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July 26, 1979 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-07-26

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Page" d -Thursday, July 26,1979The MichignDdan y D T
Michi gan Daily
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedom
420Moynard St.. Ann Arbor, MI. 48109

Carter's contradictions can
be explained by politics

V LXXXIX, No. 52-S News Phone: 764-0552 By RAYMOND)TANTER
Y BRILLIANTLY trumpeting
Edited and managed by students B a bold energy program Presi-
at the University of Michigan dent Jimmy Carter "galluped"
ahead in, the polls; by purging his
ilCabinet, however, the President
I could hve dissipated his
B oatlIP program's gains. Why pursue
such seemingly contradictory
get policies? What explains such
Carter's paradox arises from
tX~DC5A'! S~ Vitna hae - the contrast between his accurate-
HE BOAT people fleeing Vietnam have some perception of the energy threat
T hope for survival as a result of the inter- versus the actual energy
national conference on refugees. program he put forth. The depen-
Laudable U.S. leadership on the catastrophic dence on foreign oil is the core of
situation helped spur other countries to pledge in- the energy threat. The energy
take of refugees and naval efforts to save those program addresses this problem
floating to their deaths on the South China Sea. by promising that the dependen
ce on foreign oil will not get worse
Italy has sent a task force and the West German during the next five years. Im-
Embassy in Malaysia is devoting two of its com- port limitation, however, is har-
mercial fishing boats to rescue boat people. dly a summons to sacrifice.
The U.S. Seventh Fleet, which traditionally AITHOUG;I PANTED with
patrolled those waters to prevent a Chinese attack bold strokes, the energy program
on Taiwan, is now concentrating on rescue fails to resolve underlying
missions, having saved 1,100 refugees so far. tradeoffs between energy on one
These efforts underscore the American commit- hand, and the environmenther
ment to aiding the persecuted 'refugees, first ex- For example, the energy plan en-
pressed by President Carter last month when he visions a host of innovations that
doubled the immigration quota for these down- supposedly can be implemented
trodden people. In addition, Vice-President without tampering with current
Walter Mondale announced at the conference the environmental restrictions.
establishment of international transit centers
from which refugees can be resettled once they Until the president acts to trade
off economic gains and environ
arrive safely on dry ..u. And the administration mental quality for energy in-
is preparing to ask Congress for an additional $105 dependence, however, he will be
million to heed the boat people's plight. correctly petceived as acting in-
The Vietnamese government continues to deny decisively. If energy is the new
culpability for creating the crisis: However, the battleield around which to rally
culpailitythe American people, there must
Hanoi government has said it will try to stem the be casualties. A war without vic-
flow of refugees from that troubled nation. While tims will not be perceived as a
this promise appears to be a breakthrough, there call for sacrifice.
is no reason to believe it will be kept. The Viet-
namese government is reaping financial benefits, WAAFr N r x
via exit taxes, from the departing citizens as well
as lightening the population burden demanding Q
food and government services. It would have been A P
wiser for conference delegates to ask what the R e L
Hanoi government to lower the price ofQ
emigrating. Then Vietnamese would not have to
wait for sufficient funds to leave, thus enduringa
further hardship, and rescue missions could be
stepped up now while world sentiment is in the ws rfpRNEpvMmix
boat people's favor. A
The best result of the conference, however, was
the unified spirit in which disparate governments'
met to solve a world problem.-
\f
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To gain energy independence
without letting prices rise
dramatically via decontrol is to
imagine that there are "free lun-
ches." There are no free lunches:
every benefit costs something. To
gain energy independence
without reducing environmental
standards on automobile
emissions, for example, is to
imagine that there are free lun-
ches.
geouw.Mse nvrw
AUiaT 49./%
W .45OWP .esAlMN-
'" N. o7' NJ
8ti
2o-
*aRD '#V s rNA
SC,A01 ,ASEO7NN+G4

IN SIIO T, the energy
program is a rhetorical collage to
the extent that it is presented as a
cost-free alternative. Unless
tradeoffs for energy independen-
ce are faced explicitly, the
president willdbe perceived as a
weak leader. It is because of a
mistaken notion that calls for
sacrifice are politically unaccep-
table that the energyprogram is
painted in bold yet cost-free
strokes.
Given the lack of a disposition
to face value tradeoffs in the
energy field, perhaps the
president turned to politics. By
purging his Cabinet. Carter
demonstrated a willingness to
face value tradeoffs. The political
purge resolves conflicts between
the White HM'u-e staff and the
Cabinet, signalling to the public,
that the president is a strong
leader, i.e., one willing to make
hard choices. Thus, the super-
ficially bold energy program's
temporary gains at the polls
might be sustained by dramatic
politics--a purge of the Cabinet.
The apparently contradictorv

strategies, therefore, become a
% "r ' consistent approach.
If politics succeeds in
upholding the public opinion
r*WrEEfs AA1O r gains of the energy program.
StOOPY SNEW such success might allow the
administration to present the
type of costly energy alternatives
* e Y1 that could win the war on the
energy battlefield.
PliticalScince Pr'ss Muhai
/ 1/I t> r s. (i x et o

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