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August 13, 1963 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1963-08-13

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r Seventy-Third Year
Truth Will Prevail"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Control Rests in

Varied Hands

Gerstaeker TX Plan
Hardly Helps State,

guaranteed plan to save the state from fis-
cal chaos these days, it seems; and if their own
particular cause should happen to be advanced
at the same time, so much the better. Among
the latest persons to approach Gov. George
Romney with a sure-fire scheme of tax reform
s Carl A. Gerstacker, chairman of the board
of Dow Chemical Co.
Gerstacker's idea, along with the usual in-
come-tax mumbo-jumbo, is wholesale dispersal
of land now owned by the state to private
A, 14
C omon Man
THE COMMON MAN lost a faithful friend
and devoted servant Saturday when Sen.
Estes Kefauver (D-Tenn) died suddenly. He
iad served the public well in his dozen years
n the Senate and his untimely death leaves a
arge gap in the small rank of senators who
think of public welfare first and private
nterests second.
Kefauver was a man of courage, unflinchingly
ighting Tennessee bosses, organized crime or
wealthy monopoly. His work against adminis-
ered prices and monopolistic and shady drug
practices had done much to lead to their cor-
Unfortunately, Kefauver is best known for
his war on organized crime and the gaudy
elevision hearings he presided over. This, in
etrospect, was only a minor part of his
areer. Although these hearings catapulted the
Tennessee senator into the national limelight,
and fueled two unsuccessful bids for the presi-
lency, his later studies of administered prices
and drug practices earn him a more meaningful.
[N THESE PROBES Kefauver demonstrated'
that the steel industry rigs its prices with-
ut consideration of the-market and the resul-
ant outcry has helped stabilize steel prices
ver the last four years. His thorough inves-
igation exposed hidden American economic
heory and practices.
Senators favoring or inclined to special in-
erests blunted Kefauver's legislative efforts
y refusing to prosecute defiant steel execu-
ives for contempt, but Kefauver continued on,
xposing this monopolistic outrage.
The drug hearings laid the groundwork for
mproved drug industry controls demanded
after the thalidomide scare. Unfortunately,
hey did not extend to pricing as Kefauver
Kefauver was a fighter for economic justice
and against unfair, price-raising practices of
ndustry. He did not always win, but his per-
3istent efforts yielded some progress. His dogged
letermination will be missed.

concerns, such as (surprise!) Dow Chemical
Co. for example. He suggests that many large
holdings, totaling approximately 250,000 acres,
would be better off in the hands of industry
than sitting around doing nothing except pos-
sibly adding to the beauty of Michigan. Ac-
cording to Gerstacker, sale of such lands would
provide the state with revenue at the same time
that it would open a whole new vista of tax-
able funds.
At the moment, about 12 per cent of Michi-
gan's land is in such a "non-productive" state.
Such land includes state forests, recreation
areas and game refuges, most of which have
been owned by the state ever since the land
reverted to the state through non-payment of
taxes. This was back .around the, turn of the.
century, after logging interests had done all
they could to reduce the area to a barren ex-,
panse of unsightly (and non-taxable) tree
stumps. Now that the taxpayers of Michigan
have made it possible for these lands to be-
come places of scenic beauty again, it would
be more than reprehensible, it would be down-
right disastrous for such interests as have al-
ready shown an interest in these lands to be
allowed to start the whole vicious circle all over
FURTHERMORE, the claim that such area's
are "non-productive" is as transparent a
boondoggle as anyone could possibly imagine.
Recently-published figures show that income
from the sale of gas and oil alone in these
areas netted the state more than $753,000, thus
bringing the total income from these allegedly
non-productive areas, since 1927, to more than
$21 million, All this comes about to a great ex-
tent from the fact that these lands provide
Michigan with the means for one of, its great-
est industries: tourism. And yet if Gerstacker
and his fellow industrialists had their way, this
income from the land which they are so quick
to label "non-productive" would become "pro-
ductive" again in the only way that Gerstacker
and his ilk seem to be capable of comprehend-
ing: the accumulation of funds in the pockets
of the worthy gentlemen of Dow Chemical Co.
and other concerns.
Last year, $18 million went into the state
treasury from the sale of selected acreage of
state-owned timberland. The state has shown
that it can make a tidy profit from these lands
as it is, without reverting to the sort of wild-
eyed and short-sighted ideas of the industrial
big shots. There is no reason to suppose that
the same will not be true next year, or the year
after that. There is no reason to suppose that
the state will be better off living off the taxes
it could get from Dow Chemical Co. than from
the money which will accrue from the normal
course of Michigan's growing tourist trade. In
short, there is no reason whatsoever why Gov.
Romney, in his search for a feasible program
of tax reform, should bother with Gerstacker's
proposal any longer than it takes to deposit
it in the nearest circular file.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: With its pre-
liminary events begining tomorrow
and the National Student Congress
starting Sunday, Student Govern-
ment Council member and Michi-
gan USNSA region president Ho-
ward Abrams views the operations
of the NSC in the first of two ar-
Daily Guest Writer
IN THIS ARTICLE, there are two
topics I wish to cover: the poli-
tical dynamic of the National Stu-
dent Congress and the National
Student Congress and a discussion
of likely issues.
The National Student Congress
is the annual legislative governing
assembly of the United States Na-
tional Student Association (US-
NSA). It brings together about 500
or more voting delegates from
member schools across the country
plus about another 500 alternates,
observers, etc. It lasts for about
two weeks of hectic sessions of
workshops, discussions, commit-
tees, subcommittees, legislative as-
semblies, elections; and politicing.
It is in many ways a nightmare
combination of time pressure, lud-
icrous interludes, impassioned 'e-
bate, partisan caucusing, and ser-
iousness. The overwhelming im-
pressio is one of earnestness and
complexity. It is often bewilder-
ing, even to a person with previous
experience at the NSC.
I INTEND to set forth several
models of the political dynamic of
the Congress and to discuss these
and offer some tentative conclu-
sions of my own. These are de-
scriptions of the Congress that I
have heard from various people
which I feel are worth reproduc-
ing for the sake of the discussion
that they may stimulate.
The first theory might be label-
ed the "liberal devil" theory. This
theory holds that the overwhelm-
ing majority of all students are
basically conservative. USNSA
tends to be liberal, therefore there
is a thwarting of legitimate stu-
dent desires and representativity.
This is explained by means of a
liberal conspiracy.
The proponents of this idea ar-
gue that there is A selfperpetuat-
ing liberal elite that is manipula-
tive and close. This elite is center-
ed around the National Executive
Committee which deliberately con-
trols the debate and structures the
workshops and committees so that
the delegates are presented with
only one point of view, It further
controls things with an iron hand
and is impossible to crack open.
This type of explanation of the
functioning of the Congress is
usually advocated by members of
the Young Americans for Freedom
and other far right groups.
* *
THIS THEORY is both falla-
cious and paranoid. The composi-
tion of the executive committee is
too varied to sustain such a
charge. Debate is open to any dele-
gate who cares to raise his hand
and speak. The committees and
workshops are structured so that
they lean over backward to make
sure that a wide range of view-
points are presented. Further, the
results of the Congress would be-
lie any such claims. Of the liberal
cadndates for office at the last
Congress only one was elected.
Any number of liberal motions
were defeated either on the Con-
gress floor, in committee, or in
subcommittee. Others were
amended to the point of emacula-
- The proponents of this theory
have been unsuccessful at the
Congress for may reasons. Their
policy positions-Goldwater and
on to the right-do not appeal to
a majority of the delegates. Their

tactics have alienated people by
being deliberately disruptive and
attempting to discredit the work of
the Congress. These types of acti-
vities have only served to alienate
the person who comes to the
Congress with a sincere desire to
work and to try to be objective
and these people are always the
largest group.
A MORE sophisticated theory
is the "important school" theory.
This argument runs that due to
the internal sophistication of stu-
dent politics or political factions
at certain schools, these schools
send better informed and more in-
telligent delegations to the Con-
gress. These delegations, due to
past performance and present cali-
ber, tend to be influential out of
proportion to the rest of the Con-
gress and tend to manage the poli-
tics of the Congress as a house-
hold affair. These schools are easy
to identify by the fact that their
delegations are active and effec-
tive and seem to produce much
of the leadership and direction at
the Congress.
The influential schools are us-
ually considered to be Harvard,
University of North Carolina,
Oberlin, the University, University
of Wisconsin, University of Min-
nesota, and University of Cali-
fornia at Berkeley. Less consis-
tently mentioned are Swarthmore,
University of Chicago, Columbia,
University of New Mexico, and
This theory contains some de-
gree of truth. I think it is true
that these schools produce better
delegates than most as a general
rule. But this is not true in the
specific cases. These schools have
produced clods as well as leaders
and many leaders have emerged
from comparatively ob sc ur e
schools. These schools are simply
not coordinated well enough
among themselves, or even within
their own delegations, to be more
than one among many factors at
work in shaping the thrust of a
Congress. The Congress is too large
and unwieldly a group to be su-
sceptible to this kind of pressure
from such uncoordinated and in-
ternally split groups.
the notion of a political balance.
It argues that the distribution of
political sympathies among the
delegates at the Congress follows
roughly a standard bell-shaped
curve. On the left you find the
people from Students for a Demo-
cratic Society, various brands of
socialists, radicals in general and
a few kooks. On the right you find
the Young Americans for Freedom,
the right wing of the Young Re-
publicans, some John Birch types,
and a few kooks. Both of these
groups will have about 50 dele-
gates at the Congress and not
effective in reading the majority
of the voting delegates with their
views as well as serving to cancel
each other out. These groups are
peripheral. The two major blocs
may be identified as the liberal
Republicans and moderates on one
hand and liberals who would tend
to be in the rough area that may
be hazily called "Kennedy Demo-
crats" and sympathetic types. The
second of these two groups has a
larger attraction than the former,
and therefore is able to dominate
the Congress barring a split with-
in its own ranks.
There is certainly something to
be said for this notion. It is a
useful and, I suspect, often ac-
curate model of what 'happens
particularly when highly political
issues are raised. Butit is an in-
complete explanation.If this were
true, it simply does not jibe with

swings to both the right and the
left that occur consistently within
the Congress. If these groups are
that definite, then they would not
fragment and split that often and
that easily. If they are that def-
inite, then the continual splits
would definitely indicate that they
are often ineffective.
* *
like to discuss is a very sophisti-
cated notion of an "establishment"
that dominates the Congress. This
argument runs along the follow-
ing lines. There are vested in-
terests at the Congress with a
certain stake in seeing the policies
of the association remain relatively
constant. These are often the of-
ficers of USNSA. They find them-
selves in the dilemma of trying to
reach student government types,
whose outlook is often petty with
a set of problems that are beyond
the scope of most people to deal
with. Further, they are concerned
that the. problems and activities
of the association be kept on a
high level and they are afraid,
often legitirnately, of what might
happen if the work of the associa-
tion were pitched on the same
plane as that of most of the stu-
dent governments around the
country. As a result, they have a
tendency to be reluctant to open
up debate and will often be mani-
pulative through agencies at their
disposal for the sake of maintain-,
ing the status quo. In particular,

Peanuts and Kites

MANY PESSIMISTS across the nation have
expressed concern that the current session
of Congress is sitting on its hands when it
comes to passing important legislation. Ob-
viously these poor souls just aren't with it.
If they had been faithfully reading their news-
papers every day they would have seen that the
88th Congress is in fact as dynamic a body as
anyone could wish. Perhaps they have not
delved as deeply as possible into the minor is-
sues put before them, but where the major acts
are concerned, they have given their all.
Take for example the case of the boiled pea-
nut. Despite what many students familiar with
the food in the quadrangle system might sus-
pect, there is no great stampede now on to in-
troduce this delicacy (reported by some to
taste like swamp cabbage or "dehumidified
artichokes") to local eateries, although the
boiled peanut is popular in many Southern
areas. The bill in question dealt with the boiled
peanut's status as a product exempted from
such legal considerations as price supports and
marketing quotas, to which other peanuts are
subjected. In order to support similar restric-
tions on boiled peanuts, proponents of such an
action had only to show that upon being boiled,
a peanut automatically becomes a vegetable
and thus subject to said exemptions.
ALL MANNER of shenanigans were witnessed
before that issue was settled, at least in the
House of Representatives. Rep. Dole (R-Kan)
took the opportunity to philosophize a la Ger-
trude Stein ("a peanut is a peanut is a pea-
Editorial Staff
RONALD WILTON..................... Co-Editor
PHILIP SUTIN........................ Co-Editor

nut") and Rep. Hagen (D-Calif) noted that
his experiments with the boiled peanuts (doubt-
less carried out under the most exacting of
scientific conditions) proved that the Capitol
Hill pigeons wouldn't touch them. Rep. Snyder
(R-Ky) got into the act by noting that when
he had eaten boiled peanuts he suddenly de-
cided that America needed new health laws
(which the Southern representatives undoubt-
edly took as an insult).
With $17 million worth of surplus peanuts
rotting away in the nation's storage bins, of
which peanuts none could be boiled under cur-
rent restrictions, there was no time to waste,
Rep. Findley (R-Ill) pointed out. But his ef-
forts were to no avail, and the bill excluding
boiled peanuts from marketing restrictions was
extended for two more years. This was just as
well, for by then Rep. Matthews (D-Fla) had
run out of samples of the delicacy in question
NOW THAT THE congressmen had declared a
boiled peanut to be a vegetable, they felt
ready for anything, and Rep. Franklin Thomp-
son, Jr. (D-NJ) was only too happy to oblige.
He jumped into the fray to present his brain-
child,.a bill to make kite flying legal in Wash-
.ington. As he pointed out to his fellow congress-
men, "The President, poor fellow, has to go all
the way up to Hyannis Port to teach his chil-
dren how to fly (a kite)," which is a sad state
of affairs indeed. It seems that under the laws
as they now stand, President Kennedy could
have a $10 fine slapped on him for flying a
kite in the District of Columbia.
Surely the congressmen have a kind spot in
their hearts for their leader; surely they are
sympathetic toward his plight and wouldn't
hesitate to allow him the same rights as any
other American taxpayer. Besides, every time
the President is forced to journey all the way
to Hyannis Port just to fly a kite with his

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they are concerned with officer
elections far more than with legis-
lation because it is the personnel
who control the policy in its im-
plementation. They have become
tied to power to the extent that
they will subvert democratic tac-
tics to achieve their ends. This
process tends to continue and
buildup in a vicious spiral as the
demands for change from both the
right and the left continue to
Interestingly enough, this theory
is advocated by the left rather
than the right. As with the others,
there is some degree of truth to
this.This is applicable to a certaii
extent to the International Com-
mission of USNSA and only slight-
ly to the National Commission.
This is because the issues of in-
ternational student politics involve
a knowledge. of esoteric details
that is often known to very few
people at the congress, hence few-
er people are in a position to in-
telligently debate the questions
that arise. National issues, on the
other hand, are generally familiar.
to the great majority of the con-
gress delegates. In addition, the
amount of material available' from
any source on international stu-
dent problems is quite limited and
often confused and obscure. With
national issues this is rarely the
case, and vigorous and many sided
debates are highly typical of the
national student issues that are
brought to the congress.
Student politics, like politics
everywhere, attract people of var-'
ious types. 'Most are honest, but
there are always those who are
dishonest, power-hungry, or too
involved with what they are doing
to be willing to submit their pet
projects to a possible mangling at
the hands of a large and in-
adequately informed democratic
body. This is as true of USNSA
as it is of any other organization.
These factors have combined to"
make the area of international
affairs the most susceptible to
these kinds of unfortunate circum-
stances. Due to lack of knowledge,
the congress tends to be docile on
international issues which gives a
tremendous advantage to those
who have a reason to be manipula-
But this kind ,of thing is not
completely true by any means. It
tends to qrop up in the cases of
individuals who take student pol-
itics on an overblown level of im-
portance and combine this with a
not uncommon form of intellectual
dishonesty. If this were completely
true, it would be impossible to ac-
count for the fact that quite often
the international staff of USNSA
has gone to great pains to make
the facts available on many issues,
and have very often tried to en-
courage as much as possible dis-
cussion on these issues.
However, the area is still a
clouded one at best. The only real
solution is for the delegates to
spend some effort to learn the is-
sues. It is also important that
delegates be willing to ask ques-

One of the other major factora
at work-possibly the most im-
portant of all-is the fact that
about 80 per cent of all the dele-
gates arrive at the congress with-
out having attended a previous
congress. The advantage to this
is that they are generally not bur-
dened with preconceptions of what
they are going to find. They are
generally far more open minded
than delegates with previous ex-
perience. This tends to place a
tremendoui importance on the
quality of the debate that is mar-
shalled on. the various sides of any
given issue. I think that many of
the apparent meanderings of poli-
tical direction that occur at every
congress are the result of the pre-
vailing side presenting more lucid
and more intelligent arguments
for their point of view than their
opponents were able to do. Stu-
dents have minds of their own and
they are quite adamant about us-
ing them.
Another factor is the difference
between those who have a concrete
idea of the legislation and pro-
gram they wish to see enacted and
those' who have no sense of direc-
tion. The delegates who have a
concrete plan - regardless of
whether this is their first Congress
or not-have a definite advantage.
The reason for this is they have an
idea of what they want to do and
they do not waste much time try-
ing to orient themselves.
Thirdly, there is the factor of
communications. There are various
patterns of friendships, previous
acquaintances, and organizational
ties that put some delegates at an
advantage in 'terms of receiving
informationabout what is happen-
ing. The people who receive this
information, along with a great
deal of rumor, are at an advantage
in trying to develop a picture of
events that are taking place at the
congress. Many people who could
do this do not, but they have an
advantage in being able to under-
stand the developments of the
congress more intelligently.
There are many factors that
could be taken into consideration
very legitimately. It suffices to say
that the congress is a complex
body that will never be understood
in a simplistic fashion. It is far
too complex a body to be managed
by a manipulative elite with any
degree of constancy. There are
problems in the processes of the
congress but these are the prob-
lems that face any large and frag-
mented democratic organization.
TOMORROW-The Congress'
Free Seech
WITHOUT freedom of thought,
there can be no such thing as
wisdom; and no such thing as
liberty without freedom of speech;
which is theoright of every man,
as far as by it he does not hurt
or control the right of another;

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