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November 07, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-11-07

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, November 7, 1985

The Michigan Daily

.. z

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Divestment is multi-tiered

Vol. XCVI, No. 46

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

False faith

N AN EFFORT geared for
nothing more than eliminating
paperwork, the Reagan Ad-
ministration has initiated plans to
abolish rules requiring federally
funded public hospitals to guaran-
tee minimum amounts of free care
to the poor.
Since 1946, more than 4,500
public hospitals have consented to
provide free or low-cost care for
the poor as a condition for
receiving construction grants and
loans from the federal gover-
nment. The Administration's pro-
posal would allow athose hospitals
certified as "public facilities" to be
free of this condition. If this
proposal is enacted, 2444 (53 per-
:cent) of health-care institutions
would no longer be obliged to
provide any amount of care to
those unable to pay.
Reagan seems confident that
hospitals will continue to provide
rare for the poor regardless of
federal requirements. Similarly,
lie seems to have enough confiden-
ce in employers to consider drop-
ping Affirmative Action quotas.
Based on this "good faith" the
federal government is
relinquishing more and more of its
r'esponsibility to minorities and the
poor.
;But there is little reason for that
faith. Despite the fact that public
hospitals were chartered
specifically to serve the poor, they
have not followed through with
these intentions. Furthermore,

even those health facilities sup-
posedly regulated by the gover-
nment do not provide adequate
care.
It would be reassuring if em-
ployers continued to hire a
significant number of minority
workers on their own volition and
hospitals provided humanitarian
care for patients unable to pay, but
reality is otherwise.
Reagan is opting to remove
government regulations rather
than tighten government enfor-
cement of its original, well-
intentioned policies. Consistent
minority employment and medical
care for all citizens are needs that
still. exist - as they did when Af-
firmative Action and health care
quotas were established. The only
thing that's changed is the ad-
ministration's interpretation of its
duties.
This most recent proposal to
eliminate the obligation of some
public hospitals to provide care to
the poor is an unfortunate in-
dication of Reagan's inter-
pretation. The government sees a
responsibility to over-burdened
hospital administrators as reason
enough to jeopardize medical care
for the needy.
This proposal reflects a faulty
set of priorities regarding a gover-
nment's responsibility to its
citizens. Those cumbersome
governmental reports might be the
only guarantee for medical care
that some people have.

By David Katz
During the past month the controversial
subject of divestment from South Africa has
spawned many articles, editorials, teach-
ins, rallies, and demonstrations. Most of
these were designed to justify divestment as
an effective solution which will result in the
quick abolishment of apartheid in South
Africa. While the reason for divestment is a
justified one, the argument of the efficacy of
divestment is both ambiguous and illogical.
The ambiguity of divestment can best be
illustrated in the question: from what is who
divesting? Those students who have ad-
vocated divestment have stated that the
University should divest from South Africa.
The University is only indirectly divesting
from South Africa, however. The University
is actually directly divesting from
businesses that are directly investing in
South Africa. Therefore, the argument in
favor of University divestment is that if the
University divests from Big Business Inc.
then Big Business Inc. will divest from
South Africa as a result of this economic
pressure.
The economic losses that South Africa
suffers as a result of the divestment of Big
Business Inc. will in turn cause the South
African government to abolish apartheid.
This complicated chain of events can be

simplified into the following axiom:
divestment begets divestment begets
divestment ... begets the abolishment of
apartheid.
It should be obvious by now that divest-
ment is a multi-tiered process resembling a
pyramid with apartheid located at the
pyramid's pinnacle. As each level of bricks
is yanked out of the pyramid, apartheid
becomes more and more unstable. There is
a flaw in this argument, however. Towards
the bottom of the pyramid is the University
of Michigan. How do we get the University
to yank its brick out from the pyramid
and divest? By refering to the previously-
stated explanation of divestment, the
logical answer is that we students should
divest from the University. Wait a minute.
Stop. Back up. The students should divest
from the university! Yep. If the students
were to divest from the university, tuition
would fall, and the economic losses incurred
by the University would cause it to divest
from the companies which are investing in
South Africa. The companies investing in
South Africa will then divest from South
Africa which will force the government of
South Africa to abolish apartheid. "But
why should I leave U. of M.? Apartheid
isn't my fault," asks Joe Q. Student. The
standard reply, of course, is that every
dollar that is invested in South Africa is
supporting apartheid. Until it's
abolished, no money should be invested in
South Africa. Besides, a student can always

invest in (attend) another university that
doesn't have investments in companies that
have investments in South Africa.
Obviously, the idea of student divestment
is a ridiculous one. This satirical approach
to divestment should in no way be inter-
preted as an attempt to lessen the impor-
tance of divestment or apartheid. The
students at the University have effectively
contributed to the destruction of apartheid
through their rallies, editorials and other
forms of expression. If American com-
panies dislike apartheid as much as they
say they do then let them try to attack it
using their own tactics. So far they have
shown their concerns by meeting with
members of the ANC in Zimbabwe,
following the Sullivan Principles, and
publicly speaking out against apartheid and
the Botha government. The same reasoning
previously used by Joe Q. Student also ap-
plies to Big Business Inc. That is, why
should Big Business Inc. divest from South
Africa when they are not responsible for
apartheid?
The reasons for divestment are justified,
but in this case the ends do not justify the
means. Divestment is an attempt to make
someone else do something that we our-
selves are not prepared to do. For those who
still think divestment is the best solution to
apartheid, they can divest their money in-
stead of telling the University to divest its
money.

Chassy

PICYE TAT WOK-o
GVATfNMALAN PCOPLZ
ARM BUZZING ITd
EXCI TEMENT

1$21
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4 4 3Y

Petition for peace

THE COALITION for Peace in
Central America offers a new
and broad-reaching method for
educating Ann Arbor residents on
the Reagan Administration's
policies in Central America.
The recently formed group is
circulating a petition that would
put a resolution on the city elec-
tion ballot in April to "Establish
Initiatives for Peace in Central
America."
While any action on Central
America taken at a city level is
merely symbolic, it might serve to
increase local awareness of gover-
nment policies toward the region.
To that end, the Coalition chose
to gather signatures rather than
ask a City Council member to
submit a similar resolution to the
Council. As it is, the group will
need to collect 3654 valid signatures
by January 6.
Such a canvassing effort should
expose a great number of Ann Ar-
bor residents to the issue, and the
resulting election debate will
guarantee that Central American
policies are discussed in a non-
confrontational way.
If passed by voters in April, the
resolution would require the City
Clerk to notify local Congressional
representatives that Ann Arbor
residents: oppose all military aid
to Central America, all efforts to
undermine the elected government
nf Nipramauiat nd the hmhina

campaign in El Salvador; support
the rights of Central American
countries to self-determination and
U.S. efforts toward a negotiated
peace settlement; and request that
any funds freed up by a lessening
of U.S. aggression be used for
social programs in the United
States and Central America.
In addition, the resolution would
mandate that Ann Arbor establish
"sister city" relations with cities in
five Central American countries.
U.S. policy in Central America is
generally disturbing. The
Reagan administration has
tacitly admitted to mining
Nicaragua's Managua Bay, and
has been complicit through its
military aid to Guatemala and El
Salvador in the vast number of
"disappearances" and extensive
rural bombing campaigns there.
While such atrocities appear un-
justifiable for many reasons, it is dif-
ficult to even begin legitimate
debate without an informed public.
In spite of recent national publicity
from Nicaraguan President Or-
tega's visit to the United States and
El Salvadoran President Duarte's
negotiations to recover his kidnap-
ped daughter, disturbingly large
numbers of U.S. Citizens remain
ignorant.
The Coalition's drive is a small
but necessary effort to educate
Ann Arbor residents, to encourage
debate, and, if successful, to put
pressure on local representatives
to change current nolicies.

Si

LETTERS:

No suci
To the Daily:
Controversy over SDI
(Strategic Defense Initiative)
here on campus has detracted
much needed attention from a
related project that will drain
American tax dollars if not stop-
ped. Between 700 million to 1.3
billion dollars is the proposed

h thing as
cost for the - Ground Wave
Emergency Network (GWEN)
project. The Air Force GWEN
project is designed to develop a
communication network that can
survive a nuclear war. However,
this is not to coordinate emergen-
cy or medical services, but
rather to continue nuclear at-

a winnable war

LSA classrooms have gone

To the Daily:
The classrooms available to
LS&A begin to resemble those in
one of the poorer provinces of
Albania or Chad. I refer par-
ticularly to Srd and 4th floors of
East Engineering, which are now
available to us since the
engineers are abandoning that
hulk like sensible rats desert a
rotten ship.
Last year I had a classroom in
East Engineering which was in-
terrupted by a pigeon family
roosting contentedly in the raf-
ters of the gutted ceiling panels.
I tried to show a film but without
much success, for there were no
blinds. It was a pretty good film,
but largely outclassed by the

room will get their money's wor-
th at the Health Center. On one
cool day when the radiator was
banging I scouted the floor for
another room, found one, and
took it by squatters rights. A
mistake, as it proved. This one
also had a smashed window and
all the interlocked chairs faced
west while the blackboard was on
the eastern wall. Figure that one
out, if you can. But there was no
banging, because the radiator
didn't work at all.
I realize that LS&A is not the
Law School or Business School. I
realize that this University is not
Stanford or Washington and Lee.
But is there no IMMEDIATE
Rt .9V% f t Ir WiUr'

tacks.
The GWEN project, as well as
the Reagan administration,
suggest that a nuclear war is
winnable. This project however is
only backed by a prediction from
military planners when in fact
scientific evidence shows that
fire, which once swept the world
to the birds
cure for physical conditions that
would disgrace a high school
somewhere in the Bronx?
There is a remedy, as anyone
who walks the halls of the School
of Education at high noon knows.
Most of those classrooms are
vacant and could be used for
LS&A classes if one of the Higher
Powers picked up a phone and
demanded it. Why hasn't this
been done? Presumably because
the Ed School somehow has
staked a claim on those empty
rooms - the Devil take
everybody else. -Cecil Eby
November 3
Eby is a professor of
English.

- and would again following a
nuclear war - would undoub-
tedly destroy most of the world's
vegetation, poison the air and
cause smoke to absorb sunlight
and send temperatures plum-
meting way below freezing. This
is a "nuclear winter" as.
hypothesized by a group of scien-
tists headed by Carl Sagan. Obw
viously under these conditions
billions of people will die.
Computer scenarios used by
Sagan and his colleagues showed
that even a limited nuclear war
will result in a global freeze.
Therefore, this thought by the
advocates of the GWEN project
to have, much less win, a protrac-
ted nuclear war is ludicrous.
The Air Force and the Reagan*
administration should concen-
trate more on avoiding a nuclear
war rather than trying to win one.
Our tax dollars should be better
spent. -Marc Lewis4
Angie Kraus.'
Eric Newman
Duncan MacDonald
Lainie Lewis
October 27
m... m m- m--1 m

I

rY

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