The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, February 07, 1983, Image 2

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JEL US opinion Battalion/Pagel February 7, nth St H Slouch By Jim Earle “He claimed that it violated his right to privacy because I knew his grades. Does he have a case if I’m his teacher?” Reagan’s world of high technology by Maxwell Glen and Cody Shearer Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union message might as well have originated from Disney World’s Carousel of Prog ress as well as from Washington’s House of Representatives. Ronald Reagan seemed more interested in the promises of tomorrow than the problems of today. ..“In almost every, haint^a11d workplace in 'America, we are already witnessing ... the 'first flowering of the manmade miracles 'of high technology,” Reagan said. Unfor- 'tunately, the president may never more ^than sense the future. - By proposing a freeze on federal ‘spending (meaning further cuts in social • programs), the president would reduce • our nation’s capacity to lay a new indust- T rial base for the future. With his 1984 • budget are sure to come reductions in 'human-capital programs that would >form the very foundation of high -technology development. • No natural evolution will produce a -shift to a safe and happy computerworld. -Enormous costs are involved in re- leducating and restraining of workers for 'high-tech employment. California and ‘Massachusetts are prominent leaders in ‘this area, in part, because high tax bases 'support superb education and health ser- ' vice institutions which, in turn, breed and •attract talented people. Only in this en vironment will high-tech businesses •thrive. • “Aside from some of the rhetorical re- • ferences to high tech in his speech,” said • Robert Reich, an economist at Harvard - University, “there was no sense as to how • we get from today’s world to the high -tech world of tomorrow. In reality, the - president was locking the door to high - technology.” - According to Reich, the government - must provide job training for those in - threatened occupations, and provide in- • centives to develop new businesses in re- ~ gions hurt most by unemployment. Only then will passage to the promised land be assured. Indeed, the record shows that private industry won’t underwrite the develop ment costs without federal help. Boston’s Digital Equipment Corp. plant, visited by President Reagan on Wednesday, was built with funds from the Economic De velopment Agency (EDA)-as^ well as Bos ton’s Community Development Corp. (Reagan began to pha^e out EDA in 1981). No other companies have fol lowed Digital’s lead in moving to a 40- acre industrial park in Boston’s Roxbury district. “A strong government must be active in putting up part of the cost of long term investment in people, in capital, in new products and processes for high technology to make it,” added Reich. “The risks and costs are too high for the private sector to do it alone.” No less fascinated by the promises of microprocessors, the Democratic Party, in its videotaped response to the presi dent’s speech, sounded only slightly more realistic. While proposing strong commitments to job training and public- private investment, they embraced a similarly vague notion of business “breakthrougns” that would bring about recovery. Of course, even with government cooperation, microelectronics won’t solve the unemployment problem. The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research reported this week that robots will eliminate 13,000 to 24,000 jobs in Michigan while creating only 5,000 to 18,000 new job openings. No politician can accurately predict the future and then prescribe a best course for a nation. And even Reagan admitted that “we have a long way to go.” Yet in the search for high-tech security, Reagan seems mesmerized by the end and ignorant of the means. The Battalion USPS 045 360 Member ol Texas Press Association Southwest Journalism Conference Editor... Diana Sultenfuss Managing Editor Gary Barker Associate Editor Denise Richter City Editor Hope E. Paasch Assistant City Editor Beverly Hamilton Sports Editor John Wagner Entertainment Editor Colette Hutchings Assistant Entertainment Editor . . . . Diane Yount News Editors Daran Bishop, Jennifer Carr, Elaine Engstrom, Johna Jo Maurer, Jan Werner, Rebeca Zimmermann Staff Writers Maureen Carmody, Frank Christlieb, Patrice Koranek, John Lopez, Robert McGlohon, Ann Ramsbottom, Kim Schmidt, Patti Schwierzke, Kelley Smith, Angel Stokes, Tracey Taylor, Joe Tindel Copyeditors Jan Swaner, Chris Thayer Cartoonist Scott McCullar Graphic Artists Pam Starasinic Sergio Galvez Photographers David Fisher, Jorge Casari, Ronald W. Emerson, Octavio Garcia, Rob Johnston, Irene Mees William Schulz Editorial Policy Texas A&M University administrators or faculty mem bers, or of the Board of Regents. The Battalion aiso serves as a laboratory newspaper for students in reporting, editing and photography clas ses within the Department of Communications. Questions or comments concerning any editorial matter should be directed to the editor. Letters Policy Letters to the Editor should not exceed 300 words in length, and are subject to being cut if they are longer. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit letters for style and length, but will make every effort to maintain the author’s intent. Each letter must also be signed and show the address and phone number of the writer. Columns and guest editorials are also welcome, and are not subject to the same length constraints as letters. Address all inquiries and correspondence to: Editor, The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald, Texas A&M Uni versity, College Station, TX 77843, or phone (713) 845- 2611.' The Battalion is published daily during Texas A&M’s fall and spring semesters, except for holiday and exami nation periods. Mail subscriptions are $ 16.75 per semes ter, $33.25 per school year and $35 per full year. Adver tising rates furnished on request. Our address: The Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald Building, Texas A&M University, College Statioti, TX 77843. The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting news paper operated as a community service to Texas A&M University and Bryan-College Station. Opinions ex pressed in The Battalion are those of the editor or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of United Press International is entitled exclusively to the use for reproduction of all news dispatches credited to it. Rights of reproduction of all other matter herein reserved. Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843. White House media relations by Norman D. Sandler United Press International WASHINGTON — Relations be tween the White House and the news media have been on a roller coaster for years. But at midterm, President Reagan has raised new questions about their sym biotic und sometimes combative co existence. Such questions always are vexing for two institutions that so depend — and use — one another. But deputy White House press secret ary Larry Speakes himself raised the level of debate last week by accusing the media of a “steady denigration of the presi dent.” “My question to you,” Speakes said in a speech, “is can the modern presidency survive the modern media?” Reagan enjoyed a much talked-about “honeymoon” for much of his first term — not because reporters went easy on him, but because he appeared to be mak ing progress toward the goals of his pres idency. Well into his second year, Reagan bat tled Congress on issues ranging from spending cuts to tax hikes to the sale of AWACS radar planes — and won. But all good things must come to an end. After 20 months, impatience with policies that failed to end the longest re cession since World War II and the worst unemployment since the Depression weakened Reagan’s political muscle. His defeats at the end of the 97th Congress were untimely and compound ed by Republican losses in the November elections. As Reagan neared midterm, the budget process — normally completed by early January — labored on, beset by in decision and indications that political realities would force him to “stray the course” rather than “stay the course.” Coupled with a lower approval rating lower than his predecessors, this pro duced a rash of critical midterm assess ments. Reagan complained he was up to his “keister” with public airings of what he and his advisers were doing in private. Even after issuing new guidelines for contacts with reporters and embarking on an public relations offensive to show Reagan as compassionate, concerned and in control, some in the White House still complain of a lack of direction. One aide says decisions about where Reagan should go and what he should say are made too hastily. Print reporters complain, with merit, that the White House caters to television images in plan ning Reagan’s outings. Part of the problem is that Reagan is at times his own worst enemy. The “Great Communicator” in fact has been spotty in his recent speech deliveries, even when aided by teleprompter. The other part of the problem is how the White House handles his gaffes. The most recent example was his trip to Boston. Until minutes before his departure, Reagan was home free. The network news would show just what his c ageshapers wanted: Reagan with blij job trainees and hoisting a beer inabaij a workingclass neighborhood. j| But as he rambled on in responset I final question from high-tech bi®; executives, Reagan raised the idei abolishing the corporate income tax. The president of the United Sur who had just sought to demonstrate! concern for blacks in Roxbury andw, ing stif fs in Dorchester was suggesij massive tax relief for corporate Ameril The off-the-(ul t remark altered! complexion of the Boston visit. I White House, sensing political I first hedged in explaining the reim then made the mistake of pretendiij did not exist. Then Speakes made another common mistake: He tried to del attention from Reagan’s own blunder attacking the media. Speakes said reporters, know Reagan made the statement off-the-cii should have softpeddled the st« “rather than licking your chops anddi ping your hands and doing back Oi|t Speakes has the unenviable having to face reporters seekingclarifi lion of Reagan’s impromptu and see times confusing remarks. But refusing address them needlessly raises temioi Perhaps overly protective president assistants should rely more on Reag himself to straighten out the tangles sometimes creates. mm ©IW-THE CfiUWWX WSpfcTtrt /OfcA wrm Kpowooitt Tb learn l than f Fo ated t Hontr ie Sh( tourse JOIN OR PIE- ion in ion m Texas )f the ind T A pile 'he Si Pray for spring budget thaw by Dick West United Press International f WASHINGTON — If a science may be said to have a “state of the art,” that phrase surely applies to cryogenics, the study and theory of low temperature phenomena. In President Reagan’s State of the Un ion message, it was evident the state of the art had reached the point of freezing government programs. But, as has since become clear, the budget is only one state in which art dwells. We also have seen cryogenics at work in international relations. Just last week, there was a renewed effort to put Congress on record as favor ing a nuclear weapons freeze. OPEC leaders tried to freeze world oil prices. And from Jerusalem came Prime Minis ter Menachem Begin’s assertion that Israel could never freeze Jewish settle ments in occupied territory. “It is impossible to freeze the settle ments as it is impossible to freeze life itself,” Begin said. medium-range missiles in Europe, I say it is equally expedient to freeze the deploy ment of all freezes. Several benefits would immediately accrue. First, and perhaps foremost, freezing freezes would eliminate the danger of freeze proliferation, which has threatened to get out of hand. Already, in recent days, we have seen a bipartisan Social Security commission en dorse a freeze on this year’s cost-ofliving benefits. ing the already complex East-Westi sion. Admittedly, a freeze on frees would be a rather drastic measure, the way the state of the art is expam zero option may be the only means avoiding a new Ice Age. Since some disciples of cryogenics claim living matter can be preserved for future use by freezing it, I’m not certain Begin’s analogy was valid. One upshot is plain, however. If Begin doesn’t freeze the settle ments, the United States may freeze arms shipments to Israel. As for me, I favor the “zero option” formula. If it is prudent for Reagan to insist that any arms control treaty with Russia in clude a total ban on deployment of Meanwhile, Reagan’s proposal to freeze various social programs has pro duced counter-moves to freeze segments of the military budget, which the Penta gon argues is frost-proof. What we have here, obviously, is a rampant case ot Ireezecreep. If con tinued at current rates, the freeze escala tion soon will prevade all sections and levels of national life. What mainly bothers me, however, is whether the freeze movement can be contained within these borders. When Britain, France, West German, Japan and other industralized nations see the United States freezing indiscri minately, will they not be tempted to freeze some of their own programs? A freeze on imports, followed by a freeze on exports, is one possible de velopment. Which would play havoc with world trade. And if the developed countries start freezing their programs, will not the so- called Third World members feel bound to take emulative action? I can foresee, for example, a freeze on non-alignment, thus further complicat- Berry's World ©1963 by NEA. 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