The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, August 6, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
A life worth any ransom
SINCE NO PRICE can be tagged to a human life, it is
an invaluable currency for use in terrorist barter-
ing. Captured hostages are threatened with termination
of their lives unless demands are met for the release of
held prisoners, the implementation of social programs,
change in political policy, or the delivery of exhorbitant
amounts of money. Victims of such exchanges in the last
decade have included the Israeli athletes at the Munich
Olympic games, the group of Stanford anthropology stu-
dents in Tanzania, and now the 50 hostages in Japan and
perhaps even Jimmy Hoffa.
The problem of stopping the use of human life as
currency is crucial and complex. To give in to the de-
mands - no matter how outrageous or criminal they are
-- seems the only humane, civilized behavior if even only
one life is involved.
VET IT IS obvious this predictable reaction only encour-
ages a continuation of the taking of hostages to
get cooperation in any terrorist scheme.
It would be simple to stop the terrorist practice of
taking out human insurance. It would only be necessary
to refuse to meet demands for financial, social of political
gains, ignoring the consequences of that refusal for the
Yet there are few demands so intolerable as to justify
consideration of human sacrifice as a better alternative.
It is doubtful that the next demand by any terrorist
group for' material goods, prisoners or promises in ex-
change for the safety of a hostage will be met by a shrug
of the shoulders and turn of an official back, even though
it may be evident that terrorism can only be controlled by
reacting with equal ruthlessnes, cruelty, and callous dis-
regard for the preservation of life. Terrorists will continue
to use living beings in their bargaining because the life of
a human being as yet has no equivalent price.
BETHNISSEN.........Editorial Page Aset.
JO MARCOTTY.... ..... . Night Editor
ROB MNACHUM..:. . . ..Night Editor
JhE 1RcItIa . ................... .............. ... Night Esditor
TM SCHICK......... Night.Editor
DAVID WHITING ................Night Editor
BILL TURQUE .. ... ....... Night Editor
ELAINE TFL HER..A'.......t. Night Editor
TRUDY GAYER ......... Ast. Night Editor.
ANN 10ARIE LIPINSKI .... .....Ant.Night Editor
PAULINE .LU UENS .......... ...... . ..... . As't. Night Editor
Hope closes shop
The permanently unemployed
By JAMES FIELD
SAN FRANCISCO - W h e n
Detroit blacks took to the
streets over the shooting of Obie
Wynn by a white bar owner last
week, the first explanation of
the rioting offered by commens
tstors was the high rate of un-
employment in the city.
Black unemployment - offic-
ially twice that ofwhile unem-
ployment - has reached over a
quarter of the entire slack work
force, says the National Urban
Economic projections for the
future hold out no hope. Analysts
are gradually recognizing as
much as 10 per cent of the
American people may be out of
a job for the rest of the decade.
Just 10 years ago, four per cent
unemployment was considered
the danger point.
Even if the economy picks
up, blacks have the least chance
of being hired. Yet they also
face continuing cutbacks in wel-
fare and social services as the
government seeks to keep its
mammoth deficits under con-
The prospect of permanent
high unemployment was f i r s t
laid out last February in a little
publicized set of long-range eco-
nomic projections released by
Council of Economic Advisers.
C.E.A. Chairman Alan Green-
span forecast what was then
regarded as an optimistic 4.8
per cent growth rate for 1576,
bitt also projected a 5.5 per
cent imemployment rate for
1980. This means that 1 in 20
Americans would be out of a
Even then, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics' definition of the
labor force does not include
everyone who could accept a job
if one were offered - it only
lists people currently working
either fbll or part time, .a n d
those receiving unemoloyment
benefits. The National Urban
League and other groups say
that isn't enough, and have
come up with statistics which
include the "hidden unemploy-
ed" - including odd jobbers,
those who have gone off unem-
ployment rolls, etc. - t h a t
double the government's fig-
The new unempjoyel are
overwhelmingly b'ack - 47,00
out of 49,000 put on unemoloy-
ment rolls in February and
March. Unemployment is up in
every category of black work-
er, but highest among the young
"The new unemployed are overwhelmingly black - 47,, Out
of 49,000 put on unemployment rolls in February and March.
Unemployment is up in every category of black worker, but
highest among the young and those living in poverty areas."
and those living in poverty
Those with the best charces
of getting jobs are write. Busi-
neas and industry have vir wally
fled from inner-city poverty
areas for the suburbs, meaning
economic pick-un spell:ajobs for
In the past, ghetto inhabtants
had the chance for government
employment >r welfare. Now,
both these options are narrow-
ing. Cities used to be called
"employers of last resort"-ob-
ligated by federal and s t a t e
law to employ welfare rec'p-
Tents. Bit growing budget crises
in the major -rban areas 1i k e
New York, and vigorous J e -
mands by public service unions
for pay raises and job security
mean fewer openings in c i t y
What all the signs add up to
is permanent high-level unem-
ployment. with diminishing wel-
fare heavily cowseatrated in
poor sectors of the country.
And the long-range situation
could be even worse. Official
economic projections are being
revised again and again - as
economists admit the deficienc-
ies of their art.
Last February, the Council. of
Economic Advisers predicted un-
employment for this year w'uld
average 8.1 per cent.- By the
end of May, new projections
were issued prediz'ing an 8.7
average for the year. A week
later, figures came .ot show-
ing the jobless rats at 9.2 per
cent - the highest since 1939,
jist before World War Ii.
Whatever the yo-yornature of
government economic predic-
tions, one factor remains con-
stant - optimism. The renewed
optimism enabled it to lower the
5.5 per cent unemployment rate
projected for 1981 to .. per
The government's optimisin is
matched by a relative uncon-
cern at large. Most people still
consider inflation the nimber
one economictproblem, accord-
ing to a recent poll.
Yet what lies behind accept-
ance of permanent unemplov-
ment is the un-ecedentel ab-
sence of any prog-am whatso-
ever - other tan calls for
more spending - tO even bring
unemployment down to the bare-
ly tolerated level of 4 per cent.
I effect, the government is now
willing to permanently write off
part of the work force.
Permanent unemployment is
threatening to oecome perman-
ent unemployment of the por
and minorities - primarily in
inner-city and ghetto areas lake
Detroit.AMnd ermanent unem-
ployment is more than no work
-it means no laoe of worr.
James Field is a veteran
observer of the economic
By ROB MEACHUM I decided to watch the "Un-
THOUGHT that particular Fri- touchables," one of my favorite
day would be like any other: early evening shows (second to
stumbling into work at about "Hogan's Heroes," of course).
noon, getting absolutely nothing Unfortunately for me, I got too
done with the weekend staring involved in Elliot Ness's cru-
me in the face, and waltzing sades and forgot about the hun-
home to have a leisurely eve- ger pains in my stomach and
ning. So .I thought. the golf date. I was quickty re-
Toward the end of the after- minded, however, when I heard
noon, a friend asked if I would a series of snaps, crackles and
play golf with him, and seeing pops. It wasn't Rice IKrispies,
a chance to salvage the day, I either. I also smelled smoke
consented. I rushed home and, and saw a foreign source of
being the quasi-vegetarian that light coming from the kitchen.
I am, prepared to fry up some The grease had indeed become
ocean perch fillets. My mother too hot.
taught me that the grease has
to be hot, but not smoking hot, I RACED into the kithen to
or whatever it was you were discover that the flame had.
frying would turn out too jumped up to the cabinets end
greasy. What she forgot to tell w a s 'quickly spreading. I
me was that grease can gat 'too thought to myself, "What pis
hot, even hot enough to catch out a fire?" "Water," was the
fire. only answer I could come up
And that's just what it did. As with, not once thinking a ut vite
I was waiting for it to het up, effect baking soda has on - a
Perch fillets hot item
grease fire. I ran to the sink,
filled a container with water
and in a vain attempt, literally
threw it at the fire.
It didn't phase the fire in the
least. The flames wsre getting
more intense by the second.
Once out of the kitchen, I
went into a state of semi-shock.
Meanwhile, the flames were
now on the walls and ceiling -
the whole place was burning
down. "This is a job for the
Fire Department," someone in
the back of my mind shouted,
reminiscent of the Ajax com-
Ripping through he pgaes of
the Ann Arbor phone 'directory
I finally came to a listing ftr
the fire department. "I've got a'
fire at 116 N. State, Aparsment
one: get your asses over here
quick," I screamed at the per-'
son answering the call. "Let me
repeat 'that, it's . " the guy
echoed. "Yeah, hurry up, I'll'
meet you outside."
BY THE TIME I made it oat
of 'my bedroom, flames were
roaring out of the kitchen door,
and to get out of the apartment,
I had to pass the kitchen door.
There was no other way.
As I staggered out of the
apartment building, I could hear
the fire engines on Huron. I
flagged them down, showed
them where the fir; wan and
let them go to wor.. I was aut
in 15 minutes but t toak four
trucks- to accomplish the task,
Smoke damage to ithe remaind-
er of the apartnent was exten-
sive, and the kitchen was rotai-
By the time my golfing part-
ner arrived, I was a to'al wreck
- knees wobblingg, short of
breath and unable to express'
my thoughts coherently. He im-
pressed upon ne that I should'
contact my landlbrd an' day in-
surance company. Since the
landlord lived j-ist. a block
away, I decide to walk to his
house and tell him the bad news.
My landlord is older than
water and probably has a se-
vere case of hardening of the
arteries. Slow as a snail, he
walked to the apartment to in-
spect the damage.
WITHOUT SAYIN:3 a wod,
he mozied 'thraugh the ;apart-
ment, feeling the charred .urf-
aces, checking the water dam-
age and smelling the strong
odor of smoke.
His first words to te were:
"How often d-u you defrost she
refrigerator?" 'Once a month,"
t replied in utter .disbelief.
"Well, you shoutd. defrost it
every other week, ot'erwise it'll
be no-' #anybody."
Rob Meachum is a DOily