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October 15, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-15

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Page 4

Tuesday, October 15, 1985

The Michigan Daily


Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVI, No.29 A420 Maynard St.
AnnArbor, MI48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Relief + Recovery
and rail deliveries remain low.
H ow quickly we forget. Mozambique is also suffering
As the front page photographs of continued setbacks. Sabotage of
starving, stick-legged African relief efforts is the most unfor-
children are gradually disap- tunate of problems facing the coun-
pearing, and the evening news try, where insurgent activities
seldom shows us reports of the have aggravated the hunger
Ethiopian famine that Americans problems of more than five million
were bombarded with just a few people. Hundreds of tousands are
months ago the chronic crisis of displaced and live and die in
world hunger is slipping to the bot- pathetic refugee camps.
tom of the agenda. But it hasn't In Ethiopia, there are still more
gone away. than seven million drought vicitms.
Just as the famine wasn't born on But the sincere, if brief efforts of
the day that BBC footage of relief world government and private
camps was released to the media, organizations have somewhat
so the plight of Africa has not been alleviated the absolute devastation
neatly resolved, as the media's that has already been endured.
fickle attention might indicate. While road transport remains a
Certainly, the outpouring of in- barrier to delivering aid, special
ternational concern and aid are to efforts are being made to airlift
be commended. Indeed the en- supplies and expedite deliveries.
thusiasm of such private voluntary But while the continued flow of
efforts as the Live-Aid concert echo assistance is presently vital to the
still as grain and supplies arrive at continent's continued survival,
the camps. But much of Africa relief must ultimately be supplan-
remains stricken with the horrors ted by recovery efforts, and again
of hunger and malnutrition. international cooperation is
At present, the most desperate crucial.
situation exists in the Sudan, where Such efforts as the United
conditions are deteriorating at a Nation's International Fund for
frightening pace. The number of Agricultural Development (IFAD),
people facing starvation has risen which extends credit to small far-
from four million to ten million in mers must be depoliticized if
the space of three months. As the Africa is ever to achieve ap-
crisis intensifies, the United preciable economic independence.
Nations Office for Emergency Frivolous diplomatic in-fighting
Operations reports the food over percentage points of aid
deliveries have dropped from fif- obligation only aggravate what is a
teen percent of the daily daily human tragedy.
requirements to less than a frac- The psychological dependency
tion. Water supplies are grossly in- that is fostered as relief efforts con-
sufficient and transportation of tinue must be mitigated with the
goods is a persistent problem as hope and type of programs that
rains have forced road closures IFAD encourages.

Myths about South Africa

By Hector Delgado

It is becoming increasingly difficult to
find someone outside of South Africa who is
in favor of apartheid. Even Reagan ad-
ministration people, not known for their
liberal racial attitudes, oppose, at least in-
word, apartheid. Their actions belie their
words, however. They argue, as do several
University of Michigan Regents, for con-
structive engagement with a regime, that is
not perfect, but at least anti-communist.
There are people, however, genuinely
concerned with social justice in South
Africa, who have questions and deserve
responses. There will be a teach-in against
apartheid and racism on campus Oct. 17-19
designed to answer many of these
questions. Among the speakers will be
Congressman John Conyers and specialists
on a variety of topics, including South
Africans who have lived under and continue
their struggle to end white minority rule in
South Africa. An attempt is made here,
however, to respond to several of the more
commonly raised issues or questions.
*Companies play a positive role in
bringing about change in South Africa.
Economic investment leads to economic
U.S. and other foreign companies have
been investing in South Africa for over 100
years and substantial economic growth has
indeed resulted - for whites. During this
period whiterule became increasingly
repressive. It was in 1948 that the
Nationalist Party came to power and apar-
theid ushered in by people who supported
the nazi cause during WWII. Companies
went into South Africa to take advantage of
cheap labor and the stability insured by the
country's repressive police and military
apparatus. They did not go in to increase
their costs and minimize their profits by in-
creasing the price of labor. They are con-
cerned now not because of some moral im-
perative, but because their investments are
no longer secure.The Wall Street Journal's,
editors wrote in 1982: "South Africa itself is
the best argument against the notion that
economic growth necessarily brings
political liberalization. Official repression
Delgado is a member of the Free
South Africa Coordinating Committee.

coexisted quite nicely with economic
growth during much of thepast 50 years or
longer." To invest in South Africa is to un-
derwrite apartheid.
dIf we withdraw our investments, others
will simply fill the void.
A visiting member of the African National
Congress likened this argument to someone
raping your mother and telling you that if he
didn't rape her, someone else would.
*Divestment will hurt blacks most.
Divestment will hurt those who profit
most from investment: whites (particularly
capitalists) in south Africa and foreign in-
vestors. No doubt blacks will suffer, but as
the late Chief Albert Luthuli, Nobel Prize
winner and one-time ANC president, said:
"The economic boycott of South Africa will
entail undoubted hardship for Africans. We
do not doubt that. But if it is a method which
will shorten the day of blood, the suffering
to us will be a price we are willing to pay. In
any case, we suffer already, our children
are often undernourished, and ... we die at
the whim of a policeman." The few
changes, mainly in petty apartheid, that we
we have seen recently in South Africa are
concessions forced by a growing and in-
creasingly well-organized political movem-
ent in South Africa and international
pressures. The changes themselves are in-
significant in that the structure of grand
apartheid remains intact.
*The AfricanNationalsCongress and other
militant organizations are communist
organizations which receive assistance
from the Soviet Union and other socialist
nations and are themselves communist. At
least white South Africans are anticom-
munist. (Falwell is particularly fond of this
argument, as he was when he opposed the
Civil Rights movement in this country.)
It's convenient for those who benefit from
apartheid to argue that communism is the
greater evil in South Africa. The ANC has
roots in Christian pacifism and has much
stronger strains of African nationalism than
Marxism. Because most capitalist coun-
tries have chosen to be on the side of apar-
theid, the ANC has had to rely increasingly
on socialist countries for assistance. In any
event, whatever socialist content the ANC
has, it is not a Soviet or Cuban import. it
grows instead from a century of South
Africans painly watching capitalists profit

from apartheid.
'Only organizations denouncing violence
should receive the support of the United
The ANC and other organizations tried for
over 50 years to bring about change non-
violently, only to be met at every turn with
violent repression. This argument is pure
hypocrisy. One need only point to the many
times the U.S. has resorted to violent means
when all other means had failed; not to
mentiondthe many times it hasrused un-
provoked violence against Third World
people in and outside the United States. The
war it is currently waging against
Nicaragua is a case in point. Quite simply,
black people in South Africa have virtually 4
no other channels for change open to them.
Even Bishop Tutu is now having difficulty
envisioning change coming about by any
other means.
'What can we possibly do to make a dif-
Students and others in this country have
already made a difference. This year alone
18 additional universities have divested
completely as a result of student pressure.
A rapidly growing number of local and state
legislative bodies are taking substantive
steps to sever economic ties with South
Africa's white minority government. The
Ann Arbor City Council made such a
decision quite recently.
Furthermore, Africans struggling for
their freedom and dignity are fully aware of
the international outcry against apartheid
and the pressure being applied on gover-
nmental and corporate patrons of apar-
theid, Our efforts are a source of inspiration
for them, as their struggle surely should be
for us. Africans will win with or without us,
We have an opportunity to expedite the
process and possibly minimize the blood-
shed with our efforts. History has,
repeatedly taught us the painful lesson of
what can happen when decent people
remain silent and fail to act.
The ways in which we can help are many
and varied. A fundamental impetus for
having a teach-in was the need to discuss
concretely the role we can play on the side
of social justice in South Africa and the
United States.

Taking the wind from the dollar's sails:


W love to have you over."
And with those words, uttered by
a University official to a represen-
tative of the Today show, the
University made necessary as
thorough a house-cleaning as any
student's apartment has ever seen.
This Thursday, the University
plays host to as many Americans
as can get up early enough to see a
special edition of the Today Show
with Bryant Gumbel hosting on
location from the diag.
Suddenly, in the last month and a
half, the University has found the
time to attend to any number of
central campus eyesores. Bright
green turf flanks the fresh concrete
paths around the diag, and half-
washed grafitti slogans call out
from buildings with "SDI, pie in
the ..."
Yet for all the housecleaning, the
campus has been attracting an
even more noticeable strain of
graffitti artist. This Friday

brought a carload of "Spartan"
painters from East Lansing who
took it on themselves to redecorate
central campus with gaudy green
and white "MSU" word-paintings.
On top of that single incident, there
have also been several rush anti-
rush battles painted across walk-
ways all over campus.
Such concentrated action as the
University has been able to muster
for the cleaning suggests a more
efficient bureaucracy than its ap-
proaches to issues such as rape
prevention or code drafting do.
Beneath the cosmetic gloss,
there does remain the disconcer-
ting matter of blacked-out street
lights along several busy streets.
To the University's credit, Detroit
Edison electric company is truly
to blame for the holdups, but it
could apply pressure.
But streetlights won't seem all
that important on 1'nursday mor-
ning, when America comes to
breakfast in the University's nice
clean dining room.

By Jonathan Corn
and Walter White
Ronald Reagan and the word
strength seem to go hand in hand.
His arms control policy is peace
through strength, his foreign
policy is toughness first, and he is
a firm believer in the strength of
America's industries. However,
strength is not always
synonymous with benefit. The
American dollar, a symbol of
Reagan strength, is a perfect
example of this.
The unprecedented growth in
the value of the U.S. dollar has
nurtured some big problems here
at home and abroad. Although
college students revel at the idea
of travelling through Europe for
$1.50 per day, the strong dollar is
responsible for about 72% of the
present increase in America's
trade deficit.
The deficit, which has
skyrocketed from $25 billion in
1981 to $150 billion in 1985, is
mostly caused by three factors.
First, the fast growth of the
American economy has attracted
many new imports. It has
becomeeasy for importerstto sell
their less-expensive foreign
products against an expensive
American market. This, accor-
ding to experts, accounts for
about $20 billion of the $125 billion
increase. Second is the Third
World debt crisis. Some of the
U.S.'s best customers, like Brazil
and Mexico, simply can't afford
to buy American products any
longer. Experts say this accounts
for over $15 billion of the increase
The remaining $90 billion is
caused by the overvalued dollar.
This trade deficit has several
unfortunate results. For one, it
costs American jobs. The fact
that many consumer goods can
be bought more cheaply abroad
makes it difficult for American
firms to compete. This results in
layoffs and raises interest rates.
Currency, like any commodity,
fluctuates with the laws of supply
and demand. If the price of the
dollar is high, it is because it is in
demand. This demand allows

toward trimming the value of the
U.S. dollar. In accordance with
the four other largest in-
dustrialized democracies, the
U.S. has agreed to intervene in
the currency exchange to bring
about a projected 25%
devaluation of the dollar.
The bright side of this problem
is that it is not a rigid partisan
issue. The high dollar is clearly
bad for everyone. It seems that
any action would be welcomed by
all sides. This isn't to say,
however, that President Reagan
wasn't pressured into taking ac-
tion. Actually, he succembed to
fears of rising protectionist sen-
timent in Congress.
Free, uninhibited trade has
been one of the edifying blocks of
the Reagan Administration, but
this new economic initiative was
born out of necessity. Since
coming to office, the Reagan
Administration has purposefully
stayed away from intervening in
currency markets. But by
promoting a devaluation, the
President has also avoided a big
Capitol Hill showdown.
It is interesting to understand
how this is done. The key to un-
derstanding the devaluation
process is to view currency as
any other commodity. It can be
exchanged on the market just
like corn, wheat or oranges. Its
availability follows the laws of
supply and demand quite closely.
In that regard, it becomes easier
to understand how governments
can intervene. Just like the
orange market can be drastically
changed by the influx of surplus
crops, the currency market can
be changed by the influx of sur-
plus dollars.tAnd who is better
equipped to supply these
megabucks than the U.S. gover-
nment itself?
The process by which the
Federal Reserve intervenes to
control the dollar is done by a
simple phone call. When the
Reserve wants to decrease the
value of the dollar it places an or-
der with a currency-trading bank
for say 50 million Japanese yen.
Paying for these yen in U.S.

dollars increases the supply of
dollars in the market decreasing
the demand and driving down the
value. This can be done with
several different banks and with
many different currencies until a
moderate balance is reached.
Also the Reserve does this with
varying amounts of confiden-
tiality depending on how they
want the market to react. In this
case, no secrets will be made
because the fat dollar is such an
issue. The Federal Reserve will
just start buying foreign curren-
cies in huge amounts.
Despite all the hoopla, the
results of the devaluation will not
really be felt in the short term.
Eventually, the huge trade im-
balance will subside, but the
more tangible parts of the
economy will not show much
change. For instance, interest
rates should drop, but experts are
predicting that the devaluation
will just manage to keep them

from rising. They say that the
fact that nothing has been done to
ease the large federal budget
deficit will prevent rates from
going down. Also, one might ex-
pect the prices of imports to rise.
However, experts believe that the
foreign suppliers will not raise
their prices for fear of losing
their share of the market.
Regardless of the results, last
month's meeting between the five
industrialized democracies
represents the possibility of a
new era in global monetary
relations. With this -intervention 4
as precedence, future exchanges
may not be left in the hands of
laissez-faire economics.
What will likely be seen is in-
creased governmental activity in
currency regulation. Gover-
nments all over the world will at-
tempt to manipulate the market
in the best interests of their coun-
tries' economies. This could very
well be the end of the free-
floating rates.

SDI resolution encouraging

To the Daily:
As the dust settles after the
University of Michigan Regents'
resolution of September 20 "en-
couraging" Strategic Defense
Initiative ("Star Wars") resear-
ch, let us take another look at the
wording of their entire resolution
in par-
ticular: .. . scholars ... are en-
couraged to undertake that
research within the framework of
the Regents' Bylaws..."
It is reassuring, and a sign of
hope for the future, that the
Regents have thus unanimously
and forthrightly expressed their
support, without the need for ex-
tensive debate, of the present U-
M guidelines on classified
research, which would prohibit
research with a "specific purpose
to destroy human life or to in-

capacitate human beings."
Those who have been ap-4
prehensive lest thesebcurrent
guidelines might be weakened, or
even dismantled, can welcome
this newest signal from the
Regents that no such action is
contemplated. This good news is
further supported by President
Shapiro's statement (September
25) : ". .. The Regents'
resolution should not be read as
committing the University
regarding which particular type
of research individual faculty
should pursue, but rather as an
explicit reaffirmation of existing
guidelines concerning research
at the University of
Michigan ..."
-Frances S. Eliot
October 5
by Berke Breathed a


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