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September 18, 1981 - Image 4

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0

OPINION

0_.

A

Page 4

Friday, September 8, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

On the pope's

encyclical

Vol. XCII, No. 8

420 Moynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Edtorials represent a majority opinion of the Doily's Editorial Board
Resposibe budget cutin

T HIRTY-FIVE billion dolldrs was
not enough. The Reagan admini-
stration has decided that it's time to
strip a few more billion from the
federal budget-and what better place
to cut than the coffers of those greedy
social programs.
Wednesday, President Reagan said
he has considered making cuts in such
federal benefit programs as Social
Security, food stamps, and gover-
nment pensions. One of the most
popular targets in the White House
seems to be the Social Security
program. The president has proposed
postponing a three-month cost-of-
living increase in the program. This'
would provide a net savings of about
$2.8 billion, the administration has
maintained. '
Apparently it hasn't occurred to the
administration or the Republicans in
Congress that there may be a little
more waste in the $188.8-billion defense
department budget besides the paltry
$2 billion that the administration has
proposed cutting.,
If the administration is so bent on
eliminating additional federal waste, it
should look to the defense department.

President Reagan has instead,
however, chosen a much different
route for cutting the budget. He cuts
from areas-specifically social
programs-that he doesn't like. It's
certainly no secret that the president
doesn't approve of the present Social
Security system and would like to see it,
drastically altered. He uses the excuse
of eliminating the federal deficit by*
cutting from this important program.
By offering insignificant cuts in the
military, he has simply thrown a bone
to the liberals who have assailed the
over-inflated defense budget-
A much more responsible move by
the president would be to double or
triple the defense department cut.
While this would hardly dent the enor-
mous military budget, it could ease the
pain of cutting some needed, and
already weakened, social programs.
If President Reagan is as intent on
-paring waste from the federal budget
as he says, he should not only look at
social '.programs. He should take a
realistic and responsible look at
eliminating waste in the military
budget.

By John Schall
Pope John Paul II issued his
third encyclical on Tuesday, and
although the document represen-
ts a significant statement by the
Catholic Church on several areas
of human activity, the press has
already reduced the encyclical to
little more than an essay on labor
unions.
But this encyclical is a great
deal more than that. An en-
cyclical, or circular letter to
Roman Catholic bishops,
represents the official position of
the Catholic Church on a given
matter. And this particular en-
cyclical, entitled "Of Human
Work," is extremely important
precisely because it deals with so
many aspects of human activity
besides labor unions.
IN FACT, the Sheer ambition of
the pontificate of John Paul II is
rapidly heightening the intellec-
tual dislogue from the Vatican to
levels reminiscent of the years of
the Second Vatican Council.
John Paul II has achieved a
perhaps unprecedented com-
bination: an active schedule
which had taken him to dozens of
countries before the attempt on
his life, and a kerygmatic agenda
that has produced three papal
encyclicals in as many years.
Thursday's encyclical is by far
the most carefully developed of
the pope's statements yet.
Whereas John Paul's first two
encyclicals, "The Redeemer of,
Man" and "Riches of Mercy,"
seem by virtue of their subject
matter somewhat more asser-
tions than carefully detailed
arguments, "Of Human Work"
operates within a sophisticated
tradition of theoretical develop-
ment.
AN ASSASSINATION attempt
delayed the pope's intentions to
deliver "Of Human Work"
("Laborem Exercens" is its
Latin title) on May 15, the 90th
anniversary of- Pope Leo XIi's
encyclical "Rerum Novarum"
("Of New Things").
John Paul's encyclical is in
every way the successor to
"Rerum Novarum" and to Pope
Pius XI's '1931 social encyclical
"Quadragesimo Anno" ("In the
Fourtieth Year").
In this tradition, "Of Human
Work" constitutes nothing so
much as a treatise on human

"In this consists its social power:
the power to build a community,"
John Paul says. To work is to be
human, that is, to be social. This
explains the pope's conden-
nation of "rigid" capitalism.
Communism is likewise rejected
because by presuming initial
common ownership it leaves.the
individual nothing left to give to
the community-to act
Christlike.
The media will undoubtedly-:
continue to focus its attention on
the comments about women and
the labor unions.
THIS IS unfortunate since it
detracts from the major conten-
tion of work as the basic thread
in the communal fabric. But it is
also unfortunate because the
pope's comments about women
are barely germane and in any
case are not exceedingly useful
other than to underscore the
primary importance of the
family.
Focusing attention on the
operation of unions will give rise
to far more questions that it at-
tempts to answer. Why does the
pope specifically insist ' on
separation of unions from
political parties? Is there an im-
plication that labor unions ought
to be literally reactionary in-
stitutions waiting in the wings as
defenders of social justice?
Regardless of the questions it
raises, "Of Human Work" must
be looked upon as consistent with
the best traditions of
Catholicism, especially with the
communism of early church, the.
social gospel of St. Francis, and
Christian socialism of the
nineteenth century.
John Paul defines the work in
man's mission of the world's
recreation; 'Only man is capable
of work, and only man works, at
the same time by work occupying
his existence on earth. Thus worc
bears a particular mark ofman
and humanity, the mark of a per-
son operating within a con-
munity of persons. And this mark
decides its interior charac-
teristics; in a sense it constitutes
its very nature."
Schall is an LSA senior
majoring in political science.

AR Photo

Pope John Paul II

Integration threatened

T HE SENATE TOOK a big step on
Wednesday toward placing severe
restrictions on busing school children
for the. purpose of achieving racially
integrated schools. While some of the
specific criticisms of busing that
prompted the vote are valid, the vote
reflects a very distressing attitude
among the nation's lawmakers.
The Senate ended a filibuster on
amendments that would bar courts
from ordering the busing of students
more than 15 minutes or five miles
from their homes.
Although the amendments on which
the Senate voted' this week will
assuredly face long fights before they
become law, the margin (61-37) by
which the filibuster was ended in-
dicates that they have very strong
support in the halls of Congress.
What is so disappointing about the
new mood in Congress is not so much
that the old program for racial- in-
tegration might be abandoned, but that
no new alternatives have been
proposed. It would be an entirely dif-
ferent situation if the southern conser-
vatives in Congress tossed this

program out while offering a brilliant,
more workable new plan waiting in the
wings, but they simply don't.
In fact, what appears to be the case;
is that the conservatives in Congress
are quite content to let the racial
segregation; in this nation's schools
continue.-
Their actions make them appear to
be oblivious both to the problems
racial, segregation has caused in the
nation and to the blatant injustice that
accompanies "separate but unequal"
schools.
Perhaps what they don't realize is
that, much as they would like to ignore
the problem, it will not go away. As
history has shown, time and continued
indifference toward the plight of racial
minorities in America can only make
the problem grow worse.
America cannot tolerate continued
segregation in its schools. Faulted as
the old plan may have been, it was at
least an attempt to solve a problem.
The conservatives seem to be well on
the way toward gutting one program
for integration. They owe it to the
nation to come up with another.

nature. It is fundamentally a
political treatise. Lest this should
confuse some members of the
political science faculty who have
grown accustomed to forsaking
"normative" to "empirical"
concerns, let me say more ac-
curately this encyclical is a
treatise on political theory.
John Paul is as astute in
definition as a John Locke or a'
Karl Marx and argues with the
care of a Thomas Hobbes.
MEDIA REPORTS have
reduced the encyclical merely to
a defense of labor unions in an in-
dustrialized world. Of course,
John Paul does indeed call unions
"indispensable" even in a moral
sense'; and, of course, the en-
cyclicaldoes have direct bearing
on the events'in Poland of the last
year.,
To reduce the document to this,
however, is to ignore the larger

theoretical context and general
assumptions which comprise the
true beauty "Of Human Work."
John Paul rejects the Marxian
emphasis on the common owner-
ship of property and, importan-
tly, this extends even to the
modes of production. The Church
recognizes the right to property
in a somewhat Lockean sense:
property is viewed as almost an
extension of life itself. But the
church's viewpoint does not end
here.
MORAL BEHAVIOR sub-
jugates the right to property to
the right of common usage.
Moral Christian behavior is the
result of giving of self. In John
Paul's view, then, property as an
extension of self canrbe the object
of Christian action.
This-is where labor comes into
the argument. Labor in the
Christian understanding is social.

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By Robert Lence

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And now for

SACRAMENTO, CALIF.-OPEC. Three
Mile Island. Fast Breeders. The Alaska
Pipeline. These are the watchwords of
anxiety that havedominated the national
debate on how to beat the ever-threatening
energy crisis.
Yet while most of the country worries, a
group of California businessmen is plunging
ahead with a little-noticed but imaginptive
plan for installing solar water-heating
systems in the often foggy valleys of San
Francisco.
The solar collectors work. The water is hot.
And they're not perched atop the homes of
rich movie stars. They produce hot water for
city dwellers of all sorts.
MOST SURPRISING, the new systems rely
on no public subsidies and public utility rate
hikes, but instead draw on ideas embraced by
politicians as disparate as Ronald Reagan
and Jerry Brown-an anomaly which could
turn it into a prototype for one of the nation's
largest industries by the year 2000.
Key to the system is a bill before the
California state legislature authorizing an
-L±tt'ri .iier nlA .J L Q-C1-. -A Lwi..Y

By Jam
solar notes or bills th
market rates.
The proceeds from
finances the entire co
stalling solar water-h
our group or any of th
in the Bay Area. TI
$15,000 and $40,000 a
points below the mark
But Barnes and Dod
beginning when they d
create a mechanism
funding. Modeled a
Federal National Mo
Government Nationale
the statewide Solar an
Mortgage Corp.-orS
up loans made for
savings and loan ass
ding institutions..
AND IT WOULD get
the loans by sellingi
ticipation certificates:

'Sunny Mac,
es Ridgeway sa r energy conservation loans.
es RigewayTHE WHOLE scheme relies on private
capital. It does not require any taxpayer o ,
at are pegged.to money ratepayer subsidies. The stock of Sunny Mac
would be owned by private California finan-
sale of these securities cial institutions who chose to become mem-
st of purchasing and in- bers.
heating systems sold by An initial start of $500,000 would be
e other solar companies provided from the state treasury at market
'he loans run between rates and would be repaid in two years.
nd are pegged at two Sunny Mac represents- the-latest and most
et rate." progressive twist in the yet young solar in
ison saw that as only the dustry, which, while currently sluggish,
drafted the legislation to seems certain to flourish in the coming
for much wider scale decades.
long the lines of the THE LARGE corporations, some of them
rtgage Association and oil companies, which had toyed at the edges of
Mortgage Association, the industry, have in recent months left the
ad Energy Conservation solar collector side of the business, concen-
Sunny Mac-would buy trating their interest on research aid
solar installations by development in the photovoltaic area.
ociations and other len- Further, instead of building any mass
utility-based solar systems, the utilities are
t the money to purchase paying apartment building owners a per-unit .
its own bonds or par- rebate over a 36-month period if they install
in the capital markets. solar water heaters. A similar rebate was of-m

~U ~ ~ I~ ~ III ~ ~2 ~ I' ~

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