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July 03, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

e rising costs
of everything
You know you're getting old when you can rem-
inisce about how cheap things used to be. When
you're not that old, and you can still reminisce,
something is definitely wrong - either with the
economy or with you.
Time was I could buy a
dy bar for 20 or 25 cents
ow I'm fortunate to find one
for 50 cents; 35 cents is sale
Time was I could make a
local call at a pay phone for 20
cents. In short order, such
calls went from 20 to 25 cents,
and now stand at 35 cents.
(Why they skipped 30 is any- TONY
body's guess.) GHECEA
Time was...well, I'll stop
*ing "time was," because that sounds like a
phrase an old man would use, and I'm really not
that old. But in my short lifetime costs have
increased dramatically. I'm just not sure if the prod-
ucts cost more or if our money is simply worth less.
In the last few years movies have gone from four
or five bucks to almost seven (at Showcase, that is
- elsewhere movies are cheaper, assuming you're
eligible for a child, student or senior citizen dis-
Stamps go up almost every year; my dad says
y're going up again very soon. I once heard a
comedian say we should simply tape dollar bills to
envelopes, and avoid the grief of five more price
increases. I laughed at the time, but now I'm not
so sure he was telling a joke.
In junior high I studied the inflation rates of South
American countries. The lowest ones were about 200
percent per year, while the highest ones topped out at
more than 1000 percent. I remember being appalled
at the thought that a product's price could increase
ten-fold in a year. I remember being relieved to hear
our rate of inflation was under 10 percent.
don't know what our rate is now. For all I know
it remains low. But given the rate at which the
prices of things I use have been increasing, I can't
help but wonder if something is wrong with the
economy or with me.
Many politicians would have us believe that
things are okay economically. After all, if a $4 tril-
lion national debt was dangerous, wouldn't more
people in Washington be working to pay it oft? It's
ce to see Republicans and Democrats talk about
Ualanced budget. But even if they turn their talk
into action, the debt will remain at its current size.
Of course, not every cost increase arises from the
national debt. Prices increase naturally over time as
businesses seek to increase profits, raw materials grow
more expensive, and money loses value.
It's difficult enough to fix a problem when you
can't locate its cause. It's almost impossible to fix
it if you aren't sure there's a problem at all. All I
know is what I see, and what I see isn't reassuring.
Somebody famous said a country is in trouble
when its people begin to value its money less.
Ow much more trouble is a country in if its peo-
ple value its money less because its money won't
buy anywhere near what it used to?
Last week I went to Cedar Point with some
friends, one of whom used a machine that flat-
tened pennies into copper stamps (cost: a quarter
and a penny). Being a geeky law student, I asked
her if it wasn't illegal to damage money. She fig-
ured the stamping company had a permit to
squash as many pennies as it pleased.
*Time was a penny used to buy something.
Wowadays it will get you a tiny gumball or a ride
on a mechanical horse at Meijer's.
Or a stamp at Cedar Point. Assuming you have
a quarter.
- Tony Ghecea can be reached via
e-mail at adgheceauimich.edu.

Wednesday, July 3, 1996 --The Michigan Daily - 5



i{ . is f f L I f


f~'? .
r " 'f' 1Y t ' s "" ' } sF Sr1A ° .i. VHA ..t P 2NVCLLyP-y t r


Daily wrongfully
criticized Markley
residence hall staff
I am writing this letter in response to last
week's article in the Daily regarding the sexual
harassment of my resident, Cory Felding. As his
Resident Advisor, I can understand him going to
the paper to voice his rights. However, I do not
appreciate the fact of the Daily misquoting my
resident, and not getting the real facts. Instead
of reporting slanderous information regarding
the housing staff of Markley, you should have
reported all of the support given to the resident,
as well as the freedom given to Markley resi-
dents to voice their opinions. Though things
have gotten tense, we are still a community, and
will continue to function as one.
Let me point out some of your fallacies in
last week's article:
1. A trash can was not placed on top of
Cory's door. If this were to happen, his door
would have to be open.
2. An investigation by Housing and Security
has taken place and will continue till the indi-
viduals responsible are caught. Some of the pre-
cautions we have taken were extra rounds by
Residence Staff, as well as Security.
3. A program on oppression will also take
place to better educate our residents on issues
like these.
Cory is also happy and very supportive with
everything thus far Housing has done in regards
to this issue, even though the Daily has made it
seem otherwvise. Personally, I have been in coin-
tact with members of Housing and LesbiaIn,
Gay, and Bisexual Programs Office to figure out

what else can be done to provide the safest and
most comfortable environment for all of my res-
idents. Many students so far have also shown
support on this issue, including many residents
of Markley putting flyers on their doors in sup-
port of people's sexual orientation rights.
As The Michigan Daily, you may continue to
abuse your power by writing mistruths and libel-
ing others unfairly, butI ask you next time to
get the facts straight before you put something
in print.
Protesters should
have stayed home
I think the next time the KKK wants to stroll
into Ann Arbor, or any town, we as those
opposed to what they stand for should take the
advice the Ann Arbor Police gave and just stay
home! By going there and rioting, not only did
the anti-KKK people cause thousands of dollars
worth of damage, they also gave the KKK rep-
resentatives the media exposure they crave!
They thrive on the controversy they create and
those people played right into their plans. It's sad
that misguided people like that exist but it's even
sadder that people humor them the way they do.
If people hadn't showed up to protest, the
Klansmen would have stood out there without an
audience, looking like the fools that they are.

An open letter to
all knuckleheads
Last week, with Independence Day rapidly
approaching, the hues of red, white and blue began
to spring about on middle-America's rolling land-
scape. Sometimes this sudden
surge of summertime patrio-
tism is refreshing and some-
times it's disturbing - as it
was last week, when I saw a
tough American-built pick-
up truck with two red, white
and blue bumper stickers -
sporting the slogans
'Impeach Clinton' and
'Visualize No Liberals.'
No other word for it. If DEAN
you have stickers like that BAKOPOULOS
on your truck or car, you are
a knucklehead who has absolutely no intelligent
justification for spewing such slogans on self-
adhesive signs.
Now, let's think about this: Impeach Clinton?
Really, Mr. or Mrs. Knucklehead, how could
you possibly impeach Clinton? There is no jus-
tifiable reason for doing so, and even if rumors
and hearsay spewed by GOP leaders is true, it
would still be a far cry from the corruption of
past Republican administrations. And although
Republicans rally against Clinton's supposed
"big government," in reality, Clinton has slashed
the size of the executive branch of government
from its levels during the Reagan-Bush years.
He has, even with a hostile Congress, taken on
the nation's foremost domestic problems. He's
the best president since Truman. Period.
Anyway, knucklehead, even if you don't agree
with the man's politics, you just don't impeach a
president for political reasons. There's no patri-
otism in your bumper sticker, just a blatant lack
of respect for democracy.
Now, Mr. Knucklehead, let's move on to your
next brilliant statement: 'Visualize No Liberals.'
Let's see, no liberals! Okay then, let's go back to
a July afternoon in 1776, if there were no liberals.
Thomas Jefferson: "Well, let's see gents, who
thinks we need to do something about that
tyrannical and ruthless leader George?"
All: "Er, I guess he's OK. Why shake things up?"
Jefferson: "Alright, agreed, we remain a
colony. Let's all sign this "Declaration of Status
Quo Preservation" I have here, okay boys?"
All: "Hurrah! Hurrah!"
You see, Mr/Mrs. Knucklehead, without liber-
als, our country would cease to exist. In spite of
conservative blowhards who talk about "the moral
blahblahs of our blahblah founding fathers," our
nation was founded by a group of men who were
in fact liberals, if not downright radicals.
So this Independence Day, when you see Mr.
and Mrs. Knucklehead driving their vehicle
adomed with so-called patriotism, remember that
Independence Day is meant to honor the ideals of
liberalism: freedom, tolerance and peace. It's not a
day for the kind of patriotism that embraces intol-
erance and violence, not a day to remember how
much ass America has kicked in its many wars.
It's a day to remember that we have the free-
dom to speak, write, gather, think, paint, dance,
sing and pray however we want, even if you are
a knucklehead. So, Knucklehead, if you really
want to say such silly things, you have the right
to do so. In a fascist land or under a dictatorship,
you could never say such things. But in
America, you have the right to criticize your
president and to criticize other people's politics.
You have those rights, Knucklehead, thanks to
the liberalism you say you wish never existed.
- Dean Bakopoulos can be reached
via e-mail at dcanc@umich.edu.

"Demonstration is important - the KKK has every
right to voice their opinions, but we don't have to
stand for it. If I hit someone it won't change their
view - you must use your head and your voice."
- Keshia Thomas, Ann Arbor resident nationally recognized
for shielding a KKK sympathizer during the Jine 22 rally

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