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October 14, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-14

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Page 4

OPINION

Thursday, October 14, 1982

The Michigan Dail

"Iqw

" The gre
insidiou
well-me
There
Sherwo
a feathe
worship
dpeds-r
likeness
governm
F =This i
'steal f
nkmero
lubbed
back m
oppressi
THEl
biash l
money t
But beca
rich peo
daryfolk

Modern-day
______________--The lessoq~ of Robin Hood is clear: If you giv+
By Mark Gindin to the poor and steal fromthe rich, everlasting
praise will follow you. If you let the rich kee
atest dangers to liberty lurk in their money, your soul will be cursed forever
us encroachment by men of .zeal, And heaven help you at the ballot box.
For fifty years or so, our government ha
caning, but without understanding. been described as a modern-day Robin Hood
-Justice Louis Brandeis because it gives to the poor-in social ser
vices-all that can be gained from everyon4
once was a fellow who frolicked in else-in taxes. The problem is, however, tha
d Forest dressed in green leotards and this heroic role for the government just doesn'
ered cap. Although an outlaw, he was wash. In our society, the government function:
ped by the masses for his daring more as a "King John" (the bad guy who hire(
perhaps because he bore a remarkable the sheriff to chase Robin).
to Errol Flynn. Nevertheless, the THERE IS a fundamental difference bet
vent despised him. ween today's government and the lad from th(
man, you see, originated the phrase Middle Ages. The Sherwood Forest specter
rom the rich and give to the poor." The took his money from the rich, who got it fron
us poor applauded this scourge- the tax collector, who got it from the poor
Robin Hood-because he gave them Robin Hood merely took away the ill-gotten
oney that had been stolen from them in gains of the rich. He understood justice.
ive taxes. Morally speaking, there is no Robin Hoot
RICH and powerful did not like the today. There is only his enemy, a huge, multi
awbreaker because he reclaimed the billion dollar bureaucracy stealing from the in
hey had already stolen from the poor. dustrious and hard-working population to fee(
ause there were more poor people than itself and its friends, the voters who put the
)ple, Robin Hood emerged as a legen- thieves in office. Money is spent in ways
k hero. voters often would prefer it not be spent, anc

Robin Hood

just robs

i
//
j '
'4.
- n v-
"Where's Errol Flynn when you need him?"
the programs that get money are both inef-
ficient and insufficient
THIS ARRANGEMENT holds nothing in
common with the jolly do-gooder of yesteryear.

And there is a dangerous wolf lurking under the
sheep's clothing.
It is dangerous to put your own welfare into
someone else's hands.
It is dangerous to centralize power.
It is dangerous to centralize money.
And, above all, it is dangerous to turn your
head while power is taken away from you and
then defend its loss by saying that it was
removed for the common good. People should
be allowed, for true common good, to keep
wh'at they earn and spend their earnings as
they see fit.
ROBIN HOOD himself knew that it's not a
good idea to steal from someone who has ear-
ned money and give it to someone who hasn't.
Face it, Robin had the right idea of justice and
fair play.
But now we've got a perverse twist on the
Robin Hood theme. We have a government that
extracts a tax from our pockets before we even
have a chance to touch it. This stolen money is
then used to buy grain, milk, and steel on thb
open market to keep prices artificially high. It
is given to other countries to pay the debts
owed to American producers. It is given to art
museums to buy huge chunks of molten metal
for the front lawn.

Is this sort of robbery moral? Not according
to our old friend Robin Hood. Not according to
any sane person.
THE QUESTION for our generation is: "Can
we do the morally right thing and stop the rob-
bery of income redistribution without neglec-
ting those who need help?" History shows that
this country did just that successfully in its first
150 years. There are still those who believe in
freedom of choice and individual liberty, and
are convinced that no man will let his neigh-
bors starve.
An act of faith? Yes. Blind faith? Not if we
still believe that man is civilized enough to
have a society free of mandatory income
redistribution.
The practical question to ask is: "Can we
change?" We certainly can, but only if we wake
up and cast a vote for the candidates still
around who advocate individual liberty.
Robin Hood would roll over in his legendary
grave if he knew that King John and his band of
cutthroats were still riding high today.

Gindin is a Daily editor.

6

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCIII, No. 31

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

FALLOW AtMAMckw;- 4 RESIOtN of THE CURVEIN THE TURNING 01
IS AT THli BS&INN&OF T ESIGN TE CORNER~ ON THE UTURWN U,
OF a 1TOM~~I&OUT.1.
T M. I f" ) li/

>F

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

I

A great way of life

.
r .
i

ec

1

,I

IL

- 1

L-i

T'S GOOD TO know that as the
economy crumbles around us,
there's still one business that's going
strong. What's the most successful en-
terprise around these days? Why, it's.
none other than your neighborhood
armed forces recruiting station.
As the economy continues to plunge,
army recruiting has taken off-excuse
the military pun-like a rocket. The
current recession/depression has all
but made the armed services Reagan's
answer to an American jobs program.
Things sure have changed. In 1979,
the armed forces failed to meet their
recruiting goals. These days, one
gleeful recruiter said, "We're turning
folks away."
Who needs a jobs program when
we've got the good old army? The pay
is good; a buck private gets roughly
$540 a month, plus all the green
fatigues and K-rations he or she can
wear and eat.
And remember, it's fun to be in the
army.Thosecommercialsaboutflying
planes and commanding boats sure are
convincing. Okay, so you have to swab
A a few decks and fight a few overseas
conflicts, but mostly you just put on
a
WAR IS PE
LOVE IS HA
UNEMPLtvyt~t I EM
PEFIC r (S sul
TAY HIVE IS TA
CARTER 18, RE
TRULY WEEQV IS TR
PROSPERIIV IS Jul
-
r
s

your dress whites and visit European
capitals.
The army, too, is a great place to
hustle off those troublesome teenagers
who can't get jobs at home and those
college students who had to drop out
when their federal loans were cut.
There's no need to spend good money
on student loan or teenage job-training
programs. Put 'em in a camp and let
'em do their country a favor.
Unfortunately, the country's biggest
jobs program may not be available for
long. Even though recruitment is more
than amply filling the armed forces'
ranks, President Reagan still seems to
be eyeing reverting back to a man-
datory draft. A draft would save
money-think of all those television
ads that can be scrapped-and it would
give even more power to the executive
branch.
After all, if the army's the healthiest
business around, why not run it like a
business? One or two million conscrip-
ts will cost a lot less to keep happy than
those demanding volunteers. Slaves
are always a good business bargain.
The army. It's not just an adventure,
it's a job.

- EAIGNT N
AN O..
_____-~ ~ H 4!

-
~~f I

,w G .

A1Kp KiNc

'II

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Who 's stalling on military research.?

To the Daily:
Your article "Protests cool
over Pentagon fireworks issue"
(Daily, Oct. 7) has once again
brought to attention the con-
tinuing debate concerning
military research at the Univer-
sity. The article, however, con-
tains several misperceptions
which should be corrected.
First, the article implies that
last year's MSA-sponsored in-
vestigation was unable to turn up
any concrete evidence of
violations of the University policy
against any research which
might lead to the destruction of
human life. In fact, the MSA in-
vestigation, coordinated by Bret
Eynon, conducted the most
thorough review to date of
military research on campus and
discovered several projects
which clearly violate University
policy.
As revealed in Mr. Eynon's
April 1982 report to MSA, the
most dramatic example of such a
violation is a project being
carried out by Prof. George Had-
dad for the Naval Weapons Cen-
ter. The work statement for this
project says: "The purpose of
this project is . . . to improve
performance and capability of
RF missile seekers, transmit-
ters, expendible decoy jammers,
and other military systems."

If University policy were being
followed properly, no weapon, or
any part of a weapon, would be
built, designed, or developed on
campus. Prof. Haddad's attempt
to split hairs over whether he is
working on all or part of a
"military system" makes it clear
that the University policy is not
being followed.
Mr. Eynon interviewed
several professors who are ac-
tively engaged in military
research. One of them, Prof.
Thomas Senior, tried to defend
Prof. Haddad by explaining that
project descriptions are
sometimes doctored to fool
members of Congress, who
demand maximum "bang for the
buck" when investing tax dollars
in military research. Documents
such as those which describe
Haddad's project, said Senior,
are "not made up, in all
frankness, 100 percent honestly."
They are "made up as a defense
to Congress'..'
Thus we have one researcher
who is blatantly defying the
Regent's policy against military
research, and another who
suggests that University
professors conspire with Pen-
tagon officials to deceive mem-
bers of Congress. If professors
are willing to lie to Congress in
order to protect their research

the responsibility for maintaining
that status quo somehow lies with
the people who uncovered the
problem in the first place.
Discussing the MSA in-
vestigation, the article quotes an
assembly member who said,
"Last year, they did a lot of good
work, but they still didn't do
anything with the information."
"They" in this case refers to a
small group of students and ac-
tivists, of which I am a member.
None of us holds any position of
power within the University. Is it
our responsibility that some very
prestigious professors are willing
to go to almost any lengths-in-
cluding lying to duly elected
public officials-in order to
protect their research grants?
Is it our responsibility that the
Faculty Senate has been unable
to deal with this crucial issue in a
timely and effective manner? Is
it our responsibility that the
Regents, faced with information
that University policy is being
violated, have been unwilling or
unable to do anything about it?
Certainly, those of us who are
concerned about the
militarization of the University

must do a more effective job of
organizing support for our
position. But if the University i
being used as a laboratory for
death, the blame must lie with
those who are running the
University, not with those who
are working to reform it.
One final clarification: The ar-
ticle correctly reported that when
MSA discussed whether or not to
hire an investigator again this
year, several assembly members
questioned the idea. The final
vote tally, however, was not*
reported. Twenty-two voted for
hiring a researcher, none voted
' against it, seven abstained.
Clearly, an overwhelming
majority of the elected represen-
tatives of the students are upset
about the presence of the military
on campus and are not satisfied
with the administrator's respon-
se to the problem.
Those of us who are concerned
with these issues may very well
be "on hold," but we are not
disconnected-nor will we be un-
til some hard questions are an-
swered and some concrete action
is taken.
-Roger Kerson
October 11

Writing on the wall

, t n 1 1tz i !t11 llI'."Ii R . anw miu

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