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September 20, 1983 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-20

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, September 20, 1983 The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV - No. 11

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Engineering payoff

THE NEW computer system now
being installed by the College of
Engineering is a reasonably creative
solution to a problem many
engineering schools now face.
With professional engineering fields
demanding more and more computer
experience from graduates, colleges
around the nation have had to find
ways to give engineering students
more access to computers, without
driving the price of their education into
oblivion.
Some schools make students pur-
chase their own computers. Others
merely survive with their existing
computer systems.
This University's engineering school
has tried something different. It is
purchasing a new, sophisticated com-
puter network, and giving engineers
unlimited access to it. The system has
its price - an extra $100 in tuition per
term for engineers -but it is worth it.
The school could have forced all
engineers to buy their own computers.
This, however, would require a con-
siderable individual investment for
equipment that can become outdated
quickly. It would also be an investment
that could not be covered by financial
oggedo
UAGMIRE HAS become a much
abused word for describing U.S.
in vement in the squabbles of the
wotld. W.S. armed forces were caught
in a quagmire in Southeast Asia.
They're becoming mired in a
quagmire in Central America. And
they're being sucked into a quagmire
in the Middle East. Though the idea is
unpleasant, keeping U.S. marines in
the mess in Lebanon is - for the time
being - the least undesirable option
for the Reagan administration.
Exposing the marines to pot-shots
and small-scale attacks while not
allowing them to do much more than
defend themselves may not be decisive
action. But bolder moves in either
direction will further disrupt an
already precarious situation.
Withdrawing U.S. troops from the
United Nations "peacekeeping" forces
will allow Syria and Syrian-backed
Druse militia units to launch an all-out
effort to gain control of Beirut and the

aid. Financial aid can cover the tuition
hike in some cases.I
The University-purchased com-
puters also are well beyond the
capability and sophistication that most
undergraduates could afford.
But the most exciting change the
new system may generate is in the at-
titudes of engineers toward computers.
The school merely could have expan-
ded the University s current computer
system, the Michigan Terminal
System. MTS' pay-for-use system,
however, discourages students from
using computers, because each extra
minute costs them more money.
The engineering college's new flat
rate fee plan encourages computer
use. Students pay once and can use the
terminals for anything they want, for
as long as they want.
The college will also be able to
modify its curriculums to put
engineers on terminals more often,
now that students have unlimited ac-
cess to the system.
The result will be engineers who are
more comfortable with computers, and
are therefore better trained to enter
professional engineering fields.
wn in Beirut
areas of Lebanon not under Israeli con-
trol. It wouldn't be long after the
marines leave before other U.N. troops
follow suit, leaving a weak Lebanese
army to fend for itself - probably un-
successfully. Serious negotiations
would be next to impossible after that.
On the other hand, letting the
marines go wild would give Lebanese
President Amin Gemayel a false sense
of security, inhibiting his willingness to
negotiate not only with the Syrians, but
with the multitude of factions within
Lebanon.
Keeping the marines where they are
will signal the various factions that
U.S. policy is committed to stabilizing
the area, promoting negotiations, and
establishing an independent and viable
Lebanese state. The Druse and Syrian
attacks on the marines are aimed at
testing how devoted the Reagan ad-
ministration is to that policy. Refusing
to budge is the best way to prove that
resolve.

As presidential candidate Er-
nest Hollings recently commen-
ted, "Everybody is talking about
industrial policy" these days.
That observation may not extend
to the local barber shop, but it
certainly does seem to be the
case in Democratic Party
political and academic circles.
In its simplest terms,'"in-
dustrial policy" means setting up
a national planning council wit h
the clout and money to chart the
future course of U.S. economic
development. Its motivation lies
in the fear that America has lost
its traditional lead in the fields of
technological innovation and
economic growth. And its model,
ironically, is 'Japan's super-
powerful Ministry of Inter-
national Trade and Industry -
the high command of Tokyo's un-
cannily successful campaign to
become No. 1 on the world
economy hit parade.
For many people, industrial
policy conjures up the image of
government finally rolling up its
sleeves to do something about the
unemployment caused by the
decline of basic U.S. industries
and aboutourlag in technology
and productivity growth.
THREE OR FOUR years ago,
another term - rein-
dustrialization - was all the
rage. It was the brainchild of
Carter adviser Amitai Etzioni,
who argued forcefully that
government must take the lead in
rebuilding American heavy in-

dustry and with it the nation's
self-reliant economic strength.
Then came industrial policy, a
rival term. Whereas rein-
dustrialization focused on the
older "sunset" industries, such
as steel and automobile manufac-
turing, industrial policy tends to
be concerned with cutting-edge
'sunrise" industries like those
found in eastern Massachusetts
and California's Silicon Valley.
But the differences go beyond
the issues of technology, and
scale. For reindustrialization
also promised to put America s
jobless back to work again, while
industrial policy stresses making
the United States once again
supreme in global technology and
export competition.
The Achilles' heel of rein-
dustrialization was its cost; the
effort to lower the abysmally
high unemployment rate might
well have left the nation

Industrial policy'
a false hope
for jobless
By Franz Schurmann

bankrupt. By contrast, industrial
policy is probably affordable -
its fiscal incentives, tax breaks
and anti-trust waivers would not
be unbearable to taxpayers. But
it probably would not dent the
iobless rate very much.
In fact, in his
best-selling book, "The
Zero-Sum Society," industrial
policy advocate Lester Thurow
called for a "triage" approach to
the economy. Just as emergency
doctors ignore patients who are
beyond help, Thurow contends
that America must select from its
total industrial mix those in-
dustries with a future, leaving the
rest to wither away. This ap-
proach augurs far better for
overcoming technological lag
than it does for dissolving
joblessness.
But there are dangers as well.
Until recently American produc-
tivity kept going up, thanks to

constant advances in labor-
saving and quality-improving
technologies.- Thus, the key
challenge for an industrial policy
council would be pinpointing
ever-new technological
initiatives for government to
support with generous subsidies.
Since 1940, most such
breakthroughs have come as
civilian spinoffs of war and
defense-related research. This
raises the bleak possibility that a
successful industrial policy may
have to be linked, in time, to just
the kind of big defense buildup
new espoused by the Reaganites
In the end, neither massive
unemployment in the dein-
dustrialized desert, nor flabby
performance in our best sur-
viving industries, will be resolved
by abstract policies.
Meeting the first challenge will
require the creation of new kinds
of work on a community-by-
community basis, rather than the
re-creation of large national
manufacturing concerns.
And the second will require bet-
ter middle managers at the
production site itself - and not
pontification by bureaucrats
from so remote a place as
Washington, D.C.
Schurmann is a professor of
history and sociology at the
University of California,
Berkeley. He wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

4

South Quad victimized again

To the Daily
I was disappointed in your at-
tack on South Quad and its
residents in your editorial,
"Quieting South Quad" (Septem-
ber 18). Being a former orien-
tation leader, I am sensitive to
the false impressions freshper-
sons have of the dorms. It is in-
sensitive and uninformed sources
like the Daily that promote these
false impressions.
I believe that Mary Jane Mayer
did have some negative im-
pressions about South Quad. She
is typical of .freshpersons
throughout the University -

simply worried about living in a
certain dorm because of wrong
and sometimes vicious rumors,
about it. I have had concerned.
students in orientation ask me if
South Quad really is a "party"
dorm, or if only drug addicts live
in East Quad, or if you have to be
Jewish to live in Mosher-Jordan.
Of course, none of these rumors
are true. Every dorm is merely
brick and mortar - it has no
character of its own. And with
nearly random room assignmen-
ts, there are little differences in
dormitory demographics..
But the Daily seems to think

otherwise. Should South Quad be
referred to as the "jock" dorm
because the freshman football
players live there? Most of the
hockey players and swimmers
live in West Quad- why not call
it the "jock",dorm? I believe you
implied that athletes are
synonymous with partying -
another vicious rumor.
Your observations of the soun-
ds and smells in South Quad are
not uncommon to any dorm on
campus. And the shout across
Madison Street (which West
Quad heartily returns, I might
add), is only "West Quad sucks."

Perhaps you felt it was editorial
freedom in adding the word
"cock" in your editorial.
The Daily should spend more
time pursuing facts before
writing their editdrials. It might-
also be helpful to be a bit more'
sensitive to the effects of rumors.
In this case, your insensitivity-
has promoted negative;
stereotypes which have no place
in a respectable publication like
The Michigan Daily.
Robert S. Gerber
September 19
Gerber is a former South
Quad resident advisor.'

Stewart
WE FOUND YOiR.
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BLOOM COUNTY

by Berke Breathed

Unsigned editorials
appearing on the left
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