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September 30, 1988 - Image 4

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Friday, September 30, 1988

The Michigan Daily

mii 31d43an iman1
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. I C No.17 420 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.

Econ. slows

progress

Mazrui falsely accused

IT IS REGRETTABLE that unfounded
allegations of anti-Semitism are being
brought against a member of the Uni-
versity community as a result of his
public criticism of Israel. Such tactics
are not only unfair to the individual at-
tacked, but they also make it more dif-
ficult to promote useful discussion and
dialogue on this controversial issue.
Professor Ali Mazrui of the Depart-
ment of Political Science gave a speech
last week in which he warned of a
growing fascist element within Israeli
society, at a time when Israel has re-
sorted to increasing use of violent re-
pression in the occupied territories. In
his speech he was harshly critical of the
Israel government, and he expressed
concern over public opinion polls that
showed majority support for the re-
pression. But at no time did he direct
his criticism at Jews, Jewish culture, or
the Jewish people in general.
Such criticism cannot rightfully be
labelled anti-Semitic. The Jewish peo-
ple have suffered a long history of
persecution, and real anti-Semitism
must be taken very seriously. But it is
irresponsible to use unfounded charges
of anti-Semitism in an attempt to
discredit a political opponent.
This tactic also has a chilling effect

on free discussion of U.S. foreign
policy in the Middle East. Open and
free discussion of this issue is very im-
portant in light of the United States'
support of more than $3 billion annu-
ally for Israel.
In 1985, Professor Fred Dube, a
professor of African Studies and Psy-
chology at the State University of New
York at Stony Brook, was denied
tenure and deprived of his job as a re-
sult of unsubstantiated charges of anti-
Semitism. Dube is a Black South
African and member of the African
National Congress and was imprisoned
in South Africa for four years and ex-
iled for taking a stand against
apartheid.
Dube was targeted for his discussion
of Zionism in a course on the politics
of race, and was subjected to a virulent
campaign for his removal. This cam-
paign succeeded in denying Dube
tenure, in spite of the fact that four fac-
ulty committees had recommended him
for tenure.
Fortunately, Professor Mazrui has
not been discouraged by the unfounded
charges leveled against him. The Uni-
versity community needs to be a place
where controversial ideas can be dis-
cussed in an atmosphere that is free
from this type of intimidation.

By Mark R. Greer
I applaud Philip Meguire's criticism of
my analysis of institutional racism and
sexism in the economics discipline (Daily,
9/21/88.) He unwittingly corroborates
many points I made.
Before addressing the issues raised by
Meguire, I would like to restate my origi-
nal thesis: The mainstream (neoclassical)
explanation of income inequality across
race and gender reinforces racist and sexist
ideologies by implying that the lower
earnings of Blacks and women, relative to
that of white men, arises from the lower
productivity of the former. Indeed, as Uni-
versity Professor of Economics Paul
Courant notes in his review of the main-
stream literature, "... neoclassical
economists would ask what is it about
women's tastes, behaviors, or skills that
results in differential treatment by em-
ployers and in lower economic outcomes."
(U. of M. Institute for Public Policy
Studies Discussion Paper #275, pp. 1-2.
Note: Courant does not hold this view.)
Orthodox economists offer similar
pearls of wisdom on the lower earnings of
Blacks, which has led Harvard economist
Glenn Loury, formerly on the faculty here,
to conclude that the "values, and value-in-
fluenced behavior" of Black culture are
largely responsible for Black poverty.
(Commentary, Jan. 1987, p. 34.) All of
these theories, by the way, are predicated
on the silly assumption that a firm knows
(or at least can know) the amount of its
output attributable to the labor of each of
its workers.
As should be expected of an orthodox
Mark R. Greer is a Doctoral Candidate
in the Department of Economics and the
Vice-President of Rackham Student Gov-
ernment.

dogmatist, Meguire buys into its victim-
blaming view on income inequality when
he claims that there is no convincing evi-
dence of sexual discrimination in labor
markets and that women earn less than
men because they're unwilling to accept
"dangerous and dirty jobs (which) pay a
premium." Attitudes like this, promul-
gated by mainstream economics, likely
explain why very few Blacks and women
choose to pursue a doctoral degree in it.
This is precisely the point made in my
first essay.
Meguire's proposed solution to the lack
of Blacks and women on university facul-
ties - abolishing the public university
system and replacing it with a voucher
system, under which he assumes that mi-
norities and women will naturally segre-
gate themselves off into their own separate
universities - does much to reveal the
pernicious impact of orthodox economics
on public policy debate. In effect, Meguire
advocates that the government do nothing
about campus racism and sexism; indeed,
it should get out of the university system
altogether.
Meguire's "separate but equal" solution
reflects mainstream economic's general
outlook on governmental social program-
ming - anything we do to alleviate
racism, sexism, etc. will only make these
problems worse. Therefore, we should do
nothing at all. Taking this perspective,
mainstream economists oppose everything
from minimum wage legislation (because
it will supposedly raise teenage and Black
unemployment) to rent control (because it
will only bring about a shortage of afford-
able housing for the poor.)
Mainstream theory is even invoked by
conservatives to oppose Comparable
Worth legislation, and the reasoning goes
something like this: Women possessing
identical educational and work experience

backgrounds as men are still less produc-
tive than men are, due to women's poor
attitudes toward work, their lacking moti-
vation, etc. Consequently, forcing firms to
pay women and men with identical
credentials the same wage will result in
higher unemployment for women because
firms will cut back on employing them if
forced to pay them more than they are
worth. (If the reader finds this too outra-
geous to believe, see Equal Pay for Un-
equal Work, Chaps. 11, 13.)
Finally, Meguire's claim that moral
considerations act to deter research into the
possibility of differences in intelligence
among the races simply isn't tenable.
There is strong reason to believe that
academia would richly reward any re-
searcher who could come up with a study
showing the intellectual inferiority of
Blacks - just witness how the careers of
those concocting theories denigrating
Blacks (and women) skyrocket. Glenn
Loury and Gary Becker, the University of
Chicago economist who claims that wage
differentials across gender can be attributed
to women putting less effort into their
jobs than men do, are just two cases in
point. Since anyone finding evidence of
Blacks' intellectual inferiority would
likely become a superstar in his discipline,
I would imagine that considerable effort
has probably already been put into this
matter.
Economic theory, or at least its ortho-
doxy, is probably the most backward of all
the social sciences and forms a formidable
ideological obstacle to social progress. As
long as neoclassical theory continues to
dominate the discipline, theories attribut-
ing wage inequality to institutional racism
or sexism, or to anything other than the
inferiority of victimized groups, will re-
main at the margins of the "science."

Wasserman

Wright is right

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EQVUAL U NSItCO MT kTo TOE IRT D ESTE /I
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ON SEPTEMBER 20, SPEAKER of
the House Jim Wright revealed that the
C.I.A. has been covertly organizing
protests of "opposition" parties in
Nicaragua in the hopes of inciting
violence and bloodshed and prompting
a repressive response by the Nic-
araguan government. This repression
would then be used to discredit the
Nicaraguan government internationally
to increase the likelihood of Congress
approving additional funding for the
Contras.
Jim Wright should not necessarily be
congratulated for exposing this sleazy
and illegal plot because of his own
history of supporting interventionist
policies. But neither should the public
allow the revelations to be obscured by
the Reagan Administration's accu-
sations concerning the logistics of
Wright's disclosure. Reagan has still
not confirmed, nor denied, the allega-
tions.
The media is complicit in covering up
the U.S. government's intervention in
Nicaragua. This was validated by 1985
World Court ruling that the U.S.
sponsors illegal activity which threatens
the national sovereignty of Nicaragua.
The fact that the information admitted
by Wright is of a "sensitive nature" and
jeopardizes national security is covered
extensively while interference in a
sovereign nation is ignored.
Absent also from Washington Post
editorials and coverage by the New
York Times, was an analysis of con-
gressional oversight of the C.I.A.
which was established in large part to
prevent this sort of illegal interference
in another nation's affairs. Since the
ultimate purpose was to influence
public opinion, the C.I.A. operation
was an explicit violation of its charter.
Consistent with the Iran-Contra

affair, this operation reveals the ab-
solute impossibility of trusting anything
this administration says (or doesn't say)
concerning Central America. While
publicly expressing support for the
Arias Peace Plan, the administration did
everything in its power to undermine
the peace process.
It is also informative that the Reagan
administration is guilty of carrying
through its efforts at subversion in
exactly the manner claimed by the Nic-
araguan government for years. These
charges fell on deaf ears in the U.S.
Congress and were trivialized in the
U.S. press. This fact says a lot about
the relative credibility of the U.S.
versus the Nicaraguan government.
The United States simply cannot be
trusted to respect the rights of Central
American nations to self-determination.
In addition to aiding and creating The
terrorist contra forces, we also know
that the C.I.A. has attempted to
sabotage Nicaragua's elections, dis-
credit the Nicaraguan government
through an international propaganda
campaign, and funnelled millions of
dollars to opposition political figures
and media. It is becoming disturbingly
clear that the U.S. Foreign policy
objectives are to incite violence and
confusion in Nicaragua.
As this editorial goes to press the
U.S. congress is currently debating a
military appropriations bill that includes
specific funding for the Contras. It is
beyond hypocritical that funds can even
be considered for the Contras, in light
of the criminal activity of the C.I.A. in
the internal affairs of a sovereign
nation. People should be vigilant of the
these votes that perpetuate our
disgraceful behavior in a region that we
have stained with bloodshed and
violence.

L t + rs t i ditar

Star Wars
breeds evil
To the Daily:
The editorial, provided by
Daniel Rosenberg concerning
Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI) research at the Univer-
sity, (Daily, 9/23/88) demon-
strates a flawed train of though
about the issue. He claims
that continued SDI research is a
benefit for humanity through
the possible spinoff technolo-
gies it could produce, and that
those who oppose the policy of
SDI deployment would best
fight the system itself rather
than the research it breeds. I
disagree.
Research bent on creating a
weapons defense system will
indeed fabricate technologies
which can be applied to other
more benign fields. However,
would not these same fields be
even further advanced if the
same money was used to fund
their own research? If indeed
SDI comes into existence, the
cost presented by the introduc-
tion of a new generation of
weaponry will far exceed any
side benefit discovered. I wish
humanity could be trusted to
use the information it obtains
from weapons research wisely.
Unfortunately, people have
never acted responsibly in ap-
plying "newfound knowledge"
which was earmarked harmful
to its enemies. Historical ex-
amples such as the Vatican's
failed attempt to ban crossbow
technology and the Manhattan
Project's unleashing of the

capable of producing more evil
than good.
-Matthew Syrett
September 25
Nursing's
vital role
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
the article "Major stymie 'U'
students," (Daily, 9/12/88).
I am alarmed at the percep-
tion by Sheila Gomez relative
to the position of Nursing as
stated in the article. Nursing is
recognized internationally as an
independent profession, free-
standing and separate from
Medicine. Nursing collaborates
with Medicine in today's
healthcare delivery systems and
facilitates many of the thera-
pies determined by physicians.
Nursing's scope of practice as
established by the American
Nurses' Association as well as
the State of Michigan repre-
sents the position of nurses to
physicians which in no way
relegates nurses to always
working under the doctors.
Nursing is a vital link to how
individuals in our society re-
ceive health care today. Nurses
are legally able to assess, diag-
nose, plan, implement
therapies, and evaluate patient
response to interventions
without the direct guidance of a
physician.
Your article greatly repre-
sents the largest group of
health care providers in the
United States. I strongly sug-
gest that you think of a way to
correct the image you have

EMU
safety not
'you ng'
To the Daily:
I would like to respond to
the comments attributed to
Sally Satko, editor of the
Eastern Echo, in the column
"EMU deputies like ours?"
(9/19/88).
According to the author,
EMU's campus safety officers
are "really young" and "crime
rates are higher (at EMU than
at the University)." For the
record, the average age of the
18 officers, sergeants and lieu-
tenant is 32 years - hardly
"really young."
Specifically, the officers''
average age is 30, the
sergeants' average age is 38 and
the one lieutenant is 31. The
oldest officer is 49, the
youngest is 20. Four are be-
tween 20 and 29 years of age,
six are between 30 and 39 years
of age. The oldest sergeant is
48, the youngest is 28. Two

are in their 40s. All of our of-
ficers are appropriately trained
and well-trained and provide
very professional service to the
campus community. The pro-
fessional staff is supplemented
by a corps of student officers
who assist in responsibilities
related to parking.
I am attaching an article
from the Eastern Echo which
indicates that EMU had the
second lowest index of crimes
in the Mid-American Confer-
ence (of which EMU is a
member) for 1986-87 according
to the Uniform Crime Report
of the state of Michigan. In
addition, the report indicates
the University of Michigan has
the highest number of indexed
crimes in the state of Michi-
gan.
I hope this information will
clarify for you and your readers
the quality of our Public Safety
staff and the safe environment
on our campus which we at-
tribute a great degree to our
Public Safety Department.
-Kathleen D. Tinney
September 20

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HEAR~ NO CeAMPAIGN4
SEE NO CAMPAIGN'.J'

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