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[snip] The shrinking middle class. According to the Chicago Mutual Housing Network, the percentage of Chicagoans who could afford to buy the median-value home in the city in 1989: 44. In 1999: 36. In 2002: 17.

[snip] Putting it in the nicest possible way. "When I go to a doctor and ask for a diagnosis for chest pains, I place my trust in the doctor that he or she is exercising authority appropriately," Richard Gaillardetz, professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo, tells U.S. Catholic (March). He adds that many people find it harder to trust the church, in part, because a bishop's authority "comes from the fact he holds an office that we believe is assisted by the Holy Spirit. Of course, it's very hard to verify the assistance of the Holy Spirit."

[snip] Crime in the suites, silence in the streets. "What has happened on Wall Street in the last few years would be tantamount to the doctors of the great teaching hospitals in the United States deciding in secret to abjure the Hippocratic Oath," writes Martin Peretz in the New Republic. "What does a certification of a financial report by an accounting firm actually prove when each of the Big Four (formerly the Big Five) has been culpable of unethical behavior on several counts? . . . For some reason, even liberals have been loath to confront this reality."

[snip] Chicago averages 12,750 people per square mile. "Mass transit can work in some circumstances," writes transportation consultant Wendell Cox in the Heartland Institute's Environment & Climate News. "Based upon an analysis I've done of urban areas around the world, at populations below 5,000 people per square mile, we can keep car traffic flowing without congestion problems and without mass transit. Above 55,000 or 60,000 per square mile [e.g., Manhattan] . . . we can substitute transit for cars for most trips. Between these two levels, we have congestion: not dense enough to justify transit [for everyone], but too dense for cars alone to suffice."

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