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September 07, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-07

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Page 4

Friday, September 7, 1984

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XVC, No. 2 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Hardball with the UAW

A really poor defense plan

! Cis


IT IS ALWAYS unfortunate when,
party and politics come before
responsible government. Unfor-
tunately that is just what happened at
last month's meeting of the
Democratic Labor Caucus. Bowing to
pressure from United Auto Workers
leadership the caucus voted over-
whelmingly to reject University
Regent Gerald Dunn's bid for reelec-
tion. It is a classic case of government.
representation being warped to serve
party leadership. It seems that UAW
political director Frank Garrison has
the equation backwards: party
leadership should be doing a more con-
scientious job of serving the people it
hopes to represent.
The political games-playing of the
convention did not have the Univer-
sity's best interests at heart. The
Democrats have not offered any real
justification for Dunn's ouster other
than weak claims of a "conflict of in-
terest" involving Dunn's lobbying
against a UAW sponsored bill. The
real motivation behind Dunn's rejec-
tion, though, appears to be a personal
vendetta on the part of the UAW's
Garrison holds a grudge against
Dunn because of lobbying the regent
did for Wayne County school districts
in 1979. At that time the UAW backed a
state bill requiring individual school
districts to provide additional funds for
school lunch programs-being cut back
by state and federal government.
Garrison handled the issue for the
UAW while Dunn was representing
school districts which opposed the
UAW's plans. Garrison failed to get
the desired bill and has apparently not
forgiven Dunn for his opposition.
One of the most ironic aspects of the
feud is that Dunn has consistently been

the most committed liberal and
strongest supporter of labor on the
board of regents. His record is vir-
tually unblemished from the union's
point of view. Dunn hardly represen-
ted the opposition.
All of this attests to the power the
party leadership, and the UAW in par-
ticular, holds over those they find per-
sonally disagreeable. That the
University and the state lost one of
their finest regents - a regent who
supported the aims of the party faith-
fully - seems to distress the leader-
ship depressingly little.
Dunn was a particularly good
representative of the University
student community. He consistently
voiced opposition to the Solomon
amendment and with Regent Deane
Baker opposed last year's 9.5 percent
tuition hike. He was also the first to
propose the University's divestment
from its holdings in South Africa. As
such a spokesman he will be missed.
The party's nomination in place of
Dunn, Eastern Michigan University
Professor Marjorie Lansing, is a
respectable candidate and if elected
would undoubtedly be a fine regent.
Her qualifications, however, should
not provide justification for the party's
The machinations of the Democrats
have made the office of regent un-
necessarily partisan and politically
motivated. That might be good for the
bigwigs in the Michigan Democratic
Party and the UAW but will detract
from the pursuit of quality state
education boards.
Dunn said of his defeat that, "It
clearly shows the power and control of
the UAW within this party." It does
indeed, and it is power that is not being
wielded responsibly.

By Bert Hornback
I am running for Secretary of
Poverty and National Defen-
se in the next Reagan ad-
As everybody knows, poverty
and national defense go together
naturally - and necessarily. If
we spend enough on national
defense, eventually the whole
nation will be impoverished.
There are no returns on invest-
ments in national defense. It's
not like building houses or plan-
ting crops. At first only the
marginal citizens in a society are
impoverished byrnational defen-
se: the ones for whom decent
housing is a higher priority than
missile silos, the ones who have
more use for food than for rocket
fuel. But eventually national
defense will get us all, even the
ones who sell all the stuff our
government buys for our protec-
national wealth and undermines
national health. Enough spen-
ding on national defense and we
won't have any natural resources
left; we will have used them all
defending ourselves. Then what
will we do?
It's time for some new thinking
about national defense. For
anyone who has studied modern
economics, it should be clear that
poverty is - or could be - a
natural resource. It grows as a
natural product of capitalism. In
the language of the economist,
poverty is the excremental fun-
ction of capitalist feeding. The
rich feed and get fat and the poor
come out at the other end.
So far in our history nobody has
made much use of the poor.
Despite all the promises of
democracy in this land of oppor-
tunity nobody has come up with
anything socially useful for the
poor to do, or be - except poor.

Until recent times this hasn't
been a serious problem; there
weren't that many poor people
around. As our civilization ad-
vances, however, and our
economy improves there are
ever-increasing numbers of poor
people created. The im-
poverished have become a glut on
the market and it's time for
serious entrepreneurial interven-
THAT'S WHERE I come in: as
the Serious Entrepreneurial In-
tervenor. As Secretary of Pover-
ty and National Defense I will
bringthe poor into the system,
usefully and productively. For
the future we will depend on the
dependable poor for our national
defense. I will give the im-
poverished American a place of
his or her own - an important

that the poor will ever fail us or
grow scarce. This is a Christian
country, after all; and Jesus,
looking ahead perhaps to the
Reagan years, said, "The poor
you will always have with you."
That's true - and has been true
- throughout history. The trick
is to capitalize on that fact and
make what Jesus knew work for
our benefit.
couple of examples - and these
aren't jokes like the President
tells. These are serious.
We have been at a stand-off
with the Russians fortforty years
- for the whole of the nuclear
age. We keep building weapons
we can't use, and they keep
building weapons they can't use.
And nothing happens. The Soviet
Union continues to cause trouble

'Suppose we threatened to drop
Several thousand mega-poor on the
Soviet Union. How would Moscow
like to feed and clothe and house
another few million people?'

Americans. How could they take;
care of them? They couldn't.
we have added, on average, one..
hydrogen warhead to our arsenal
every day. That's a lot of
hydrogen warheads, but it's still
not enough. And the cost has-
been very high. It's easy to
generate poverty, however, and
it's fast and cheap. In the past '2
three years we have increased,
our supply of poor people by,
nearly two million. And if we put,
a patriotic premium on the,
production of poor people, we can
do even better.
Of course it will cost something.'
to maintain our arsenal of im-
poverished people. It doesn't cost
much to make people poor, but
we will have to invest heavily in
their care and sustenance.Good
national defense is going to cost
money - and we will want our'
poor people to be the pride of a
strong America. We will want to
have the finest, best-fed, best
dressed, best-trained, smartest''"'
poor people in the world. And if
everybody will pitch in and do his,
or her share we can afford it. _
Sure we can. The pacifist pat
sies will protest, and the liberals
will howl and wail. But true-
Americans will turn off their
hearing aids and side with the,
President and me. The patriotic
thing to do, come 1985 and the
new mandate for madness, will
be to support the poor, no matter
what the cost. They're our hope
for the future.
And if you can't support the
poor? If you really can't afford
it? Well, the next best thing to':
supporting national defense is
being national defense. If you'
can't support the poor, then be&-'
poor - join up with the im- I
poverished. That's what
democracy is all about, isn't it?
Hornback is professor of
English at the University.




place - in American life. Not
only will the American poor be
proud to be Americans, they will
be patriotically proud to be poor.
No more nuclear weapons for
us. They aren't trustworthy.
Nike has long since failed us, and
now we have recalled all of our
Tridents. And just this summer
one of our Cruise missiles got
stuck outside Greenham Com-
mon in a very embarrassing
situation. For the future we'll put
our trust in the poor. They will
become our best and most impor-
tant weapon.
The poor can be depended on:
there's no doubt about that.
There's little chance in America

in the world, despite our expen-
ditures for national defense. But
once we enroll the American poor
in our arsenal things will change.,
Suppose we threatened to drop
several thousand mega-poor on
the Soviet Union. How would
Moscow like to feed and clothe
and house another few million
people? They couldn't do it.
We have about twenty million
poor people stockpiled already..
A mere ten percent of that num-
ber .would do in all of the anti-
capitalist regimes in Central
America. Those Sandinistas and
Castro's Cuban communists
would collapse under the weight
of two million impoverished





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Partial victory

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E AST GERMAN leader Erich
Honecker was thinking big when
he proposed a visit to West Germany
later this month. After all, it would
have been the first time that an East
German leader had made the journey
to Bonn, and it would have come at a
time when relations between the
Soviets and West Germany are par-
ticularly strained. His cancellation of
the trip Tuesday was disappointing but
this latest episode of German-German
relations should not be viewed as a
Honecker's decision to postpone the
visit is not surprising since it was only
a matter of time before the Soviets
bribed and threatened him into giving
up this latest in a series of conciliatory
moves between the two Germanys.
The cancellation attests to the Soviet
desire and will to keep a tight reign on
the Eastern bloc nations.
In talks with Bonn the East German
leader responded to political offerings
and a $333 million bank credit by

relaxing visitation restrictions and
engaging in an atmosphere of detente.
Honecker's trip to Bonn would have
been a tremendous political
achievement for the two nations and a
significant break in Moscow's
dominance of the East German gover-
nment. While the Soviets brought the
process to a halt, the victory is
Honecker's. He succeeded in warming
East-West relations left tense
following the deployment of American
medium-range missiles in Western
Europe. Honecker made progress
where failure has been the rule laid
down by Moscow. Most damaging to
the Soviets is the realization that East
Germany, and potentially the entire
Eastern bloc, is capable of rebellion
against the Soviet leadership.
The world benefits from the im-
proved relationship between the two
Germany's and Eastern Europe
benefits from the knowledge that in-
dependence from Soviet rule may be,
at least partially, possible.


The hard line starts to crack

'-' '4

By Franz Schurmann
When the Reagan ad-
ministration first came to power,
it brought with it a flock of hawks
who believed the time had come
to seek some sort of victory over
the Soviet enemy.
Their strategy was simple:
First, build up U.S. defenses to
the point that anySoviet move
against the West would be
suicidal, and second, isolate them
to provoke an implosion that
would tear apart the Soviet em-
this strategy faithfully. Later, he
began to oscillate between it and
the detente-minded approaches
of his predecessors. And since
late last year, he has been soun-
ding more and more like Nixon,
Ford, and Carter.
Throughout this period, the
Soviet hold in Eastern Europe
has been confronted by serious
challenges. During the earlier
years, when the Reagan hawk
strategy was in effect, the Soviets
generally succeeded in meeting
the challenges, especially in
Poland, where they imposed

Poland, Hungary and Romania,
are busily weaving ties to the
West while rhetorically assuring
Moscow of their unswerving
Since the Cold War began,
relations between the two Ger-
manys have been gradually im-
proving but have always
remained cool and reserved. Yet,
over the past year, a network of
close personal relations has
developed between the leaders of
both governments.
This new friendship took a
qualitative turn last year when
the ultraconservative Franz-
Joseph Strauss of Bavaria visited
Communist Party boss Erich
Honecker in his East German
country lodge. This was followed
by Honecker's proposed, now
cancelled, visit to West Ger-
AS A RESULT, Pravda has
been lashing out at West Ger-
many in editorials that are a
thinly disguised chiding of their
East German ally, and Honecker
was undoubtedly strong-armed
into cancelling this month's visit.
The Soviets evidently fear that
German nationalism may be bur-
sting out of its dormancy.

Soviet military power in
Eastern Europe is massive.
There are 19 divisions in East
Germany alone. But the more the
East-West tensions ease, the
more these military concen-
trations become useless blights
on the civilian landscape. There
is nothing the Soviet military
power can do to reverse what is a
growing civilian process through
which Eastern Europe is subtly
weakening its links to the Soviet
The East and West German
warming trend became evident
earlier this year when 25,000 East
Germans were allowed to
emigrate to the West. Subsequen-
tly, numerous explosive devices
were removed from the border.
Then came Honecker's planned
visit to the West. The simplest
explanation for this new relation-
ship is that it is arising from
powerful urges on the part of both
peoples to reunite families, live in
peace, and do away with the
murderous absurdity of the
world's most fortified frontier.
Honecker, hopefully, had been
persuaded that a warmer
relationship gave him a better
chance to act independently than
a state of war-threatening ten-

sion. The same thinking may.
have prompted Poland's General-
Jaruzelski to offer the recent,
amnesty, and it may have im-
pelled the Romanians to break
ranks and attend the Olympics.
All this suggests that Reagan's.
hawks can take satisfaction in.;..
having achieved a portion of their'
anti-Soviet goals, but not because.
of their strategies. Fissiparous-
tendencies began to intensify ilt
the Soviet empire only after.,-.
Reagan backed away from his.
cold warrior stance and began to
adopt the approach of those.
liberal, pro-detente advocates
whom he used to denounce so
Like some West Europeanr
leaders before Reagan, including
De Gaulle, Strauss, and Helmut
Kohl, the Reagan administration'
may be coming to understand
that the most effective way tolZ
deal with the Soviet Union is
through trade, aid, and the seduc-4
tive blandishments of consumer"
Schurmann wrote this ar-
title for the Pacific News Ser-

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