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October 13, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-10-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, October 13, 2011

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109



Mom... I don't
think I can make
it home for fall
study break.I
have a lot of work..




Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Tear down trade barriers
Detroit meeting will be good for commerce
A 11 eyes will be on Detroit tomorrow as South Korean presi-
dent Lee Myung-bak and President Barack Obama convene
at the General Motors plant in Lake Orion, Mich. to promote
a trade deal between the United States and South Korea. In the first
trade agreements to pass Congress since 2007, the U.S. House and
Senate passed three free trade agreements yesterday, which will
ultimately increase international trade and promote commerce for
Aierican industries through overseas markets.


Grow new roots

In addition to negotiating this trade agree-
ment with South Korea, the U.S. will secure
trading partnerships with Colombia and Pan-
ama to further improve international com-
merce.- Passing the trade agreements with
these three countries could potentially boost
U.s exports by $13 billion through agricul-
ture, machinery and other goods and services.
The most substantive of the pacts, however,
would be with South Korea.
South Korean markets will provide near-
ly $11 billion in additional potential rev-
enue. Though trade agreements were almost
reached four years ago between the U.S. and
South' Korea, long disputes concerning South
Korea barriers to U.S. automotive imports
prevented their passage. Now, both nations
are pushing to quickly ratify the agreement,
which would allow each U.S. automaker to
import 25,000 cars into South Korea every
In the agreement, South Korea would
change its automotive safety standards for
imported vehicles to those required for Amer-
ican vehicles. Additionally, South Korea plans
to cut the current tariffs on U.S. products in
half and eliminate them by the fifth year ofthe
agreement. While many South Koreans have
expressed a preference for domestic vehicles
because of safety concerns, they should be
assured that the U.S. safety standards are
amongthe highest in the world.
Capitalizing on this opportunity to engage

in increased international trade could prove
invaluable to the U.S. economy. Once enacted,
the trade agreements will create tens of thou-
sands of jobs for the country and small U.S.
enterprises will directly benefit from a larger
labor force. Economic growth will be boosted
by the increase in employment and the cre-
ation of new markets in which the U.S. can
export goods and services. The Motor City
will also reap the benefits associated with this
proposed surge in commerce thanks to the
auto industry's presence in Michigan.
The expansion of U.S. exports to South
Korea, Panama and Colombia coupled with
reduced tariff barriers on U.S. products will
further stimulate the struggling economy.
Since products exported from the U.S. to
South Korea currently face higher tariffs than
U.S. imports from South Korea, the trade deal
will level the playing field between the two
With lowered tariffs on U.S. exports to
international markets, the U.S. economy has
the potential to gain revenue. And with a
lower trade deficit, government spending will
not be sacrificed or affected by these trade
Gongress made positive progress for Mich-
igan-based automakers in approving the
agreements. This is an important business
opportunity for the companies involved and
has the potential to aid in the rebuilding of
Michigan's economy.

P retty much all cultures
have an established rite of
passage for young people.
Some of these
are ancient tra-
ditions, like the
Jewish bar- and
But there's no I
question what
the most impor-
tant one is for
middle-class JOEL
youth in Amer- BATTERMAN
ica today: going
to college. Now
that we're here, what does that say
about us and our society?
As I see it, the single-most
important thing about college is
that it's a place we leave home for.
The second is that it's a community
composed largely of people our own
age. That's easy to take for granted,
but in the sweep of history, it's
pretty darn unusual. Only within
the last century has it become so
routine for so many young people to
pack their bags and go off to live in
little enclaves for four years.
Our training for life is now an
experience of dislocation. The fam-
ily loses its gravitational pull. We
leave behind many - if not most,
or even all - of the people we've
known before. The communities
where we may have spent all our
years become a memory. Even those
of us who grew up nearby have
entered a distinctive social niche.
In Europe, it's common for under-
graduates to live at home and attend
school nearby. Not here, despite the
cost of housing. For Americans,
"college life" has to be its own dec-
laration of independence, or, when

parents turn into "pay-rents," at
least the imitation of one.
Uprooted from wherever we've
been, we're immersed in a big sea
of the similarly young and discon-
nected. The "student ghetto" is a
less isolated place than its name-
sake, but most student haunts are
decidedly segregated by age. You
might guess the Fountain of Youth
was spouting on Ingalls Mall by the
average ages of folks passing by.
At its best, this grand experiment
more than lives up to its promise of
liberation. Removed from the par-
ticular context of our upbringing
and inserted into a volatile crowd of
peers, we can gain space to discover
other ways of living, see the world
with new clarity, even loosen the
grip of certain kinds of oppression.
I got a reminder of this Monday
when I stepped out of the Hatcher
Graduate library and discovered
the National Coming Out Day rally
on the library's steps.
And it's no coincidence. So many
social movements in the past 50
years were nurtured at campuses
like ours - as the New Deal and
Baby Boom made higher education
a mass phenomenon. Isolated from
the world that bore them, and with
the power of numbers on their side,
these new concentrations of young
people decided they wouldn't toler-
ate Jim Crow, or war in Vietnam or
the burning of the Cuyahoga River.
Starting from places like the Diag,
they challenged the egregious fol-
lies of grown-ups and changed the
country for good.
Yet the college excursion also
carries big risks. Isolation from
the world can breed utopian think-
ing, but it's less helpful for utopian

practice. Most seriously, separation
from the people and communities
we've known can erode our sense of
responsibility toward others. Some
of the new groupings that form
in college may be extraordinarily
close-knit, but they are also, for the
most part, inevitably temporary.
Despite the great collective ritu-
als of Football Saturday solidarity,
one wonders if they only conceal a
growing atomization of ourselves,
if the experience of college doesn't
threaten to be one big acidbath that
dissolves us into a permanently
nomadic set of professional individ-
uals, every bit as liquid as the global
economy's flows of cash.
Leaving what
you know can be
That would be an appropriate
rite of passage, given the troubled,
transient nature of our society. For-
tunately, while we didn't organize
this ritual, we still have the power
to make it serve our purpose, just as
the 1960s generation did. Instead of
acting out a dress rehearsal for the
world as it is, we could use college
to improvise what we'd like it to
be. We can't undo what brought us
here, nor would many of us want to,
but we can work to shape a future
that might emancipate us from the
alienated present.
-Joel Batterman can be
reached at jomba@umich.edu.




Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily OrleyTeddy Papes,
Timothy Rabb, Seth Soderborg, Caroline Syms, Andrew Weiner
Attend fourth annual UIC

The Complete Spectrum: Chris Dyer discusses the FAIR
Education Act and how it pertains to LGBT students.
podi~ umGo to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
Explore Venture for America


Michigan Interactive Investments, a
student investment organization at the
University, is hosting its fourth annual Under-
graduate Investment Conference on Friday,
Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15., MII has invited
students, alumni, professionals and sponsors
to participate in the conference throughout
the"weekend. The UIC will feature a stock
pitch campetition - where teams select a
stock according to conference guidelines and
present it to a panel of judges - and serve as
an opportunity to meet professionals and
students from investment clubs at different
schools across the country. This interaction
allows students to learn from each other and
think about investment ideas and campus
investment clubs from a new perspective.
MII is focused on educating its members
about investing and financial markets. Older
students collaborate with younger students
to develop the technical and personal skills
for professional careers. Many of the com-
peting investment clubs are focused on the
same goal MII members are encouraged
to help organize the UIC or compete in the
In its inaugural year, the UIC was found-
ed to bring together investment clubs from
other universities to compete in the stock
pitch competition. The UIC has been suc-
cessful for the past three years due to the
participation of schools across the country,
Michigan alumni and corporate sponsors.
This year, the conference will host 16
schools - including the University of Cali-
fornia at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania

and Carnegie Mellon - which will compete
for a $3,000 grand prize. Each team of two to
four students will deliver a 12-minute stock
pitch followed by eight minutes of Q & A on
Saturday morning. Three teams will be select-
ed to compete in the final round and will give
a longer stock pitch to a panel of four experi-
enced professionals, including head of debt
capital markets for SunTrust Robinson Hum-
phrey, Beau Cummins, and David MacGregor,
CEO of Longbow Research. These judges will
determine which school is the winner of the
competition and grand prize.
In the past, the UIC has hosted several Uni-
versity alumni as judges and speakers for the
event. MII will host Cummins, MBA class of
1989, of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey for
the third time. He will give a keynote speech
at 1p.m. on Saturday about careers in finance.
In addition, the event is sponsored by Long-
bow Research, Wells Fargo, BP and Blackrock.
The sponsors of this event are providing eight
first and final-round judges. Three first round
judges are MII alumni and friends.
The final round of the stock pitch competi-
tion will begin at 3p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15.
The speech by Cummins and the final round
of the stock pitch competition will be open to
the public and held in the Blau Auditorium at
the Ross School of Business. We encourage
anyone who is interested to attend.
David Bleznak is a Ross School of Business
senior. He is the director of the Undergraduate
Investment Conference and also serves as
the vice president of operations for MIl

When I graduated from the University in 1995, I had
little idea of what I wanted to do professionally. I had a
general impulse to get training and skills, so I went to
work at an investment bank. It didn't take me long to
conclude that I was more interested in our clients than
I was in my job. What drew me to these companies were
the entrepreneurial stories of their founders. I realized
that the real creation of value was coming from these
visionary entrepreneurs and not the lawyers and bank-
ers. Pretty soon I left to throw my hat in the start-up
So at the ripe old age of 23, I founded my first com-
pany, Community Connect Inc., with four other friends.
We started the company out of my apartment, and I
ran it as CEO for more than 12 years until we grew the
company to about 150 employees and then sold it to a
publicly traded media company. Having started a com-
pany at such an early age with so little experience was
an incredible challenge, but I was fortunate to have the
support of some amazing entrepreneurs. Their mentor-
ship, combined with hard-won experience, has made
an enormous difference in my career. When I speak to
recent graduates who want to someday start or run a
company, I tell them to seek out mentors who will help
them develop professionally. Find someone who has
built a career like the one you want, and engage with
him or her until you get a good sense of how things are
Right now,there are some phenomenal entrepreneurs
building successful businesses in Detroit, just a stone's
throw away. There's Brian Balasia, the co-founder of
Digerati who graduated from the University in 2003
and proceeded to build a business helping other busi-
nesses use technology to increase productivity. There's
Brett deMarrais, who graduated from the University
in 2009 and is now the CEO and Founder of Wedit, a
crowd-sourced wedding videography business set to
clear six-figures of revenue this year. And there's Phillip
and Ryan Cooley, whose destination restaurant Slow's
BBQ has revitalized the Corktown neighborhood. Phil-.

lip and Ryan are now working on a 28,000-square-foot
incubation space to house new enterprises.
These entrepreneurs and their success have given
rise to a new sense of opportunity and excitement in
the region. Josh Linkner, managing director of Detroit
Venture Partners and founder of ePrize, recentlytold us
how happy he was with the dozens of innovative com-
panies they've been seeing. DVP has already invested in
seven companies, with many more on the way.
For those of you who would like to follow in the
footsteps of Brian Balasia, Brett deMarrais, Phillip
Cooley, Ryan Cooley and even Josh Linkner, there's
the University's Center for Entrepreneurship, which,
under managing director Doug Neal, is one of the best
in the country. There's Bizdom U. - an entrepreneur-
ship accelerator funded by Dan Gilbert and based in
Detroit. And there is the Venture for America Fellow-
ship, which will be offered to roughly 50 of the top
college graduates in the country. Venture for America
Fellows will attend training camp held at Brown Uni-
versity next summer with experienced entrepreneurs
and investors before beginning work at a start-up
in Detroit or another low-cost city. After two years,
one Fellow will receive $100,000 in seed investment.
Applications are now open at www.ventureforamerica.
The path to entrepreneurship has historically been
less clearly marked than other paths. Indeed, that has
been one of its defining features. But the country, and
Michigan in particular, needs its best and brightest to
become entrepreneurs who build businesses and create
jobs more than ever. You will never be more able to take
risks than at this stage in your career. Entrepreneurship
is much like other professional paths in that you tend to
get better at it over time, but the decision to start must
be yours. The challenge is there for you, and the time to
start is now.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be fewer than
300 words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. We do
not print anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedaily@michigandaily.com


Benjamin Sun is a University alum and a member
of Venture for America's entrepreneur board.

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