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November 16, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-11-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Corporate development:

Same old

mess

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104 4

News Phone: 764-0552

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1973

Return of the 'Old Nixon'

PRESIDENT NIXON pulled his old bog-
eyman out of the hat once again
Wednesday by imputing that Western
European NATO members might consider
"leaning toward" the Soviet Union if his
authority seemed diminished by domes-
tic scandal.
Perhaps he is ending his political ca-
reer as he began it: harping on commu-
nism and "national security."
The President reportedly said
at Wednesday's White House breakfast
for 75 House Republicans that, "If you
cut the legs off the President, America is
going to lose." From this remark, it seems
that Nixon has missed the point of the
current clamor about the Presidency.
Crippling Nixon's ability to govern is not
what is necessary; his removal is.
Wednesday's circuit court ruling that
Nixon acted illegally in firing Special

Prosecutor Archibald Cox has just un-
derlined once again the necessity to im-
peach and convict the President.
IT IS HARDLY necessary to repeat, for
the umpteenth time, a list of his
crimes and improprieties while in office.
Rather, we must concentrate now on how
to exercise the most pressure to bring
about Nixon's removal from office.
The 7:30 p.m. town meeting for im-
peachment to be held in Rackham Audi-
torium tonight represents a good oppor-
tunity to exercise some of that pressure.
Rep. Marvin Esch was invited to the
meeting, but has refused to come. A
large turnout might help Esch recognize
that Nixon must go.
More importantly, it would begin to
put to lie the contention that this Nixon
crisis, like all the rest, is merely a brief
cloudburst in an otherwise clear sky.

(Editor's note: The following is the second
of two articles discussing corporate involve-
ment in real estate development.)
By MARTHA DEAN
WITH LARGE problems of central city
decay, lack of adequate housing, es-
pecially for lower income people, and
wasteful urban sprawl facing this coun-
try, how corporations with their vast
amounts of money are approaching r e a I
estate development becomes very im-
portant.
Large investors, whether insurance or oil
companies, tend to argue that the prob-
lems facing the country today are so big
that only big money such as they control
can adequately handle them and that their
money, along with planning expertise they
can afford to hire, will do the job.
But will it? A quick look at what some
of these corporations are building and fin-
ancing and for what markets they are
aimed indicates that corporate investors
may not be much wiser than real estate
developers have been in the past. There
seems to be little emphasis on lower and
lower-middle income housing, planned com-
munities rarely meet the criteria deserving
of such a name, and the process of urban
sprawl is often reinforced.
THE CORPORATE developers are gen-
erally going in for four different types of
building: Residential communities loosely
called "planned," recreational communities,
condominiums and office- buildings.
The residential areas being constructed
are often billed as "planned," although
few really meet the criteria of providing
employment, shopping, and cultural facil-
ities in addition to residences and recrea-
tion areas. For example, the "team" of
Southern California Edison and Bechtel
Corp. is buildig an all-electric community
with a country club, tennis courts, and so
forth. In 1968 it was estimated the average
price of a home there would be about $75,-
000.
There has also been some movement to-
wards condominiums and townhouses which

"Like the quasi-planned communities, these recreational de-
velopments offer every amenity for the "discerning sports-
man"-type, plus a "swinging nucleus" of bars, boutiques, and
so forth, to attract the luxury house and condominium
crowd."
.*.*~isaeg g g es ii; :.g .. .*. . . . .*. .es asa .ai.*.*.*. *. *. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..saissmes%

use less land per person than single fam-
ily homes. However, this has not been
done in the spirit of saving land, but nore
because of "depreciated" tax shelters that
are available for apartment builders.
FURTHERMORE, the tendency i to lo-
cate such developments in "nice neighbor-
hoods," meaning suburban areas of single
family homes. Thus urban sprawl, rather
than being checked by denser housing, is
in fact supported. Once again, the con-
sensus by many of these developers is that
the townhouses and condominiums are for
midle income people and above.

have the money, management and stayin;
power to ensure that long-range planning
is not sacrificed for quick profits can be
examined by looking at two examples: The
recent office building boom in New York
City and Westlake Village in California.
Fortune magazine reported in 1969 that
builders, backed by insurance companies,
were planning to construct 61,600,000 square
feet of office space by 1972, without the
normal assurances of solid tenants before
construction money was advanced. They
were over-supplying existing demand ad
overestimating future growth of white coflar

don't live in Westlake Village, they work
in many of the 5000 jobs that have been
created there. This results in more commu.-
ers that already crowd the freeways. Many
residents drive to Los Angeles to work,
while many lower income workers drive
from the city to Westlake Village.
Although there have been a few attempts
to deal rationally with various problems
overall it would appear that despite their
expertise, wealth and often self-proclatined
social consciousness, corporate land de-
Velopers are doing little to attack such
problems as wasteful urban sprawl, inner
city decay and inadequate housing for law-
er income families, and preservation of
open space. The emphasis is primarily on
the middle and upper class markets, where
the profits are.
WHAT IS MORE, corporate involvement
in real estate development is here to stay,
and can only increase. Such involvement ap-
pears to be largely unregulated by any
level of government.
Local governments, even when they wish
to, frequently have neither resources nor
skill nor even authority to deal with large-
scale projects over matters such as zoning.
And even if a local jurisdiction does unite
and successfully oppose a development, the
corporate proponents will merely move on
to another jurisdiction unable to fight.
It seems likely that merely because they
are acting on a larger scale does not mean
corporate investors/builders will be any
more effective in solving this country's ur-
ban and housing problems than smaller
forms of free enterprise have been in the
past.
Because of their huge scale of opera-
tions, though, it is even more imperative
that they be subjected to some sort of
controls, or our problems will only be
compounded.
Mar/ha Dean is a teaching fellow in the
political science department.

In the past few years, large public cor-
porations have spent over $700 million on
large-scale, home away from home "leis-
sure time" developments. Like the quasi-
planned communities, these recreational de-
velopments offer every'amenity for the "dis-
cerning sportsman"-type, plus a "swinging
nucleus" of bars, boutiques, and so forth,
to attract the luxury house and condomin-
ium crowd.
For example, Chrysler's real estate sub-
sidiary, Chrysler Realty, has joined with
other investors (including Chet Huntley
and Northwest Airlines) on just such a
development in Montana. Big Sky, which
may cost in excess of $20 million,' will be
a year-round community occupying part of
8500 acres of land - if conservationists can-
not prevent a proposal land switch with the
Forest Service to consolidate the develop-
ment site.
THE ARGUMENT of the giant corporate
and insurance company investors that they

employment in the city.
Developers created urban canyons where
no one wanted to work, and the result was
empty office building complexes. Corporate
escapees were heading for Houston, among
other places, where lower building and land
costs were starting the cycle all over again.
Several corporate immigrants from Fun
City were planning 500 acre downtown pro-
jects for office space, apartments, shops,
restaurants and malls. Houston must con-
stantly draw in newcomers to avoid the
problem of overcapacity.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, a so-called plan-
ned community near Los Angeles built by
the American Hawaiian Land Co. (former-
ly a steamship company) contains no homes
for lower-income, light industry and service
workers. Company president John Notter
explains, "Putting houses in for low-in-
come families doesn't make economic sense
out here."
However, while lower income families

4

Running the government

HE TRUE NATURE of this county's
supposedly "responsive" government
was highlighted by a statement by Sen.
Lee Metcalf to the Senate on Nov. 7.
Metcalf pointed out to the Senate that
despite federal law to the contrary, the
Emergency Petroleum Supply Committee,
an advisory group on the petroleum
shortage, was composed only of repre-
sentatives of large oil companies and two
officials of the Dept. of the Interior, and
was meeting in secret.
The purpose of the ad-hoc committee
is to assist the government "in coping
with oil supply problems generated by
the 1987 Middle East oil crisis," according
to the annual report of the agency ad-
visory committee.
Federal law states that such industry
advisory committees must be composed of
representatives from small, medium and
large business enterprises, as well as for
representatives of trade associations.
HOWEVER, A sample of the companies
represented reads like a list of Who's
Who among major oil companies: Atlan-
tic Richfield, Cities Service, Exxon, Getty
Oil, Gulf Oil, Marathon Oil, Mobil Oil,
Phillips Petroleum, Standard Oil (of Cal-
ifornia, Indiana and Ohio), Sun Oil, Tex-
aco Oil, and Union Oil. Representatives
of independent dealers are conspicuous
by their absence.
With such committees in existence, and
meeting in secret with no apparent rea-
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Matt Gerson, Eugene Robinson,
Stephen Selbst, Jeff Sorensen, Ted
Stein, Sue Stephenson
Editorial Page: Marnie Heyn, Eric Schoch
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo Technician: Allison Ruttan, John
Upton

son for doing so, it is not too surprising
that government actions are generally
favorable to giant American corpora-
tions. For it is from such major corpora-
tions that federal officials are drawn,
whether on an ad-hoc basisor as cabinet
officials.
There is really no reason to wonder
why the same government finds a guar-
anteed income to low-income citizens ab-
horrent while loaning millions of dollars
to Lockheed aircraft so it would not go
out of business.
Bunnies bite
WE APPLAUD the struggle of ,four Play-
boy bunnies who have filed a com-
plaint with the New York State Commis-
sion on Human Rights charging that the
Playboy Corporation practices sexual and
age discrimination.
The women were discharged for alleg-
edly having lost their "bunny image." In
the words of international bunny mother
Toni LeMay, "You have changed from a
girl into a woman. You look old. You have
lost your bunny image."
The complainants claim that "bunny
image" has nothing to do with their dis-
missal, but rather that the corporation
is attempting to eliminate those em-
ployes who have seniority, and those who
fight for their rights.
Mario Staub, general manager of the
club, asserts that "Termination for bun-
ny image has always been company prac-
tice and seniority is definitely not."
Robert Mozer, lawyer for Local 1 of the
Hotel and Restaurant Employes and Bar-
ion would stand behind the complain-
ants. "They were fired for union activity.
We intend to fight for them."

Some doubts abouta college education

By ANNE CHASE
I WOULD LIKE to advise you all
on the essential fraud of being
a kid. I use "kid" for want of a
better term, to mean roughly any-
body under 25, an extended adoles-
cent, if you will.
The whole premise behind child-
hood is that the child and the adol-
escent have to put up with a lot of
crap, platitudes, nonsense, and un-
comfortable and boring routines
for what is ostensibly their own
good. They are incapable of know-
ing what is good for them so some-
body else has to make the decis-
ions.
Somebody else says, "Go to
school, go to college, got to grad-
uate school." Somebody else says
"Education will increase y o u r
options and widen your potential."
Somebody else says "Education
will increase your options and wid-
en your potential." Somebody else
says "Education will enable you
to get a self-fulfilling job."
NOW THAT sounds alright. If
you can get somebody else to fo t
the bill, going to college is pretty
easy. You have a clearly defined
set of goals, and if you perform
well you get approval and eto
gratification. It's not too difficult
to figure out what is expected of
you in a university and even less
difficult to perform.
However, when you get out of
school you are led to expect that
widened potential, those self-ful-
filling jobs, especiallysince you're
28 years old and have a super
deluxe model Ph.D.
You poor sucker. Having gone t-)
school for 24 years and wasted
time which could have been spent
discovering something interesting,
or useful, or fun, like car repair
or plumbing or cabinet making,
you bought that nonsense about the
desirability of higher education and
now what can you do, for God's
sake?
You've bankrupted your parents,
spent the government's money on

If the answer happens to be no,
then he or she should get his or
her ass out of there and not come
back until he or she wants to know
something that he or she can't find
out by reading a book.
If 90 per cent of a university's
student body went racing over to
the administration building and de-
manded their tuition back maybe
the administrators would think
about why the American educa-
tional system is meeting so few
people's needs. Maybe.
I can hear the tsk-tsks ringing
out now and people muttering "p9-
gan." I'm not in favor of an ig-
norant citizenry, but a college de-
gree does not an educated person
make.
What I am in favor of is getting,
rid of immense bureaucracies de-
signed to teach people what they
don't particularly want to know,
will forget in two months, ainJ will
have to go back and restidyin five'
or ten years if they ever need to
know it.
IN GENERAL, education has
the effect, not of creating inquir-
ing minds, but of creating turned-
off minds. If everybody did n o t
have to go to college, there might
be more people who Here there
because they wanted and needed

to know something.
The whole place might be more
interesting, and less bullihit would
be circulated because the students
would have a reason, for wanting
to know would not let themselves
be shoved off with a lot of mean-
singless platitudes.
It stands to reason th it if stu-
dents got out of the academic tomb
and had a little contact with the
outside world before thev became
students, they might be more qual-
ified to judge what is impcirtant,
and to see the point behind some
of the curriculum.
They might even decide (hor-
rors) that they don't need college.
If they decide at thirty or what-
ever that they do need it, they
will have a large quantity of prac-
tical experience to base their choice
on.
They'll be making that choice,
not some guidance counselor. The.
message of this column is, if you
don't like it, don't do it. That way,
you might find out you are suited
to do things other than writing term
papers.
This article first appeared in the
Ge o r g e Washington University
Hatchet. Anne Chase is former
George Washington student.

S

Daly Photo by DAVID MARGOLICK
'.9-. reading what other people have written on
what other people have written."

producing more paper to be shtif-
fled, and all you're fit to do i, per-
petuate the same system that con-
ned you into wasting. 24 year
reading what other people hay e
written or what other peopleshave
written. All your experiences are
third hand.
OKAY, THE super deluxe Ph.D.
is an exaggeration, but my poi-t
still stands. A university educa-
tion is interesting (to some), but
it's not useful. Let's quit kid-
ding ourselves that it's either use-
ful or necessary. It's an upper
middle class luxury.
What's amusing, or pathetic,' is
that most people don't even find
it interesting, but go like lemmings

and plunk down their twenty-four
hundred dollars a year to be abys-
mally bored.
They spend hours searching
through the catalogue for g u t
courses in an easy major s they
can get out with that degre?. The
degree that is supposed to h e l p
them get a good job, remember?
Only all they can do is write
term papers. Not too many people
want term papers. They want farm-
ers or photographers or doctors
or lawyers or Indian chiefs, but
they don't want term papers.
AT THE very least ever, per-
son who is now in college should
go look at its reflection in the mir-
ror and say, "Is this interesting?"

#WHAT DO ""fW 'fl41dNK WILL -rURt4 VP MisNc, NE$X -? ' 1
r ,

t

Letters to The Daily

SGC defended
To The Daily:
TO THE STUDENTS of the Uni-
versity: In my four years here
at the University, I have been a
witness to the continuing saga of
the decline of Student Government
Council. I was appalled in 1970
by the scant ten per cent voter
turnout. The three per cent figure
for this fall's election reinforces
that despair.
The basic fault of SGC does not
lie within its structure, nor in its
candidates; the real fault lies in
the blatant apathy of 97 per cent
of the student body. Imagine, if
you will, the results that would
develop if the majority of students
became sincerely concerned in their
government. Responsible, conscien-
tious candidates would be elected,
and respect for SGC would grow
since it would be truly representa-
tive of the student body.
A great irony has now developed

SGC. The Regents, therefore, are
trying to build to means fo" ctu-
dent power that the student Ady
itself has crippled through neg-
lect! .
The future picture does not get
much brighter. The function of
the new committee to revitalize
SGC is limited by one fact: stu-
dent government must be respon-
sible only to the students. Any ac-
tion by the administration to con-
trol elections or duties of SGC,
therefore, can only be viewed as
an attempt to control student pow-
er, and is unacceptable.
-John Robison, '74
Nov. 12
SGC e
To The Daily:
THE DAILY has struck another
blow for half-truths and injustice
in its Nov. 10 editorial "SGC: Be-
yond Frivolity." All facts but one
cited are true. However, by de-

three motions to put (SGC member.;
up for recall (myself included),
dismiss appointed personnel, and
abolish appointed positions With
dictionary help, I formed mora
and logical premises concluding
that, because of ;ompusory fund-
ing, SGC members are criminals.
Since these motions, dealing wish
the moral issues of funding, were
grouped, I stated these premises
in only the first motion. But ac-
cording to the Daily, I hadn't de-
fined the moral issues, I was mere-
ly name-calling.
The second motion the Daily ct-
ed referred to an incident where
my rights as a human being, U.S.
citizen and as a University stu-
dent were denied by the initiati,n
of force. So gross was the injustice
involving the sign "SMASH SGC
POWER TO THE STUDENTS" (not
what the Daily claimed it said),
that I aired the matter at the most
public forum I could. As a pre-
caution against further atrocities,
T st,,tpdmy uhnle 'cse n thp

Mime troupe plays
IBrecht's Mother'
By MICHAEL McCORMICK
FOLLOWING UP a successful 1970 appearance on campus, the
San Francisco Mime Troupe presented an excellent example
of propaganda as art, Berthold Brecht's The Mother, in Power
Center Wednesday night.
Accompanied by their own small band - horn, drums, flute,
guitar - the troupe performs Brecht's story of the radicalization
of the working class in the years preceeding the Russian Revolu-
tion. In contrast to the shorter satirical works they once perform-
ed, the troupe "decided to do The Mother this year because of the
present crisis in America," as their playbill states.
The Mime Troupe approaches the play in the spirit of Brecht's
theatrical philosophy. The apostle of "epic" drama, Brecht used
archtypes to illustrate and strengthen his ideas on political-
theatrical didacticism. The entire production is suffused with the
belief in the efficacy of knowledge. Anya Vlassova (the Mother)
sets the tone, declaring to the bourgeois schooltetacher bored by
all his knowledge, "You just let us -have your knowledge if you
don't need it."
THE TROUPE takes Brecht's theories to heart. Each character
portrays a segment of society. The policemen are appropriate oafs,
deceived by the oppressors and socialized to the extent that they
cannot perceive the ridiculousness of their role.
The young revolutionaries are honest, sincere, and industrious.
However, they are capable - with the shortsightedness and im-
patience of youth - of lapsing into un-revolutionary selfishness
and self-pity. The elderly act with resolution, perseverence, and
practical common sense.
Drawing on the actor's sense of Brecht's characters, in com-
bination with technique garnered in 14 years of experience, the
troupe stages a fine example of the innovative power Brecht tried
to write into his plays.
Anachronisms, such as the display of the United Farmwork-
ers' flag by striking Russian farmworkers, establish the rele-
vancy and educational value in a modern perspective. Brecht
encouraged such localization as imperative for the needs of the
people.

I

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