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"I've found in my counseling practice that men who share housework tasks have a lower level of stress and are less prone to conflict," says Loyola University nursing professor Donna Rankin. "I'm not saying that having your husband push the vacuum cleaner across the carpets while you dust the furniture will ensure a happy marriage, but it can't hurt your relationship."

Why politicians retire. Jim Nowlan's summary of a recent Northern Illinois University survey of state residents: "Voters speak: Keep taxes low & increase spending" (Tax Facts, January).

"Illinois...is losing control of its own budget," explains R. Bruce Dold in Chicago Enterprise (February). "The federal government essentially determines how much the state has to pay for Medicaid, the fastest growing part of the public-aid budget. And it's a good bet that, in the next few years, the courts will dictate how much Illinois has to spend on its local schools. The budget killer is health care. While Senate Minority Leader James 'Pate' Philip might like you to think that the Department of Public Aid rains money on poor people in Chicago so they can buy quarts of Thunderbird, that's not the case. Public Aid spends $4.5 billion a year and $3 billion of that goes to Medicaid payments. One-third of that $3 billion is spent on nursing-home care for just 55,000 people. ...[Governor] Edgar would have a much easier time of it if the state's elderly, sick and poor marched off to Davenport, which is about the only way he is going to avoid a tax increase."

On a clear day you can see Madonna forever. The American Lung Association has announced a music video contest for Clean Air Week, May 2-8. Winners will promote the observance with "a powerful statement for clean air and lung health."

"There is nothing more for women to do," says Jeanne M. Brett of Northwestern University, summarizing a study she conducted with Linda Stroh and Anne Reilly of Loyola University examining the careers of more than 1,000 Fortune 500 corporate managers. Even when men and women had similar educations, worked in similar industries, stayed in the work force, and accepted transfers equally, the women were still paid significantly less. "With this study, corporate America has run out of explanations attributing women's career patterns to deficits in women's own behavior."

The homeless aren't the only ones asking for foreign aid. The fall newsletter of the Great Lakes United coalition reports that, given the failure of the United States and Canada to abide by their own Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, GLU asked UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to intervene. Among many acts of omission cited was the leisurely pace at which the Environmental Protection Agency is assessing the toxicity of chemical compounds: "This year [1991] EPA plans to release criteria for five organic compounds and a methodology for developing criteria for metals. EPA plans to release criteria for two to five organic compounds per year. At this rate it will take between 35 and 140 years to develop criteria for the approximately 70 organic chemicals with the greatest potential for building up in the food chain."

"Both European and African political traditions approved slavery, as did almost all the traditions we know about. It was the European political culture, however, that first called for the abolition of slavery," historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. tells American Heritage (February/ March). "Neither racism nor the subjection of women is an Occidental invention, but political antiracism and feminism are. These facts are generally suppressed by the multiculturalists; they were not suppressed by Frederick Douglass."

Job security at state schools isn't what it used to be. "My father knew he'd live in his house for the rest of his life," says Governors State University psychology professor Jon Carlson. "He knew he'd work at his company, and he'd take February off to vacation in Florida. I don't know what I'll be doing next week."

"Relying on its abundant natural resources, its expanding domestic markets and its energetic immigrant labor force, the U.S. could prosper in the past despite its culture of extreme free-market individualism and anti-government sentiment," contends David Moberg in In These Times (February 5-11). "The shallow sense of American community was harmful but not fatal. But now the absence of a national purpose and the lack of a sense of sharing a common fate contribute to the erosion of American standards of living in an era when the basis for comparative economic advantage has changed."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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