Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
N.Y. roads: Stranger than science fiction
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1970
NIGHT EDITOR: ERIKA HOFF
Auto strike begins
THE UNITED AUTO WORKERS has be-
gun its long-awaited strike against
the nation's largest corporation, General
Motors. The strike, which will probably
continue for many weeks, points up on
a grand scale maj or issues in labor-man-
agement relations in America today.
GM's chief negotiator has termed the
walkout "a strike against reason". Alarm
has been expressed about the damage the
strike may do to the nation's economy.
Many people have criticized the union de-
mands as wildly inflationary.
And, at first glance, the demands may
appear unreasonable. After all, the union
is asking a first-year wage increase of
nearly 15 per cent, in addition to un-
limited cost-of-living adjustments, along
with retirement after 30 years, with a
$500 monthly pension, regardless of age.
But if we examine what has been hap-
pening to the auto workers in recent
years (and, indeed, to most of the Amer-
ican working force), a different picture
emerges. During the 1960-1967 period, the
auto workers wages were growing in real
terms at about three per cent a year -
almost directly in line with estimates of
increased per-man productivity and the
overall growth of the nation's economy. In
1967, the union guessed wrong and gave
up its unlimited cost-of-livink increases.
And the workers paid for this mistake.
In the last three years, their wages have
increased less than two per cent per year
in real terms.
IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY, there
is no effective, predictable policy for
the control of inflation. The auto work-
ers - and most other organized workers
- understandably feel that their best
protection against inflation lies in their
collective power=- manifested in the
ability to strike.
So they strike. They are demanding:
-protection against inflation in t h e
next three years by cost-of-living increas-
es which will rise as much as the con-
sumer price index:
-an increase of 26 cents per hour, to
make up for real wages lost to inflation
in the last two years;
-a further increase of 351/2 cents an
hour (8-9 per cent) from the beginning
of the new contract. (The union has in,
dicated that if GM accepts the unlimited
cost-of-living increases, it will not expect
further major increases in the last two
years of the contract); and
-the right to retire after 30 years of
work on a monthly pension of $500.
So what the workers are demanding in
wages appears hardly unreasonable. They
are asking that they be protected from in-
flation, and they are asking for a real
wage increase (3-4 per cent per year),
which barely surpasses estimated in-
creases in productivity per man-hour.
And what they are asking in terms of
retirement is quite reasonable to anyone
who has worked on an assembly line. The
right to a decent retirement after giving
thirty years to the company seems a min-
It is not necessary to agree with the
workers analysis of their problems to sup-
port them. Some of us would argue that
workers would be justified in demanding
a significantly/greater actual share in the .
total income of GM - or, indeed, com-
plete control of the company.
BUT THIS IS NOT what they are de-
manding. These are Americans of
average income, struggling to maintain
their standard of living against economic
forces beyond their control and to gain,
after 30 years, release from the assembly'
This is not the sort of conflict we are
most familiar with in Ann Arbor. These
are not the broad-based radical visions of
affluent students. They are the practical
felt needs of workers who produce a large
share of the nation's wealth. This is their
struggle. To the extent that we can, let
us support them.
COMMUTING IN NEW YORK, every day is like any
other day - up at 6:30 a.m. to drive through the
congested highways to arrive at work by 9 a.m. and then
after a day's work get back into the car and roar home at
Well, yesterday John Scully followed the New York
ritual - sometimes known as the American ritual. After
work he hopped into his car behind all the other cars
(and ahead of all the other cars) and drove along, not
really being able to see beyond the cars ahead of him.
Instinctively he followed the thousands of cars in front
of him to the end of the road - right into the Hudson
A race of human lemmings.
THE ABOVE STORY may be poor science fiction
compared to Ray Bradbury's. but then, Bradbury doesn't
write with the same sense of paranoia that affects New
Yorkers when they start to think about their roads.
Most amateur anthropologists believe that as a cul-
ture group New Yorkers are generally paranoic. But this
time, Empire State residents are sure that the roads are
going to overtake them. I realize this may sound absurd
to anyone besides a; New Yorker (although I have been
told that the roads are also taking over in Detroit and
Los Angeles) but the situation in New York is definitely
reaching catastrophic proportions.
I have seen men and women who are under great
pressures and who carry heavy responsibilities every day
grow pale when they hear the word "highways." It is
obvious from the way they clutch at the nearest chair
or wall that if you press them any further they might
The overabundance of roads, no matter how crowded
they may be, is probably the result of many factors, in-
cluding the demand for faster and easier accesses to
New York City and other parts of the state, the lack of
foresight, and probably the lack of public concern.
WHATEVER THE REASON, the situation is now out
of control and it is only in half jest that some people say
the roads are beginning to build themselves. Before his
unfortunate demise, John Scully whispered his belief
that it often was impossible for him to get off of a road
- it would simply build itself along as it followed him.
There is a road sitting near my home in suburban
Westchester which was recently constructed and paved.
This road is so important and so necessary that no one
in the state government or courts worried about the horse
farm and the acres of forests which were paved under.
This road is a pretty road as far as roads go but this
road doesn't go far. The highway which it was to connect
with was stopped (for the time being at least) by a court
The above story is not'science fiction. And one won-
ders why New Yorkers feel the pavement running at their
One could laugh at their fears if there were some
signs that highway construction was easing up, but this
is not happening.
Don't tell a New Yorker that if he applied Malthusian
theory he would know that more highways will simply
support a larger population of cars. He knows why the
highways are filled with cars as soon as the pavement is
put down. It's simple - the cars are being simultan-
ebusly built on top of the roads.
IF OUR GOVERNMENT has the technology to send
men to the moon and the Mets can win a World Series,
then it is perfectly logical that contractors can build
roads with cars on them.
There are son ie people who become upset when they
are trapped in traffic but they should realize what a
greater good they would be doing if they don't try to in-
crease the number of roads. It is only logical that if
people stop building more roads then those nonexistant
roads will not be congested, and there will no longer be
any ecologically-psychologically-damaging highways oth-
er than- those we are stuck with now. Why put untold
generations through t h e paranoia-producing pressure
chambers of our highway system?
But will our present roads then become more unbear-
able? The answer to that is simple also in Malthusian
terms - the population of cars will not grow beyond
what it is at present levels.
In addition, if we stop laying down roads with built-
in cars then we may also have the answer to cutting
down our general increasing population. Every New
Yorker knows that the contractors are laying down roads
with built-in cars with built-in people.
The lazy bliss around campus: Let it be
By RICK PERLOFF
A soft calm graces the campus,
an easy wind tickles the air.
Fragile leaves are existent; a foot
taps a stone, moves it, the body
goes forward. A whistle, a shrug,
a smile in seclusion, the legs glide,
Kazoos buzz, guitars weep; the
pin-plucks purr home to harmony.
A girl strings herself across a guy.
a couple hangs against a branch
beneath the silly trees, and people
pass. Groups surround, there is
talk of summer, of school, of
The talk is not bulky, it is easy
to grasp. How strange.
The Diag has' always shaken
with buzzing frustration, resent-
ment and opposition to this or
that or something. The memories
are intense, remember the BAM
strike, the recruiter nr otests last
term? Those are our last recol-
lections of the Diag in crisis,
swiftly altering between fresh
weather and a murky throng.
They hovered over the Diag then
and clumsily infested it with noisy
babbles in rhetoric and abrupt
taunts on Fleming. They spi; out
insults, flooded us with leaflets
and massed in the morning, in the
evening to plan, to march.
Herds of theme-mulled too, wait-
ing for the eternal noon rally.
They poured into each other, like
flies, standing, squatting, packed-\
into contemplating the action.
The rough rasps fr.om the micro-
phone were monotone, and droned
away into the buildings,, into a
dull echo from the corners of
We did so in the midst of that
gray weather; the snow cluttered
with the wet, our feet slurping
through it, this slush. It would be
a good term 'though, and the
cacophony of clamor, drenched
voices and sardonic arguments be-
gan to mix happily together in a
singsongy movement of feet.
We marched that term, we felt,
we believed and look, there were
thousands behind, sharing our
feelings, vindicating us. We were
right, we were proud, we were One.
That was then; it's autumn now,
the traditional time when protest-
ers climb back to rhetoric, plow
toward action, driven to fix the
wrongs that pervade. Two years
ago they were arrested for sup-
porting welfare mothers, last year
they wanted a bookstore.
And yet there's little so far.
There's talk of educating people
before confronting them; does
that mean there'll be no protests
How can we study on the grass
without a leaflet for scrap paper?
When can we meet friends, with-
out a noon rally, can we remember
how to climb steps not peopled
The dangers are dreadful, but
how very strange it all is.
Maybe the raw shouts, the slop-
py marches crying for, unison, the
thick air of dense fears and nerv-
ous anticipations for tomorrow,
maybe these are too much now.
Maybe we have tired of that
clogged part of ourselves and don't
want it any longer.
We shall protest perhaps but
we shant lose our sensual shells
nor the clouds of pure autumn. 0
Who can blame us?
Decision on Parochiaid
TiE ACTION Monday by the S t a t e
Supreme Court establishing the con-
stitutionality of state aid to private and
parochial schools is a welcome step
toward allowing the public to establish
priorities for aid to education in t h i s
For too long, those who view parochiaid
as a threat to -current needs and priorities
of public schools have cloaked their op-
position to parochiaid in the charge that
such aid violates the constitutional "wall
of separation" between church and state.
This argument, while guaranteed to
bring out all the emotionalism necessary
to obscure the point, did not apply to pri-
vate, but non-s'ecular, schools. And the
bill passed by the State Legislature,
(which the court upheld Monday), spec-
ifically bans the use of state funds for
religious instruction or materials.
THE PROPONENTS of parochiaid con-
tended, and the Court agreed, that
their desire for an alternative to public
schools should not disqualify them from
their share of state monies for education.
Both the federal and state constitutions
are clear on the point that religious beliefs
should not be the basis on which the state
abridges rights and privileges. Thus, it
would seem that as long as a parent sends
his child to an institution certified by the
state, he should not be denied a decent -
state subsidy for that education j u s t
oecause the curriculum of the school in-
cludes religious instruction.
It is now up to the people of the state
to decide in what manner and amount
they wish to invest money in the educa-
tion of the state's children.
Should they decide to stimulate t h e
qrowth and rosperity of alternatives to
the public education system, (and those
alternatives are desperately needed),
they cannot be prohibited by the Con-
s541ittion from doing so.
Or, should they decide that such en-
couragement could well lead to the crea-
tim of many substandard private insti-
tutions, to an exodus from inner-city
schools by white Catholic working-class
families, and a general trend toward frag-
mentation and separatism in education
which would be undesirable, they c a n
IN EITHER EVENT the sham will be over.
The question will be on the ballot for
public referendum in November.
Editorial Page Editor
Mason Hall. The cries persisted
though, a ceaseless rain of im-
truths seemed almost dimmer by
the very fact they were righteous-
ly repeated to us each day.
But in it lay a cause, a just
believable commitment, worthy of
ourselves and our emotions. So we
marched that term, struck classes
and tried to sneak in some study-
ing on the side.
It was hard. We were tired of
school's dreary spirit, and groaned
in boredom from the dark dormi-
tories, the dirty dishes and over-
due papers, overlong books we
wanted to read, but with the
strike, with our lives, that we
So we marched; our political
rancors multiplied by the fustra-
tions, so we more than ever wanted
to boil, to shout, to rip into a
building or something, anything to
feel our .presence, to revive our
bodies once again.
To the Editor:
I HAVE BEEN following the
articles regarding Solstis vs. "U"
with great interest. I agree that
Solstis school is a valuable addi-
tion to the community, out I find
that I violently disagree with the
tactics used by the spokesmen for
the group. If they have- proved
that Solstis School iS an asset
(and I agree that it is), why do
they have to resort to lies to try
to prove a point.
I think that I can speak with
some authority about the building
at 706 Oakland since my husband,
daughter and I occupied an apart-
ment in the building until June
20. 1970. The University informed
all the tenants that the building
would no longer be rented -after
the school year of 1969-70 be-
cause the building was not safe.
The University very graciously al-
lowed my family to stay until June
20 because we were not able to
move into our new accommoda-
tions until that date. Originally it
was scheduled -to be demolished
around the end of May.
IN THURSDAY'S Daily a staff
member of Solstis School stated:
"Besides, if it was structurally de-
ficient, why did they install a new
furnace last year?" I would like to
know where that staff member re-
ceived that information. I can
state that from July, 1968 until
the present, no furnace. was in-
stalled. They did change the fur-
nace filters yearly, but on the old
furnace. For the information of
Solstis School, the furnace is not
protected by a fire wall and that
is a deficiency-one of the many
reasons the University did not
want the building occupied. The
wiring is defective and not ade-
quate. The fuse box is not ade-
quate. There is only one thermo-
stat in the building and heating
is a problem. I could go on and
on. The defects are there, and they
will cost a great deal of money.
I think Solstis School owes the
University a great deal of ,hanks
for sticking their necks out and
letting them use the building (ok
. . only the first floor) during
the summer months. Also for
sticking their necks out to prevent
them from occupying a potential
fire trap. Preventative mainte-
nance can be a good thing!
To the Editor:
WE REPRESENT the Soccer
Club and are the only represent-
ative of this sport at the Univer-
sity. Until recently; t h e Soccer
Club has been practicing on Wines
Field. As of Thursday we are ban-
ned from this field by order of the
IM department. This is not new-
this club has -been shuffled from
field to field (or, rather banned
from field to field) frequently in
the past. The significant point in
this case, however, is that there
are no more fields available in the
central campus area. We are out-
lawed from all.
We could dwell on the intrinsic
value and beauty of the sport and
even the need for the University
to provide education in a 11 as-
pects to all students desiring it.
this, in spite of the repetitions,
and worse, does not care. But it
cared. enough to outlaw us from
all fields of practice; perhaps it
cares enough to help us find an- -
other field to use.
-18 Soccer Club Members
To the Editor:
MANY PEOPLE are asking what
is the Socialist Labor Party? The
party has had candidates on the
ballot nationally since 1892 when
its presidential candidates were
Simon Wing and Charles H. Mat-
chett. The party in Michigan has
a slate of fourteen candidates o)t
the November ballot including
those for Governor and U.S. Sen-
Socialist Labor Party candi-
dates are committed to Socialism.
They make no promises to reform
capitalism, for t h a t cannot be.
done in any real sense. Instead,
they proclaim the need for Social-1
ist reconstruction and they, point
out that they cannot bring So-
cialism into being when they are
elected. This must be done by the
workers. themselves through their
organization into Socialist Indus-
trial Unions by means of which
they will hold, operate and man-
age the industries on behalf of
Pending the acquisition, of the
working class strength. required,
candidates of the Socialist Labor
Party urge voters to vote for thei4
as ° a means of registering their
repudiation of capitalism, and
their declaration f o r Socialism.
Only civilized tactics such as these
can bring about a better world.
Much of the article was quite
amusing and valid, and the writer
correctly identified many of the
myths that an incoming freshman
becomes so familiar with before
he enters our cozy megaversity.
Throughout high school I received
the same misinformation from
parents and teachers, and also
university propaganda that most
every college aspirant comes in
However, by the time classes
were about to begin at the start
of my freshman year, these myths J
had already been destroyed. The
reason for this is what disturbed
me enough to actually dig up a
typewriter and compose this letter.
Mr. Anzalone "writes off" the
orientation staff by calling them
"rah-rah" orientation 1e a d e r s.
This is one myth that I feel needsk
a rapid destruction.
MY ORIENTATION leader had
succeeded in relaxing me to a
point where I wasn't afraid of the
University and didn't seriously
contemplate any of -the myths
thrown at me. As I began classes,#
I realized the over-all success-
fulness of my orientation period,
and how it had been satisfactorily
effective in dealing with my par-
ticular problems. I appreciated a
program of this nature, and de-
cided to join it so that future
freshman would enjoy the sa-me#
advantages that I did. My per-
sonal contact with many of the
other leaders confirmed my opin-
ion of the orientation staff. In
contrast to what Mr. Anzalone
said, nearly 100 per cent of the
leaders were interested in helping
the incoming student handle the#
University, and were not of the
I p '