result of the current legal atmosphere that is looking benignly on telecommunications competition. Even President Carter, no fan of the free market, admitted that he will support telephone deregulation measures in Congress, saying new technology has invalidated the concept of telecommunications as "natural monopolies." Rep. Lionel van Deerlin, chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee, introduced a bill early last year calling for an overhaul of communications legislation, including the deregulation of television broadcasters, but it died for lack of congressional and industry support.
In a related development, the Federal Communications Commission tentatively agreed to provide the microwave frequencies requested by Xerox Corp. to set up a satellite communications network. Xerox's proposal would avoid using overloaded telephone lines for the local portions of the system, relying instead on a microwave network that could handle one quality page of text or graphics per second.
Who Owns the Airwaves, Continued
The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial lauding the Federal Communications Commission for lifting restrictions on cable and pay television, went one step further and called for the abolition of the "Fairness Doctrine" and of "equal-time" provision for election coverage as obsolete and counterproductive. The editorial noted that the proliferation of radio and television stations with the channel possibilities of UHF, cable, and satellite transmission offer a rich potential for lively debate between stations.
The Fairness Doctrine makes it impossible for any one station to take a controversial stand on an issue or politician, since it must either give valuable air time to present opposing views or risk losing its license. There are presently more than 8,000 radio stations all over the country struggling to sit on the "equal time" fence. Two proposals recently rejected by the FCC sought to concretize this nebulous provision by specifying how much time should be shared and on which issues.
In October 1979, however, the FCC did decide to stop requiring licenses for antennas to receive satellite transmissions of radio or television frequencies. At the time, there were 2,500 reception-only earth stations, with several hundred applicants on file. The delicensing will save applicants the usual $1,500 to $3,000 cost and the 90-day delay and will allow any size antenna to be built.
The philosophy of the free market seems to be gaining a new foothold in several socialized countries, including Canada, Great Britain, France, and Italy.
The most dramatic changes have been in Margaret Thatcher's new government in England (see Trends, Nov. 1979). Business Week reports that Thatcher places Nobel laureate free-market economist Friedrich Hayek's classic Road to Serfdom high on her list of required reading. Her key economic advisors are free-marketers from the Center for Policy Studies and the Institute for Economic Affairs. Hence, Britain's denationalization efforts proceed from a sound intellectual basis.
Closer to home, Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark has gone ahead with his campaign platform to privatize a number of Canada's 400-plus government-owned companies, whose assets total over $28 billion. Latest reports say the Progressive Conservative government has earmarked nine companies for sale, with a new 10-person Privatization Task Force set up to work out the details.
Several provinces in Canada are independently coming to the same free-market conclusion about their finances. The Manitoba government sold off its interests in several concerns, and the British Columbia government conceived a distribution scheme for its privatization efforts that may be the model for the national government. It gave each eligible resident five shares in British Columbia Resources Investment Corp. and offered each resident up to 5,000 more common shares at $6 each. More than $367 million worth of stock was purchased—twice what was expected.
France and Italy are being much more cautious about denationalization and are hanging on to the concept of natural monopolies. Prime Minister Raymond Barre in France has moved toward cutting back government subsidies in electricity and transportation. He tried to decontrol bread prices two years ago but had to restore them to ease the bite of inflation. The new government is attempting to move capital away from inefficient industries into rapid-growth industries such as electronics, together with a gradual decontrol of industrial prices.
Even the socialist Italian government has decided to stop nationalizing ailing industries and to opt for less government intervention. The state holding company is looking for a buyer for the nationalized Alfa-Romeo automobile unit, which is losing money.
It all adds up to improved prospects for individual freedom—unless worsening inflation and unemployment intimidate irresolute and vulnerable politicians into backing off from a strong dose of free-market medicine.
Minor OK. A government-financed report on Britain's law making sexual relations illegal for persons under 16 has concluded that the law is now obsolete, as it fails to recognize consenting sexual relationships among the young. It further states that fear of prosecution causes young couples to shy away from contraception and to delay admitting pregnancy. "Adequate protection is given to young girls by the existing laws relating to criminal assault, sexual offenses," the report argues.
Legalizing Pot at Its Roots. An influential group of Colombians is campaigning to legalize marijuana, a crop worth some $1.4 billion wholesale and grown by about 30,000 families in Colombia. Ernesto Samper Pizano, president of the National Association of Financial Institutions (a Colombian think tank), is leading the fight with an eight-month study on the effects of legalization. Colombia could have saved the $120 million spent last year suppressing the cultivation of marijuana, he says, and rid the country of the corruption and violence surrounding its illegal trade. Marijuana farmers, the study found, only get about eight percent of the earnings, with the bulk of the money going to middlemen and smugglers. Most Colombian business leaders support the legalization move. The Colombian government, naturally, opposes it.
Judge Backs Tax Resistance. A recent decision by a federal judge in California could strengthen widespread resistance to a 1978 Labor Department's ruling requiring religious schools to participate in unemployment programs. Six states have risked decertification by refusing to collect such taxes, and another six have been sued by the Labor Department. In September, US District Court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer ruled that California cannot collect unemployment insurance or disability taxes from about 100 church-sponsored schools. It was the first time a federal judge ruled for the religious schools against the DOL.
Small Business vs. OSHA. Mel Salwasser, owner of a small manufacturing plant in Reedley, California, refused to let a state safety inspector into his plant. The inspector left, came back with a search warrant, and was again refused admittance. A lower court decision imposed penalties on Salwasser for his actions, but the state court of appeals upheld Salwasser's appeal, stating that, since criminal penalties are involved, there must be a showing of cause that a violation exists before a warrant may be issued. The Salwasser ruling makes it even more difficult for government inspectors these days, after last year's Supreme Court ruling that warrants are required for federal OSHA inspections.
Tax-Limit Victories. Tax limitation measures have been enacted by voters in California and Washington. California voters approved Paul Gann's Proposition 4 by a whopping three-to-one margin, while voters in the state of Washington passed a weaker spending limit by two-to-one.
Private Fire Department Suit. The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Hall County Board of Commissioners' decision to hire a private company to replace the county's 89-member fire department. But it didn't save the commissioners, who because of their decision have all been voted out of office in a recall election, even though it saved taxpayers $180,000 in its first year. Fire and ambulance services are being provided by the Georgia Rural/Metro Fire Department under a contract that began last March.
Olympics Aid. City Controller Ira Reiner of Los Angeles, site of the 1984 Olympics, is running an initiative campaign to prevent the city from spending any funds—no matter the source—on the Olympic Games. This move resulted from LA Mayor Tom Bradley's request to the federal government for $141 million to build new facilities and rehabilitate old ones, despite the opposition of LA residents. One poll, commissioned by Democratic Rep. Charles Wilson, showed a whopping 85 percent of those polled to be against the use of public money for the games.
OTRAG Update. While Otrag, the private space-launching company, still retains its holdings in Zaire, it is no longer allowed to launch rockets from that site. Otrag plans to launch its next three test missions from a vessel at sea, while negotiating with six other nations concerning sites. In financial trouble, the company has managed to raise some $67 million from about 1,400 German investors.
Nuisance Tax Removed. California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation abolishing the property tax on inventories, which cost businesses $216.5 million in 1978 and spurred the growth of warehousing developments in Nevada and other surrounding states. The levy, with a March 1 assessment date, had been causing economic dislocation annually, as the 325,000 California businesses rushed to sell off or move their inventories out of state before the deadline.
ICC Opens up the Roads. The Interstate Commerce Commission has adopted a new policy that views competition as beneficial rather than as necessitating protection of existing carriers. It dropped a 43-year-old requirement forcing an applicant for bus or truck operating rights to prove that the carriers already on the market couldn't perform the new service as well. The ICC, in a separate move, also released a staff study calling for major deregulation of intercity buses. It urges complete deregulation of both passenger and package rates.
Massachusetts Joins Revolt. Of the 115 (out of 351) Massachusetts municipalities that have announced their property tax rates for the year ending June 1980, 76 have cut back their levies, 12 have maintained the same tax, and only 27 have increased taxes. Massachusetts Gov. Edward J. King predicts that 70 percent of the state's municipalities will reduce their property tax rates, with a significant number staying even. Massachusetts has long had the highest property taxes in the United States.
Chile's Trade Unions. Chile's Labor Minister Jose Pinera has announced a new labor code that allows union elections through secret ballots, the right to strike for up to 60 days, and voluntary membership in labor organizations. It also strikes down the powerful Central Labor Federation and allows unions to be formed only by the employees of a company. Andres Zaldivar, president of the banned Christian Democratic Party, criticized the new code for aiming to establish in Chile "an extreme right-wing and individualist society incompatible with our culture and traditions."
Rental Rights. An owner of apartments is well within his rights to refuse to rent to people with children. So ruled the California Court of Appeals, unanimously upholding a lower court ruling. "In the panoply of personal liberties guaranteed by our laws and our Constitution, none is more basic nor more essential to human survival than an infant's unfettered right to cry when it is hungry," wrote the court. "But in a court of law, that right stands on an equal footing with a landlord's right to the quiet enjoyment of his property. The Wolfsons' constitutional right to bear children does not encompass the right to raise them in plaintiffs apartment, against plaintiffs wishes, and in contravention of a covenant to which they themselves agreed."