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April 11, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-11

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 11, 2005


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Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Managing Editor



Hillary Rodham
Clinton is the
most important
thing you and I
can do as
- New York Republican Party Chairman
Stephen Minarik, writing in a
fundraising letter, as reported
yesterday by The Associated Press.

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i hS t i ,5 }

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We don't need no (more) education
igher education, Such strict determinism goes against the egali- in the 21st century hinges on the assumption
conventional tarianism embedded in the American psyche, that educating more people means more peo-
wisdom has it, and we wouldn't tolerate it here. Rather than ple gain expertise in the technical fields that
is the key to success. We separate winners from losers after high school, drive an information-based economy. These
know we simply can't get we increasingly treat undergraduate education fields - basically, math, science and engi-
good jobs without a col- as our weeder. (Our egalitarian spirit, curi- neering - require students to actually work
lege degree, so we spend ously, doesn't seem to cover those who can't hard in college at the expense of their drink-
late nights cramming for afford the financial drain associated with a ing habits. As such, they're not so popular. A
orgo exams and spewing bachelor's degree.). study last year by the National Science Board
out 10-page papers that Sure, there are benefits to sending a large noted that the number of science and engi-
hopefully at least appear intricately researched. proportion of people to college. More people neering degrees awarded to U.S. citizens has
Gov. Jennifer Granholm must think we're experience a full liberal-arts education under been falling for over a decade.
doing something right, since she's proposed such a system, and broad access to higher edu- Thus far, we've made up the gap with bright,
plans to double the number of college gradu- cation can help balance out the chronic ineq- highly-educated immigrants attracted to our
ates in Michigan. uities in primary and secondary education in streets paved with gold and our boundless
I'm not so sure, however, that a college this country. freedoms. However, as countries such as India
education is always the best use of time and But all this education doesn't come cheap. and China that have provided these workers
resources. It's no secret that few people end As a society, we already spend more on educa- continue to develop, there will be fewer incen-
up working in the field of their majors. Four tion, as a proportion of gross domestic product, tives for their citizens to remain in the United
years of college might help a student explore than every industrialized nation except South States after graduation - or even to come here
his interests or at least hone his skills at beer Korea. Our level of access to higher educa- for an education in the first place.
pong. But I feel employers often end up view- tion is a large part of the reason why. College If there's a crisis in the direction of Ameri-
ing a bachelor's degree mainly as an assurance students spend some of the most active, pro- can higher education,.,it's that too few people
that a potential hire was good enough at fol- ductive years of their lives ultimately not con- are gaining the skills our country's economy
lowing directions to graduate. tributing to the economy. There must be some will need in the upcoming decades. Rather
With the exception of careers that already greater societal benefit to having young adults than investing in increasing the overall num-
require extensive professional training beyond write term papers in a library instead of TPS ber of college graduates, we would do well
an undergraduate degree, there aren't that reports in a cubicle. to encourage more students to go into sci-
many jobs out there that couldn't be learned in Talk of increasing the number of college ence and engineering - perhaps by offering
a few months or a year of on-the-job training. graduates is usually based on the supposed retroactive scholarships, upon graduation, to
Most other industrialized countries recognize economic benefits of a highly educated those who choose something more challeng-
this fact and, compared to the United States, workforce. Certainly, there are fields where ing than an English degree. Maintaining our
send few of their young adults to college. the knowledge one gains as an undergradu- technological edge will be crucial to main-
The rest typically end up in a trade school or ate is crucial to one's ability to work. I really taining our standard of living in the global-
apprenticeship, gaining skills directly relevant don't think, though, that Granholm means ized economy, and, this time around, there
to their-careers. to revitalize our state's ailing economy by won't be a Sputnik to scare us into pushing
There's a fair criticism that these systems, doubling the number of citizens trained as science education.
as seen in France or Germany, rely on tracked philosophers.
educational systems and high-stakes tests that The argument that a highly educated work- Zbrzek can be reached at
set the course of a person's life at an early age. force is needed for America to be competitive zbro@umich.edu.
'Street people' no worse than I'm sitting out on the street aggressively asking buy them a meal.
messy University students people for whatever coins they can toss at me, it's It is unfortunate that, based on her interactions
probably because I need it. with panhandlers, Buchko believes nothing is
Matt Erickson being done about the problem of homelessness in
To THE DARY: Alum Ann Arbor. There are a number of successful pro-
Indeed, the "street people" make the route to grams currently helping many people get back on
our Sociology of Poverty lecture slightly more their feet. The Delonis Shelter gives clients a 90-
cumbersome. Yet Erin Buchko's description of Letter wnItef f 19 ?eS C rtflt day stay over which they work with a case manager
these men (Students should refrain from paying city's £ffrt tof & } jjpjjto secure income, savings and housing. The pro-
'street people,' 04/08/2005) who like drinking alco- gram also requires clients to be substance-free.
hol and eyeing young women didn't sound much Additionally, the Shelter Association provides
different than the average crowd leaving Rick's To THE DAji: meals, a health clinic, case management and a
at 2 a.m. The latter slobs will leave thousands of I understand Erin Buchko's frustration with winter warming shelter, as well as several other
copies of her letter to the editor scattered across frequent and sometimes rude requests for money services to other clients not living at the shelter.
Angell auditoriums, with Mountain Dew bottles as she walks around town (Students should refrain Because Buchko has had no interaction with the
and Powerbar wrappers mixed in. And these kids from paying city's 'street people,' 04/08/2005). But many homeless people currently being helped, she
have parents with good jobs and great counseling. her conclusions about what is being done about assumes that nothing is being done. As a former
Buchko is right that sparing your parents' the issue of homelessness in Ann Arbor are nave, volunteer at the shelter, I have witnessed firsthand
quarter that you got as change for a $6.75 tofu simplistic and misinformed. the hard work and dedication of those who work
sandwich won't make the street people go away, First, it's a common, but false, assumption that with the homeless population of Ann Arbor and
but despite her belief in an incentive-based econ- the panhandlers we see around campus are home- the numerous successes that occur because of it.
omy, I'd say that withholding the quarter won't less. According to the Washtenaw County Shelter I urge Buchko in the future to inform herself on
exactly make them go polish up their resume Association website, informal data suggests 80 issues such as homelessness. Her insensitive, mis-
(Perhaps they could clean up the Dailys in the percent of panhandlers are not homeless. These informed letter is a disservice to the homeless and
auditoriums.). Yeah, many times I pretend they're people are often affected by mental illness and to those who care about and are working toward
not there and say I have nothing to spare. But substance abuse problems. And, as Buchko sug- solving the problem.
other times I give all my change, even a bill or gests, it is not helpful to give them money. If one is Liz Brisson
two, if I feel like it. I figure that if ever in my life inclined to give them money, a better thing to do is LSA senior
The real roadblock

In Dan Schuster's recent column (The Road-
block to Peace, 04/06/2005), he states that the
majority of Israelis hold that the Israeli occu-
pation of Palestine is a necessity as a means
to achieve a two-state solution. Occupation is
defined as invasion, conquest and control of a
nation or territory by foreign armed forces. I'm
not sure what kind of society we live in where
that kind of activity is considered permissible, let
alone necessary. The occupation has resulted in
the loss of millions of lives, and violence cannot
be considered necessary to achieve the peaceful
two-state solution that the Israeli government
claims to be striving for.
Schuster also claims that the safety of Israelis
must be guaranteed and that the security fence,

side, or that Palestinian safety is a non-issue, is
an extreme misconstruction of reality. On the
scale of justice, the crimes aforementioned are
far greater, in duration and number, than the sui-
cide bombings which first took place in the past
10 years and have occurred regularly in the past
four years. And while the "security fence" has
supposedly decreased the "attacks," it has also
reduced what little income Palestinian workers
earn by keeping them from their jobs, and has
kept students from achieving an education.
Schuster cites a poll which reports that 66
percent of Palestinians support suicide bomb-
ing, and 51 percent favor the goal of the inti-
fada as "liberating all of historic Palestine." As
I mentioned before, these bombings are seen
as a defense method. This is clearly embodied
in the fact that the first suicide bombing was in

If the goal of the Six Day War was to eradi-
cate the Jewish presence in the Middle East, the
goal of the current 57-year occupation is the
eradication of Palestinians in Palestine. For-
mer Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
stated in May 1948, to the General Staff: "We
must use terror, assassination, intimidation,
land confiscation and the cutting of all social
services to rid the Galilee of its Arab popula-
tion." The influential Israeli Rabbi Ovadia
Yosef exclaimed during a sermon preceding the
2001 Passover holiday: "May the Holy Name
visit retribution on the Arab heads, and cause
their seed to be lost, and annihilate them." He
added: "It is forbidden to have pity on them. We
must give them missiles with relish, annihi-
late them. Evil ones, damnable ones." (Former
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir has stated


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