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January 10, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-01-10

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, January 10, 1986

The Michigan Daily

Eier mtutsant an
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Keep your options open

AL qw-

Vol. XCVI, No..71

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Future protection

As the Social Security system ap-
proaches its fiftieth anniversary it
becomes more and more apparent
that significant reforms are needed
if it is to provide anywhere near the
level of protection for today's
workers as it did for the workers of
yesterday.
Though the system is of ten
thought of as a government spon-
sored' pension plan it operates on
completely different principles.
The money that workers contribute
is not invested in a fund; instead it
is distributed directly to current
elderly recipients. It's in the in-
terest of those workers currently
contributing that reforms are
made so that Social Security will be
available to them when they reach
retirement age.
The fear that the system will not
last is supported by demographic
data. The current baby boomer
workers will reach retirement age
around 2020. The danger is that
there won't be enough workers to
support them. Some estimates
suggest that under the current
system, payroll taxes would have
to be raised as much as 40% in or-
der to provide the same level of
benefits as are currently provided.
As it stands now, the system acts
in a very regressive manner. Since
payroll taxes are based on a single
rate regardless of income, they put
a much larger burden on the
working poor than on the wealthy.
The benefit structure gives the

highest benefits to those with the
highest lifetime earning. This
policy is defended by the argument
that those with the highest wages
end up putting more into the
system. The inclusion of everyone
into the system is justified by the
contention that this makes it more
cooperative and thus less like
welfare. If Social Security paymen-
ts were invested, perhaps it would
be equitable to give the largest
benefits to the largest investors,
but since benefits are transferred
directly from the workers to the
elderly it makes sense to take into
account the recipient's financial
status. This is not to say that the af-
fluent elderly shouldn't receive
benefits, but that when cuts are
made they should be to the fifth of
all elderly people with incomes
over $30,000 and not to the half of all
elderly single women who survive
on less than $5,000 a year.
In addition, those elderly with in-
comes exceeding $30,000 should not
have their benefits exempt from
taxation. Taking into account in-
creased life expectencies, a sen-
sible reform would be to lift the
retirement age to 68. This would
result in outlays while not unduly.
punishing potential retirees.
The elderly have a right to expect
society to protect them from the
hardships of poverty. Without
reform of the Social Security
system, the workers of today will
not be able to count on that protec-
tion.

By Paul Belker
As the new term begins and students are
again in classes, I find myself thinking
about my own goals for the coming year,
and the many choices that will inevitably
face me as I am presented with new oppor-
tunities in the year ahead. I also think about
many of my peers in their new jobs or in
graduate schools, and how their lives as
recent graduates differ from my own
My new status as a non-student is also
very different from my prior student days.
For the first time in almost 16 years I don't
have to think about homework, tuition, and
all the costs and benefits that accompany
life in Academia. But most of all, I think
about what life would be like if I had made a
different choice last May.
At that time I was faced with three op-
tions: apply to graduate school, find a job,
or remain in Ann Arbor as part-owner of a
small business. Of the three, a return to
school was the least likely choice. After four
years of college, there was so much more I
wanted to do than return to the same
situation as the one I had just left. Don't get
me wrong. I loved school and the challenges
it presented, but my senior year I was
definitely ready for a change.
Maybe I'm too much of an idealist, and
some may surely interpret my reasoning as
Belker, a 1984 University graduate, is
a partner in a successful Ann Arbor
business.

lack of ambition but for me, it seems as if
entry into graduate school immediately
following college is unnecessary, and
maybe even a bit counter-productive. Why,
at age 21 or 22, are some so ready to begin
preparing for a career or so anxious to con-
tinued in school, when they have so many
years ahead of them? I'm all for a good,
solid college education, but not if the only
reason for it is to get into graduate school.
The college years are for growing and lear-
ning, most of all for learning how to think
and become independent. The knowledge
and experience that one gains while in
college are for learning about yourself and
the world around you, not for learning how
to regurgitate facts.
For some, such as those going into law or
medicine, early entry into graduate
programs may be best, due to financial or
time constraints. However, for many
others, the years following college can be
better suited to other options, such as work
experience, travel, or the freedom to do
hundreds of things that were not possible
during college. The list of options is
frighteningly long. One friend, whose ap-
plication to medical school was denied,
decided to go to Alaska and work in the
health care field until he could re-apply.
Another works for AT&T in Chicago. I
decided to remain self-employed in order to
have the freedom to enjoy the years in bet-
ween college and later education.
The average age for the first year MBA
students is 26. Obviously, an awful lot of

young businessmen and women must be
doing something in those uncertain years
following college and before making a
career decision. Business schools do look
favorably on those applicants with practical
work experience. It does seem that the per-1t
son who has a wide range of experiences
from which to draw will be better prepared
to enter the work force than one whose ex-
periences are limited to only those of a
student.
As you approach graduation this yearor
in the next few years and begin thinking
about what to do, think not just of more
school, but also of the many options that are
available to you as a University graduate.
There are so many things to do and so
many opportunities to take advantage of in
later life. For some, immediate entry into
graduate school may already be decided.
Others may have taken advantage of the
summer months to travel or gain work ex-
perience. But for you who are not sure in
which direction you're headed, feel free to
take chances. Learn more about the world
and others, and use your education to your
benefit. Take the knowledge and experien-
ces that you have gained at the university
and put them to use out in the world of
"non-studentdom."
Our education system guarantees those of
all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to
learn. The chance to return to later
schooling will always be there, while the
opportunity to be young, independent, and
free of obligations may not be.

Wasserman

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Apartheid

nightmare

Academic integrity

T HE ISSUE of integrity in
academia everywhere is right-
fully challenged in light of the
recent resignation of Harvard
University's director of the Center
on Middle Eastern Studies due to
his acceptance of research funding
from the CIA.
It seems that this incident is not
isolated. Administrators here at
the University have referred to the
probable existence of covert CIA
funding among the faculty. Such
connections are difficult to
establish due to the fact that the
CIA may be channeling their sup-
port through other agencies or
utilizing fronts. The implications of
such a situation are extremely
disheartening. Suspicions are
raised that the organization paying
for faculty research may be cen-
soring their materials. Such
suspicion undermines the
traditional good faith between a
student and a professor and
threatens the free nature of the
University community.
The existence of secretive sup-
port is not the only disturbing
issue; there are also moral
questions regarding any in-
volvement, covert or overt, with
the CIA. The administration at
Harvard chose to reprimand this
professor only for his negligence

for not revealing the CIA funding
earlier. His resignation came as a
result of a personal decision; it was
not requested officially because the
professor did not technically
violate Harvard's research
guidelines.
Despite the fact that the Univer-
sity has not openly received CIA
funding for several years, officials
here have stated that they wouldn't
necessarily refuse such funding in
the future if projects fell in line
with the Board of Regents'
guidelines on classified research.
These guidelines prohibit research
which can be applied to the
destruction of human life therefore
one should question the ethical
backbone of such requirements if
University officials are willing to
entertain the idea of "relations"
with th6 CIA, an organiztion whose
policy regarding the destruction of
human life is questionable.
Covert funding of any kind can-
not be tolerated in a University, if
we are to continue to believe in the
integrity of the faculty and ad-
ministration. Additionally, the ef-
fectiveness and intent of research
guidelines must be determined if
we are to prevent the emergence of
an undesirable "third party" on the
academic scene, namely the U.S.
government.

By Dr. Manning Marable
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., the
political and spiritual leader of the
American civil rights movement,
recognized that the campaign against
racism transcended international boun-
daries. Speaking at City Temple Hall in
London on 6 December 1963, King focused
his remarks on the tragedy of apartheid in
South Africa. "We must join in a nonviolent
action to bring freedom and justice to South
Africa by a massive movement for
economic sanctions," King affirmed.
In the twenty-two years since King's ad-
dress, legal racial segregation in the United
States has become outlawed, despite the
existence of severe economic and political
deprivation which shackles millions of
Black Americans to poverty and unem-
ployment. The system of apartheid, in con-
trast, still remains, despite the severity of
social unrest which has threatened its
existence during the past year. Despite the
obvious differences between Black
America's movement for equality and the
situation of the Black majority in South
Africa, there are many parallels between
these two societies. The international
dimensions of antiracist agitation have
evoked similarities in strategy and tactics
by both the proponents of democratic
change and the defenders of the status quo.
The leaders of these respective social
movements, first, have been committed to
Marable teaches political sociology at
Colgate University. "Along the Color
Line" appears in over 140 newspapers
internationally.

the principles of political democracy and
human equality which transcends racial
barriers. The Black recipients of the Nobel
Peace Prize from these countries - King,
United Nations diplomat Ralph Bunche,
Chief Albert Luthuli, and Bishop Desmond
Tutu - have either been religious leaders,
or have expressed their commitment to
human freedom in profoundly moral terms.
Nelson Mandela, the leader of the banned
African National Congress, expressed these
ideals most eloquently in his last public
statements before a South Africa Court in
April, 1964: "During my lifetime I have
dedicated myself to this struggle of the
African people. I have fought against white
domination, and I have fought against
Black domination. I have cherished the
ideal of a democratic and free society in
which all persons live together in harmony
and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal
whic'h I hope to live for and to achieve. But
if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die."
The American Civil Rights movement
employed economic boycotts as a method to
undermine racial segregation. "Boycotts
against stores," King once stated, "are not
putting them out of business but bringing
them. to the point of moral change." A
massive, year-long boycott of the public
transportation system of Montgomery,
Alabama, by Blacks in 1955-56 forced city
officials to end "Jim Crow" restrictions.
Similarly, Black South Africans are
resorting to selective buying campaigns
with effective results. In the Eastern Cape
region this July, Blacks boycotted white-
coated businesses in Port Elizabeth and
East London. Within weeks, owners repor-
ted losses of 30 to nearly 100 percent. Dozens
of firms went into bankruptcy. The boycot-

ts spread to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of
Natal province by late July, and in Johan-
nesburg and Pretoria this August. Black
consumers raised explicitly politica1o9
demands: the end of the "state of emergen-
cy," the release of all political prisoners,
and the granting of basic democratic rights.
Alex Irwin, the educational director of the
Federation of South African Trade Unions
(FOSATU), has noted that "the boycott is
punishing a significant segment of the retail
trade." The nonviolent though massive ac-
tion is "making a number of whites who
would normally not look beyond their
profits realize that there is a lot that is
seriously amiss in South Africa.'$
Both movements sparked powerful
mobilization efforts within working class
constituencies. The largest single group
within the August, 1963 March on
Washington, D.C., which called for the
passage of comprehensive civil rights
legislation, for example, were trade
unionists. Black labor leader A. Philip Ran-
dolph, a Vice President of the AFL-CIO, was
primarily responsible for forcing the U.S.
government to desegregate the armed for-
ces and to initiate equal employment and
hiring policies by businesses which held
federal contracts. In South Africa, the in-
creasing level of public protest against
apartheid has reinforced the growth of
Black trade unionism. In 1969, only 16,000
African workers were organized. A decade
lated, FOSATU was formed, and by 1984 it
had over 100,000 paid members in over 400
factories. The Council of Unions of South
Africa (CUSA) was organized in 1980, and
has 50,000 members. Both labor formation
are in the vanguard of fundamental racial
change, and project a goal of full
democracy and workers' rights.

LETTERS:
Zionism is racist as Apartheid

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To the Daily:
There exists in this country an
abominable double-standard that
transcends any notion of common
sense. Apartheid, the most evil of
political entities, is under attack
from nearly everyone. In fact,
it's rather the trend to criticize it
these days. Americans suddenly
realize that the black South
Africans deserve their political
and human rights - as if we

and Zionism. The Law of Return,
mass arrest, occupation, in-
discriminate uprooting of in-
digenous Palestinians and the
like, are all part of official Israeli
law and government policy.
Zionism is no less racist than
Apartheid yet, somehow, it is
associated with benevolence,
kindness, altruism and universal
good.
I suppose it's not so difficult to

in Israel who commit atrocities
against human kind quite
similar to those of white South
Africa. I guess it's O.K. to hurt
Palestinians, to deny them the
essentials of human dignity for
the sake of Jews, who are in-
finitely more important, more
human, more Western and
therefore more worthy of our
support.
Furthermore, to criticize Israel

even liberal American-Jews, wh*
scream louder than anyone about
Apartheid, refuse to believe the
cataclysmic injustices "their"
country bestows upon
Palestinians. I assert that
Americans, and more
specifically, American Jews,
either do not know about the
plight of the Palestinians or they
have simply closed their hearts to
them and adopted a policy c"

Letters to the Daily should be typed,

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