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December 09, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-12-09

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Page 4-Friday, December 9, 1977-The Michigan Daily

A peculiar thing happened the other
day. A confrontation between a radical
activist, Jane Fonda, and a large cor-
poration, Dow Chemical, produced,
aside from some lapses in logic and a
little hypocrisy, what may be a
significant trend for public relations in
corporations and, for the middle-man,
Central Michigan University, a rekin-
dling of an old debate about the respon-
sibilities of the University. Yet, for the
most part the press did not seem to
think the situation was that important. I
think it was.
Ayn Rand has a concept she calls the
"sanction of the victim." Rand believes
that the triumph of evil is made
possible, not by good men doing
nothing, but rather by evil's actual
aiding of its victims. The best example
of this in modern America is the cor-
poration, which, through foundations,
TV programs, and colleges cortinually
supports those, like Ms. Fonda, who are
antibusiness. Whatever the reasons for
this self-defeating behavior (which
Rand explores thoroughly) it is rare in-
deed to see a business even offer a
defense for its behavior. Yet, Dow has
suddenly invaded the sacred temple of
academia and demanded equal time!
One victim has threatened to withdraw
its sanction. But what if other com-
panies followed suit? The first thing to
happen isn't hard to guess: colleges
would scream bloody murder and claim
that their academic freedom was being

Consumer-controlled colleges

threatened. Then they would attempt to
wean themselves off corporate finan-
cing by convincing the state that they
need more tax money to maintain their
independence. But this is a sham. In
reality, not even the university can be
obligated to anyone.
support, and the more support, the
more obligation. The myth of academic
freedom was shattered some time ago
by the New Left when it exposed cor-
porate involvement in shaping the
curricula. Business benefits from
research and personnel training at tax-
payer expense. That and its own
donations obligate the university
heavily. The left's alternative, the
state, is even worse. The reason for all
the hostility toward business on campus
is that the university is not a market in-
stitution, but a creature of the state.
With the state's aid the university can
command resources, keep the polite
method of asking for donations to a
minimum, and maintain the myth of
serving no one but "society" in general.
Is it any wonder that students hear only
statist viewpoints? The student, mean-
while, having the least to offer, incurs
the least obligation. Even Adam Smith,
200 years ago, wrote a scathing attack

on the university as a tenured san-
ctuary for professors who run things to
suit themselves, and certainly not the
students. Things haven't changed much.
Student power is a dead issue but
students still wait in lines, find that the
courses they want are closed because
the supply never meets the demand,
can't find a place to stay, and endure
any number of other indignities without
Apologists for the state university
and the corporate university collided in
CMU and just may have heralded the
beginning of a new power struggle at
the expense of the student. Unfor-
tunately, the participants in the ex-
change only confused the real issue.
Ms. Fonda, after denouncing Dow in
her speech then accused the company
of "corporate blackmail" for
threatening to stop funding the univer-
sity. Now isn't this peculiar! Her
position is that of the battered wife who
won't let the husband she detests go
because she depends upon him for sup-
port. A further lack of logic involves the
charge of blackmail. Actually, what
Dow did was exactly the opposite of
blackmail. Blackmail involves the
demand of money in exchange for
preventing information about someone
being made public. Dow, on the other
hand, threatened not to give money in

exchange for information about itself
being made public, and that is legally
and morally defensible. One is not
obligated to pay for one's destruction.
DOW CHEMICAL'S claim to support
"free enterprise" needs some substan-
tiation, too. Defense contracts paid for
by taxpayers money do not constitute
FREE enterprise. Dow, you may
remember, was a purveyor of fine
napalm bombs, positively guaranteed
to incinerate alive any enemy of the
American state, and a lot of people who
weren't, besides. Dow produces many
useful products and napalm was but a
fraction of their business. Still, it in-
vites a justifiable charge of hypocrisy.
The real issue, "to whom is the
university responsible?" cannot be an-
swered in favor of the student-the
logical answer-while it remains a tool
of the corporate state. The New Left
knew this, but when it demanded its
early libertarian tendencies for various
collectivist dogmas it was unable to
provide a fresh answer. A libertarian
answer is to place the university in the
In the marketplace a university
would have to cater to its customers,
the students, or go out of business. In
the marketplace a corporation would be
'forced to pay for its own engineers,

scientists and managers by training
them on the job or through their own
schools like General Motors Institute.
Alternatively, they would subsidize the
students education on a contract basis
in exchange for a guaranteed period of
employment (as some do now) or
merely provide loans payable upon
graduation for some period of time.
This would have the effect of ending the
degree race, since overeducated people
would not glut the market and would
balance the supply of those graduates
with their demand by business.
NONVOCATIONAL disciplines in the
social sciences and humanities do not
need a megauniversity either.
Languages would go back to Berlitz,
which teaches them much faster. Music
would go back to conservatories.
Athletics would stop pretending it
wasn't a business. In all probability
communities of scholars would pervade
society in small groups, enriching
neighborhoods and not dominating
small towns like Ann Arbor with huge
concentrations of young people. Studen-
ts would in all probability work and go
to school from a comparatively early
age both for support and to establish a
habit that will be required for a
lifetime. Students would contract with
known scholars in their field of interest

for instruction and those scholars would
find their payment commensurate not
only with their reputation for
knowledge but also with their ability to
teach, an improvement over our
present system. As the students
knowledge grew he or she would also
begin to teach on a more elementary
level at less pay.
Auxiliary industries would grow up
around these communities. Rental
libraries, testing services, auditoriums,
classrooms and so forth all coordinated
by the relative demands of students
and teachers, and not by bureaucrats
and businesses.
Research foundations and businesses
would likely move in, too, ;to take
advantage of scholars who would in
turn find employment or the oppor-
tunity to rent lab space.
The major benefit for the student is
that the student, in addition to learning
a discipline, will also learn self.
reliance, and will not come to expect
the state to support him after their
parents have stopped doing so. Their
parents will no longer have to pay taxes
to support universities they were not
smart enough or rich enough to go to,
Professors will get paid what they are
worth, for better or for worse, and not
be guaranteed a free ride for life. With
all that, Jane Fonda and Dow Chemical
won't have much to fight about.
Gerry Wolke is one of Ann Arbor
leading promoters of libertarian

EighY-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXX VIII, No. 76
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Abort ion billuseless
to those who need it most

Letters to

The Daily

ONSIDERING THE five-month fuss
over federal funding for abortions,
Wednesday's House-Senate com-
promise fell disappointingly short of
any worthwhile advances for the coun-
try's poor..
Congress passed a joint resolution
allowing Medicaid funds for abortions
when a woman would suffer "severe
and long-lasting physical health
damage" if she experienced a full-time
pregnancy. Also included in the
package are provisions for funding
abortions in some cases of rape and in-
The legislation, which is expected to
get President Carter's signature, is no
doubt better than what the House
originally proposed, that is, funding for
abortions only when a woman's life is
threatened by a pregnancy. Still, the
nation's lawmakers displayed short-
sightedness in passing what some have
had the nerve to call a "liberalized"
funding law.
What is '"liberalized" about a bill
which condemns thousands of women
to a traumatic pregnancy and
miserable motherhood, and thousands
of unborn children to an equally
miserable start in life, all because the
person could not afford to pay for an
Senators and representatives fought
each other on this issue for almost half
a year, holding up funds for several
government agencies in the process.
After such an unusually long, intense

period of bickering, it would be expec-
ted that the problem's resolve would be
remarkable, original--even brave.
Such is not the case with these
legislators, who appeared more con-
cerned with getting out of Washington
for the year-end recess, than with the
lives of their most abused constituents.
A LL WOMEN should have the right
to choose abortion. And if a woman
cannot pay for an abortion, the
federal government should be direc-
ted to pay for it. The consequences of
not doing so have already been exper-
tly documented. Unwanted children
are doomed to be more costly to the
government after they are born than
before they are born. Such children of-
ten must be institutionalized by the
state for various reasons, according to
statistics. The Congress has con-
veniently ignored the interests of these
children in the compromise.
More importantly, though,
legislators have ignored the poor. The
fact is that Congress is denying help
for those people who, statistically,
need abortions most.
It was back in June that the Supreme
Court ruled the government need not
finance abortions. In doing so, the
Court gave Congress the responsibility
of arriving at a fair decision on how the
government should continue funding
abortions, if at all. That fair
decision-even after five months of
grueling debate-is nowhere in sight.

economics lesson
To The Daily:
Usually the articles in your
Sunday Magazine are written in
polished style. An article in the
most recent issue, however,
threatened your professional
Specifically, ,Mike Norton's
"Calling the punches in Ann Ar-
bor: Ten who do it well" con-
tained a section which considered
the power of a Mr. Roy Weber,
president of Ann Arbor Federal
Savings, a local financial in-
stitution. According to Mr. Nor-
ton, "to a great extent,. . . it's
their (the city's lending in-
stitutions) responsibility that a
home here can cost as much as
three times its value elsewhere or
that a permanent shortage of ren-
tal housing has developed in the
city." Unfortunately, this
scenario drastically oversim-
plifies and denies the veracity of
the real facts; but alas, Mr. Nor-
ton is a journalist, not an
A clarification of the situation
is needed. First of all, let us con-
sider the nature of the housing
market here in a'. Price-demand
sensitivity is relatively inelastic;
in other words, because many of
the' people demanding housing
here are more affluent than
average-income earners, and
because many of those people
(demanding housing) are studen-
ts who have very specific
geographical preferences,
changes in price do not leadto a
giant shoft in quantity of housing
Second, although Mr. Weber is
no grovelling plebian in Ann Ar-
bor's power structure, he by no
means has the power to "insure a
good return on their (investors in
housing) investments," as the ar-
ticle insisted he does. At any
given point in time, the market
ate of interest dictates the
amount of interest which will be
charged for mortgages; in ad-
dition, any additional risk im-
plicit in the investment will be
reflected as an increment to the
risk-free market rate. Why?
Because investors, you and I in-
cluded, are risk averters: they
will not lend their money to
others unless they are compen-
sated for the risk of loss which
that particular investment
provides. Of course, the market
interest rate is an indicator of the
value placed on having money
now instead of later.
It would seem that Mr. Norton
is the typical "enlightened,"
furious anti-capitalist who can be
found roving about the campus
every spring with the latest ex-
pose of the capitalist conspiracy.
Is housing in Ann Arbor "expen-
sive?" Yes; but let's not avoid
considering the fact that people
who demand housing here have
contributed to the market con-
ditions which have brought about
the equilibrium price.
-Michael Herrinton
protest action
To The Daily:
On November 15 and 16, the
Shah of Iran paid a visit to

the U.S. monopolies and gover-
nment. The so-called "human
rights" of Carter Administration
has proved to be nothing but a
new disguise for imperialism to
deceive the people. This become
evident by Carter's support of the
Shah and was successfully con-
cluded with a press conference.
But as the students were retur-
ning, Ann Arbor police, without
any previous warning, brutally
arrested one of them, supposedly
for "wearing a mask". The truth
is that this arrest was not an
isolated case and was meant to
put pressure on Iranian students
in order to hinder their action in
exposing the Shah's regime; this
arrest should be regarded as a
part of a plot carried out by police
against the Iranian students and
harassment of Iranian students
in East Lansing, Chicago, and in
the recent mass demonstration of
Iranian students in Washington
D.C. But this is only a minor
example of the U.S. government
support to the Shah's regime in
suppressing the Iranian people's
just struggle.
According to the international
news there have been several
mass demonstrations during and
after the Shah's visit to the U.S.,
in Tehran, Tabriz, and Meshed on
Nov. 15, 16, 20, 21. These demon-
strations have been in opposition
to the repressive regime of the
Shah and the severe economical
conditions of the country. The
demonstrators, which nupbered
to more than 10,000 people in
some places, marched the streets
where they were repeatedly at-
tacked by SAVAK (Iranian
Secret Police) agents dressed in
plain clothes. The notorious
SAVAK agents used automatic
weapons and iron chains in their
attacks against the people. Bet-
ween 30 to 60 people have been
reported killed.
In oorder to expose the recent
brutal supression a hunger strike
has been going on by 15 ISA
members in East Lansing since
Dec. 6. The Iranian Students
Assoc. in Ann Arbor and Ypsilan-
tu, in order to expose the recent
brutal suppression of the mass
demonstration in Iran, and to ex-
pose the collaboration of Ann Ar-
bor police and the Shah's
regime is sponsoring a demon-
stration on Friday, Dec. 9, at 11
a m. in the Diag of the U. of M.
the U, of M.
We ash all of the progressive
and freedom-loving people to
support us in our just struggle
against the regime of the Shah by
attending the demonstration and
also by attending the trial on
Tues., Dec. 13, 1977 at 9 a.m. at 15
district Court at 100 N. 5th
Avenue. and Huron (City Hall
-The Iranian Students
energy and comfort
To The Daily:
After attending a recent
national energy conference at the
University of Michigan's
Residential College, I realized
how relevant energy conser-
vation i to our enntrv' ned

various improvements that are
economically feasible in energy
efficiency. These included home
improvements on insulation,
more efficient machinery, etc.
These are not creature comforts I
am speaking of giving up, but
rather improvements that
provide both the consumer and
roducer economic benefits.
Traditionally electronic and
gasoline energy have been cheap.
These days with increasing costs,
it pays to conserve energy usage.
In my opinion the word, con-
servation, should be conceived as
the economic benefits of reducing
energy use without giving up per-
sonal comforts and needs.
-Karrie Chronicle
the rose bowl switch
To The Daily:
Alas! But has our country truly
lost all respect for tradition? I
have finally accepted that
George Washington was born on
a Monday, and that the date of his
birthday varies each year (How
confusing for friends and
fanily-not to mention his
mother) but I, for one, am now
faced with the last straw. I find it
most difficult to accept that
sacred New Year's Day tradition,
the Rose Bowl will be played
on-january 2!
Not only do I find this change in
dates sacreligious, I also see it as
creating problems never before
dealt with in America. The fact
that New Year's Day will not be
filled with college football means
that all of those hung-over people
who normally ease their pain in
front of the tube will be deprived
of this ceremony. Why, families
and friends may actually feel
obligated to converse on a level
beyond, "That ref is blind!"
The most detrimental effects of
the sudden change of dates,
though, will probably be felt on
Monday, January 2. Many people
are expected to report back to
work on that day. The number of
people calling in sick so that they
will be able to stay home and
watch the Rose Bowl (as they
always have) could be great
enough to cause a January
second national work slow down.
It is, therefore, in the interests
of the sacredness of the few
remaining national traditions,
the many ardent Rose Bowl ad-
dicts, and the wholesomeness of
the economy that I am enraged at
the sudden switch in Rose Bowl
-H. Lynda Kugel
To The Daily:
The recent Daily article on
P.I.R.G.I.M. (Public Interest
Research Group in Michigan)
may have left a false impression
with some which I would like to
correct. PIRGIM does not favor
the negative checkoff system
which required students to make
a special effort to get their money
back if they did not wish to sup-
port PIRGIM. This process was
thought to be unfair by many
people, including myself.
We are not using a hard sell at
r'TeP lines- Inta. PamG Mi

consumer and environmental
protection PIRGIM needs the
support of one-third of the studen-
This would not be such a dif-
ficult task if the regents hadn't
stacked the deck against us.
Those very same Regents who
would like to see PIRGIM
removed from campus have
designed the PIRGIM con-
tribution card with the goal of
cutting support below one-third.
They did not even allow a
description of what PIRGIM.
stands for. Neither does it explain
that we are a state-wide, student-
controlled and funded
organization committed to
fighting for the public interest.
Students working with the
PIRGIM staff which in-
cludes researchers, an attorney
and other specialists are lob-
byists for the public in contrast
to special interest lobbyists
working for corporations who
seek legislation benefitting only
Some of the tJings that
PIRGIM has accomplished in the
recent past include writing and
successful lobbying for the
freedom of information act,
passage of tenant protection
legislation, utility rate reform
and playing a major role in the
condition that supported
Proposal A. Since the bottle bill's
passage, PIRGIM has been
helping to implement the voters
will by securing the co-
sponsorship of 11 of Michigan's
congressmen behind the national
bottle bill.
The freedom of information
law was based on PIRGIM's
research entitled "State Secrets"
which documented the need for
more open government. The
tenants rights legislation which
PIRGIM lobbied for deters lan-
dlords from using lock-outs and
utility cutoffs. Our attorney has
successfully intervened before
the Public Service Commission to
bring "Lifeline" utility rates into
being. These graduated utility
rates promote energy conser&.
vation and save the average
residential consumer $10 a year.
PIRGIM also examines utility
rate hike requests closely and
fights those that are unjustified.
As a result of this the utilities
have been pressuring the Regen-
ts in order to cut our support.
If you would like to keep us
around to fight for legislation
benefitting you as a consumer,
please support PIRGIM by
signing the card attached to your
student verification form.
Anyone who would like to help us
with their tenant and environ-
mental ballot issues we are
currently working on should con-
tact PIRGIM. If you do not wish
to support PIRGIM there is no
need to worry about being
pressured in the CRISP lines. We
are there to let you know what
PIRGIM is and what we are
doing with your $2 contribution.
, Then the decision is yours.
-Tom Moran
Campus Projects


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