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March 30, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-30

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OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, March 30, 1982-

The Michigan Daily

-0

di d my tn stTeni
Edited and managed by students at The University of Mich igan

Nukes? Just jump in the car!

Vol. XCII. No. 141

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

News item: The Reagan Administration
has budgeted $252 million for a nuclear
attack civil defense program next year, a
90 percent increase over fiscal 1982. Cen-
tral to this program is a Crisis Relocation
Plan under which residents of probable
target areas-such as large cities-would
be evacuated to safer outlying locations.

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Regulating our doctors

T HE ELITISM of the medical pro-
fession was dealt a serious blow
last week, and it couldn't have hap-
pened to a more deserving set of
professionals.
The nation's Supreme Court upheld a
Federal Trade Commission order last
week that forces the American
Medical Association to allow their
members to advertise, compete for
business, and enter into nontraditional
financial arrangements for the prac-
tice of medicine.
Before the Supreme Court decision,
physicians in the AMA were not
allowed to advertise in any media,
specifically television, newspapers,
and magazines. The AMA had a per-
fect set-up: regulating member's ad-
vertising practices keeps health prices
high and keeps doctors part of an elite
group. AMA officials claim, however,
that regulation keeps medical services
at " quality level. Advertising, the
AMA claims, would have a potentially
disastrous effect on medical services
available to the public.
However, the opposite is probably
closer to the truth.
Physician advertising should help
consumers make better, wiser
decisions about their personal health

care. Those in the market for a doctor
will now be better informed about the
choices available, and thus be better
able to enter the health care market in
an informed manner.
With-market give and take, doctors
will be forced to become more respon-
sive toward the public's wants and
needs. Increased advertising will lead
to increased competition, and this may
eventually drive down medical fees-
an area of pricing that sorely needs
deflating.
There is, of course, always the chan-
ce that this advertising will lead to
problems. Corrupt medical clinics and
cheap, fast-buck practitioners might
take their toll on the system. But if
some form of advertising standard is
enforced regarding the authenticity
and quality of the advertiser's prac-
tice, corruption will not necessarily
accompany medical advertising.,
The medical profession has been a
tightly-knit, elitist profession for too
long. Their self-propagating high rates
and questionable self-importance have
dominated American health care to the
point where consumers no longer have
any rational say in what type of care
they receive. With the Supreme.
Court's decision, this unhealthy
domination should be put in check.

Howard
Witt

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Plans developed by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency include
an odd/even license plate rotation for the
use of roads during an evacuation,
distribution of Emergency Change-Of-
Address Cards by the Postal Service,
establishment of a food-rationing system
to distribute six eggs and four pounds of
cereal to each surviving American every
week, and guidelines for resuming normal
operations after a nuclear attack.
News item: The Pentagon operates
three space satellites that will provide
from 15 to 30 minutes' warning of an in-
coming Soviet missile attack.
* * *
"Let's not dilly-dally, children. You heard
the nuclear attack warning siren. Go pack

your suitcases so we can be on our way."
"Mommy, Mommy! I'm scared!"
"Now there's nothing to be scared of, Billy.
We have half an hour-more than enough
time to leave our apartment here in the heart
of downtown and drive out 50 miles to a safer
outlying location. We just have to keep our
cool and follow the Crisis Relocation Plan. Go
get your teddy bear like a good boy. Suzy! Did
you go to the bathroom? You know how I hate
stopping at those filthy service-station
restrooms on the highway."
"Mommy, Mommy! Shouldn't we call Dad-
dy and tell him?"
"Suzy, you know your father doesn't like to
be bothered at work. I'll just leave him a note
on the kitchen table telling him where we've
gone."
"WHERE ARE WE going, Mommy?"
"Out to the country, dear, where there will
be lots of nice farmers to greet us and take us
in for awhile. Now come along, children. You
go get in the station wagon while I fill out this
Emergency Change-Of-Address Form."
"I'm hungry, Mommy!"
"There'll be lots of cereal and eggs when we
get to the country, Suzy."
"What about Grandma and Grandpa? Can't
we call them?"
"I'm afraid Grandma and Grandpa will
have to stay here in the city, Billy. Remem-
ber, Grandpa just got those fancy new license
plates that spell 'CODGER,' so he won't be
permitted to use the roads. We've got odd-
numbered plates, so we can leave the city
right away."
"Mommy, look how light the traffic is! And
we're so lucky ! We've been hitting green
signals all the way!"
"OF COURSE THE traffic's light, darling.
There's plenty of room on the city's streets to

accommodate a full-scale evacuation of
several million people fleeing a nuclear
bomb. Good thing it's not rush hour,
though-things might have been a little
crowded if this were rush hour. Just to be
safe, I think we'll take the tollway; it's never
congested. Suzy, do you have a dime for the
toll?"
"No, Mommy! I left my little purse back
home in the apartment. And oh no! I think I
forgot to lock the front door when we left!"
"That's okay, honey. Everyone's leaving
the city, so we don't have to worry about any
criminals staying behind to loot our home. We
need some gas anyway, so we'll just get some
change at this gas station."
"We sure are lucky, Mommy. There's no
lines or anything."
"Of course not, dear. You see how smoothly:
everything goes when everyone stays calm,
and follows the Crisis Relocation Plan?"
"WHERE WILL WE sleep out in the coun-.
try, Mommy?"
"I told you, children, we'll stay with a far-
mer and his family, or with some quaint
townspeople."
"But is there room for all the millions of
people from the city?"
"Of course, Suzy. Those country folks have
big houses with lots of spare bedrooms
Besides, we'll only be staying out there for a
few days, until the fallout goes away."
"Then where will we go, Mommy?"
"Why, then we'll come back to the city,
dear, to resume normal operations after the
nuclear attack."
"Gee, this isn't so bad after all, Mommy!
Armageddon can be fun!s"
Witt 's column appears every Tuesday. ''°t

Sinclair

4,,

AMERICAN -IRAINEP x3LDIERs

IN EL SALVADOR

APPL iiN& THE 1bUNTER-lNsuRGEN1Cy TkCj-P'JUES
IN VIEITNAM\A...

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Beyond the zone system

P RESIDENT REAGAN'S recipe for,
curing what ails the economy often
has left out relief for the poor in favor
of boosting - business. But now the
president has introduced a plan to suc-
cessfully combine the poor and
business as ingredients in an economic
recovery.
Last week Reagan presented his
plans for urban enterprise zones.
Taxes, regulations, and other gover-
nmental burdens will be reduced in
these zones-pockets of urban pover-
ty-to encourage the growth of new
business. 25 of some 2,000 areas
qualifying as zones will be eligible as
the plan operates on an experimental
basis.
The zone system seems to be a good
idea: free market solutions would be a
much better way to ensure long-term
economic recovery than the mere
pumping-in of federal dollars. Reagan
has made the idea even more sound by
getting rid of his previous plan to
eliminate minimum wage standards
and safety and civil rights regulations
from the zones-which would create a
dangerous free market free-for-all.
Unfortunately, the enterprise zones

are at odds with the rest of Reagan's
economic ideology. Unless the zone
benefits are coupled with a mood of
welcome, businesses won't be lured to
the inner city. Past cuts in job-
training, housing, and income subsidy
programs have angered and frustrated
the city's poor. What pragmatic
businessman would want to set up shop
in a neighborhood filled with hostile
inhabitants-people who feel cheated
by the federal government?
The announcement of the zones coin-
cides with a Reagan campaign to con-
vince the country that he sincerely
cares for the poor. Reagan's
humanitarianism sometimes seems
suspiciously ready to embrace the
haves over the have-nots. The zones
are a step toward enhancing the
president's image, but they won't
completely make up for his neglect of
social programs.
The enterprise zones deserve a
chance. They may turn out to be an ef-
fective remedy for urban economic
ills. But to make his cure a truly
healthy one, Reagan must go beyond
plans for any future zone system to
consider the current plight of the
nation's poor.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Gaining perspective on El Salvador,

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MORE BAD NEWS1
ON TH ECONOMIC
FRONT FOR THE
PRESIDEN.........
vas
_______fl~if-
2
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To the Daily:
An awful lot of people went to
Washington this weekend to
protest U.S. involvement in El
Salvador. Let's try to gain some
perspective. The last time we at-
tempted to influence American
foreign policy on this scale was
the Vietnam war. Did we have
more involvement on the part of
students then? Did the demon-
strators actually have an influen-
ce? Maybe. My belief is that the
Vietnam was ended beacuse it
was too economically costly. Big
business had begun to feel the ef-
fects of economic strain which
the Vietnam war placed on the
United States. While demon-
strations, marches, and flower-

power made statements, chances
are U.S. involvement would have
been curtailed without those
displays of sentiment. It is
unlikely, however, that the anti-
war movement may have
hastened the end of our in-
volvement. For the lives saved, it
was all worth it. But did we learn
the right lessons?
Now we begin similar displays
of sentiment about U.S. in-
volvement in Latin America.
Military and culturpl slaughter
takes place consistently in the
name of maintaining a profit. Our
government is swayed by the
massed resources of the military-
industrial complex.. Millions of
dollars are spent on advertising

around the globe to serve the ex-
port of our American consumer
culture, the end of which is the
creation of ever-widening
markets.
Protest and statements are
fine. But we must make more of
an effort to understand the nature
of our economics and why the ob-
vious continues to be swept under
the rug woven of ledgers. I ad-
mire all those people who went to
Washington. But we've got - a
microcosm of the current
troubles here at the University.
The schools of Education and of
Natural Resources face cut-
backs. From the latter school we
gather information on how we are
to save our planet;, from the for-

mer school we study how to teach
and lead people to an understan-
ding of the earth's situation. And
the art school also faces
cutbacks.
The course of capitalism is
clear. United States imperialism
burning its bridges behind it is
but a sign of the times, a mere
symbol of a larger problem inflic-
ted on the world by a materially
wealthy, morally impoverished, "
minority. Sure, we can learn the-
lessons, but we have trouble
teaching them. The continuing
trends of growth and exploitation
indicate that our understanding
is still incomplete.
-David Epstein
March 29

I

171

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