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October 12, 2006 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-12

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 12, 2006

Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editors Managing Editor
413 E. HURON ST.
tothedaily@michiganda ly.com



G I have always argued that we should talk to parties whose
behavior we want to change, and from that point of view I
believe the U.S. and North Korea should talk"
- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking to the United Nations
General Assembly yesterday, as reported by The New York Times.
The limits of 21st-century jobs

A Tiger-like economy
Team can be a model for underdog state

Saturday afternoon, while many stu-
dents watched the Michigan football
team dominate Michigan State, the
Detroit Tigers clinched their American
League Division Series against the peren-
nial powerhouse New York Yankees. For
a city so down on its luck, it was refresh-
ing to see 40,000 Tigers fans celebrating
in unison as their team defeated baseball's
"Evil Empire"
In the late 1990s, while Detroit's econ-
omy spiraled downward, Tigers owner
Mike Illitch announced his intentions to
build a new stadium. At the time, Tiger
Stadium was the oldest - and arguably
the most historic - venue in baseball.
Many Detroit sports purists opposed the
closure of Tiger Stadium, but Illitch and
Detroit city officials successfully marketed
the construction of the new stadium as a
necessary economic revitalization project.
About $115 million in public money
went toward the construction of Comerica
Park. Detroit spent additional money to
clean up the surrounding area in a series
of urban renewal projects centered on the
economic activity enveloping the two new
sports venues. Detroit encouraged entre-
preneurs to move their restaurants and
bars to the area to foster a sports-friendly
atmosphere and the revenue that comes
with it.
When Comerica Park opened in April
of 2000, the fanfare surrounding the sta-
dium quickly subsided because the team
continued to lose. In a desperate grab for
good publicity, Detroit landed the 2005
Major League All-Star Game and Super
Bowl XL. Those events were well attend-
ed but the continued failure of the Lions'
and the Tigers' encouraged Detroit sports
fans to stay home the rest of the year.
Despite Michigan's poor economy, the

success of the Detroit Tigers this season
brought people to Comerica Park and gave
the city back some of the hope taken by the
state's economic woes. With the Tigers two
wins away from the World Series, Michi-
ganders have every reason to be optimistic
in troubling times. While it can be tempt-
ing to turn on the TV and turn off the real-
ity of Michigan's uphill battle to get in the
game, the fact remains that it will take a lot
more than a successful postseason to get
Michigan's economy roaring.
State officials have something to learn
from the Tigers' accomplishments, when
analyzing the reasons for the Tigers'
success and the Yankees' failures, one
finds two competing business philoso-
phies aimed at achieving the same goal
- winning the World Series. The Tigers
built their team by placing an emphasis
on drafting, developing and growing tal-
ent from within the organization, while
the Yankees focused on plugging voids
by buying the best available talent. The
debate rages between the similar philoso-
phies that aim to revive Michigan's strug-
gling economy.
The Tigers' model would focus on
investing in higher education to grow the
skilled workforce needed for 21st-century
jobs and create a culture of loyalty to the
state of Michigan. The Yankees' model
focuses on recruiting companies through
tax breaks and subsidies to temporarily
relocate their jobs into Michigan - only
to watch those companies leave when
another state extends a better offer. If this
year's baseball playoffs are any indication,
the Tiger model is the way to go.
After all, if the Tigers can go from the
worst team in baseball three years ago to
defeating the heavily favored New York
Yankees, anything can happen.

ts been
to watch the
life trickle out of
the Detroit Free
Press ever since
the mindless
Gannett chain
sank its fangs
into a once-
proud newspa-
per that's been publishing since before
Michigan gained statehood. I didn't
realize how bad the situation was, how-
ever, until the Freep started stealing
story ideas from the youthful William
Buckley-wannabes over at the Michi-
gan Review.
The Review's lead story last week
Tuesday: "It's time to lead by Ann
Arbor's example: How Ann Arbor
avoided Michigan's economic down-
The Free Press, of which I am an
increasingly less-loyal subscriber, on
my doorstep six days later: "Michigan's
high-tech hope: Ann Arbor's economy
Timing coincidence aside, there's
esis. Both stories, citing the same basic
facts about the high-tech industries and
low unemployment rates here, support
the case that Ann Arbor has what the
rest of the state needs - those new-
fangled "knowledge economy" jobs.
If only we can replace all those crum-
bling auto plants with solar-powered,
ethanol-fueled, computerized stem cell
research centers, by golly, Michigan
will be rich again! Or at least the state's
median household income will move
back above the national average - it
fell below last year for the first time
since the glaciers carved out the Great
Lakes - but you get the idea.
This notion that high-tech jobs can
save the state is a common one, and

it's sound in its fundamentals. It cer-
tainly makes more sense than bemoan-
ing the "unfair trade agreements" that
have sent our jobs "on a slow boat to
China and on the Internet to India" as
borderline xenophobe Gov. Jennifer
Granholm said during Tuesday night's
watch 'cause the Tigers were on. And
a knowledge economy is a clear win-
ner over Dick DeVos's belief that if we
only cut taxes for millionaire business
owners like himself a bit more, we'll
magically see an economic rebirth that
would make Milton Friedman proud,
or at least we'll bankrupt the state gov-
Building one of these high-tech
knowledge economies may be the best
bet our state's got - but that doesn't
mean the odds are exactly in our favor.
Even if we followed all the right policies
- cranking out more math, science
and engineering grads; making higher
education more affordable; developing
the vibrant communities that attract
skilled young workers - we're still
going to find that something's lack-
ing. I've spent entirely too much time
thinking about the state of this state
over the past couple years, and I still
have no idea how a knowledge econo-
my can ever support the broad middle
class that the auto companies and their
unions once did.
One key part of a knowledge econ-
omy, as everyone must know by now,
is a highly educated workforce. Older
folks in Michigan, they just ain't as
edumacated as they oughter be. Young
people, meanwhile, flee the state about
as quickly as its universities can print
diplomas. If we could just attract and
build a more educated workforce, the
story goes, we'd be able to recruit the
high-tech firms we need.
That's great, but it's great mainly for
those with the brains to soak up a fancy

education and the savings or family
support needed to keep fed while being
educated. Wise policies can perhaps
make sure more people can afford col-
lege, but the fact is that most people just
aren't bright enough to be alternative-
fuel or stem-cell pioneers. Even less
prestigious high-tech workers - the
technicians and such who leave the
top-flight innovators free to spend their
time innovating - typically need a
level of smarts that rules out the half of
the population that, statistically speak-
ing, is below average intelligence.
Even if I'm wrong about how bright
a person needs to be to have a future in
the high-tech economy, there's still the
issue that these knowledge-economy
firms tend not to employ all that many
people. YouTube, for all the buzz it's
created, employs 67 people - each
apparently worth nearly $25 million
of Google stock. General Motors and
Ford, meanwhile, are both shedding
tens of thousands of employees.
The emphasis in the knowledge
economy is on educated workers who
can provide added value - not on the
massive industrial armies of yore. Plus,
the unions that made sure manufactur-
ing workers got a fair deal back in the
day haven't figured out how to adapt
to a more competitive global economy
- and they're essentially absent in the
high-tech world anyway.
Michigan could do worse than to put
its few remaining eggs into the knowl-
kid ourselves: Even if it helps make our
state more prosperous, this isn't a solu-
tion that's going to do much to reverse
the hollowing-out of the middle class
that's been happening awfully quickly
in Michigan these days.
Zbrozek can be reached at

Send all letters to the editor to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

End the power struggle

Recently, our government has devolved into a
state of stark mismanagement. Immediate issues
plaguing our nation, such as America's depen-
dency on foreign oil, education, the rising national
deficit and the environment, go untouched in
Washington while partisan wedge issues consume
our legislature's time and energy - not to mention
American tax dollars. Unity08 is a new bipartisan
political movement aimed at reshaping political
If you are like most Americans, you feel alien-
ated by the two-party system. Neither party
reflects your views, nor do you vote for a candi-
date in whom you believe; rather, you settle for the
lesser of two evils. The wheels have come off the
two-party system as both camps spend more time
attacking each other rather than working toward a
better and more stable America. The idea of politi-
cians as public servants has become laughable as
corruption runs unchecked through the halls of the
Congress and White House. The political practice
of attack and destroy has consumed both parties
and relies solely on the "integrity" of character
assassination and position politics rather than
inclusive debate. Wedge issues designed to polar-
ize Americans have Washington concerned more
with political alliances and party lines than the
well-being of this nation.
Given these problems, Jared Goldberg's recent
article, (A case for apathy (10/06/2006), is cer-
tainly tempting. After all, the entrenched politi-
cal parties show no real signs of backing away
from their rhetoric or coming together earnestly
to address our nation's pressing needs. But this
is our country, our government - and it is time
we demand change.
Unity08 is a new, nationwide, political move-
ment that aims to instigate this change. Founded
by former President Jimmy Carter's Chief of
Staff, Hamilton Jordan, and former President
Gerald Ford's advisor Doug Bailey, among oth-
ers, Unity08 will run a bipartisan ticket on the
presidential ballot in 2008: one Republican
and one Democrat - or a pair of Independents
reflecting a unity mentality. Composed of mem-
bers across the political spectrum, Unity08 seeks
JOHN OQUIST Lv{ . ,)NYo ;;i

to jolt the entrenched political system, bringing
both parties to the table for an earnest and forth-
right debate on America's most urgent issues.
While Unity08 does not have all the solutions,
it seeks to spark honest debate. Global terrorism,
the emergence of India and China as strategic
competitors and/or allies, nuclear proliferation,
the health care system and the education of our
children are just some of America's most press-
ing, unaddressed issues.
But can it really work? We can't make any
promises, but Newsweek, The New York Times,
The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,
CNN, National Public Radio and others must
think Unity has a shot or they would not have
covered it so extensively. Today, eight out of 10
Americans believe Congress is too polarized
to solve the nation's problems. With the use of
the Internet, those eight people can coordinate a
successful unity campaign to initiate substantial
political change in 2008.
How will all this work? How can you help? In
the spring of 2008, Unity08 will hold an online
convention to nominate candidates for the presi-
dential ballot. Any registered voter, regardless of
party affiliation, can participate in this inclusive
convention. However, in order to recruit candi-
dates for our primary, we need numbers. The
most important action you can take is to sign
up (www.unity08.com), and place your name
alongside thousands - soon to be millions - of
others concerned Americans. Signing up takes
ten seconds, commits you to nothing and will
show that Washington political apathy has been
replaced with political action.
It is time to rid our country of special interest
distortion and political infighting. The solution
is at hand. Through the election of a nonparti-
san administration, Unity08 will work toward
an America free from political power struggles.
America needs your help to heal our self-inflict-
ed wounds from years of corruption and partisan
politics. Take back control of your country. Join
us at www.unity08.com and help rehabilitate the
state of our nation.
Slott is an LSA senior and the president
of LSA Student Government .

Only shitty writers resort to
foul language
Punit Mattoo's language in his review (Magazine's adven-
tures adapt into bite size travelogues for Jackass' generation,
10/11/2006) pushes the editorial standards of this newspa-
per from tolerably mediocre to positively unacceptable. The
Oxford English Dictionary, with its 301,100 entries, seems
to be a sadly underused object by writers submitting to this
publication as it is, but I don't need or care for a flagrant
demonstration of this in what is supposed to be the most
eloquent and powerful voice of the student population of
one of America's greatest universities. I object to and resent
the continued lowering of editorial standards of print media
in this forum that was destined for the education and bet-
terment of the University community at large. Swear on
your own time, not mine.
Steven Ball
Daily insults both Tally Hall and
engineer's intelligence
Thank you very, very much, Daily Arts, for helping me
once again to be an involved participant in today's confus-
ing society. You see, I am an engineer, and I spend pretty
much all my time in the library, or up there on North Cam-
pus (or in the library up on North Campus). You might not
be aware, but up we are just a little behind the culture of
the times. We're all still wearing parachute pants, and "Top
Gun" just came out last week. (But man, do we love that
movie) So it's always a joy when I am able to open up
a copy of The Michigan Daily and be enlightened by the
Arts section.
I was moved to write this letter - writing being some-
thing I don't do often - by the article about Tally Hall
in yesterday's paper (Immature musicianship, 10/11/2006).
Most shocking to me was the revelation that not only
is Tally Hall's music garbage, but the ulterior motives
behind their songs are, in fact, evil and the promotion
of hatred. I will admit that sometimes when sitting alone
in my room on a Friday night doing thermodynamics
homework, I would loudly sing along with "Welcome to
Tally Hall." Please forgive me, but political correctness is
another one of my weaker areas of knowledge, along with
psychology, culture and impressing women.
In conclusion, I just wanted to thank the Daily Arts for

helping me, a lonely engineer, feel like a part of cultural
society by guiding me along the correct path of thought.I
am sorry if this letter is poorly written, but Iam an engineer
and do not have the ability to "write, to think critically,
to speak my mind eloquently, and to discuss abstract con-
cepts" that Whitney Dibo does.
Aaron Johnson
Engineering junior

Don't hate on Tally Hall; they've
been on late-night TV
Lloyd H. Cargo's article (Immature musicianship
10/11/2006) requires more than a mere rebuttal. Cargo
attacks Tally Hall in three ways. First, he accuses Tally Hall
of racist undertones. Second, he asserts that Tally Hall lacks
popularity. Finally, he chastises fans of Tally Hall, claiming
their lack of knowledge about the band proves the band's
popularity is shallow.
Lloyd's accusation of bigotry backfires horribly and dis-
plays his own uneducated use of racial stereotyping. After
declaring that Tally Hall's lyrics patronize those who take
hip hop seriously, he continues by asking if you would recite
Tally Hall's lyrics to a black person's face. Oddly, Lloyd,
black people are not the only human beings who enjoy hip
Furthermore, if a person is African-American he
doesn't necessarily enjoy hip hop. You may be the one
who is downright offensive for singling out a group of
people based on the color of their skin. Tally Hall has
become a spectacularly popular group of hometown
heroes. They've appeared on late-night television with
Craig Ferguson, toured around the United States with
sellout shows, starred on MTV's "You Hear it First" will
be on Fox television this Saturday, and have received
amazing reviews. On Amazon.com, out of 31 reviews,
only two praised Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical
Museum with less than the full 5-star rating. They appear
in papers like the Los Angles Times, described as up to
their necks in musical style. Finally, Lloyd uses a passing
quip from a young girl, who did not know the name of
her favorite band member, in an attempt to degrade Tally
Hall's popularity. Wow, Lloyd. Who attacks the character
of a young girl at the Top of the Park festival? Sounds like
someone might be jealous that his name barely makes
the Daily.
Steven Schwartz
LSA senior



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During Tuesday's gubernatorial debate,
Dick DeVos was asked whether he
would push to change Michigan's abor-
tion laws should the U.S. Supreme
Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
His answer: "I'm comfortable with the
laws we have on abortion in Michigan."
The fact Wednesday's Detroit Free Press
missed: Michigan's pre-Roe abortion
ban is still on the books, ready to go into
effect again if Roe is overturned.
It seems Richard Nixon wasn't the only
"Tricky Dick" in politics.

t . AIOO
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