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July 10, 1981 - Image 8

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Michigan Daily, 1981-07-10

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Opinion
Page 8 Friday, July 10, 1981 The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 37-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Time for a full
investigation
W HILE THE FACTS surrounding the
death of former University student Chen
Wen-Chen remain vague and confused, there is
clearly a need for a full investigation into the
dubious circumstances.
Chen, an accomplished and highly respected
student at the University, who received his
Ph.D. in statistics in 1978, was found dead in
Taipei, Taiwan on July 3. Earlier that day, he
had met with high-level security officials of the
Taiwan government-namely, with Gen. Wang
Chin-Hsi of the Taiwan Garrison Command.
The talk, a six-hour interrogation, was
described as "friendly and cordial" by Gen.
Chin-Hsi and involved Chen's previous ac-
tivities in support of the anti-Nationalist gover-
nment movement. He was reportedly escorted
back to his apartment, and was found dead 12
hours later, presumably after falling from the
roof of a tall building in the city.
His wife and child apparently remain under
house arrest in Taipei (although this has not
been clearly established), and the most im-
mediate concern now is their safety. But a
much larger issue may be at stake here, and a
full-fledged investigation into Chen's death is
essential. American hands are tied in any such
investigation, as the case is officially an inter-
nal Taiwanese matter, off limits to any outside
scrutiny. P
At the same time, however, University
President Harold Shapiro-who has properly
expressed concern over Chen's death, should
clarify the role of Chen and other Taiwanese
students on campus in past years. There is
speculation that some students (other than
Chen) are "secret agents" here and on other
campuses, reporting on the "anti-government"
activities of their compatriots to Taiwan.
Richard Cyert, president of Carnegie-Mellon
University, where Chen began his career as an
assistant professor after graduation, and Sen.
John Heinz (R-Pa.) have both called for an in-
vestigation, and President Shapiro should
coordinate his efforts along with theirs.
A similar situation occurred with a Univer-
sity of Minnesota student, Rita Yeh, who was
imprisoned earlier this year in Taiwan for
"spreading Communist ideology in microfilm
and notebooks." Her case should be included in
a sweeping review of the Taiwanese gover-
nment-student relations in this country.
Accusations and speculation are not needed
here.What is crucial is the truth, and efforts
shouldtie Mad;inmela tey to indit.a

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Sinking fund

New federal budget is
step in right direction

4

As it has since the American a leach, feeding off the life
revolution, the debate over the juices of a healthy society while
size of our government continues. producing absolutely nothing in
In many ways, the new Reagan return.
budget has become the modern The days are over when a
representative of the battlefield major spending program
on which the battle has always proposed by the government is
been fought. called helpful to the economy.
As everyone knows, the new Nobody believes that myth any
budget calls for a decrease in the mor'e mainly because it has been
vividly proven wrong in socialist
Common c THE MORALITY of a big
government is the most
Sense provocative dilemma, and one
that takes the most con-
By Mark Gindin sideration. Under most
judgement criteria, government
amount of growth allowed the proves itself to be less of a good
federal government. Some parts guy than most people suspect.
of the budget actually call for a The original justification for
decrease in spending for most of the programs the budget
various sacred cow is attempting to plow under was
programs. The proposed originally based on a society's
reductions have intensified the desire to rid itself of its own
debate over big versus small ugliness.
government. People opposed to the Reagan
THE ARGUMENTS usually budget must necessarily be in
produced by both sides stem from favor of selective theivery. Farm
two main foundations: the social supports, aid to education, health
morality of mega- government, care, social security, federal
and its economic impact on the housing, jobs, transportation,
population. Ultimately, the logic and subsidized food are all forms
advocating powerful central of income redistribution by
government crumbles when put government. Money is legally
to the test of either. taken from one person and given
The easiest of the two areas to to another, whom a third person
expose is the burden placed on deems a more eedy recipient
theeconom6iy by any government than tfg p wpo Who or ad for
s ede. Clerb,go'veh enis it.

ALTHOUGH MOST people
assume so, it has never been
proven that government does a
better job at any of its pursuits
than the market would have done
by itself if left alone.
Because the prevailing
thinking requires government rid
society of the ugliness, alter-
natives have never been fully
utilized or even considered lately.
There are many free market
solutions, both proven and
theoretical, that are far more at-
tractive than those now in use.
The American constitution
established the federal gover-
nment only as a body to unite the
state governments. Government
in the new world was designed for
only guaranteed protection of a
citizen's will in regard to his life,
liberty, and property.
The Reagan budget is only an
infinitely small step in this direc-
tion-toward the eventual return
to a government patterned after
the one the designers had plan-
ned. It may be finally considered
a step in the right direction, that
of less control and power. It took
long enough, and let's hope the
ideas and actions will snowball
into an ideological cause behind
which all freedom-lovers can
rally.
Mark Gindon, whose column
appears erery Friday, is a
Daily sfrerr 'r. - -

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