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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Friday, December 5, 2008
ENGINEERING BETTER BRAKES
AUTO INDUSTRY BAILOUT
Leaders from GM, Chrysler and
Ford defend plans before
By CAITLIN SCHNEIDER
Daily Staff Reporter
In a final attempt to keep at least one of the Detroit
Three from being forced to file for bankruptcy, the
chief executives of General Motors, Chrysler and
Ford appeared before the Senate Banking Committee
Thursday to ask for a combined $34 billion in loans.
"I recognize that this is a significant amount
of public money," Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said
in the automakers' second round of congressio-
nal hearings in the last two weeks. "However, we
believe this is the least costly alternative consider-
ing the depth of the economic crisis and the options
that we face."
Chrysler is asking Congress for a $7 billion loan,
and For is asking for a $9 billion line of credit, though
CEO Alan Mulally said the company probably won't
need to use the money.
But GM - whose vehicle sales plummeted 41 per-
cent last month - asked for $18 billion total, including
$4 billion by the end of the month and another $4 bil-
lion in January.
During his testimony, United Auto Workers Presi-
dent Ron Gettelfinger stressed GM's need for immedi-
ate financial aid.
"Ibelievewe couldlose GMbythe end of this month
unless something happens," Gettelfinger said.
In an effort to rally support for the bailout plan,
UAW officials announced earlier this week that the
union will suspend the "jobs bank," which gives wages
to workers who were laid off.
Roland Zullo, an assistant research scientist at the
University's Institute for Research on Labor, Employ-
ment, and the Economy, said suspending the jobs bank
wasn't a particularly drastic move, but would reflect
well on the industry.
"At this point, what the UAW is doing is strategi-
See BAILOUT, Page 7
College of Engineering senior Jason Muccioli displays a regenerating brake launching system for a bicycle during the College of Engineering Design Expo in the Duderstadt Center yesterday.
The regenerating brake uses hydraulic circuits to store power when the bike brakes. The power can then be used to power motors in the front wheel when the bike is moving.
LIFE AFTER GRADUATION
To ride out slumpit back to sco
head to grad school
By TREVOR CALERO
With the economy in recession,
an increasing number of Univer-
sity students are considering going
to graduate school to avoid enter-
ing the job market altogether. As a
result, graduate business, law and
liberal arts programs are becoming
increasingly appealing, according
to officials at test preparation com-
LSA sophomore Lucy Amaro
said that hearing her friends' job-
-hunting troubles during the eco-
nomic pinch could affect her plans
for after graduation.
"I have a lot of friends who just
graduated last year and they still
haven't found a job," she said. "They
are more than likely going back to
In a report issued last month,
test preparation agency Kaplan
noted a 45 percent increase in stu-
dent interest in its business, law
and graduate school preparation
programs since Sept. 1.
The report said that from Janu-
ary to September, the number of
students taking the GMAT - the
admissions exam required by most
MBA programs - was up 5.8 per-
cent in the United States and 11.6
percent worldwide, compared with
the same period last year.
The Kaplan-sponsored World
Grad School Tour, a multi-city
function where prospective
graduate students can meet with
admissions officers from graduate
See GRAD SCHOOL, Page 7
BY THE NUMBERS
Percentage increase in GMAT test-takers in,
the United States this year
Percentage increase of GMAT test-takers
globally this year.
City to foot plowing
. bills after state cuts.
Sunstein: Internet can cause intellectual isolation
Snowy weather last
winter busted road
By JILLIAN BERMAN
With recent state budget cuts
taking a bite out of road mainte-
nance funding, some in Ann Arbor
are worrying about slick streets for
the winter ahead.
Michigan Department of Trans-
portation Spokeswoman Keri
Arend said the cuts have forced
lawmakers to change plowing poli-
She said if a storm has ended
the state will no longer pay driv-
ers overtime or reimburse the city
to plow and salt secondary roads,
like Washtenaw Avenue and Main
Street. Instead, plow drivers will
wait to finish clearing the street
until their next shift.
But Arend noted that during an
ongoing storm the state will con-
tinue to pay drivers to work over-
"If we get another storm over-
night, if we get a refreeze, we could
send our trucks out there again,"
she said. "During a storm, motor-
ists are not going to see any dif-
ference. Just on these secondary
routes, you could see a little more
snow than in past years."
However, Ann Arbor City Coun-
cil member Leigh Greden (D -
Ward 3) said the city is responsible
for making sure all roads are clear,
not the state.
He said the state will no longer
reimburse the city for plowing
major roads such as Washtenaw
Avenue and Main Street, as it had
done in the past.
Greden said the city of Anh
Arbor is prepared to continue pay-
ing truck drivers to work overtime
to make sure streets are as clear as
they have been in the past.
"You almost always use over-
time when you plow the streets
because you can't just plow it
nine to five, it doesn't work that
way," he said.
Greden said that even in these
difficult financial times, the
See ROADS, Page 7
Harvard law prof
warns of Internet's
effect on democracy
By BENJAMIN S. CHASE
In a speech to students and fac-
ulty at the University Law School
yesterday, Cass Sunstein, a lead-
ing constitutional law expert and
advisor to President-elect Barack
Obama, warned that the Internet
might not be as great for democ-
racy as it's cracked up to be.
Sunstein's speech - titled "My
University.com, My Government.
com: Is the Internet Really a Bless-
ing for Democracy?" - was the
18th annual Davis, Markert, Nick-
erson Lecture on Academic and
Inthe lecture, Sunstein stressed
the importance of avoiding the
dichotomization of ideas, arguing
that the Internet can lead people
to become too insulated from the
variety of beliefs and opinions
needed for rational political dis-
course. Diversity of thought is crit-
ical to the success of democracy, he
said, citing a study he conducted in
which liberals and conservatives
were separated into groups and
told to discuss issues including
Cass Sunstein speaks at the Eighteenth Annual University of Michigan Senate's Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on
Academic and Intellectual Freedom yesterday.
climate change, affirmative action
and gay marriage.
Over the course of the study, the
groups became increasingly radi-
calized in their respective views
on the issues.
"Social pressures can create
polarization machines," Sunstein
said."It was as if the groups occu-
pied two different political uni-
Through his research, Sun-
stein has developed a theory that
if people are only exposed to news
and information targeted at their
preexisting interests and political
beliefs, society will become polar-
ized along ideological lines.
Sunstein said his theory, "The
Daily Me," has potentially harmful
effects for dissent and open politi-
cal discourse because it promotes
the radicalization of viewpoints
on both ends of the political spec-
The explosion of Internet news
See LECTURE, Page 7
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