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October 25, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-25

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily -Thursday, October 25, 1990
Elbe 31E1143UU i~rIgy
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

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.
A trashy idea
Ann Arbor shouldn' t privatize garbage collection


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over $30 million to build parking
structures and close to $3 million to
replace a perfectly fine lighting system,
the Ann Arbor City Council apparently
can't find the money to run its own
waste management service. On Sept-
ember 17, Council decided to hire a
consultant to advise it on the possi-
bilities of turning over Ann Arbor
garbage collection to a private contrac-
Council is trying to sell its decision
as a cost-cutting measure that would
save Ann Arbor taxpayers money. But
this is not nearly as certain as Council
would have us believe. As city trash
collectors who have been protesting the
changes are making clear, privatization
often leads to higher costs because of
companies' drive for profits, which,
dressed up in language about "contract
preparation" and "administration," are
invariably passed on to the consumer.
Worse, and again because of a pri-
vate company's profit motive, privatiz-
ing trash collection will lead to a de-
cline in the quality of services. The
city's collectors will return to collect
trash from any resident who forgets to
put it out. They regularly go to the door
for the differently abled. And they vol-
untarily pick up the mounds of student
trash lying around at the end of every
school year. Few private companies,
for whom people are a means to an end
rather than an end in itself, will have
the time or inclination to undertake
such responsibilities.

The track record stands for itself.
During the Reagan era, the privatization
of municipal services reached new
heights as deficit-ridden cities, bereft of
the federal monies they had once re-
ceived, struggled to make ends meet by
cutting deal after deal with big busi-
ness. The long list of consequences in
cities such as Philadelphia, Houston
and Detroit include deteriorating ser-
vices; whopping wage cuts, busted
unions, and lost jobs for workers; and
the dumping of a disproportionate
share of the nation's waste in areas
primarily inhabited by people of color.
Three of the nation's four largest
dumps are located in Black Belt coun-
ties in Louisiana, North Carolina, and
Alabama, respectively. Waste Man-
agement, Inc., the world's largest pri-
vate recycler and potentially a prime
candidate for the job of waste manage-
ment in Ann Arbor, regularly dumps
trash in a number of nations in West
Given that privatization has many
predictable and proven negative results
- and no proven, positive, track
record - City Council's decision to
waste time and taxpayers' money
thinking about it is both irresponsible
and dishonest. If Council really cares
about its citizens - both as taxpayers
and as people - it will halt its recent
penchant for putting profits before
people and continue to give all its
citizens services that have proven their

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solution won't help 3rd World

To the Daily:
I was appalled by the editorial, "Green
Devolution: Progress means more misery
for the Third World" (10/22/90). Arguing
that the first world is creating environmen-
tal disaster in the Third World, the Daily
decries "corporations reproducing potential
Bhopals everywhere."
First of all, many of these projects are
not started by multinational corporations,
but by the governments of Third World
countries themselves. The Daily ignores
the benefits these projects bring, suggest-
ing as an alternative "more modest pro-
jects benefitting many more people." How
such projects are going to attract invest-
ment and thus provide jobs and economic
well-being is not explained.
The author then turns to economics,
and states that "if the Third World is to
achieve genuine development ... the first
world must honestly acknowledge how it
has underdeveloped these regions and make
appropriate reparations ... countries such
as the United States should cancel all
Third World debt." This is a prime exam-
ple of the "liberal's dilemma": how to bal-
ance economic development with ecologi-
cal maintenance, which is inherently anti-
development. The Daily decries the
"underdevelopment" of the Third World by

the first while at the same time blasting
efforts by the first world to develop these
So what is the solution to Third World
underdevelopment? The Daily feels that
"reparations" are in order - perhaps the
cancelling of all debts. Consider the idea
of the United States cancelling all Third
World debt. The Savings and Loan crisis
alone will cost $500 billion dollars, or
$2500 for every man, woman, and child.
Loans to Third World countries easily top
$1 trillion, or twice as much. Who is go-
ing to pay these sums, over $7500 per
person in this country alone? Certainly
not the U.S. government, which itself is
several hundred billion dollars in debt.

Certainly, "genuine" development of
Third World countries is desirable: eco-
nomic progress is inherently good when
accompanied by maintenance of environ-
mental standards. But the Daily, handi-
capped by an inability to accept that many
companies are socially and environmen-
tally responsible, cannot and does not ad-
vocate an economically efficient and per-
manent solution to the problem of Third
World underdevelopment.
What allowed the first world its place
in the world today? It was certainly not
because of superior resources, but rather
because of hard work, education, reinvest-
ment, and a capitalist system that rewarded,
these attributes.

Trade restrictions
Revoke violators' status for civil rights abuses

This is a prime example of the "liberal's dilemma":
how to balance economic development with
ecological maintenance, which is inherently anti-

Representatives voted to impose strict
trade restrictions on the People's Re-
public of China in the wake of the
Tiananmen Square massacre in June,
1989. This action clearly reveals the
hypocrisy of American foreign policy.
While the House makes high-handed
condemnations of human rights viola-
tions in China, it mysteriously ignores
similar violations around the world and
continues to encourage prosperous
trade relationships with equally repres-
sive regimes.
The House voted overwhelmingly to
lift China's "Most-favored-nation"
trading status, which allows Chinese
goods to be imported into the United
States at the lowest possible tariff rates.
The House also passed a bill which
could result in a virtual embargo of all
Chinese goods. Both bills are pending
approval by the Senate and the Presi-
While these actions are commend-
able, why has Congress not introduced
or passed similar legislation condemn-
ing countries such as El Salvador and
the Philippines? Perhaps it is because
Congress is usually motivated by the
same logic George Bush is currently
using as he seeks to justify his position

in support of maintaining China's
most-favored-nation status despite the
events last year in Beijing.
Chinese trade, after all, amounts to
over $18 billion per year; with a reces-
sion apparently around the corner, that
loss of revenue would be a hard pill for
the American economy to swallow.
American corporate and governmental
involvement frequently promotes capi-
talism abroad by turning a blind eye to
such issues as human and civil rights.
A capitalistic China could greatly bene-
fit the American economy someday;
Bush and his economic advisors, fully
cognizant of this, are willing to play
dumb about innocent killings, issue to-
ken protests, and go on as if nothing
had ever occurred.
The fact that it took this long for
Congress to act is itself reprehensible.
But these first steps are encouraging.
The United States should now develop
a code of accords for civil and human
rights that would apply to all of our
trading partners across the globe, with-
out exception. Economics should not
have any role in such important deci-
sions; it is regrettable that Bush has
pursued a "forgive and forget" course
of action after such needless blood-

The Daily claims that the Third World
"has paid its original actual debt many
times over." How so? In agony, having
repeatedly skipped payments and forced
loan restructuring? If the Third World has
indeed paid its debt, why isn't it loaning
money to the United States, which is in
the midst of a financial crisis?

Why wear blue jeans?
To the Daily:
I would like to respond to Mark Perin's
letter, "Don't use jeans to show gays
support" (10/23/90). His criticisms and
questions represent the concerns of many
U of M students and deserve to be
thoughtfully addressed.
National Coming Out Day was cele-
brated on October 11. Supporters of les-
bian's and gay men's civil rights were
asked to wear blue jeans. Why blue jeans?
Mr. Perin suggested that jeans were inap-
propriate because "the symbol should have
been something less common." This fact,
that almost everyone owns blue jeans, was
one practical reason for choosing jeans as
the symbol of support. Students were able
to show their support without making any
purchases (e.g. pink triangle buttons).
Mr. Penn's concern is that some peo-
ple who normally wear blue jeans every-
day would have been supporting gay rights
unknowingly on October 11. In fact, the
inability to distinguish gay rights sup-
porters from those who just happened to
be wearing jeans is another reason jeans
are an appropriate symbol. Those who
want to support gay rights but are afraid of
making a public statement cannot be dis-
tinguished from those who aren't making
a statement at all. This protects people
from harassment and labeling. If pink
triangleswere chosen as the symbol,
straight people showing their support
wouldprobably be labeled gay. Again,
this is a scary situation for some
supportive straight men and women.
My response to someone being inap-
propriately labeled a supporter of gay
rights is that this is analogous to being
inappropriately labeled heterosexual. Since
heterosexuality is the default, most every-
one assumes I am straight unless there is
some reason for them to think differently.
It might be educational for you to experi-
nrin 4%o X~ Do-;r

Vote Workers World
To the Daily:
Many commentators are noting that the
public is becoming extremely fed up with
the two major political parties. And no
wonder. Just look at the bipartisan in-
volvement in the savings and loan scandal
that will cost every taxpayer thousands of
dollars. In addition both Democrats and
Republicans are in full support of the Pen-
tagon invasion of Panama and now the
Persian Gulf War.
Overall, the standard of living for the
vast majority of the people in the U.S.
has been dropping for the past ten to fif-
teen years. Those that have been hit hard-
est are at the lowest income levels. How-
ever, even higher paid workers have seen
their wages cut and their unions busted.
Only one political party on the ballot
in Michigan stands against these policies.
Workers World Party, a revolutionary so-
cialist party, is the only progressive, inde-
pendent party running candidates in the
Michigan 1990 election. William
Roundtree, an African-American activist
and candidate for governor, heads up a slate
of 13 candidates.
Most of the state's big business media
have refused to even mention the Workers
Word Party campaign. Yet over 35,000
people signed petitions to put Workers
World Party on the ballot. This conspiracy
of silence is no surprise. Are they afraid
that if Workers World's platform were
given even a small fraction of the atten-
tion given to the racist, pro-big business,
pro-war candidates of the Democrats and
Republicans that a real opposition move-
ment might begin to emerge?
Of course no one wins elections with-
out millions of dollars and the nod of the
big media. But Workers World Party has
entered the elections to expose the fraud
and to call for mass struggle to fight
noverty raem and war .n reail fnm

Let's genuinely foster Third World de-
velopment by helping to apply these prin-
ciples with a sensitivity to national and
cultural contexts different than our own.
Let us not content ourselves with a one-
time financial subsidy of Third World
elites. Mike Zitta
LSA senior
from the Middle East; a $30 billion
Michigan Emergency Fund for jobs, hous-
ing, health care and education to be funded
form the Pentagon budget and the Savings*
and Loan bailout money.
Vote for Workers World Party candi-
dates on November 6 if you want your
vote to count for something. But join
Workers World in the struggle today!
Kristin Hamel
Workers World Party
Hail to Daily's 100th
To the Daily:
Congratulations and best wishes to
present and past staffs of the Michigan
Daily on your 100-year anniversary. The
Daily is a great student newspaper well
worthy of a celebration. And now on to
the second 100!
Richard A. Gumberts
LSA Class of 1927
No new requirements
To the Daily:
Well, the school of LS&A never ceases
to amaze me. Just what every new UM
student needs, another requirement to grad-
uate. Don't worry though, the regents will
only boost our tuition by ten percent.
Don't like that, too bad. Our new Police
force will make sure you don't protest too
I can't rag too much about the diversity
requirement yet, seeing as how it hasn't
been implemented. But I thought the
whole purpose of a foreign language re-
quirement was to diversify oneself with a
different culture.
Now if LS&A would opt to replace its
foreign language requirement with the new
diversity requirement, they would be doing
us all a favor. (But then the MLB would
be just a pile of unused bricks...)
But this unnecessary redundancy only
further alienates me from those who truly

Students' Rights Week
Sponsored by the Michigan Student Assembly
Student Power in the Nneties;:.:
7'30 PM-Rackham E.Cneren.ce .Ro...om..,.:

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