100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

September 23, 1987 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-09-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, September 23, 1987 The Michigan Daily

Et aeby studentsa nivstMichigan l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

A neophyte

tours

CCRB

r
1
i

Vol. XCVIII, No. 10

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Support rent stabilization

VOTERS IN ANN ARBOR will have
an opportunity to enact a rent
stabilization ordinance in April.
The passage of this ordinance
would be an essential first step
toward maintaining the economic
diversity of Ann Arbor and the
University.
Ann Arbor is afflicted with a
housing shortage, which will
worsen in coming years, as the
University and the community
continue to grow. As this shortage
intensifies, rents will continue their
upward spiral (currently in the
neighborhood of 15 percent a year)
until housing becomes unaffordable
for all but the very affluent.
This will not only chase many
poor and moderate income people
out of Ann Arbor, but it will also
make it more difficult for poor and
moderate income students to attend
the University, since rent is by far
the students' largest single cost after
tuition. For this reason, rent stabi-
lization is important not only for the
students that are here now, but also
for any attempt to increase the
diversity of students that will be
able to come to the University in the
future.
Local businesses should also
support rent stabilization, so renters
will have more income to spend in
their stores, rather than having it si-
phoned out of the community by the
landlords.
The arguments against rent stabi-
lization should be well known to
anyone who has taken an intro-
ductory microeconomics course.
Opponents argue that rent stabi-
lization will reduce the supply of
housing, by reducing the profits of
landlords.
There are several reasons why
this traditional analysis is practically
irrelevant to our current problem.
First, the supply of existing rental
housing is, for all practical pur-
poses, fixed. No one seriously ex-
pects anyone to start demolishing
buildings simply because profits
can no longer rise by more than the
rate of inflation.
In Ann Arbor, the supply of new
housing is governed primarily by a
political decision to limit new
development, rather than by eco-
nomic considerations. So the argu-
ment that new housing would be
stifled by rent stabilization has little
relevance. This is especially true in
light of the provision in the pro-
posed ordinance that would allow
any new housing to rent at the

market rate for its initial lease.
Finally, opponents of rent control
argue that the supply of existing
housing will deteriorate until it is
unusable. Again, such a claim
seems to defy logic, since Ann
Arbor has a housing code which
requires rental units to meet certain
basic standards in order for land-
lords to collect rent. Since the
proposed rent stabilization ordi-
nance also allows landlords to pass
on the costs of necessary repairs, it
is difficult to see why landlords
would have any added incentive to
allow their property to deteriorate to
substandard levels.
The debate over rent stabilization
will undoubtedly be heated and
attract a number of misleading or
irrelevant "economic" arguments
such as those addressed above.
Another case in point is the state-
ment in last Thursday's Daily by
assistant professor of economics
and public policy Severn Boren-
stein. Offering neither empirical
evidence nor any analysis based on
the actual housing situation in Ann
Arbor, Borenstein expresses his
disapproval of rent control in
general, and repeats the same tired
1ld (and unsubstantiated) story
about deterioration of rental hous-
ing. Students and citizens of Ann
Arbor would do well to ignore such
"expert" opinion which substitutes
abstract economics dogma for an
analysis of the situation at hand.
The bottom line with rent stabi-
lization is that it will prevent a
massive redistribution of income
from tenants to landlords that will
otherwise continue to take place in
Ann Arbor. There is no reason
why landlords should be allowed to
get a huge windfall because of the
city's growth, at the expense of
tenants. Rent stabilization guaran-
tees them a fair profit: they are
entitled to no more.
If "experts" such as Borenstein
insist on bringing modern economic
theory to this debate, they would do
better with the doctrine of "revealed
preference." The latter notion sim-
ply asserts that people must in some
way prefer the choices they select
over others that were not selected
but were available to them. In all
the cities that have implemented rent
stabilization ordinances since World
War II, virtually none of them have
repealed the ordinance. In view of
the massive economic power of
landlords to promote such an
appeal, this can only be attributed to
one thing: rent stabilization works.

By Stacey Farb
Remember last spring just before
summer vacation-while you were
cramming for finals? I don't mean book
cramming. I mean pizza, Hostess
cupcakes, Twinkies, ice cream, and Mt.
Dew (by the gallon) cramming. Do you
also remember the excuses you used to
console yourself while you were
cramming? "I'm under a lot of stress."
"My metabolism is inversely proportional
to the amount of sleep I get." "It's empty
calories, right?" "'Empty' i s,
philosophically and poetically speaking,
nothingness, and nothingness means the
absence of something, which in turn
means that the food I'm eating has no
calories!" How about the greatest excuse
of all-the one used after finals were over?
"Now I'll have time to exercise. I'll take
off the excess weight and tone up in no
time." Right. The human mind is
amazing. It construes lies with such ease
and can convince its host without any
hesitation-no matter how irrational it
may be.
Well, summer came and then jumped
out the window crashing on the cement
pavement along with my
slim-down/tone-up program. I honestly
was going to start, but after working eight
hours a day... At any rate, I know I'm not
the only one whose exercise program
disintegrated as each week passed; I've
seen the lines to sign up for those aerobic
classes, I've seen you running and playing
hoops (which is a lot easier than you
makesit look). Still, I shouldn't talk. I'm
just as out of shape as the rest of you.
Last week I dug out my two-year old
Farb is a Sophomore in LSA.

running shoes which, surprisingly, looked
brand new, and started jogging. I finally
worked it up to a point that when I
stopped so did the rest of my body. That's
when I decided it was time for the big
step-the weight room at the CCRB.
Nobody had prepared me for the
experience-not even my mom who
seems to "prepare" me for all of life's
little trials and tribulations. No sooner did
I step inside the doors than I was accosted
by a person, not unlike a customs officer
from Cuba, demanding to see my student
I.D to verify my validity as an enrolled
student. He handed back the yellow plastic
and smiled. The smile was closer to that
of a policewoman as she revs up in
pursuit of a traffic violator than a friendly
"have a nice day" smile. It gave me the
willies.
I lump-bumped downstairs to the
weight room still shook up by the
customs inspection. At the bottom of the
stairs, I took a couple of deep breaths to
stop the trembling. After all, I was only,
going to lift small tonnages of lead, not
going to perform open heart surgery,
right? I strolled down the corridor and
noticed that there were three weight
rooms, two of which are free weight
rooms and one which has a Universal
machine. The difference between the two
types of weight rooms is that in the free
weight room, if you drop the weights
while in the process of lifting, they fall on
you. In the Universal weight room the
weights are attached to a big metal
structure so that if they're dropped, they
will catch on a metal platform. All things
considered, I decided on the Universal
weight room; better to break the
equipment than myself.
The first thing that struck me as I
entered the room was the odor. It was a

distinctive blend of swear and stale
deodorant. It took a little getting used to at
first, like going into the hog barn at the
State Fair, but after a while it wasn't as
rank. I walked around the room a few
times stretching out (really I was reaching
other people lift so I would know what to
do when my turn came up).
As I walked around, I noticed that there
were deformed bodies all over the place!
One person was suspended in the air facing
the the floor using only a small metal disc
on which to place his head and his elbows
projected straight out. Then he started
raising and lowering his torso; arching his
back as much as possible, on purpose.
I saw another person who looked like he
needed plastic surgery. His chin jutted
forward, his mouth stretched across his
face, two eyebrows molded into one, eyes
bulged out of their sockets, and veins I
never thought existed decorated his face
and neck, turning his head into a big
jigsaw puzzle. A sound escaped his throat
that went something like "aaiieeuggg."
That's another thing I noticed-the
language. I think it is foreign because I've
never heard some of those words before. In
fact, I'm not even sure the natives use the
same alphabet I learned by watching
Sesame Street.
As I sat down on the little seat to do leg
presses, I noticed the guy next to me lying
on his back on a cushioned bench. He was
about to lift-push on a bar that would
raise the weights attached to the Universal.
He took several deep pants and then, as he
pushed on the bar, he let out a long
painful moan. It sounded like hetwas
giving birth. That's when I decided to get
out of there. Taking the steps eight at a
time, I escaped as quickly as possible. I
could hear the customs officer's cynical
laugh as I ran across the bridge towar
Central Campus and into Steve's Ice
Cream.

r
1

Wasserman

IA ME SY TIS ABOUT ?NAT
\ Eli~
c-I

Z AAA NOT A GROOV !

SJ WIL Nt&R E To You!

cNAN You
* ANDGNIG&O~H&iT

1

LETTERS:
Both Daily and Biden plagiarize

To the Daily:
I'm writing in response to
two articles which recently
appeared in the Michigan
Daily. The first is an article
entitled, "Say it ain't so, Joe,"
referring to the plagiaristic
comments of Senator Joseph
Biden. It was an article that
shed a lot of light on the
problem of plagiarism. I'm
glad to see that the Michigan
Daily denounces such acts of
theft.
The second article I'm
writing about is entitled "Deaf-
inite Dinosaur" by Mike
Rubin, which appeared in the
September 15 Daily. In the
article Mike Rubin refers to J.
Mascis' aural articulation as
that of "a young child's fragile
eggshell mouth spitting out
gobs full of broken Indians."
Upon reading this I
immediately remembered a
poem written by James
Douglass Morrison which

appears in a song performed by
the Doors entitled "Peace frog."
The poem describes a scene
from Jim Morrison's childhood
involving a busload of dying
Indians who had been involved
in a horrible accident. These are
a few words from the poem in
which Morrison describes his

own reaction:
...Indians scattered on dawn's
highway bleeding.
Ghosts crowd the young
child's
fragile eggshell mind.
Blood in the streets in the
town
of New Haven...

(0 Nipper Music/Doors
Music ASCAP)
Being the voice of the
students, I think the Michigan
Daily should follow its own
advice and give credit where
credit is due.
-Dominick J. Perrone
September 22

Rally for medicaid abortions

',1
. ~ ' 0

To the Daily:
This year, 400,000
signatures, representing less
than four percent of the
population of Michigan, were
collected to defund medicaid
abortion for poor women. The
initiative was upheld by the
state legislature, bypassing the
governor's veto.
In response to this attack on
women's rights, People's
Campaign for Choice, with
leadership from Planned
Parenthood, is working to put
the question of Medicaid

funding. on the November
ballot.
Defunding Medicaid denies
poor women equal access to
safe abortion. Regardless of .
one's personal feelings about
abortion, it is sometimes the
only choice women have.
Since the legalization of
abortion in 1973, the mortality
rate for women h a v in g
abortions has dropped by 75
percent. Further, the federal
government, through Medicaid
and other commercial health
insurance, will refund 9 0
percent of the cost of
sterilization. Medicaid recip-

ients are two to four times
more likely to be sterilized
than non-Medicaid recipients.
The choice to sterilization or
to abortion is altered by
economic conditions over
which many women, including
teenagers, have little control.
There will be a massive
petition drive to collect
signatures today, September 23
from 11:30-2p.m. o n
campus. Stop by the Pond
Room on the first floor of the
Michigan Union between
11:30-1p.m. to circulate a
petition. -Karen Klein
September 22

UCAR succeeds in fight

To the Daily:
In a recent letter to the Daily
(9/21), a critic of the United
Coalition Against Racism
claims that UCAR does not try
to change racists' values, but
merely opposes those values
being translated into action.
The critic even asks: "As far
as deterring other acts of
racism, what has been
accomplished if we are left
with an externally racist-free

Civil rights activist speaks today

intuition, though, that racism
is deeper than overt acts of
racism is correct, albeit
obvious. Confronting overt
racist acts can challenge and
change underlying racist
values.
For example, there is value
in hearing racist remarks such
as the critic's because
individuals and groups like
UCAR can publicly identify

To the Daily:
Today at 8:30 p.m. in the
fourth floor ampitheatre of the
Rackham Building . three
progressive campus groups, the
United Coalition Against
Racism, and . the Latin
American Solidarity
Committee, Free South
African Coordinating Com-
mittee, will come together to
host a forum on racism and

Detroit and the political and
social climate in which the
policies can be pursued. Mr.
Nesbitt, a social activist in the
African-American community:
for more than 20 years will
offer his insights a n d
experiences in a vital
progressive analysis of the
problems of domestic racism,
South African apartheid and the

- I 'urn UE1! AW/

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan