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October 31, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-31

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 31, 2005

OPINION

cbe irba iI

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON GO
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
Goodnight
Cinderella."
- ESPN College Gameday host Lee
Corso, in predicting Michigan's
Saturday night victory over
Northwestern, on Saturday's show.

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MICHELLE BIEN TiHE BEAN ARCIlIVES

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Mind the gap
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK BORN IN THE U.SA
hree events on drive to go to college be damned. really accept without addressing."
campus I went Friday, I was one of the thousands standing After Edwards spoke Friday, he walked into
to last week left the Diag to hear former Sen. John Edwards the crowd to shake a few hands and was soon
me - let me try to put a speak as part of a college tour aimed at spark- engulfed by a crowd of hundreds of shoulder-
positive spin on this - ing a grassroots movement to combat poverty to-shoulder well-wishers. I worked my way to
r less than fully optimis- in America. Citing the focus on issues of race the center of the mob and asked Edwards what
tic about the direction and poverty after Hurricane Katrina, Edwards he thought was responsible for hollowing out
the country is going. said, "We have to continue to drive this move- the middle class in recent decades. He cited
Maybe I should have ment, drive this issue, so that our political lead- tax policies protecting capital at the expense of
studied for my mid- ers will pay attention." We're going to have to earned wages, the persistent failure to raise the
terms instead. drive pretty hard if we're going to get them to minimum wage, the decreased power of labor
Tuesday night I attended an event that Stu- pay attention right now.This week, the U.S. unions and globalization. "If we don't figure
dents Organizing for Labor and Economic House and Senate will be busy debating cuts out what to do about this, we're going to lose
Equality put on about the bitter 1937 Flint to programs like Medicaid and food stamps. our middle class in this country," he said, add-
sit-down strike that forced General Motors to They're not debating whether to cut social pro- ing that democracy relies upon a strong middle
recognize the United Auto Workers. Then cur- grams, mind you, but rather exactly how many class to work properly.
rent Delphi worker and UAW Local 651 Vice fewer billions of dollars should be spent on the Edwards is one of the few politicians left
President Arturo Reyes spoke about the situa- poor. who pays any attention to economic justice. He
tion facing auto workers today. Though Reyes There's a common theme linking these described the fact that 37 million Americans
has a son at the University, Delphi wants to cut events that explains why I left all of them in a live in poverty in his speech as "one of the great
his pay to $9 or $10 an hour - if it doesn't just somber mood: As a nation, we are increasing- moral issues facing America today." He made
get rid of him. ly less concerned about providing everyone in the "two Americas" a theme in his campaign for
Wednesday I saw education critic Jonathan society with the chance to live an economically the Democratic nomination. And he lost.
Kozol speak on a book tour. If any conserva- secure life as part of a strong middle class. As a nation, we aren't figuring out how to
tive readers are wondering how I ended up It's no secret that there's been a tremen- maintain our middle class in a global era when
being such a misguided lefty, Kozol's book dous increase in the income gap between the jobs like the production work at Delphi - as
"Savage Inequalities" is part of the reason rich and everyone else over the past couple of well as increasing numbers of white-collar
why. Ten years ago I was shocked to read about decades. As The New York Times reported in. jobs - can be done cheaply overseas. Politi
the overcrowding, unequal school funding and June, the proportion of the nation's income that cians have more luck at the polls talking about
segregation that deny any meaningful approxi- goes to the richest 0.1 percent of Americans eliminating the estate tax than they do with
mation of an equal education to millions of has more than doubled since 1980 while the plans to offset our deficits by allowing Bush's
children in this country; I'd been under the proportion earned by the bottom 90 percent tax cuts for the rich to expire. We won't do
delusion that life in the greatest country in the fell. The obscene size of the "McMansions" anything about segregation in our schools, and
world was always fair. sprouting up in the most outlying suburbs our advice to people who want to go to college
Not only are the funding inequities and around any large city provides a visceral grasp but can't afford the tuition seems to be to settle
segregation still there, but Kozol pointed out of the statistic that real wages have been flat for a few night classes at community college.
that efforts to make "failing" schools account- or falling for all but the richest fifth of the A recent Associated Press poll found that 66
able through high-stakes tests have pared the country over the past five years. Even outgoing percent of Americans think that the country is
curriculum in many inner-city schools down Federal Reserve Board chair and former Ayn on the wrong track. At least I have some com-
to the essentials. Teachers following scripts Rand confidant Alan Greenspan said before a pany.
robotically drill students only on the reading, congressional committee in June that "this is
'riting and 'rithmatic they'll need on standard- not the type of thing which a democratic soci- Zbrozek can be reached
ized tests, inspiring a love of learning and a ety - a capitalist democratic society - can at zbro@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Pay raises just one reason
LEO may take action
TO THE DAILY:
I am employed as a course coordinator
(Lecturer IV) in the Department of Romance
Languages. Only one other lecturer in my
department has nearly as many years of ser-
vice. Nevertheless, someone recently begin-
ning the job earns only slightly less than I
do. This is my reward, my loyalty tax, for
some 16 years of teaching, advising stu-
dents, curriculum development and service
to the University. One of the achievements
of the Lecturers' Employee Organization in
our first contract was to partially rectify this
kind of inequity with the promise of a salary
bump after a successful performance review
by our departments.
However, the spirit of the LEO contract
is being subverted by the College of Lit-
erature, Science, and the Arts's insistence
on sticking to its old way of doing things.
LEO's contract negotiators wanted the per-
formance reviews to occur in the order of
seniority, to provide earlier compensation
for the most loyal and often most poorly
paid employees. The University has refused.
Instead, here is the way LSA would like to
review a Lecturer III/IV this year: notify
the lecturer this fall that he is up for review;
review him in winter 2006; send the result
of the review to the LSA executive com-
mittee in fall 2006; approve the review in
April 2007; and finally, grant the raise the
following September - roughly a year and
a half after passing the review - thus clos-
ing the circle on an unbelievable piece of
logic all based on ignoring the contract.
Fortunately, lecturers are no longer pow-
erless to fight back, and if we decide to take
action this semester, here is one of several
reasons why.
Dennis Pollard
Lecturer
Racial breferences create

reports a great deal of passion - but very
little rational argument in defense of race
preferences.
The closest approximation to an argument
was offered by Alex Moffett, vice president
of the NAACP, who said: "If affirmative
action is taken away from this campus,
then students of color will cease to be on
this campus." She apparently believes that
without charity and lowered intellectual
standards there would be no way for blacks
and other minorities to win their places at a
fine university. What could be more insult-
ing to blacks than that? Her premise is both
false and patronizing. There are, I am cer-
tain, many outstanding black scholars who
do not want to be treated like intellectual
beggars, and who do not need such conde-
scension.
Race preferences cast a cloud over the
accomplishments of all members of the
minorities preferred. Race preferences
undermine the intellectual standing of black
students. The MCRI, by ending race prefer-
ences, will allow the intellectual achieve-
ments of black scholars to receive the full
credit they deserve. The MCRI will, when
adopted, put an end to the insinuation that
blacks, without charity, are incapable of
successful intellectual competition.
Minorities are discredited and undermined
by race preferences. Ending race preferences
will be a very great service to them.
Carl Cohen
RC professor
Moffett viewpoint racist
toward white community
To THE DAILY:
In response to last week's viewpoint
by Alex Moffett (Silence and armbands,
10/27/2005):
I'm sorry, Ms. Moffett, but you can't have
it both ways. You speak of unmentionable
acts of prejudice and racism by the (I pre-
sume) white, male campus community and

of color since the inception of this country."
But not as long as there are those people who
feel that they should be given extra-special
treatment to become "equal." Any time a
minority makes the decision to accept spe-
cial treatment from the majority, he is sub-
verting his own efforts at equality.
You are correct, racism is very subtle
... sometimes it comes in an opinion piece
written by a minority in the Daily.
Richard Grubb I
Alum
Parking restrictions
will hurt blue-collar U'
workers
TO THE DAILY:
Our wonderful city of Ann Arbor is at
it again. The new Burns Park residential
parking zone has made it more difficult
for students and employees to find parking
for school and work. In the article Students
angry about $25 tickets for parking on street
(10/27/2005) Ann Arbor Councilman Leigh
Greden (D-Ward 3) stated that "The num-
ber-1 reason (to implement the program) was
to remove cars from commuters who were
parking there for free and walking to work."
What Greden fails to understand is that
many of these "commuters" are not stu-
dents that refuse to take the bus, but blue
collar workers that just can't afford to pay
for a University parking pass. Free park-
ing affords them the opportunity to have a
stable job in the University system. A $500
dollar parking pass is just out of the ques-
tion. I work with many of these individu-
als in the East Quadrangle Cafeteria, and I
know that this policy is going to hurt. This
fact is especially true for employees that
must be at work very early in the morning;
Not even commuter lots are an option, for
the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
bus system doesn't run 24 hours a day.
Measures such as this one are extremely
counterproductive. Okay, neighborhood

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