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July 21, 1977 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-07-21

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I

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, July 21, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
Inrese in retirement
age helps U.S. workers
A bill passed last week by the U. S. House of Repre-
sentatives Education and Labor Committee would raise
the standard retirement age in private industry from
65 to 70 and would eliminate it completely for federal
agencies.
The bill, strongly supported by Rep Carl Pursell (R-
Ann Arbor), is good, nct just because it eliminates the
inflexible and often unfair retirement age of 65. The real
reason to support the proposal (HR 5383) is demographic
-- namely, the population of the U. S. is growing older
very quickly.
By 1985 the percentage of the population over 65 will
jump from 10.5 per cent to 12 per cent, and between now
and the year 2000, the over-65 population will increase
37 per cent, comoared with a 15 per cent growth rate for
the rest of the population. And some population research-
ers estimate , hte U.S. median age could rise from its
present 28 years to as much as 35.
That's a lot ,f old people, spawned by the high birth
rate in the Fifties and better medical technology which
allows people to live longer. The current generation of
college students will be among them.
An older population has significant neaning for the
mandatory retirement age. If the retirement age remains
at 65 while the population grows older, there will soon
be a mass of "dependent" retirees - a much larger mass
than the smaller workir.g-aae population can support.
Increasing the retirement age would ease this bur-
den, although, as University researcher John Knodel
points out, it could cause problems when younger workers
try to break into a labor market crowded with older
people.
Still, the present system discriminates unfairly
against elderly workers, as does much in our "think
young" society. They should be given equal opportunity
in th'e job market.
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Stu McConnell, Ken Parsigion Barb Zahs
Editorial: Linda Willcox
Photo: Alan Bilinsky
Sports: Paul Campbell
Arts' David Keeps

I

Letters to The Daily

I

abortions
To The Daily:
Last week I was talking to a 45-year-old wom-
an. On the day before I saw her, she and her
20-year-old daughter had spent the day in Lan-
sing where the daughter had an abortion. This
was the daughter's third pregnancy. She has
borne two children who are now in foster homes
as wards of the court. The daughter has been
into drugs and has run afoul of the law and at
least for now has been deemed an unfit mother.
The abortion was paid for by medicaid. Uder
current proposals passing through Congress and
under consideration in our state legislature, this
young woman would not have had her abortion
in a decent medical manner. Medicaid funds
could not be used.
Icanunderstand how some people can con-
clude that the fetus's rights are greater than
the pregnant woman's and therefore want to
reverse the constitutional interpretation of the
Supreme Court's 1973 decision. Working for a
constitutional amendment to assert the rights
of the unborp is proper and may succeed. But
I cannot understand the recent legislative ac-
tions which will make it impossible for the poor
to abort safely while allowing the rest of us
to do so. It's a punitive, nasty action toward
those who have the least power in our society.
I deeply regret that Congress has taken this
action and will do what I can to see that the
state government does not follow suit.
Edward C. Pierce, M.D.
anti-anti-porn
To The Daily
Perhaps the recent anti-porn campaign waged
by the Ann Arbor News may ultimately distin-
guish our own Washtenaw as Michigan's Dade
County. At any rate, it shows thatyou don't
have to be gay to"have a dirty diaper thrown
across your face. The articles merely underscore
the fact that virtually all the "dangerous" "crim-
inality" and "obscenity" of acts and desires
essentially natural, human and harmless, with
the obvious exception of child porn, is due to
their being declared illegal in the first place by
dictatorial, sexually paralyzed tight-asses, and
to the national terror of providing adequate sex
education in the public schools. Rarely does
journalism of this nature point to other than
legalistic, punitive remedies to the problems it
helps create. Therefore, may I offer a few prac-
tical suggestions generally overlooked by the anti-
porn establishment, in the hope that' they will
touch on the true causes of this misfortune-our
own diverse, incredibly puzzling and pleasing
sexuality.
* A national campaign must be designed and
promoted, ideally by someone with proven lead-
ership credentials, say, Anita Bryant, to eliminate
all volition, desire, attraction fantasy and urgen-
cy from the performance of the sex act thus re-
storing it to its original deodorized, mechanical
PG rating.
* Outlaw the sale of all materials that aid
sexual behaviors, such as cars, vans, beds, blank-
eta, pillows, underweur, mirrors, toothpaste, soap,

perfumes, hair spray, motels, Kleenex, beer, tele-
vision, telephones and patent leather shoes.
* Close down all public swimming pools and
ponds; or require of bathers full military dress
or body-length swim suits woven of an opaque,
metallic fibre.
* Require all dogs and cats to wear clothing,
to use birth control devices, and to be subject
to strict fines, los-of license and/or imprison-
ment of up to five years for engaging openly
in either carnal acts or expressions at any time
of the day or night.
* Ignore any and all questions pertaining to
sex asked by children, and punish said children
severely for continuing to ask . them after the
first hard slap is administered.
* Abandon the 4eaching of reading in public
schools.
* Gradually phase out the current, outmoded
system of a two-sexed humanity, perpetrated on
us no doubt by a cruel and unjust god, either
by means of transplants, castration, mastectomy,
hairstyling, prayer or the election of a genetic
engineer to the highest public orifice in the land.
Paul B. Weiner
violence
To The Daily:
It is appalling that The Daily finds amuse-
ment in human suffering and violence. The un-
happiness expressed by the man who conducted
a nude protest and the terror and hurt created
by the thief of Muehlig's hearse (incidents re-
ferred to as "Cop Chuckle No. 1" and "Cop
Chuckle No. 2," respectively, in the July 9th
edition) hardly to seem to warrant such "cute"
treatment.
I am sure that the police who finally appre-
hended the felon in the latter incident, after
ministering, en route, to the accupants of the
automobile which he smashed on his joyride
to glory, found little in the event to make them
feel mirthful. Nor did those occupants - his
victims, my friends - enjoy their brush with
death, their ambulance ride to the hospital, the
personal bodily injuries to one (the driver, mere-
ly an "unidentified" woman), and the loss of
an automobile.
Like them, I am grateful they are alive; but,
also like them, as I contemplate the entire event,
I feel anger toward not only the aggressor him-
self but also toward the mentality epitomized
by The Daily reporter. Such thoughtlessness and
insensitivity seem altogether too representative
of a larger societal pathology which somehow
makes the perpetration of cruelties by some hu-
mans upon others in real life the literal equiva-
lent of those depicted by make-believe charac-
ters in the entertainment media.
The maintenance of our collective basic hu-
man dignity demands more compassion and re-
spect for those within our ranks who are vic-
timized by other member transgressors from
those who are responsible for chronicling the
events of our daily existence. I am not chuck-
ling.
Frank E. Heger

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