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March 24, 1992 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-24

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 24, 1992- Page 7

'U' profs x
criticizea
.. .r
anti-Asian
mo0vement ~
by Hope Calati x
Daily Staff Reporter ':,

!U

I.

',

Three University professors last
night dissected the recent Japan-
bashing movement, calling it a form
of racism toward Asians and Asian
Americans, and economically un-
founded.
University students discussed
Japan bashing yesterday at a forum
sponsored by the University of
Michigan Network for Cultural
Democracy.
Economics Professor Tom
Weisskopf began by addressing the
economic differences between the
Japanese and United States
economies in the post-World War II
era.
"The Japanese economy has
performed far better than the U.S.
economy since World War II,"
Weisskopf said. He cited rapid
growth of Japan's gross national
product, lower level of unemploy-
ment and gains in international
competition as elements of a strong
Japanese economy.
He said both the U.S. and
Japanese economies experienced
growth from the late 1940s to the
oil crisis of 1973. "The stagnation
has been in our own economy,"
Weisskopf said. "Since the early
1980s, the U.S. turned from the
world's largest creditor nation to
"the world's largest debtor nation.
"Since the 1970s, the Japanese
have done much better in adjusting
to the world situation where energy
costs are getting higher,"
Weisskopf said.
Jane Slaughter, a reporter for
Labor Notes, said the big three au-

PAUL TAYlO/aly
Jane Slaughter addresses more than 100 people on Japan bashing at a
discussion in the Michigan League last night.

';1

Democrats
atodds with
party over
tax cut plan
LANSING (AP) - Several
Democratic lawmakers say they
don't want to strip businesses of a
tax break in tough economic times,
so they're not supporting their own
party's property tax cut plan.
The rogue Democrats are devel-
oping their own plan to bring prop-
erty tax relief without shifting the
burden to businesses.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-
Lansing) and Rep. Dianne Byrum
(D-Onondaga) admit that only five
or six House members support their
alternative plan.
"It's going to be very difficult to
get it done with the type of election
year we're having" said Byrum.
"But what we can do is lay some
groundwork for the future."
The alternative plan would in-
stead increase either the sales tax or
income taxes to make up the money
lost for school funding.
At the heart of the intra-party
disagreement is what's at the center
of the Democratic property tax cut
plan, one of three headed for a vote
this fall.
The official party plan would ex-
empt $30,000 of a home's value
from school operating taxes. That
money would be made up by abol-
ishing a tax break that allowed busi-
nesses to write off investment in new
equipment.
Rep. Clark Harder (D-Owosso)
hasn't decided about the alternative
plan, but he said the business deduc-
tion helps many deserving small
businesses.
"Right now is not the time to do
anything that jeopardizes business,
especially small business," he said.

tomakers target Japan as the root of
U.S. economic ills in their calls for
protectionism.
Workers also contribute to Japan
bashing, Slaughter said. She cited a
rally at Willow Run in which au-
toworkers demolished a Japanese
car as evidence of worker anger at
the Japanese.
Slaughter also credited a jingo-
istic pride in the United States,
which once dominated as an eco-
nomic power with contributing to
Japan bashing. "The desire to strike
out at the country perceived to be
taking away the number one status
is strong," Slaughter said.
Gail Nomura, a professor spe-
cializing in Asian American stud-
ies, addressed the effects of current
anti-Asian violence and the anti-
Asian violence of World War II.
"There is a history of equating
Japanese Americans with Japanese,
a persisting view that Asian
Americans are always foreign,"
Nomura said.

t

" Buy American' targets Japan
as the sole enemy of the U.S.,"
Nomura said. "Asian Americans be-
lieve that the Japan bashing can ig-

nite racism against Asian
Americans."
Nomura listed hate-crimes
against Japanese Americans. "Anti-
Japan rhetoric ... gives respectabil-
ity to a return to racism," she said.
Students attending the panel said
they were surprised at the complex-
ity of the problem.
"I learned that the whole Japan
bashing is a lot more serious than I
thought," LSA senior Brad Alstrom
said.
LSA sophomore Francis Chang
said, "There could be racist actions
against Asian Americans. If that be
the case it affects us a great deal."
LSA junior Judy Newhouse
said, "I was surprised to hear the
reason why the U.S. is falling be-
hind in the education system and in
the infrastructure."

Burmese refugees
Two Burmese refugee children take a short break from their meals at
Dhuapalong camp in Ukhia village of Bangladesh Saturday.
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