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Look out! He's got a car! Of the 249 on-the-job deaths in Illinois in 1995, the number due to shooting: 26; the number due to "transportation incidents": 78 (Illinois Department of Public Health).

Most entry-level jobs in metropolitan Chicago are not in the suburbs, according to a July report from the Illinois Job Gap Project by Toni Henle and Andrew Kinsella, but in and near the Loop, on the northwest side, and on the southwest side--not exactly where most poor job seekers live, but not as inaccessible as has been commonly supposed.

"The problem with electronic commerce is that it does away with all the paper that state tax auditors and corporate tax managers have come to rely so heavily on," writes Tom Healy in the Chicago-based Grant Thornton's Tax & Business Adviser (July/August). "During a sales and use tax audit, for example, state auditors will literally flip through paper invoices, purchase orders, and other documents by hand to identify purchases on which tax was not paid." New technologies like Electronic Data Interchange produce no paper trails and can leave a firm open to extra large "estimated" tax bills. A professional committee will soon make recommendations on how to do electronic audits--recommendations that are to appear as (excuse the expression) a "white paper."

Vanity government. Number of different types of license plates in: Iowa, 52; Indiana, 53; Kentucky, 57; Illinois, 180 (Fiscal Focus, July).

"Logical argumentation derives from a solid understanding of English grammar," writes Lawrence Lenza in Etica (Fall), newsletter of the Evanston-based Feltre School. But in the last couple of decades grammar and reason in general "became wildly unpopular. In place of real learning we were encouraged to devise games, do art projects, write haiku. No longer concerned with the rules but rather with the expression of (often) random thoughts and feelings, we were encouraged to 'just get it out there,' and presumably it would be understood. It wasn't. In the real world, you can't create a collage or write poetry to your boss when you want a raise."

News flash. Headline on a recent press release: "Lawyers Appointed to Leadership Posts in Illinois State Bar Association."

"Any success in the welfare-to-work transition will require more money as an investment up front to get people off welfare," writes Dory Rand of the Welfare Reform Information Center, in the 1995 annual report of the Woods Fund of Chicago. "Other states are seeing that you have to pay for transitional health care, for job training and placement services beyond a simple job search. If Illinois reads the research, they will realize they have to invest." Oh. In that case we're doomed.

"Old [economic] growth theory says we have to decide how to allocate scarce resources among alternative uses. New growth theory says, 'Bullshit,'" economist Paul Romer, a University of Chicago graduate, tells Kevin Kelly in Wired (June). His point? Objects are scarce, and subject to old-style economic ideas like the law of diminishing returns. But ideas are for all practical purposes infinite, explains Kelly: "Because the number of ways to rearrange an object and to create something of greater value is so vast, the prospects for economic growth are far greater than economists would normally have us believe."

"Don't be fooled, there will be traffic jams on streets with bike lanes," admonishes Randy Neufeld in the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation News (August/September), "but eliminating the bike lanes will not make the traffic jams go away. Hopefully the real solution to their dilemma will occur to motorists as it whizzes by on the right."

Amazingly, the same is true of "troublesome issues" like marriage and heterosexuality, right, guys? Guys? Philip Yancey in Christianity Today, quoted by Martin Marty in Context (August 15): "Troublesome issues like divorce and homosexuality take on a different cast when you confront them not in a state legislature but in a family reunion."

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