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July 14, 1993 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1993-07-14

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Wednesday, Jay 14,1993 - TheMihgasy SummeWel -5
VIEWPOINT

'Asian Americans want

By VARISA BORIBOON
and JASON T. WANG
Excerpt from the Michigan Mandate:
The purpose of this Mandate is to guide the
University of Michigan in creating a community
that: Values, respects, and indeed draws its intel-
lectualstrengthfromthe rich diversity ofpeoples
ofdiferent races, cultures, religion,nationalities
and beliefs.
The word "community" implies a symbiotic
relationship. However, university communities
-amicrocosm of the real world-must work to
create such arelationship. The University cannot
seriously expect that by reaching its projected
quotas for Asian Americans (or any other ethnic
minority)thattheir questfor"intellectualstrength"
is over. The University's retention efforts have
been minimal and therefore mustbe increased in
order to create a truly diverse, multicultural com-
munity, which respects its minority populations.
The Universityhas applaudeditself forreach-
ing its target quota of Asian American students.
Yet it makes minimal effort to help the commu-
nity grow and develop. Asian Americans, an
ethnically and economically diverse group, is
still seen as a monolithic "model minority" com-
munity. The University still has no disaggregate
data available reflecting this ethnic diversity.
Such statistics would help dispel monolithic ste-
reotypes.The "modelminority"myth ignores the
spectrum of talents Asian American students
possess. Asian American students are pressured
into tracking programs by counselorsandprofes-

sors. Students are discouraged to pursue fields
that are non-science or mathematically related.
Those who defy societal and academic pressures
are left unsupported by the faculty and adminis-
tration. Furthermore, the stereotype of Asian
Americans as "curve breakers" causes undue
resentmentandharassment fromnon-Asian peers.
Because the University is not sensitive or recep-
tive to Asian American concerns or needs, there
is also no support structure for Asian Americans
who are seeking counseling or tutoring. This lack
of resources may correlate with statistics indicat-
ing that Asian Pacific American youths have the
highest suicide rates in the nation.
Many Asian Americans are constantly work-
ing toward discovering an identity which incor-
porates their Asian background within the con-
text of an "American" upbringing. Some Asian
American students' desire to continue their na-
tive traditions and language though they are
constantly discouraged to do so since assimila-
tion as defined by white American culture re-
quires minorities to relinquish their own culture.
Programs like the Tagalog Language Program
are threatened with extinction because the Uni-
versity is not fulfilling its promise to actively
search for the much-needed Asian American
professors, the lack of resources sensitive to
Asian American issues also makes it difficult for
Asian American students to deal with the internal
conflicts caused by their minority status. A pro-
posed solution is an Asian Pacific American

change, criticize 'U'
Studies Program, which would provide classes, Asian American student community. One is the
books, role models, faculty, counselors and ad- great deal of apathy within the community. Stu-
ministration for Asian Americans as well as non- dent activists feel it increasingly difficult to
Asians. convince Asian American students that racism
Thetmisconceptions of Asian Americans held and discrimination do occur behind the facade of
by the University are reflections of those held by societal "acceptance." This facade is supported
society. Asian Americans are viewed asa buffer by the lack of economic and ethnic diversity at the
between white mainstream society and people of University of Michigan which deludes Asian
color. We are labeled as "assimilators" by non- American students into believing the monolithic
Asian minority groups yet outcast by white main- "model minority" myth themselves. Also with-
stream society as "foreigners." The monolithic out the resources which an Asian Pacific Ameri-
image of Asian Americans is also often used to can Studies Program would provide, student ac-
justify acts of anti-Asian American violence or tivists are leftto educate a University community
harassment.For example, American-bornAsians which is ignorant about Asian American history.
are still assumed to be "foreigners" and An Asian American Studies Program would in-
complimented for speaking "such good English" stitutionalize the program currently being ex-
despite their native status. The business world ecuted byunderfundedstudentorganizationssuch
also pigeon-holes employees of Asian ethnicity as the United Asian American Organizations, as
into technical roles. Asian Americans are over- well as an overtaxed handful of Asian American
looked for promotions beyond the middle man- faculty.
agement positions. The stereotype of Asian The Asian American community at the Uni-
Americans asineffective communicatorsignores versity is trying to contribute to the University.
the diverse talents of Asian Americans. Lastly, However, minority students should not be re-
Asian American students must deal with the sponsible for fully educating themselves. Until
verbalandphysicalharassment whichoften times the University makes an active effort in thereten-
stems from the resentment ofnon-Asian students tion of Asian Americans and other people of
who believe the monolithic "model minority" color, the University's relationship with minori-
stereotype. ties will not be symbiotic but parasitic.
Asian American student activists must deal Boriboon is the programming director of the
with problems which are not unique from those University of Michigan Asian American Student
experienced by other minority activists. How- Coalition. Wang is the financial officer of the
ever, there are some problems specific to the United Asian American Organizations.

LETTERS

Doctors overpaid
To the Daily:
Almost every American family is feeling the
health cost crunch. But a lot of high priced
medicalspecialistsarefeelingjustfine.Yearafter
year, the rise in their pay has raced ahead of
inflation.In 1991, forinstance,anesthesiologists'
average pay increased by $14,000. That's some
raise!
Anesthesiologists' averagepay was$221,100
in 1991.Radiologistsaveraged$230,000in 1991.
But Americans have no idea how much these
specialists are overchaarging them. A recent poll
found that Americansthinkthesespecialistsmake
w about $100,000 ayear, and think $80,000 would
be a fair salary.
Many doctors deserve to make a good living.
They have invested years of education and hard
work, and they carry aheavy burden of responsi-
bility when they serve us. But there should be
some limits. Already, costs have risen so high
that many middle class Americafisbave to post-
pone desperately needed care because they can't
afford it.
Specialists aren't the only culprits, of course.
* The average pay for heads of big hospitals was
more than $235,000 in 1991! And many are
making much, much more than that. The head of
Brigham and Women's Hospitalin Bostonmade
$872,000in1991.Andthehighestpaidexecutive
in Califomia last year was the head of a hospital
chain. He made $17 million!
The head of CIGNA, the health insurance
giant, made $1.3 million in 1991. And the head
of Travelers Insurance Agency made $1.2 mil-
* lion. They made that much while many families
andsmallbusinesses werepricedoutofinsurance
protection or had to drop their coverage because
they could no longer afford soaring premiums.

And four out of ten Americans have had to take
a cut in health benefits in the last two years.
Big drug company profits and salaries drive
upourhealthcoststoo. In 1991, theprofitsofthe
most important drug companies were five times
as big as those of other large corporations. And
money that should be going into research is being
wastedonoutrageoussalaries.TheheadofMerck
and Company made $3.3 million in 1991. But
that's peanuts compared to what the head of
Bristol-Meyers Squibb made: $12.8 million.
It is easy to see why American families are
drowning in health care bills. Those who profit
from health care are swimming in our money!
Ron Pollack
Executive Director, Families USA Foundation
Cost of government day
To the Daily:
If it seems like you've been working longer
and harder to pay your bills and make endsmeet
iarecent years, it's not your imagination playing
tricks on you.
The Tax Foundation calculates that if every
year dollar of eamed income starting January 1
went to federal, state, and local govemments, the
average American wouldnothave earnedenough
topayhisorher 1993taxesuntilMay3-thedate
the foundation calls "Tax Freedom Day." In
1985, Tax Freedom Day came four days earlier
-April 3.
Even that is not the full story, because it
counts only direct taxes. Governments are mak-
ing increasing use of hidden ways to "tax" citi-
zens, with mandates and regulations. Adding
those into the equation produces a date Ameri-
cans forTax Reform calls "Cost of Government
Day." It's not May 3. It's not even in June.
Cost of Government Day in 1993 will fall on
July 13, a full 10 days later than in 1985. That

means that the average American spends over
half his time laboring to pay the total price tag for
govemment spending and regulations.
In the past five years, Congress has presided
overaregulatoryexplosion.Thenumberofpages
in the Federal Register - where new federal
regulations are catalogued - has risen to over
65,000 from 47,000 in 1985.
For the country as a whole, a conservative
estimate of the total cost of federal regulation is
$619 billion, or about $2,500 per person. Law-
makers seem oblivious to the fact that as these
regulatory bill rise, so must prices, layoffs, or
even bankruptcies. Wages also fall, or rise less
than they would have in free and competitive
markets.
When regulations enhance competition, pro-
tect individualrights, promote safety, strengthen
the sanctity of contracts, or provide information
necessary in the marketplace, they can yield a
positive good. But thousands of pages of regula-
tionslater,it'sdifficulttoimagine that Americans
are all that much better off than they were a
decade or so ago. In any event, our lawmakers
focus most of their attention on regulation's per-
ceivedbenefitsand very little onitsrealeconomic
harm.
These days, Congress not only tells private
enterprisehow torunitsbusiness withincreasing
frequency, but it is imposing ever high costs on
state governments as well. Unfunded mandates
fromWashington-requiringstatestoexpandor
create programs and pay for them too - are
soaring in volume and cost. A recent Mackinac
Center study found that $95.3 million - the
equivalentofone-thirdofMichiganstategovem-
ment revenue growth in the 1992-93 fiscal year
-will go to pay just the cost of federalmandates
in one program alone, Medicaid...
Alan Philip
Americans for Tax Reform

Religion is a paramount contribu-
tor to human misery. It is not merely
the opium of the masses, it is the
cyanide. Of course, religions defend-
ers are swift to point out the comfort
it provides ... but Deity does not
dawdle in the comfort zone. How lim-
iting, how insulting to think of God as
a benevolent warden. Tom Robbins
"Skinny Legs and AfI"
Reasons for mandatory national service:
1) To build character; in particular, to
counteract the perceived selfishness
of youth.
2) To repay a social debt. Requital for
benefits inherited from previous gen-
erations.
3)To salvage impoverished youths by
giving them work experence, train-
ing, and opportunitles for social inte-
gration.
4) To provide needed services - car-
ing for the sick, cleaning up the envi-
ronment, etc.
5) To mix the classes in a common
endeavor.
Mickey Kaus
The End of Equality'
It's the end of the world as we
know it (and I feel fine).
R.E.M.

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