Page 4 Wednesday, March 3, 1982 The Michigan Daily
By David Stewart
Oh, I can hear the folks at the cocktail parties
now. How they must have loved it ! "Jonestown
dconomics," Lane Kirkland, president of the
AFL-CIO, called the Reagan administration's
budget. How witty, how evocative, how-just
The liberals can now enjoy a new cliche with
their Perrier or gin and tonics, and all the while
can go on patting themselves on the back for
being so enlightened as to have protected the
great American welfare state all these years
from Neanderthals like Ronald "Jim Jones"
Reagan. And Kirkland-well, he'll hear com-
pliments about his delightful turn of a phrase,
his dry, mordant humor.
HARDLY ANYONE will notice the real
-problem with this ironically sickening phrase,
Kirkland was complaining that spending for
the so-called social programs isn't being in-
-creased enough. He and others talk about
"vicious cuts in social spending," but mostly
what is taking place is the paring down of in-
"creases scheduled in Jimmy Carter's last,
'lame-duck, wish-list budget.
4 On another day, Kirkland might have been a
"bit more frank about what he meant. He is
,omplaining that American socialism is being
prevented from moving ahead more quickly,
that Fabian welfarism is being slowed. From
this perspective, his comment seems a bit
ironic, to say the least. Let's extend the
meaning of "Jonestown economics," by giving
a bit of context to his words.
MOST OF US will remember that the
Reverend Jim Jones was head of the People's
Temple. He took his flock to Jonestown,
Guyana, where he dispatched them, in the end,
with a cyanide Kool-aid cocktail, to meet their
maker in the jungle.
That, however, was not the first public event
sponsored by Jim Jones. Jones had some very
fashionable beliefs anal activities when he lived
in California. There he was the darling of the
sunshine liberals and progressives.,
Jones served as the director of urban housing
in San Francisco, where he held wonderful
public hearings. He would pack these hearings
with his lambs, and the local progressives
would be there too, and he would rail.
JIM JONES was a full-fledged-socialist, who
loved the welfare state, wanted a bigger one,
and moreover, wanted us all to be communists.
He claimed to be the reincarnation of not only
Jesus, which again is not too unusual in
California, but of Vladimir Lenin. And he had
established, in the jungle near Jonestown his
own model socialist community.
socialist utopias seem to. And they solved them
in classical socialist real-life fashion-dissen-
ters or critics were killed, brutalized, or
harassed. The community was mostly black,
and the armed guards and supervisors formed
a Stalinesque clique of whites. The work
schedule was seven days a week, from dawn to
late evening. One survivor recalled, "Those
who didn't work didn't eat"-obviously, Jones
had read Trotsky, who said, "Who does not
obey shall not eat."
ALL IN THE time-tested socialist tradition.
How, then, can we explain Kirkland's com-
parison of a popular socialist economic com-
munity. with an economic plan that is almost
universally agreed to be quintessentially
Kirkland either doesn't know, or hopes we
don't, what the reality of "Jonestown
economics" is. It is a vision of a hugely expan-
ded welfare state-lots of welfare, food stamps,
rent control and subsidies, Social Security,
Medicaid-all the things that Kirkland wants,
all those good altruistic programs that Reagan
is just not feeding fast enough for Kirkland.
BUT LET'S NOT be too hasty here. We
shouldn't just let Kirkland get off as
altruistically deceptive or misinformed. Let's
point out his selfish interest in keeping the
welfare state big, too. There are lots of
recipients of welfare, and Kirkland is on their
side. That means the poor may never see the
damage that the AFL-CIO intentionally doesto
them in order to create an artificial labor shor-
tage, and to force up union wages.
The poor may never realize that they're
being bought off and sold out, at taxpayer's ex,-
pense, by a union that did all it could to keep
minorities out of the country or down in tie
economy-until it was politically unwise to do
so openly, at which point expanding the welfare
state offered a rhetorically humane way of
doing the same things.
Of course there are the welfare checks. And
the decoy job-training programs. And all the
other things that destroy incentives to work
and get off government dependence. And the
taxes that destroy job-creating capital.
"Kool-aid to the poor," indeed. This, the
great American welfare state, all the great
social programs that Kirkland bleeds over and
depends on for his job security-this is the
economic equivalent of Kool-aid to the poor, a
social cyanide cocktail.
Four years ago, Kirkland would have
probably admired Jones. And why not? They
share the same principles of economics.
Stewart graduated from the University in
1981 with a bachelor of arts in philosophy.
Kirkland addresses steelworkers
Jones provided a born-again Marxism that
the late U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan (D,-Calif.)-killed
by one of the Temple's lambs-could only
describe as "a beautiful place." And Charles
Garry, the Temple's attorney, pronounced the
Jonestown colony "a little jewel that the whole
world should see."
Well, sure, the cult had problems, as all
Uhke dsibdigan iaiIy
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCII, No. 118
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Students send a message
MESSAGE should be clear enough.
When more than 5,000 students flock
to Washington to protest the proposed
actions of the federal government, the
government must listen. One can't
ignore the wishes of the populace,
Students from across the nation went
to the. Capitol Monday to voice their
discontent with the Reagan ad-
ministration's proposals to drastically
slash federal student financial aid fun-
ds. The efforts of these students should
be acknowledged and applauded, for it
seems that they have finally done some
House Republicans voiced extreme
disapproval over Reagan's proposed
b)udget yesterday - especially the
budget's outlays for higher education.
Politicians now seem to be realizing
the effects of the proposed aid cuts
with a surprising unanimity.
Rep. Marge Roukema, (R-N.J.) said
people in her district "are absolutely
appalled at the depth of the proposed
cuts for guaranteed student loans and
Rep. William Goodling, (R-Pa.)
said, "We can't afford the defense
budget at the expense of the education
Even Secretary of Education Terrel
Bell seemed to reach the same con-
clusion. When asked what effects
these cuts will have on the quality of
education received by the nation's
disadvantaged youth, Bell replied,
"When you reduce funding, you
sacrifice as far as quality is concer-
ned." Maybe even the administration
is beginning to understand the danger
of restricting funds for higher
The students' march on Washington
shows us that popular protest may ac-
tually work. These crusading college
students may help preserve the foun-
dations of the educational system that
the Reagan aid cuts threaten.
One congressman made a prediction
that should provide hope for those
thousands rof students desperately
grabbing for fleeting federal aid
dollars. He told Bell and the Capitol's
executive officers that "you're going to
have to resign yourself to the fact that
this budget is going to be rewritten."
The message actually may have got-
QF A LifflY 1Rb1V'CT
FOR A Egi ,CA AGTAIN!
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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Publishing salaries invades pritvacy
To the Daily:
We were once again disgusted
by your yearly ritual of exposing
faculty salaries to the University
community. In your headlong
rush to expand readership by ex-
ploiting privileged information,
you have trampled on the privacy
of others, without providing any
significant service to anyone.
While you may claim that "the
public right to know" dominates
any individual or collective right
to privacy, don't forget that jour-
nalists have vociferously defen-
ded their "right" to keep their
sources confidential. If the public
had been able to find a legal
technicality to force disclosure of
journalist sources, we would
probably not have had the recent
travesties of the media, such as
Janet Cooke's fictional, but Pulit-
zer Prize-winning, story.
Continuing in this hypocritical
tradition, you have made public
information on private in-
dividuals' salaries, on the
questionable grounds that
because their employer received
public funds their lives had
somehow been "bought," and
were no longer subject to either
the constitutional protection of
privacy or the societal norms of
taste and discretion. Yet you stil
claim that reporters' notes are-
absolutely confidential, event
while the news stories they are
. based on enter the public domain.
We hope that next year you will
reconsider your decision to print
such information, if not on legal
grounds then at least on the basis
of consideration for others.
WAf -MAT A REBELI
0K AN ORDINARY CIVILNW?
Technology vs. nature
To the Daily:
I couldn't believe my eyes
when I read about an agreement
between the University and an
Ann Arbor attorney/landowner to
develop a "high tech park" on
property off of Dixboro Road'
across from the Botanical Gar-
dens (Daily, Feb. 12). This
property is undoubtedly one of
the most beautiful, productive,
natural areas left within hun-
dreds of miles-the Botanical
Gardens pale in comparison.
There are few emotions to mat-
ch the wonder one feels in spring
at being surrounded by lovely,
forested hills. Area nature lovers
have spent many hours roaming
these woods, searching for the
varieties of wildflowers and birds
that abound there. I find it incon-
ceivable that the owner of such a
glorious treasure could seek its
destruction in the name of
technology, with the en-
couragement of the University.
Must-we take paradise and put up
a robotics park?
To the Daily:
Although I was pleased to see
that the Tel-Med service was
newsworthy (Daily, Feb. 6), I
would like to correct the im-
pression created by the headline
Tel-Med is a service offering
basic health information. Some
tapes offer specific suggestions
for treatment or list symptoms
indicating the need to consult. a
physician, but the tapes are riot
diagnostic and are not meant to
replace a doctor.
Tel-Med phone lines are open
from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday
through Friday only.
Don 't dial a doctor
.; ..w ? k ....
By Robert Lence
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