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April 06, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-06

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OPINION

Page 4 Wednesday, April 6, 1983

The Michigan Daily

e itigan 41) Ct
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIII No. 147 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

April will be 'do or die'
month for world economy

0

Checking Becher

A NN ARBOR voters are an unpredict-
able lot. Monday they voted in
Republican Mayor Louis Belcher for
the fourth time, soundly rejected his
efforts to repeal the $5 marijuana law,
and booted two of his Republican
cohorts-from the city council.
Mixed results, to be sure. But the
narrow margin of Belcher's victory
points to the voters' displeasure with
the veteran mayor's abuse of his
position.
According to several state
legislators who caught him in the act,
Belcher obtained state allocations for
an airport expansion project which the
council had rejected four times. Such
activities reveal a man who has grown
so accustomed to his position of power
that he ignores the democratic method
checks and balances.
To encourage him to change his way,
voters presented Belcher with a
Ignoring 1-
THE REAGAN administration has
said on numerous occasions that
it is committed to the principle of equal
opportunities for minorities and
women. To punctuate the assertion, it
has brought a few minorities to visible
positions within the administration.
But beyond this tokenism, recent ac-
tions taken by the administration show
the commitment means little.
The Labor Department is planning to
issue new rules for federal contractors
that would significantly weaken the
government's commitment to affir-
mative action. The new rules would
reduce the number of contractors
required to prepare written affir-
mative action plans and would also
require individuals to prove they are
"identifiable victims'' of
discrimination.
In effect, these measures would
make it virtually impossible for in-
dividuals to obtain redress for
discriminatory acitons. They would
also make it very difficult for various
civil rights or women's organizations

squeaker of a re-election vote Monday
night. But that was the public's last
chance to exercise any direct control
over their veteran mayor; Belcher will
leave the council after he serves this
two-year term.
In this case, that is an ominous an-
nouncement. Belcher has already
demonstrated his disregard for council
authority and, by doing so, has broken
the trust of the voters who put him in
office. Now that Belcher has made it
known he will not be seeking re-
election again, voters will no longer
have a way to express their disap-
proval if he decides to ignore the coun-
cil again.
The narrowness of his victory is
evidence of the apprehension about his
"strong" leadership. And so it will be
up to council, with its unfortunate one-
vote Republican margin, to keep an
eye on Belcher.
nj ustice
to file complaints on behalf of workers
who fear employer reprisals if they file
complaints themselves.
The previous rules, which had been
upheld by the Supreme Court, referred
to classes, not individuals, and place
the burden of proof on the employer.
Clearly, after 40 years of bipartisan
efforts to improve opportunities for
minorities and women, the ad-
ministration is moving in the wrong
direction. After years of
discrimination codified in law and
social values, the government cannot
sit back and expect the wrong to
correct itself. When there are groups
who have suffered for so long because
of their ethnic background or gender,
remedial action is necessary and legal
under the Constitution.
The Reagan administration is
ignoring a history of injustice and the
needs of minorities and women. At a
time when the government should be at
the forefront of efforts to break down
the ethnic and gender employment
barrier, the administration is instead
moving backward.

By Franz Schurmar
For some weeks Americans h
treated to news of increasing)
economic indicators. These signs h
short of conclusive - so far. I
probably will tell whether we are, i
the way to robust recovery or abot
back into stagnation.
The key action comes form antic
interest-rate behavior. Despite a fev
readings have been going down st(
ce last August. Viewing this as a ha
recovery, the stock market went u
Now, however, nervous comm
coming form business analysts wh
downward trend may end soon.
money traders, sensing the change,
beginning to consider shifting fund
American markets, as they did wh
interest rate last soared.
THE MEDIA may treat this as
marketplace news, which will brir
some Americans and loss to othe
fact the U.S. prime ratechas be
world's most important economic
barometer: Low interest ratesj
growth-bringing rain of inexpensiv
high rates portend a parched earth.
It would seem political madne.
Reagan administration, with i
already on the 1984 election, to be
ned by possible Federal Reser
moves to raise interest rates once
keep them from dropping any futh
high interest rates through the fir
1980 helped defeat Jimmy Carter a
in November of that year.
The problem is that the Federal
interest rate policies are determi
Wassermai

more than what is needed by the U.S.
nn economy - or by American politicians. The
U.S. economy, as the prime-rate global
ave been barometer and our own import and export
y bright dependence show; is inextricably embedded
have been in the world economy. Thus, while ad-
But April ministrations can and have used fiscal
in fact, on devices for electoral purposes, making
ut to slide similar use of monetary power could mean
throwing the world into turmoil for selfishly
ipation of political ends.
v lags, the JUST WHEN signs of recovery in the
eadily sin- United States began to multiply, so too did
rbinger of signs of trouble in the world economy. The
p and up. dangers go beyond the recession and
ents are depression of widespread deindustrialization
o fear the and could quickly lead to a breakdown of the
European world financial system if remedies are not
are again found. The month of April will be critical;
Is back to should no solutions arise soon, we shall be
m the U.S. movinginto a dangeroussnew state of world
history.
the usual The main troubles spring from the break-
ng gain to down of OPEC, the British financial pinch and
rs. But in an overall French economic crisis. If OPEC's
~come the hard-bargained oil price of $29 per barrel does
c weather not hold, Mexico and Nigeria will be pushed to
mean the the brink of bankruptcy, and Iran will be
e capital; pressured to make another effort to defeat
Iraq militarily. The fate of the $29 price
ss for the depends greatly upon Britain, which ignited
ts sights this year's earlier oil-price war. With the
unconcer- pound sterling plummeting in value, the
ve Board British must sell more and more North Sea
again or to oil just to stay even.
er. Indeed, The British are hardly alone. The entire
st third of world needs more money to stay even right
it the polls now. This is certainly the story in France,
where the Mitt:erand government needs
Reserve's much, much more money to keep expensive
ned by far defense and entitlements programs afloat,
n'

even as French capital has been fleeing Mit-
terand's socialist policies, high inflation and
the weakening franc.
IN OTHER WORDS, there are many in-
ducements for an increased money supply
around the world. When the world's money
supply goes up, however, so does the Fed's -'
prime rate. To complete the vicious circle, ,
that means putting a crimp into Reaganomic
recovery.
Even before this month some frantic
agreements-to-agree had been reached.
British Petroleum said it would not yet lower
the price of oil; the London OPEC meeting led
to an accord on the $29-per-barrel price;
Mexico held the line. April will tell whether
these buds turn into blossoms.
The world financial system: is a rubbery
network built upon such agreements, and a
willingness to help out occasionally with'
money loanstand swaps. When U.S. interest
rates went down, many people abroad
welcomed the possible return of an American
"locomotive" whose recovery would get
numerous economies moving again. But
others feared the United States' self-concern
and world political weakness were stretching *
the network to the breaking point.
In April the world's leaders, including the
Reagan administration, will decide whether
they again can agree to agree, or threaten to
cut loose from the system as Mitterand did in
regard to the European currency union.
Going it alone would lead the world's nations
into isolationism and nationalism. The result,
among other things, would be havoc in the
U.S. economy.
Schurmann wrote this article for' .
Pacific News Service.

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0

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Daily wrong on MSA Proposal B

0

To the Daily:
The Daily suggests that studen-
ts vote no on MSA ballot Proposal
B ("No to MSA on A,B,C" Daily,
April 5), which calls for a
professionally staffed research
and training center (The Student
center Educational Research and
Innovation) to be funded by
students.
The Daily argues that this cen-
ter sets out to do what MSA is
supposed to be doing already, and
that SOAP already is taking care
of some of the tasks for the cen-
ter, and that the Institute for
Social Research could carry out
other planned aspects of the cen-
ter.
These assumptions, though
logical, fail to understand the
day-to-day realities of University
operations. First, MSA in and of
itself can not carry out the cen-
ter's proposed tasks as MSA
representatives generally lack
the kind of skills that a center like
SCERI can teach them. My ar-
ticle in the most recent issue of
the MSA NEWS spells this out in

$7.65/student/term in student
fees. That is a lot of money
($500,000+); if the Union
revitalization is unsuccessful, the
Union Director is out of a job.
Thus, it is likely that SOAP will
carry out tasks required for the
success of the Union. Where does
that leave time for the types of
research and training that
students need, activities that
SCERI should and will carry out
if it is set up?
Third, The Institute for Social
Research is one of the only
University units that receives no
general fund monies. In other
words, any studies on University
students carried out by ISR
would require that ISR be paid.
And, because of ISR's high
overhead costs, the likelihood of
it engaging in long term study of
these issues is negligible because
the costs involved are exorbitant.
In conclusion, I would like to
point out that Proposal B was put
on the MSA ballot because 1,250
students saw the need for such
center - they signed a petition
saying so. Proposal B is perhaps
41.,. firm. cf.4.. _ra nnr.. ~ 4,J Rl C'A

with student's current situation
into effective, competent action.
In-fighting among students, the

Daily versus MSA, MSA versus
the Daily, gets us nowhere.
- Richard Layman
April 5

S.. and Proposal A

To the Daily:,
Your editorial urging students
to vote "No" on MSA proposals
both surprises and shocks us
("'No' to MSA on A,B,C," Daily,
April 5).
You state that you endorse and
support the MSA sponsored
programs which together use
74% of the MSA's fee, but claim
also that students should vote
against maintaining the fee. You
have irresponsibly urged studen-
ts to take an inherently
dangerous position.
It in no way can be safely
assumed that the Regents will
somehow ignore a negative tally
on proposal A and divine, as you
suggest they will, that students
have thereby approved main-
taining current funding for MSA

questioned our existence or level
of funding has always been to
point out that of the entire
University gamut of programs,
courses and services, the MSA
services alone are put to a
democratic vote by students.
Again, historically, that has
meant a great deal to the Regents
as they have deliberated our fate.
It is foolhardy at best to.
threaten to leave Student Legal
Services and the other valuable
services at this time of general
University program reduction':
without our mainstay of student':
support. With the Regents,"
presently considering all sorts of'
program reductions, a negative'
tally on proposal A would leave'
us extra-vulnerable for con-
siderable reduction or
elimination.

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