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March 13, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-13

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4A - Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, March 13, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

C Ih itigan 4:at*1.1.
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
Pothole problems
Michigan needs to allocate more funding to maintain Michigan roads
his Michigan winter has been exceptionally awful, with record-
breaking low temperatures and snowfall totals approaching
the all-time record. Such harsh weather conditions have taken
a considerable toll on the state's roads. Poor road quality has affected
the health and pocketbooks of Michigan drivers. Michigan's legislature
is introducing a mid-fiscal year supplemental budget that will allocate
$215 million to repairing roads. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder can
and should alleviate the dangerous conditions by signing the budget.

Oversexualized sexuality

When I first came out,
I wasn't expecting to
discuss attractive guys
as much as I did.
I knew I would,
and the thought
felt exciting.
Expressing my
attractions felt ,
like placing
the final piece
to my identity
puzzle. What MICHAEL
struck me as SCHRAMM
odd, though, was
how consistently
attractive guys were brought to my
attention. This piece framed my
identity instead of fitting into my
identity's frame. My girl friends
always pointed out attractive guys
- whether it was the cute guy
across the street or the actor on
TV. I couldn't understand why I
was given such acute attention to
anything male and attractive. Even
more puzzling became my frequent
exclamations about cute boys. These
comments felt subconscious, yet I
sensed this spotlighting enough to
realize I didn't understand it.
I now understand this
phenomenon's root: oversexualizing
the LGBTQ community. Though
our entire culture is sexualized, the
gay community carries a heightened
sexual sense where members are
defined by their sexuality. Since
orientations outside heterosexual
are minorities, we emphasize those
members' personalities as linked
to their sexuality. For example, if
you're interacting with a lesbian
and a straight woman, the straight
woman's orientation wouldn't induce
much thought. You're desensitized to
her sexuality since it's common. But
being a lesbian is more uncommon,
and therefore, you'll more likely
highlight her sexual orientation in
constructing your perception of her
identity. This means that you'll more
likely associate "gay" with "sex,"
and - because sexuality connects

with romance - this also implies
a tendency to associate LGBTQ
members with anything romantic.
These perceptions create
stereotypes seen in the media. A
recent study examined the degree of
sexual material in DNA and Instinct,
magazines targeted towards gay
males. The study found that 47
percent of advertisements focused on
nature, including underwear, male
enhancement materials, pornographic
DVDs and lubricant. This 47 percent
didn't include car, clothingand alcohol
advertisements, which commonly use
sex to sell. of course, sexual content
runs rampant through the media, but
I highly doubt half of "Men's Health"
contains advertisements for penis
pumps, condoms and porn.
These stereotypes also leak into
health fields. Sexually transmitted
infections and other sex-related
topics represent most commonly
discussed LGBTQ topics in medical
other issues. LGBTQ youth are five
times more prone to homelessness,
three times more prone to suicidality
and twice as prone to depression -
yet medical school, which spends, on
average, five hours covering LGBTQ
issues, rarely covers these topics.
This creates serious consequences.
Though doctors may know about STI
risk, they aren't aware of potential
psychological dangers to LGBTQ
members. They may be educated on
suicide and depression,butthey don't
understand their impact on LBGTQ
members. How is that fair? This isn't
doctors' faults. They don't select
the medical school curriculum,
but nevertheless, these issues are
dangerous and require education.
Such stigmas also create social
ramifications. In my experience,
gays and lesbians talk about their
relationships and sex lives more than
heterosexuals. If this talk occurred
among only specific individuals, I
wouldn't be concerned, butI see this
happening consistently. I even see it

within myself.
Though it's important to embrace
sexuality, we shouldn't feel
restrictedly bound to them. Instead,
like any heterosexual, we should feel
encouraged to decide how much we
incorporate our sexuality into our
personalities. The problem is that
my sexuality presses me into being
the "gay guy," and I believe lesbians
and transgenders feel the same
way. This can cause a slippery slope
leading to complications.
By pressuring LGBTQ members
to fulfill sexually based stereotypes,
we inadvertently pressure them into
fulfilling other stereotypes - i.e.
feminine gays and butch lesbians.
Now, there's absolutely nothing
wrong with being a feminine
gay or masculine lesbian if that's
truly who you are. What concerns
me is that feminine guys and
masculine girls feel driven to these
personalities based on fulfilling a
sexuality-based stereotype.
The truth is that my sexuality
- and the sexuality of many other
LGBTQ members - is no more
important than a straight persons.
On most occasions, I'd rather discuss
"Twitch Plays Pokemon" over some
guy's biceps. But that doesn't mean
every member does. Some, just like
straight people, frequently gossip
about relationships, hookups and
bodies. We each favor hookups
or relationships based on our
personalities. How often we think
about sex depends on who we are
as individuals.
Most importantly, we, or at least
I, want to choose how much we
define ourselves by our attractions.
Sexuality's purpose is providing
clarification about who we are as
people. By flipping this concept and
instead defining someone by their
sexuality, you're not only enforcing
stereotypes, you're overlooking the
purpose of sexuality.
- Michael Schramm can be
reached at mschramm@umich.edu.

The budget was passed Tuesday in the state
House and Senate. $100 million will be spent
on general road maintenance- and $115 million
will be set aside for road projects specified by
various legislators.
The pockmarked roads throughout the state
have caused a number of serious and fatal
injuries to drivers, and failing to fix roads is
endangering Michigan residents. In February,
the Michigan Townships Association released a
statementsaying that "One-third of all fatal and
serious traffic accidents are at least partly due
to poor road conditions and roadway design."
The MTA also claimed that improving roads
could save up to 1,000 lives over the span of
10 years. Maintaining the quality of Michigan
roads is not only a matter of improving driving
conditions,but a case of saving lives.
Michigan citizens pay the sixth-highest
gasoline tax rate in the nation yet the state is
unable tokeep the roads in acceptablecondition.
The average vehicle owner in Michigan pays an
additional $357 per year on vehicle repairs such
as flat tires, shock and strut replacements, and

on repairs stemming from accidents caused by
the state's poor road conditions. In areas such
as Metro Detroit - where more than half of the
roads are rated in poor or mediocre condition
- motorists spend $536 more in unnecessary
vehicle repairs. Taxpayers are already paying
for the upkeep of the roads and their vehicles.
It's ridiculous that motorists should be
subjected to further costs due to the state's lack
of road repair.
Michigan comes in dead last in per capita
spending on roads and bridges annually at
$154. If the state had been utilizing more
funds to maintain the roads before the
current winter - one of Michigan's worst
winters in years - the roads would not be
in such extreme deteriorated conditions.
Currently, 32 percent of the roads in Michigan
are ranked in poor condition. It has been
estimated that the number will increase to
65 percent if the problem isn't addressed. An
aggressive investment in road infrastructure
now will help save both drivers and the state
money in the future.

Abolishing minimum wage

Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria
Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul
Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Marjuana misconceptions

In my experience, political ideologies are
akin to overcoats; youwear one while itfits and
trade it for another when you've outgrown it. In
this vein I've had dalliances with neoconserva-
tism, I've summered as a Marxist, I misspent
my high school years as a libertarian and my
intellectual adulthood has thus far been lived
within the parameters of American liberalism.
Each philosophy, of course, has its own
little foibles and fallacies to nip at the heels
of its advocates. Conservatives suffer from a
fetishization of militarism and the more maca-
bre elements of biblical scripture, while Marx-
ists are hung up on their woefully incoherent
doctrine of historical materialism; libertarians
could fill the Encyclopedia Britannica three
times over with their deductive missteps and
political faux pas. In turn, my confederates
can't seem to help themselves when it comes to
the minimum wage.
Let me blunt the edge of my criticism by
saying that I share all of the concerns echoed
by the College Democrats in their recent
Michigan Daily article - wages are shockingly
too low, the economic fortunes of working
class families are woefully insecure and
income inequality is disgustingly ubiquitous
in American life. This is a disagreement
among friends alone, and while my strategy
for achieving a more equitable economic
climate differs from my comrades the ultimate
goal is nonetheless the same. Please keep this
in mind when I say that supporting even the
existence of a minimum wage is misguided at
best and antisocial at worst.
The contemporary liberal case for the mini-
mum wage is largely a hangover from the
writings of economist and policy wonk John
Kenneth Galbraith, who advocated for system-
ic price and wage controls to tame inflation in
his 1952 work A Theory of Price Control. While
a prescient and insightful macroeconomist,
Galbraith's microeconomic treatise proved to
be shockingly offthe mark. When former Presi-
dent Richard Nixon implemented Galbraith's
policies as part of his "income policy" to control
inflation, the bane of rising prices was replaced
with the drudgery ofeconomy-wide production
dislocations. Those industries faced with man-
dated prices above the market-clearing rate
built up unsalable surpluses while those busi-
nesses forced to sell goods below the market
equilibrium price were faced with unquench-
able shortages. America's income policy died in
1973, and liberal support for Galbraithian wage
and price controls went out to pasture yith it -
except, it seems, for the minimum wage.
Now, the minimum wage interferes with
the workings of the market in a manner
akin to any ordinary price floor; quantity
demanded is curtailed while quantity
supplied is stimulated, and we are left with
a certain output which cannot be traded at
the given price. In this case the minimum
wage curtails hiring by businesses while.at

the same time encouraging intrepid workers
to enter the market at the now-higher salary,
producing a body of structurally unemployed
labor, which didn't exist prior to the
imposition of this policy. This is the essential
explication of "Eurosclerosis," or Western
Europe's dichotomy of high unemployment
even during times of economic expansion.
Well-meaning governments, assured that
they are providing a helping hand to working
families in their constituencies, impose a
quasi-wage control that ushers in sickeningly
high levels of unemployment.
Notably, and as mentioned in the article,
this view on the minimum wage has been
greeted with dissent by economists David
Card and Alan B. Krueger, who in their
article, "Minimum Wages and Employment:
A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in
New Jersey and Pennsylvania," documented
a supposed positive correlation between
an increase in the minimum wage and
employment in fast-food chains within the
two aforementioned states. Not only was
this claim later redacted by the authors, who
revised their conclusion to say instead that
there was either a mild increase or no change
at all in fast-food worker unemployment,
but the article flies in the face of literally
thousands of other publications documenting
the minimum wage's adverse effects on
employment for African-Americans, single
women, teenagers and part-time workers.
The retort to this claim is obvious; even if
Card and Krueger are wrong and the mini-
mum wage produces unemployment in the
short-term, this will be mediated in the long-
run by an increase in demand from those
workers who will see an increase in their
purchasing power, spurring expansions in
industrial output and, naturally, in employ-
ment. This hinges critically on the assump-
tion that the market demand for labor is
inelastic over the range of the wage increase
from the minimum wage hike. In layman's
terms, we'd have to assume that higher wages
for those who stay employed outweigh lost
wages from those who become unemployed,
and considering that the demand for labor
has been documented as being highly elastic
during recessions at least since Lionel Rob-
bins's 1934 treatise "The Great Depression," I
wouldn't say that those are betting odds.
Now, if liberals are to accept that the mini-
mum wage is impotent at delivering increases
in either employment or higher wages for all
workers then policies which do both, such as
economic stimulus packages, investments in
infrastructure and education, subsidies for
student loans and so on may be pursued in their
stead. Political capital is a scarce good, and it
painsme to see myfellow Democratswastingit
on a bum policy like the minimum wage.
Ryan Dau is an LSA freshman.

week prior to the 2014
State of the Union Address,
The New Yorker published
Editor David
profile, "Going
the Distance:
On and off
the road with
Barack Obama."
The following
morning, the
headlines or LAUREN
lower third of MCCARTHY
every major
news institute
read, "Obama: Marijuana not 'more
dangerous' than alcohol."
Though Remnick's profile
consists of 10 segments and totals
more than 16,500 words - these six
were the only ones the American
people heard, and continue to
repeat. Obama's comment rapidly
became re-tweeted, posted and
commented on just as quickly
as it became skewed, reworded
and misinterpreted as indicative
of active change in policy. From
millennials to baby boomers, social
media was littered with the belief
that the President advocates for the
legalization of marijuana.
During the Feb. 4 U.S.
policy, Rep. John Mica (R-FI.),
chairman of the subcommittee on
government operations - under
the Committee on Oversight &
Government Reform - accused the
administration of having "the most
schizophrenic policy (he) has ever
seen." Despite these accusations
and Obama's recent comments,
Michael Botticelli, the deputy
director of the White House Office
ofNationalDrugControl and Policy,
maintained that the administration
remains opposed to state-based
efforts to legalize marijuana. The
White House website states that,
"The Administration steadfastly
opposes legalization of marijuana
and other drugs" - and rightfully
so - "because legalization of
marijuana would increase the
availability and use of illicit drugs,
and pose significant health and
safety risks to all Americans,
particularly young people."
This commitment, however,
seems unbeknownst to both the

American public, as well as state
governments. Both Washington
and Colorado have legalized
recreational use of the drug for
adults. Similarly, 20 states and the
District of Columbia have approved
the use of medical marijuana, and
28 states have decriminalized
marijuana use in at least one region
- despite the fact that cannabis is
illegal under federal law.
While it was perhaps unwise of
the President-to share his thoughts
on the strength or danger of
marijuana, he made several other
pertinent remarks on the subject.
He expressed his concern of the
disproportionate adolescent arrests,
claiming, "Middle-class kids don't
get locked up for smoking pot, and
poor kids do ... andAfrican-American
kids and Latino kids are more likely
to be poor and less likely to have the
resources and the support to avoid
unduly harsh penalties." He stated
that the "experiments" taking place
in Washington and Colorado are
important in eliminating a situation
in which a large portion of people
break the law, yet only a select few
get punished.
Disproportionate adolescent
arrests and incerations are a valid
concern, but not one that should
be aided at the expense of national
health standards. Though I do
not disagree that America's youth
can be hindered by the harsh
legal ramifications for marijuana
possession - the legalization of
cannabis for adult recreational
use provides neither a remedy nor
positive solution.Instead,youth may
be further exposed to marijuana
by family members, older siblings,
friends or parents who choose to
consume the drug, validating its
use in the minds of their children.
Exposure and desensitization to
the drug continues to lessen the
stigmatization surrounding its
negative effects.
According to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, pot among
adolescents is again on the rise,
and the serious consequences of
the drug have gotten both lost and
vehemently denied in the national,
pro-legalization discourse taking
place online and on college
campuses. However, if teens
and young adults begin abusing

marijuana before the age of at least
25, it can dramatically affect their
ability to problem-solve, retain
memory and engage in critical
thinking. Studies have also found
long-term use of the drug to be
linked to a lower IQ - as much as
an 8-point drop - later in life.
Hans Breiter, a professor
at Northwestern University's
Feinberg School of Medicine and
the senior author of a study focused
on heavy marijuana users found the
earlier the drug was taken up, the
worse the effects on the brain.
"Marijuana is the ideal
compound to screw up everything
for a kid," Breiter explained in an
interview with Time Magazine.
He concluded, "The more I study
marijuana, the more I wonder if we
should have legislation banning the
use of it for everyone under 30."
The study also found that
abusing marijuana may have
dangerous implications for young
people who are developing or
have developed mental illnesses.
Abuse of the drug has been linked
to developing schizophrenia in
prior research, and Northwestern
Medicine's paper reveals that the
use of marijuana may contribute
to the changes in brain structure
that have been associated with
having schizophrenia. Matthew
Smith, the study's lead author and
an assistant research professor
at Northwestern University's
Feinberg School of Medicine, told
Time, "Chronic marijuana use
could augment the underlying
disease process associated with
schizophrenia ... If someone has a
family history of schizophrenia,
they are increasing their risk of
developing schizophrenia if they
abuse marijuana."
Regardless, by no means is
marijuana as benign as many
Americans tweet, post, comment and
claim. In a country that continues
to intellectually fall behind our
counterparts overseas, there is no
justification in legalizing a Schedule
I drug - proven to erode brain
function, lower IQs and hinder
critical processing skills - for
recreational abuse.
- Lauren McCarthy can be
reached at laurmc@umich.edu.



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