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October 14, 2009 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-14

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4A - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

c l e tic[ ig n ail

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
x, t z n420 Maynard St.
;ei"Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the officialposition ofthe Daily's editorialboard.All othersigned articles
and illustrations represent solely the views oftheir authors.
Good, clean fun
Students must be supportive of those in recovery
Many students have a difficult time adjusting to college
life. Complete self-reliance is a trial for students away
from home for the first time, and the stress of school
is a lot to deal with. For recovering addicts, this is made even
more difficult by the struggle to stay clean. But with the found-
ing of the new student group Students for Recovery, there is a
new resource and support group for students recovering from
substance abuse. For this group to be successful, students need to
recognize the difficulties that recovering addicts face on campus
and promote an atmosphere of understanding and support.

She's a chip off the old block, and I don't
mean that as a compliment:'
-Huffington Post Editor Roy Sekoff, commenting on Liz Cheney launching a program aimed at
painting Obama's foreign policy as "radical", as reported yesterday by the The Huffington Post.
Moore's misguided attack

Students for Recovery was created by
Ivana Grahovac, a School of Social Work
graduate student. Grahovac, who dealt
with a five-year addiction to heroin, hopes
to create a support network for peers com-
bating addiction. She found that the social
opportunities presented to her in a college
setting often centered on the consumption
of alcohol, which makes for dangerous ter-
ritory for recovering addicts. Grahovac is
working with the School of Social Work
and University Health Service officials to
createa fun and healthy support system for
student addicts.
One of the main goals of Students for
Recovery is to combat the stigma often asso-
ciated with addiction. People recovering
from addictions are often portrayed as hav-
ing dysfunctional lives. And the prevalence
of alcohol and college parties can present
a difficult choice for recovering addicts -
enter a dangerous environment or face ostra-
cism. Providing recovering addicts with an
environment that's safe and fun could great-.
ly assist them in managing their addictions
while still enjoying college life.
And while a support system of students
who have experienced many of the same
struggles will prove helpful, Students for

Recovery needs the support of other stu-
dents, too, if it is to be successful. Students
need to be aware of the problems that
the stereotypical college party poses for
recovering addicts and be understanding
of those who need to avoid addictive sub-
stances. They should also participate in
Students for Recovery, because recovering
addicts shouldn't feel segregated from the
campus community.
The University, to its credit, has already
done its part to get behind Students for
Recovery. The School of Social work and
University Health Services have commit-
ted themselves to assisting in creating a
healthy environment for students with
addictions - as they should have. It's the
University's responsibility to promote a
message of acceptance, and it's good that
the University has recognized this. The
University already provides resources like
counseling services, but this new group
extends the network of support.
Substance abuse can be a debilitating and
painful issue. But Students For Recovery
will help students looking to move beyond
these hardships and enjoy college life. This
effort should be one that other students
and the University can get behind.

While watching the latest
Michael Moore film, "Cap-
italism: A Love Story," I
was surprised how
much 0 agreed
with him. He made
excellent points, 4
including his con-
demnation of the
bank bailouts, hisz
scathing depiction '
of Goldman Sachso
and its influence in V
the Treasury, and VINCENT
the horrific scenes PATSY
of teenagers being
held at a privately
owned juvenile detention center in
West Virginia. I was surprised to find
myself agreeing with Moore because
I am a supporter for capitalism, the
very system that Moore professes to
attack in the film.
Which brings me to the movie's
obvious flaw: Moore has a false idea
of what capitalism really is. He views
it as an economic system of privately
owned companies making profits
with little or no regulation or taxa-
tion. This is a commonly held view by
those on both the right and the left,
but it misses the key component of
capitalism. True capitalism, or free
enterprise, involves privately owned
companies makingjust profits. Profits
are acquired justly when both parties
agreeing to the exchange believe that
they will benefit and they exchange
goods voluntarily.
The difference between Moore's
definition of capitalism and the cor-
rect one is demonstrated in an early
scene in the movie with a scheme that
involves corrupt judges and a juvenile
detention center. In Pennsylvania, a
company called PA Child Care was
able to lobby judges for the closure
of a public juvenile detention center.
The company then built its own facil-

ity and the same judges packed this Some people maythink that Moore
center by sentencing teenagers for is a conspiracy theorist for his abso-
just about anything, all in the name lutely correct analysis of the "power
of profit. elite" in the banking community, the
Moore uses this incident as evi- same people who used their power to
dence against capitalism, but what secure the Troubled Asset Relief Pro-
occurred in this case wasn't really gram bailout in September 2008. But
capitalism - the company was earn- he's quite right: Wealthy bankers got
ing profits unjustly. The judges were together with Congress and secured
much stricter in enforcing crimes a bailout that everyone else had to
against teenagers, and taxpayers pay for.
were forced to pay for teens' room
and board at the PA Child Care facil-
ity. An arrangement where business
teams up with the government to New film a critique
forcibly take money from taxpayers
isn't capitalism - a better term would of corporatism
be corporatism or even fascism.
Compounding Moore's intellec- not capitalism.
tual error regarding capitalism is-
a somewhat erroneous view of his-
tory. His view is that after World
War II, Americans became wealthy In criticizing the current econom-
and a middle class was built. Then ic system, Moore proposes worker's
Reagan was elected, and through his co-ops as a praiseworthy alternative
"capitalistic" reforms, the richer got to the typical business arrangement.
richer while the poor stayed poor and Under these co-ops, workers get to
the middle class joined them. There vote on each other's pay. What Moore
certainly are elements of this story doesn't understand is that worker's
I agree with, notably the reduction co-ops are completely acceptable
of the middle class since the Reagan under true capitalism. There should
Era. But the Reagan financial sector be no laws telling people that they
takeover was miniscule compared to need to have a business of x size mak-
an earlier takeover that took place ing y profits and paying workers z
as a result of the Panic of 1907 - the amount. If workers are happier with
founding of the Federal Reserve. lower wages as long as they have the
With the goal of providing a sta- power to vote, then businesses will
ble economy and price level, seven adopt this system.
powerful bankers and legislators got Under capitalism, there would
together in November 1910 and rode a be no bailouts, no unjust profits by
train in secret to Jekyll Island, a pre- exploiting teenagers' crimes and
miere resort in Georgia, and hashed workers would be absolutely free to
out what would become the Federal participate in co-op systems. The fact
Reserve. The Fed is the banker's that Moore and I agree on these points
bank, and all of its actions necessar- demonstrates that his beef is with
ily benefit large banks at the expense corporatism, not true capitalism.
of people. It is a big counterfeiter and
provider of bailouts to rich corpora- - Vincent Patsy can be reached
tions that cuddle up to it. at vapatsy@umich.edu.


Nina AmilineniEmad Ansari, Emily BartonBen Caleca,
Michelle DeWitt, Brian Flaherty, Emma Jeszke, Raghu Kainkaryam,
Sutha K Kanagasingam, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee,
Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff, Asa Smith, Brittany Smith,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Laura Veith
4 1 tKUl'>)

Education needs funding to function

I love it here. Over the course of my first month as a
freshman at the University, hardly a day has gone by that I
haven't overheard two people debating health care reform
over lunch, a group arguing about how to fix the economy
or friends discussingthe meaning of life. We live in a smart
place. And based on my past experience, that's not some-
thing to take for granted. The driving force of our intelli-
gent community is the high caliber of the state's education
system. And for this reason, it's essential for the future of
Michigan's intellectual and economic prosperity that the
state legislature avoid proposed cuts in education.
My high school education took place in two states with
two entirely different sets of educational values. I went to
North Farmington High School in Farmington Hills, for my
freshman year and Palm Harbor University High School in
Palm Harbor, Fla. for my final three. Having experienced
high school in Michigan and Florida, I gained insight into
the impact of their undeniable differences.
While statistics can't speak for powerful cultural forces
at work, they do show a clear difference in the priority edu-
cation receives in state budgets. According to the National
Center for Educational Statistics, the state of Michigan
spent $9,922 per public school student during the 2006-
2007 academic year. Florida spent only $8,567. This dispar-
ity is one of the reasons for Michigan's relative strength,
but the legislature seems ready to destroy this advantage.
The result of underfunding education is no mystery. As
of the 2005-2006 academic year, Michigan graduates 72.2
percent of its students, the NCES finds, and Florida gradu-
ates only 63.6 percent. At North Farmington, the notion of
"dropping out" was subject to ridicule. For many students
at Palm Harbor and across the state, it was considered a
legitimate option.
I once had an eye-opening conversation with a Florid-
ian friend who was considering dropping out - an idea
that draws more shame in North Farmington than saying,
"I love my new foreign car!" in Flint. When asked what he
was going to do with his life, my friend responded that he
would buy atruck. Buy a truck? Are you going to live in it?
How will you make money to buy the truck? What will you
do after you buy the truck? None of this mattered because,
as he put it, "school's boring." This lack of ambition is in

part a function of Florida not appropriately prioritizing
Meanwhile, Michigan is poised to make drastic cuts in
education to close its budget deficit, including the possibil-
ity of cutting the Michigan Promise Scholarship. Educa-
tion, of all things, shouldn't be on the choppingblock when
it's the one hope for the salvation of our economy. Due to
the severity of the current recession and the overall drop
in revenues, we all understand there will be cuts. But we
must fight for every dollar of spending for education and
cut elsewhere.
Despite the political rhetoric, it's simply not possible to
pay for everything the state needs with current revenues.
In order to position ourselves for a better future and stop
this decline, we must accept the shared burden of a tax
increase today. If state support for education dwindles, our
already struggling economy will face another debilitating
challenge - a less educated work force. A tax increase that
preserves our work force and smart society, however dif-
ficult it may be to stomach, is vital.
Unfortunately, Michigan legislators have has proved
to be a bunch of children when it comes to budget issues.
Republicans have decided to help by - surprise - digging
in their heels and refusing any tax increase as a matter
of principle. Democrats, meanwhile, continue to promise
everything while paying for nothing. The evolution of poli-
tics as a circus act that places partisanship and ideology
over the common good is a development citizens do not
want. Both parties criticize and neither appears able to
change its position. I refuse to be content with sacrificing
education for petty, partisan name-calling.
Investing in our future today will give hope to the peo-
ple of Michigan for a better and more prosperous tomor-
row. If we fail to rise to the challenge, then we may have
to get used to these "state shutdown" shenanigans. When
I heard about the 2007 shutdown after moving to Flori-
da, I laughed at its absurdity. But as a Michigan resident,
when I saw coverage of this year's shutdown last week in
the Daily, I just shook my head in disappointment and
asked, "This again?"
Alex Schiff is an LSA freshman.


"Student addicts" was insensitive
headline in Daily article
Addiction is a major health issue in this country, affect-
ing people addicted to substances and those around them.
But whathappens when a substance abuser stops using? Is
there a magic cure to fix the entire stigma that surrounds
the fact that they're in recovery from drugs and alcohol?
Many people in recovery would probably say no. But at
the University, this is where our student organization,
Students for Recovery, steps in. One of our main goals
is to reduce the stigma that people in recovery are bad
or wrong, and assert that addiction is a disease that can
affect anyone, anywhere, with any kind of background.
A recent Daily article was meant to bring to light Stu-
dents for Recovery, and the article did that for the most
part (New group aims to help student addicts, 10/07/2009).

The only problem is that the title of the piece is not sen-
sitive to people in recovery by using the term "student
addicts." The word "addict" is not culturally sensitive
to this population because of the negative connotation
it comes with, yet the editors chose this specific word to
catch the reader's attention. I believe it did catch some
attention, but not necessarily ina positive way.
Also, the Students for Recovery group is not only aimed
to help students in recovery, but also students who sup-
port them and students who just want a sober alternative
to all the pressure to drink and use in college. The title
does not convey this idea.
Although the article was very positive toward the orga-
nization, I feel the heading should have been more sen-
sitive toward people in recovery. Technically speaking,
wouldn't a "student addict" be a person who is addicted
to school?
Ashley Dominique
School of So ial Work

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