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June 30, 2004

Speaking of McCain...

I'm certain that this is not an original observation, but the Democrats, if they can't sign John McCain up as Kerry's VP, ought to at least put him on their convention's prime-time speaker list. McCain is as much an outspoken champion for the left's agenda as Zell Miller is for the right's.

GOP convention-al wisdom: Conservatives are still the crazy aunt in the attic

In my post on William F. Buckley, I suggested that genuine conservatism is at odds not only with liberalism, but also with those who dominate the upper ranks of the Republican Party.  Whenever the Party holds a party, it seems that the conservatives are relegated to serving hors d'oeuvres.  The prime-time speaker list at the 1996 national convention read like a Who's Who of the GOP left, and it now appears that they're getting ready to do it again.
Terence Jeffrey notes that only one conservative is included in this convention's prime-time line up... a Democrat, Zell Miller.  Rounding out the list are Education Secretary Rod Paige, Arizona Sen. John McCain, New York Gov. George Pataki, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
These folks are all on the A list for strategic or protocol reasons, which isn't necessarily bad in and of itself. Pataki and Bloomberg are there because you don't "dis" the convention hosts.  Giuliani and Schwarzenegger are there because of their star power.  Paige is a two-fer: a minority cabinet member championing policies that seek to neutralize a core issue of the Democrats.  McCain is there because party officials are afraid of what he'll do if he's not on the list.  Not one of them is there as an embodiment of the principles the party claims to espouse.
Even Miller is on the list not because of his conservatism, but because his presence there is an embarassment to the Democrats.
The bottom line, according to Jeffrey:  "Beyond the president, the vice president and Democrat Miller, most of the voices there will be officials from deep in the blue states or who share blue-state values."  Apart from Miller, every prime-time speaker supports -- or even champions -- policies that are abhorrent to cultural, economic and constitutionalist conservatives.
That being said, the deeply-flawed GOP remains the only vehicle by which anything of value to conservatives has any chance of being implemented.  As attractive as it sounds to talk of expressing ourselves through 'third' parties (many of my friends know that I thought long and hard about that in the 90s), the fact is that our more radical foes on the left stand poised to take power as soon as a significant number of conservatives withdraw their support from the GOP.  Much better to remain in the party if only to keep those radicals out of power, and work methodically -- over years and decades if need be -- to reform the party from the grassroots up.  Some state-level party organizations are already quite conservative, and to me that is a sign of hope that genuine conservatism will once again find its voice in the national organization.

June 29, 2004

Buckley surrenders the helm, but not the battle

This week William F. Buckley is yielding control of National Review.  He will continue to write his syndicated column.  When the magazine was launched in November of 1955, Buckley had this to say about the state of the conservative movement:
Conservatives in this country -- at least those who have not made their peace with the New Deal, and there is a serious question of whether there are others -- are non-licensed nonconformists; and this is a dangerous business in a Liberal world, as every editor of this magazine can readily show by pointing to his scars. Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality of [sic] never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.
A half-century later, we "non-licensed nonconformists" still have a long road ahead of us, as we do battle not only against the juggernaut of liberalism, but also against the "well-fed Right" which remains solidly in control of the national-level GOP.  Keep pressing on -- this is no time to go wobbly!

June 26, 2004

Reforming Christian fiction

The latest issue of World Magazine is devoted to a call for the "reformation" of Christian fiction.  As Gene Edward Veith relates, most modern Christian fiction is clichéd, formulaic, and intellectually shallow.  In addition, for the last 30+ years, Christian fiction has explicitly targeted the Christian audience rather than the broader culture.
Christian publisher Thomas Nelson recalls a time when Christian writers wrote general fiction that had a Christian worldview -- in other words, their fiction acknowledged eternal truths and God's moral laws even when the books' themes weren't explicitly spiritual.  Books written in such a way -- such as Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Lewis' Space Trilogy and Sayers' Peter Wimsey novels -- have often had tremendous success in the secular marketplace and have occasionally had an impact on the culture.  Nelson has launched a new division, WestBow Press, in an attempt to revive this grand tradition.
Veith sees the Left Behind series for the most part as an example of the "conventional", formulaic style that must be...ummm...left behind.  However, he credits the series with the remarkable feat of breaching the wall between the "Christian fiction" ghetto and the secular marketplace.  WestBow is poised to take advantage of that breach by turning Christian writers loose to tell their stories without some of the crippling restraints placed on them by other Christian publishers in the past. 
I wish them great success.
To help WestBow in their quest to discover and publish fresh Christian talent, World is teaming up with them to hold a short story contest.  Check Veith's article for details.

June 25, 2004

John Kerry seeks to increase unemployment among unskilled workers, Part Deux

OpinionJournal has an excellent editorial on the lunacy of Kerry's proposed minimum wage hike.  It begins with some good teaser questions that can be used in debates with people who maintain that such increases are compassionate:
John Kerry says he wants to raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour from $5.15, and his proposal has us thinking: Why stop there? Why not $10 an hour, or $20, or for that matter whatever a U.S. Senator makes? If Mr. Kerry thinks government is obliged to guarantee Americans a certain level of income, why not simply elevate everyone at least into the middle class?
The answer, as I mentioned last weekend, is that rising minimum wages price more and more poor, unskilled workers out of the labor market.  "This is one of the most settled propositions in economics," says the Journal, adding:
The debate is over how many poor people Mr. Kerry would throw out of work.
Just so.  Mr. Kerry, in the interests of clarity, perhaps you might do us the favor of announcing your unemployment target in this matter.

Clinton: Et tu, Monica?

Monica Lewinsky, erstwhile Clinton paramour who hates the publicity surrounding the affair but somehow continues to give interviews to the media on the subject, has joined the growing chorus of those finding significant fault with the ex-president's new book.  In interviews she gave for ITV and the London Daily Mail, Lewinsky called Clinton "a liar and a creep" because of the way she says he mischaracterized his reasons for entering the relationship.
I'll leave them to duke that one out.  What's more interesting to me is the fact that Lewinsky is still treating herself as a victim, as if she was not responsible for the consequences of her choices. 
Speaking of Clinton, she complained to ITV: "He has a daughter that is only six years younger than me. How would he feel if this happened to her?"  Ms. Lewinsky, this affair, and the resulting media storm, did not "happen" to you.  You play with fire, you get burned.
"I can understand that he wanted to save the presidency," she allowed to the Daily Mail.  "But I don't accept he had to completely desecrate my character."  Again, Ms. Lewinsky, your character was "desecrated" the moment you decided to flirt with the president or to accept his advances (whichever it was).  I'm not sure that you're going to find much sympathy on this one.

June 24, 2004

Christopher Hitchens slaps Michael Moore silly

Mark Steyn is my favorite conservative writer.  He's intelligent, perceptive, honest, articulate... and outrageously funny.  For pretty much the same reasons, Christopher Hitchens is my favorite liberal writer.  I frequently disagree with his ideology and with his resulting policy prescriptions (he is a liberal, after all), but I almost always enjoy reading what he writes.  He presents his opinions in a way that does not insult the intelligence of his ideological opponents (at least the intellectually honest ones), and he almost always does so in an entertaining way.
He does, however, have a gift for savaging those who purport to be his ideological allies, but who are obviously self-serving phonies.  A stellar example of this is his merciless review of Michael Moore's "documentary", Fahrenheit 9/11.  It's a lengthy essay, mainly because Moore provides such a target-rich environment, but it's well worth taking the time to see Hitchens rhetorically reduce Moore to a smoldering heap of ashes.
This excerpt summarizes nicely Hitchens' thesis:
To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of c--- would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about Moore.

June 23, 2004

Property rights: When the protector becomes the abuser

 Government is instituted to protect property of every sort;
as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as
that which the term particularly expresses.  This being the end
of government, that alone is a just government which impartially
secures to every man whatever is his own.

-- James Madison
The security of private property rights is fundamental to a free and prosperous country.  Sadly, far too few on either the left or the right recognize this truth and champion it. 
Nobody should be surprised that the left holds private property rights in contempt, but what about the right?
There are too many otherwise-conservative business owners whose respect for property rights ends with the fellow who refuses to sell his property (which just happens to be in the middle of where the business owner wants to build a shopping center).

In my town, I've seen otherwise-conservative politicians on the city council grossly abuse the power of eminent domain in the name of neighborhood 'renewal'.  This outrageous practice (which is also used to replace low-tax-revenue homes and businesses with high-tax-revenue ones) can be found just about everywhere, as the Castle Coalition documents.
Madison rightly says that a chief end of government is to impartially secure the right of private property.  In too many cases, though, government is the tyrannical abuser of that right.
A good portion of this abuse could be ended if only the citizens would rein in their local city councils (or whoever wields the hammer in their area).  The problem is that nearly all of the abuse happens 'below the radar' of the voters.  A homeowner here, a small business owner there.  It might make the local newspaper one day, but by the next week all is forgotten.

(Quote courtesy of The Federalist's "Founders Quote Daily")

Dan Rather, an army of one

Dan Rather surely must have thought that he would be the first of many in the 'mainstream' media to enthusiastically endorse Bill Clinton's book.  He charged forward like Braveheart, calling out exuberantly: "FIVE STARS!  FIVE STARS!"
Sensing something was amiss, Rather looked back to see that the rest of the army had not budged.  With an earnest look on his face, he tried again: "FIVE STARS!" 
Still, the rest of the army held back.
"What's the matter with everyone?" he demanded.  "Our marching orders are clear!"
"Clear, did you say?" came a voice from the ranks.  "Did you actually read the thing?"
"It goes on and on and on without delivering much substance," said Orlando Sentinel.
"Yeah," agreed USA Today.  "It wasn't great.  It wasn't even good."
"You've got to be kidding me," Rather fumed.  Looking around, finally he spotted New York Times, who had few peers in its loyalty to The Cause.  "What about you?"
"Well... ummm."  Times would not look Rather in the eyes.  "To be brutally frank, I found it sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull."
"Dull doesn't even begin to describe it," called out Associated Press.  "Reading it was more like being locked in a small room with a very gregarious man who insists on reading his entire appointment book day-by-day beginning in 1946!"
Too late, Rather understood that he had jumped the gun, not realizing until now that the beloved General Clinton was falling out of favor with the army.  They served The Cause, and after years of blind loyalty it was becoming clear even to them that the general served only himself. 
Although he had chosen poorly, Rather would never subject himself to the humiliation of retreating back to the battle line.  So, he faced forward once again, steeled himself, and charged, yelling "FIVE STARS!  FIVE STARS!" as he disappeared into the mist.
(Credit: Neal Boortz for assembling the quotes.  Quotes in italics are verbatim; others are paraphrased.)

June 20, 2004

"Behold the magical comma"

When a George Will essay contains the line "Behold the magical comma," we know we're in for one of his wonderful discourses on proper English.

Those who know me know that I'm a stickler for proper spelling and grammar, but my track record on punctuation is a bit more shaky...except for my lonely crusade to banish the use of the apostrophe when making a word plural. This cartoon illustrates the frustration that I feel at times when I see otherwise rational people write something like: "I have two car's." Shudder.

June 17, 2004

"Rather Biased" -- it's more than just a slogan

To no one's surprise (I keep using that phrase for some reason), Dan Rather simply loves Bill Clinton's new book.
"I liked it more than I thought I would," he said, "more than I was prepared to like it. Who knew that Bill Clinton could write this well?"

"As Presidential memoirs go," he added, "on a five-star scale, I give it five."

Liberals in the media keep complaining that conservatives keep complaining about liberals in the media, but who can blame us when we step in the evidence every which way we turn?

Things that make you say 'RRRRRRRRR'!

The American Medical Association adopted a resolution this week calling on the MPAA to slap an "R" rating on any movie that depicts "cigarette smoking and other tobacco use".  That's right -- it appears that a single cigarette is the moral equivalent of graphic violence, graphic language and nudity.
To no one's surprise, the resolution was proposed by the AMA delegation from The Great Nanny State of California.
Dr. Michael Maves, executive VP of the AMA, has previously advocated additional restrictions:

-- Certify in the end credits that no one was paid anything or received anything of value for including cigarette smoking scenes in the movie;

-- require strong, independent anti-smoking advertising before films depicting smoking by actors, and

-- do not identify any cigarette brand in a movie.

I suppose that it's admirable to seek to eliminate smoking from our culture by going after the "pushers" -- and Hollywood is certainly among them.  But the AMA is setting its sights too low.  Smoking is far from the only public health menace being promoted in the movies.  Why not demand an 'R' rating on movies depicting consumption of Coca-Cola, coffee, buttered popcorn, Chinese food, fettucine alfredo and Krispy Kreme doughnuts?

And while we're in Full Nanny Mode, let's nail movies in which major characters fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom.  What kind of example are we setting for our kids?  Oh, and movies in which a character "shoots up" must carry a disclaimer assuring our youth that only clean needles were used.

What with the moral sewage that Hollywood has been pumping out, one might be forgiven for not even noticing the cigarettes.

June 16, 2004

CBO: Social Security may survive until 2052 (albeit in persistent vegetative state)

The Congressional Budget Office provides political cover for those afraid to address the problems of Social Security.

Klan, Nazis, Garfield...whatever

Best of the Web noticed a debate over at IMDB regarding the new Garfield movie.  It seems that the movie was a cleverly disguised racist diatribe.  As BotW relates:
"Anyone notice that Garfield has black stripes, but his owner is white?" asks a reader called setht_1. "Makes you think." When another reader asks for elaboration, setht_1 replies: "The stripes are black, the owner of the cat is white. It doesn't take a genius to see the implications."
I'd love to think that "setht_1" really knew better and was trying to stir up trouble just for fun, but this kind of reasoning is all too common in modern American politics.  The Left has applied the term 'racism' to just about everything under the sun (except, of course, the causes of the Left), to the point where it is nigh impossible to have a civil, meaningful debate on the topic.

Abusing the dead

To no one's surprise, the New York Times is on (and perhaps is driving) the media bandwagon that is seeking to use certain Reagan family members to savage the Bush administration.  A June 15 article focuses extensively on the discomfort certain Reagan family members feel toward the faith that motivates the presidency of George W. Bush.  The article begins thus, and goes downhill from there:
As Republicans try to cloak President Bush in the mantle of Ronald Reagan, their biggest obstacle may be Mr. Reagan's own family.
Ron Jr., Patti, and to a large extent Nancy herself never embraced the cultural and religious conservatism of Ronald Reagan.  Yet the NYT and many others have anointed these three as the gatekeepers of the Reagan legacy.  Here's an example (my own wording) of how the logic works:
Ronald Reagan's clearly- and publicly-stated positions on abortion and other Life issues leave the reasonable person beyond a reasonable doubt that Reagan would have opposed embryonic stem cell research, even if it held forth a possible cure for his own disease.  However, Ron Jr., Patti and Nancy all support such research, and therefore George W. Bush is a horrible Reagan-hating cretin for opposing it.
Got it? 
Completely missing from the NYT article is any mention of Michael Reagan, who articulates the true Reagan legacy better than any of the other surviving members of "Mr. Reagan's own family".  I'm not shocked, mind you, but this does get a bit wearying after a while.

The Manchurian Senator

Paramount's upcoming remake of The Manchurian Candidate features Meryl Streep as the cold-as-ice manipulative senator.  There was only one problem, according to the Fly on The Wall blog.  After seeing the finished product, studio execs were horrified to discover that Streep's character reminded them of someone:
"Meryl has the Hillary hand gestures totally down pat," my insider tells me. "I don't know whether this is something she picked up subconsciously or an idea Jonathan gave her, but she's totally dead on. You feel like you're watching Hillary Clinton conspire to take over the world. The Republican Hillary-haters should totally eat this up."
Hey, how can we resist, when it's served up on a silver platter?

June 14, 2004

Nutty judge blocks deportation of pregnant woman

A U.S. District judge has blocked the deportation of a pregnant woman, and the reason he has done so is truly baffling.  As reported in a May 29 Washington Times article, Judge Scott O. Wright reasoned thus:
"Isn't that child an American citizen?" he asked, according to the Kansas City Star. "If this child is an American citizen, we can't send his mother back until he is born."
I assume Judge Wright is referring to the constitutional definition of citizenship.  However, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is quite clear:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
Since the child is not yet born, no citizenship status can be inferred based on this Article.
But Judge Wright wasn't done yet with his logical gymnastics.  Again, quoting the Times:
In rejecting the federal government's request to lift a temporary stay granted Mrs. Dick in April, Judge Wright pointed to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, which grants unborn children equal protection under the law if their mothers are targets of criminal violence.
A law which protects the legal rights of unborn children when their mothers are attacked is being applied in a case where no violence or threat of violence has occurred.  This Carter appointee is exercising raw judicial activism.  The fact that he unashamedly used the most absurd of reasoning suggests to me that he is doing so in service to the cause of unrestricted immigration.

June 10, 2004

A Time for Choosing: then and now

Excerpts from the speech Ronald Reagan gave in support of Barry Goldwater a week before the 1964 presidential election.

I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.

It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."

This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.

We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments. ...

We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.

We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. But we can not have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.

Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.

Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.

If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

June 9, 2004

Promoting abortion in Reagan's name

Ronald Reagan faced constant criticism for his unambiguous opposition to abortion.  This makes it especially outrageous that many are using Reagan's death from Alzheimer's Disease complications to champion the abortion agenda. 
One might sympathize with grieving widow Nancy Reagan's support for embryonic stem cell research in the hope that others might be spared the nightmare she went through with her husband.  But others, far removed from the emotionalism that accompanies the death of a loved one, smell only the opportunity to advance the culture of death.  Life News reports that many in the media and in the Senate are publicly calling for the Bush administration to drop its opposition to taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research, which depends utterly on the abortion industry.
To her credit, current first lady Laura Bush, who lost her father to Alzheimer's in 1997, is refusing to join the chorus.
With all due respect to Mrs. Reagan, she is simply wrong on this issue.  Killing babies won't bring her husband back.

June 6, 2004

Ronald W. Reagan, 1911-2004

I reached legal voting age in August of 1980, just three months before RWR's first election victory.  I gladly cast my vote for him then, and again in 1984.
No flowery rhetoric here, just:
May he rest in peace.

June 4, 2004

Birthday pencils: Higer in fiber, not nearly as tasty

A school in Massachusetts has banned birthday cupcakes from its classrooms, citing health considerations.  Instead, birthday kids will receive "dragon stickers, special seat covers and starred birthday sashes they can wear all day".  And a birthday pencil.
School officials related with horror the fact that kids were subjected to as many as 23 birthday cupcakes per year.  No wonder our kids are such lardbottoms.

Another dishonest wage gap study

The Associated Press reports on yet more evidence of wage discrimination against women.  Data from the 2000 Census suggests that in profession after profession, women's wages lag seriously behind men's wages.
The entire article is written to promote the conclusion that wage discrimination is rampant.  Only two sentences allow for a different interpretation:
Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, said the disparity is in part due to women who interrupt their careers to have kids at a time while men continue to climb the salary ladder. When these mothers return to work, they often can't make up the loss in earnings, she said.
This is a significant however, but it is quickly forgotten in favor of additional suggestions of discrimination.
The data spinners omit yet another piece of information that could send the discrimination allegation down in flames.  I would like the wage-gappers to answer the following question:
For each profession, what is the wage gap between men and women of comparable training and experience?
Hint: you won't find the answer to that in the Census.

UPDATE: Some media outlets are being even more dishonest about the study. The Lexington Herald Leader, for example, excerpts only the first half of the article, omitting altogether any mention of an alternative interpretation.

June 2, 2004

The myths of the 'working poor'

Thomas Sowell uses the occasion of a Business Week editorial to skewer the many myths surrounding the notion of the 'working poor'.  One by one, Sowell offers convincing counterpoints to every myth promoted by the May 31 editorial.  We've heard it often enough: The 'working poor' are hopelessly stuck at the bottom of the income scale.
In the first place, Sowell notes that the common definition of working poor, which happens to include part-time and under-25 employees is misleading.  He then goes on to demonstrate that the vast majority of those who fit a reasonable definition of working poor (work full time, income under $19,000) at a given point in time do not remain at that income level for long.
Business Week should know better.
There's much more; read it when you get a chance.