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June 01, 1984 - Image 6

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-06-01

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.a

OPINION

Page 6
Vol. XCIV, No. 11-S
94 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Detroit's prison

Friday, June1, 1984
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

The Michigan Daily

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I

TO NO ONE'S great surprise, the Detroiters
who live around the proposed site for a
new state prison are up in arms. They are
threatening, variously, legal action picketing
and a host of local procedural guerilla tactics
to keep their neighborhood from becoming the
home for a medium security prison. All the
while, of course, the protesters have been
nodding in agreement that the state needs new
prison space.
Under federal and state law-and under
standards of common decency-the state
Department of Corrections must provide
living conditions in prisons which meet certain
rudimentary requirements. Chronic over-
crowding of the type plaguing the Michigan
prison system makes it almost certain that
those requirements will not be met.
New prisons must be located somewhere,
and the Corrections Commission appears to
have made a carefully deliberated, financially
and socially justifiable decision in selecting
the St. Jean Avenue site. The land is not ex-
pensive, the location is convenient to Detroit,
and the current surrounding light industrial
land uses are not at odds with the state's
proposed development.
Once a site has been found by the state, it
should not be abandoned without a clear
showing of inappropriateness by the local host
community. Prison sites should not be swit-
ched around according to which community
has the most political leverage.
The burden of having a prison as a neighbor
is not intolerable and inherently must be borne
by a relatively small group of people.
The anger of east Detroiters is understan-
dable, but it is an anger which would best be
directed at the state's intolerable neglect of its
prison system.
e- -- - --
f-
-I, - -
"46 RKSO A

To the Daily
Your rece
May 22) opp
seat belt
distressingl
on, and per
of, the matt
the individu
not wearing
present a su
harm to soci
trusion intc
would beg t
four grounds
First, you
"ignores the
son who isi
non-use of s
tarily assur
jury." You
documentedi
that people
derestimate
of their risk
jury and th
seatbelts. TI
tarily assum
than the one
been expose
Second, th
the avoidabl
are borne by
through bot
and public
Medicarea
Michigan, w
lifetime co
costs for ace
costs are pa
lifelong cost

Seat belt law a good idea
preventable case of quadraplegia disconnect their p
nt editorial (Daily, can amount to many millions of converting themi
osing the mandatory dollars. The modal case is a nonrestraints." Aga
law exhibits young man or woman in his or be extra cost wil
y little perspective her teens or early 20s who can benefit.)
'haps understanding live 50 more years.) Whether or
ter. You assert that not one cares about his fellow
ally-assumed risk of human's welfare, self-interested
seat belts "does not economics suggests that tax- Fourth, for Mi
fficiently compelling payers and holders of insurance there a collective
ety to justify any in- policies do have ansinterest in inencouraging mar
citizens' lives." I other people's use of seat belts, use laws as an all
o differ with you on Third, under court order, the mandated restraints
federal Department of Transpor- contribution to inc
argue that the bill tation is reevaluating the passive prices may depress
fact that every pr- restraint issue (air bags and sales. Recent years
injured through the passive belts). One of the options us what that means
eat belts has volun- receiving consideration is that in terms of tax reve
med the risk of in- states with mandatory belt-use payments, expen
t ignore the facts, laws be exempted from a public universiti
in numerous studies, requirement that all new cars on.
systematically un- come equipped with passive
both the magnitude restraints. Passive restraints will The three-year
of accident and in- add to the price of an referendum proviE
he effectiveness of automobile-from $60 to $120 for proposed mandati
hus people are volun- passive belts or $300 to $1000 for legislation may a
ing a risk that is less air bags-without providing micky to you. To me
to which they have significantly greater protection . creative means of i
d than is currently afforded the oc- potentially cost-effi
e health care costs of cupant who buckles up. Thus, that ultimately mus
e injuries and deaths those of us who currently use the by the voters. If y
y society as a whole existing belts will find the cost of sider the options, t
h private insurance a new automobile rising without policy may not loo
programs (e.g., receiving any additional benefits. some. You do nott
and Medicaid). In In the instance of passive belts, feel, as do I, that t
with its 100 percent the current non-belt-wearer will lives saved would
verage of medical experience the increased costs public good.
cident victims, these and the same discomfort he or -Kei
rticularly high. (The she now associates with belt-
s of care for a single wearing. (Many such people will

assive belts,
into "active
in, there will
th no added
ichiganders,
self-interest
odatory belt-
ternative to
: the latter's
reasing car
s automobile
have taught
for our State
nues, welfare
iditures on
es, and so
sunset and
sions of the
ory belt-use
ippear gim-
, they seem a
ntroducing a
ective policy
st be ratified
ou fully con-
the proposed
k so burden-
even need to
the scores of
represent a
nneth Warner
May 23

:I

John F. Kennedy's vision in
founding the Peace Corps was to
create a body of individuals that
would cause a peaceful
revolution in the Third World.
But the corps may well prove
most significant because it has
brought Third-World experience
back to the United States.
The Peace Corps is nearly a
quarter century old. Since 1961,
almost 100,000 volunteers have
worked for social and
technological change at grass-
roots levels throughout the world.
TODAY, MANY of those volun-
teers have returned to work in the
U.S. foreign policy community.
Now in their late 30s and early
40s, they will be taking up
positions of greater authority in
the next decade. As their influen-
ce increases, they collectively
will bring about significant
changes in the conduct of U.S.
foreign policy.
These changes will be felt more
in the area of philosophy than in
any single concrete action.
One overwhelming trend
among a number of former Peace
Corps volunteers is the desire
that foreign policy planners place
greater emphasis on deeper un-
derstanding of local conditions.
"The best kind of foreign policy
is based on the kind of knowledge
gained through living with people
and speaking their languages,"
says Congressman Anthony Hall
ID-Ohio) who taught English in a
vocational high school in
Thailand in 1966-67. "Ad-

Peace
Corps'
legacy
By William Beeman
ministrations look at foreign
policy in a short-term
way-power to power.
ANOTHER STATE Depar-
tment officer, a former volun-
teer who has served in several
Middle East posts, points out:
"Former Peace Corps volunteers
look at political science more like
a sociologist or anthropologist.
We look at how foreign policy af-
fects individuals. In the future
you are going to have people
looking at foreign relations much
more from the ground up and
rebelling against the strategic
line of thought."
The principal distinction bet-
ween the returned volunteers and
many others in the policy com-
munity is that they actually have
lived among the people. "How
can you know much about Saudi
Arabia unless you know what it
smells like?" asks a State Depar-
tment analyst. "Most foreign
professionals have a lot of factual
information about these coun-
tries, but their view is very two-
dimensional.

REP. THOMAS Petri (R-Wis.)
who served in Somalia in 1966-67,
feels that his experience gave
him an important feeling for
what constitutes effective foreign
aid. "The model of the Marshall
Plan is not very effective for
much of the developing world. It
is not a matter of merely giving
people money or equipment-it is
a much more complicated
process which involves intimate
knowledge of societies at a local
level."
THE FORMER volunteers' in-
fluence will likely be cumulative,
rather than the result of a unified
effort: The Peace Corps itself
keeps no list of returnees, and
there is no national "alumni
association," though there are
loose, local groups in some large
cities.
"We have a sub-group, a volun-
teers committee on Central
America, but we're not a united
voice," claims Holland McKen-
na, president of a Washington,
D.C. group. "The volunteers are
hard to organize-they are a
pretty independent lot."
Independent or not, the volun-
teers constitute the largest pool
of Americans in our history who
have had direct contact with the
people of the Third World. For
many, that experience has
profoundly changes their view of
America's role and potential con-
tribution to world order.
Beeman wrote this article
for Pacific News Service.

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