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March 22, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-22

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, March 22, 1985

tet a nir t Michinl
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCV No. 135

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

J

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

Minima
P RESIDENT Reagan's proposal
to decrease minimum wage 25
percent for teenagers between May
and September is a costly means of in-
creasing teenage employment. The
plan calls for a sub-minimum wage of
$2.50 an hour as an incentive for
business to create more summer jobs
and hire teenagers to fill them. The
labor department predicts that 400,000
new jobs will be created through this
process.
Minimum wage was established as a
regulatory measure to ensure that
business would not exploit workers to
cut labor cost. Reagan's proposal is in
direct conflict with the basic principle
of employee worth in lieu of employer
profit. By creating a cheap labor force;
the proposal exploits both the
teenager, who, in need of a job, will
work at subminimum wage, and the
adult, who is competing for work on
unequal terms.
It is true that a large number of
unemployed teenagers would benefit
from the increased availability of em-
ployment. Still, even fulfillment of the
projected 400,000 newly employed
would not alleviate the threat to
current minimum wage earners.
Teenagers working at minimum wage
could possibly suffer a decrease in pay.
Employed adults could easily lose
their jobs to teenagers. Such a
situation fosters feelings of inferiority
and frustration in teenagers, and ser-
ves to create tension between
teenagers and adults. Adults who are
displaced by teenagers would be
hostile toward them and adults who do
not lose their jobs would bercondescen-
GoodA
Stacks of ADVICE, the Michigan
Student Assembly's student course
evaluation publication, hit the streets
today coinciding perfectly with the
release of the University course guide.
ADVICE, first printed by LSA
Student Government for the Winter
term of 1981, has been plagued by
technical problems for the last couple
of years, but the early release of this
term's edition seems to' indicate that
many of those, problems have been
overcome.
Last term, through a combination of
printing delays and a lack of commit-
ted staff, the publication was never
released. Throughout this term, the
assembly carefully monitored the
project, hoping to have it released
around the same time as the Univer-
sity's course guide.
The publication's success this term
is due largely to the efforts of Rich
Layman, a student who has been in-
volved with every issue of ADVICE in

1 worth

ding to teenagers who are devalued by
the working world.
Granting teenagers sub-minimum
paying jobs is not a solution to the
problem of teenage unemployment.
Lower pay for equal work is a
dangerous concept to implement into
law. It suggests that teenagers do not
have the inherent value to make their
labor worth the standard minimum
wage.
Instead of motivating the private
sector to create more jobs with the
availability of cheap labor, the
President would do well to reconsider
his proposal before the Senate Budget
Committee to cut the job corps
program. The, job corps presents a
viable solution to the problem of
teenage unemployment. Through the
corps, teens work at conservation,
sanitation, and construction jobs while
earning comparable salaries. Thus,
teenagers are valued as contributors to
society.
President Reagan's plan focuses on
business needs by offering reduced
labor cost in return for youth em-
ployment. The problem with this focus
is that it devalues the individual worth
of the worker.
By stipulating and developing
growth through meaningful em-
ployment, the federal government
could provide training for a productive
working class of the future.
The job corps and similar programs
are costly but the money spent
produces skilled workers and in-
creases teenage employment, without
instigating age based discrimination in
the work place.

Puerto Rico: A U.
ditionally attracted by tax incentives and the
By John Vandermeer lack of environmental constraints. These ind-
ustries hire fewer workers. In the past 20
Notice: You have now reached the age of years as capital investment has increased,
unemployment has increased as well.
military service. Please report un- After approximately three decades, the
mediately. However, you may not cast "economic miracle" of the Caribbean has
your vote for or against those who send yielded its fruit: a destroyed agriculture, an
you to fight. official unemployment rate of about 25 per-
cent; an increasing degradation of water and
This situation enraged a generation of young air quality; nearly 40 percent of the
people in the United States a few years ago. It population living in the U.S. for primarily
was one of the primary indignities which for- economic reasons; and more than 50 percent
ced the voting age down to 18. But it is just one of its families receiving food stamps.
of the many indignities the Puerto Rican Not to be underestimated is the Orwellian
people continue to suffer. newspeak about Puerto Rico's status. Accor-
Puerto Ricans, in their own country, are ding to the official nomenclature, Puerto Rico
subject to Uncle Sam's rules. They are not is a Free Associated State. Never mind that
part of the electorate, but they are subject to the whole world, including the United
a draft. Indeed, proportionally, more Puerto Nations, considers Puerto Rico a colony, we
Ricans died in Vietnam than any other U.S. will continue to call it a "Free Associated
group, including blacks. In short the United State." But the obvious newspeak is only a
States maintains virtually total political con- small part of the political package. Puerto
trol over the island, yet grants its citizens Rican people have very little to say about
only some of the rights accorded to U.S. what happens in their own country. The
citizens, a condition recognized worldwide as associated (in "free associated state") is
colonialism. A population will suffer the in- easier to find than the free. The most impor-
dignities of colonialism only so long. tant policies and decisions affecting the Puer-
It does not take a Ph.D. in history to under- to Rican people are under complete control of
stand that colonized people eventually the U.S. Federal Government (i.e. im-
demand freedom. Thus the U.S. has migration, commerce, defense).
developed a strategy to try to avert that The economic and political programs could
inevitability for as long as possible. The not work if the third component, the military,
strategy is economic, political, and military, wasvnot fully in place. From a military point
Realizing that oppression usually leads to of view the island is one of the most
revolution, Uncle Sam and its puppet gover- strategically import points in this hemisphere
nment on the island have encouraged certain for the US. The invasions of Grenada (1983)
forms of economic growth without allowing and the Dominican Republic (1965) were
the Puerto Rican people to direct their own rehearsedon military bases in Puerto Rican
economic development. After World War II, territory, and the seemingly endless military
the United States began using Puerto Rico as exercises designed to intimidate Nicaragua
an economic and political showcase for other are staged there also. Recently, a study
Caribbean and Latin American countries. prepared by the Puerto Rican Bar
Operation Bootstrap, a made-in-America Association denounced the Pentagon for its
project designed to provide tax exemptions nuclear-related installations at Roosevelt
and other incentives for U.S. corporations to Road Naval Base in Puerto Rico, in open
locate their operations in Puerto Rico, was a violation of the Treaty of Tlatelolco which
key component of this strategy. Initially low designated all of Latin America (including
wages attracted a variety of labor intensive Puerto Rico) a nuclear free zone.
industries, especially textiles. However, they Preserving Puerto Rico as a colony is thus
were gradually replaced by capital intensive central to U.S. military strategy. As we all
industries like petrochemicals, phar- know, the ultimate authority of a state rests
maceuticals, and electronics, which were ad- with its coercive power, with its military,
broadly defined. From the police to the
national guard to the U.S. Navy, the coercive
apparatus of the state bears the stamp"made
Vandermeer is a University professor of in America." Whenever Puerto Ricans begin
biology. organizing for their independence, as they
have been doing since 1898, the police and

(~..

The Michigan Daily
S. colony
/or FBI are quick to repress so-called Puerto
Rican "terrorists." The recent case of Cerro
Maravilla, not a particularly unusual case,
has received some attention in the U.S. med-
ia. A police informant infiltrated a pro-
independence group and encouraged two
young students to engage in a political action
breaking into a radio transmitter located on
the top of a mountain called Cerro Maravilla
to transmit a pro-independence message.
They of course were led into a trap, and while
begging for mercy, were murdered by the
police. The incident was reported as a scene
in which two terrorists aiming to blow up the
radio transmitter were killed in an exchange
of gunfire with the heroic police. The gover-
nor of Puerto Rico heralded the police as
heroes. It was not until extensive in-
vestigation demanded by the governor's
political opposition that the truth eventually
came out. The two young men did not even
have explosives. Many Puerto Ricans
political prisoners languish in U.S. prisons to
this very day.
Few other nations in the world have to deal
with such a goliath in terms of coercive
power. Partly because of the need to stifle any
move for Puerto Rican independence, and
partly to maintain its immense military
machine in the region, the U.S. military
presence in Puerto Rico is enormous. More
military personnel are permantently
stationed in Puerto Rico than any comparable
piece of real estate in the world. Vieques, for
example an island municipality of Puerto
Rico's, has had two-thirds of its area ex-
propriated for target practice and am-
munition depots by the U.S. Navy. Many of
the citizens who have dared to protest this
violation of their human rights have been
beaten, arrested, and given maximum sen-
tences and fines. One, Angel Rodrigues
Cristobal, was assassinated in a Florida
prison.
In summary, the Puerto Rican people have
suffered indignities and oppression at the
hands of the U.S. government since 1898. The
Puerto Rican's struggle for freedom is enor-
mously more complicated than most previous
anti-colonial struggles. They -want a free
country. They call on all freedom-loving North
Americans to support them in their struggles.
The Puerto Rican Solidarity Organization has
been formed in large part to provide infor-
mation on Puerto Rico Rico and Puerto Ricans
both on the island and in the United States
ISL AH EMMER-You HEP.Q
**
on issues

resident "A letter to the
us, have President"(Daily, March 6), I
way; we,, urge President Shapiro to take
iragous, time gout of his busy day to
rageous, evaluate his complicity with the
s fingers arms race; I urge-him to make
are not public some clear, concrete
For all proposals that the University will
. reFr oalt f n is undertake in order to do all it can
h and its do to prevent the nuclear
ve it and holocaust; I urge him to do that
act. . today. At this rate, we have only
a limited number of tomorrows.
ity with -Peter Putnam.
ly letter March 12
omm unity 'success
chigan in We begin with a re-
Michigan examination of crime, its causes,
tinschgas its cures and our personal values
nions has and attitudes towards -the
entitle Criminal Justice System.
rom the Throughout these discussions
the walls many of us were forced to rethink
for an in- various positions, to re-examine
on of the many of our views and recognize
n Fof the that each of us wants the same
. For all things from the system. We all
Project want a system that is fair an
tempt to just, a system that recognizes th
the com- concerns of the poor just as
by crime quickly as that of the rich. A
n prison. system that affords equal oppor-
s created tunities to all.
immunity -Deno V. Strodder
nd discuss March 18
by Berke Breathed
PO .

a

Wasserman

A\ND NOWN PAN EX)(RT ON SOVIET Nf A 2G
WI4LL FELL VS WHAT WE CAN EXY-T
FROM AMIHA~iL 6GOS -V
V

mE' ENERAL N612EEMENT TW Rt 'LL OR "E'LL MOE CAVJTIOU
EITRIQ ANCT BOLDL.Y To PUT t K PERSONAL CONTINUE TH POciCiES
SIP\MF ON THE Kt2ELIN... RQC
_ _ _ (4

ADVICE

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one capacity or another since its incep-
tion. When various issues of ADVICE
were unsuccessful, he was blamed,
and it seems appropriate that his final
edition of the publication would be a
success. .
The current edition of the publication
was compiled using an improved com-
puter program, which Layman
claimed will streamline the process in
the future. In addition, the new
program will eventually allow the
program to begin evaluating classes in
schools outside of LSA. It currently has
sporadic listings from the schools of
Nursing and Engineering.
ADVICE is an effective tool for
students in selecting their classes and
has the potential to be an important
source of information for ad-
ministrators evaluating courses. Its
recent overhaul is an appropriate
response to the difficulties it has en-
countered in the past few years, and its
release today is a source of relief after
last term's failure.

I-

Letters
Shapi ro 6
To the Daily:
Five times in a two-week
period in February I went to talk
with President Shapiro about
what he thinks is "the single most
important problem facing the
world today" (Ann Arbor News,
Oct. 11). Each time he was
unable to see me; I guess he was
too busy working on the second,
third, and fourth most important
problems facing the world today.
I just wanted to tell him that 5
University students had been
arrested for blocking the
driveway to the Williams cruise
missile engine plant-two, Brian
Larkin and Ken Jannot,had been
in jail for the last 70-odd
days-and I wanted to ask him
what he could do about it. Not
that I expected he'd press his
presidential finger down on some
button-and bingo, Brian and
Ken would be sprung free. That
would have been nice, of course,
and all the Williams' protesters
were recently freed (thanks, in
part, to people with less power,
but apparently, more free time
than President Shapiro). But I
really wanted to ask him what he
could do about "the single most
important problem facing the
world today"; the very problem
(no coincidence) that Brian and
Ken were trying to do something
about-that Nancy Aranoff and
Ingrid Kock and the 9 other cam-
pus peace protestors were trying
to do something about-when
they nut their bodies in front of

hould speak
spirit and in content to the letters so glarin
sent to Judge Francis X. Shapiro, an
O'Brien by 3 Mayors, 2 chosen to lo
Congresspersons, and 6 Bishops. the "blind,'
It is important to know that this just go ab(
letter did not ask Williams to usual (with,
stop making cruise missile crossed). B
engines (although I hope our yet falling:
leaders will find the courage to of us who va
begin making such demands) ; people, ther,
the letter President Shapiro and energy
refused to sign simply stated that to save us.F
America has a tradition of civil Therefor
disobedience dating back to the Lee Winkl
Boston Tea Party, that civil
disobedience as an expression oft
freedom of speech is fundamen- Proj
tal to the democratic process, To the Dail
and that Judge O'Brien's in- The Uni
definite sentencing of the cooperation
Williams' protestors abuses this Departmer
rightsby enforcing tan implement
unreasonable punishment. "Project C
That's all. It seemed to me that week six
even a prominent figure who has University+
"warned to expertly side-step the of Jackson
world's single most important tensive grc
issue, arms control, could safely criminal ju
sign a letter that proclaimed no practical
more than a basic democratic Communit
right. bridge the
I have a theory as to why munity tha
President Shapiro did not sign and those
such a letter. I don't think he is, Project Co
at heart, an undemocratic man. I an opport
do think the horrible vision of and prisone
imminent nuclear annihilation is common c

up
g that Pr
dmost all of
Kok the otherm
' the uncou
bout our busi
,perhaps, ou
But the bombs
from the sky.
alue this eart
ie is still enou
and love to sa
But we must a
e, in solidar
eman's time
eCt Cc
ly:-
versity of Mi
rn with ther
nt 'of Correct
ed a program
Community".
students f
come inside1
State Prison
oup discussio
ustice system
purposes,
ty is an at
gap between
at is affected1
who are in
ommunity ha
unity for co
ers to meet an
oncerns.

" o~

BLOOM COUNTY

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