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No news here for stay-at-home mothers. "Be sure you want to do it, because it is hard on you mentally," stay-at-home dad David Smith advises men who might follow his example, in the Loop-based newsletter Moments (March). "My experience is that housewives don't treat me as an equal and men don't take me seriously."

"This is the biggest event the city has ever hosted--and will host," says Dan Flynn, executive director of Chicago's World Cup office, who's in charge of bringing the world's most popular sport--soccer--to the provincial city on the lake. "People don't understand how big this is: the first time World Cup competition will be played on American soil will be in Chicago" (Illinois Issues, March).

News flash--Kennedy resurfacing called off as foundations decline to renew grants. Stephanie A.Y. Smith profiles Thomas Tresser of People's Housing in Chicago Enterprise (March/April): "Tresser contends that the Chicago City Council should set a strong cultural policy and that the city can no longer cut its own support for the arts [only 43 cents per capita, compared to San Francisco's $10.44]. 'Why should the Department of Cultural Affairs write for grants from private foundations? Why doesn't Public Works [apply for grants] when they need to fix roads?' says Tresser. Culture is as necessary to the city's economy as its infrastructure, he says."

"Whites are safer from hate crimes in black neighborhoods than blacks are in white neighborhoods," according to Tom Corfman's analysis of city statistics in the Chicago Reporter (February). "Nearly half of the 154 anti-black crimes committed the last two years occurred in census tracts whose population is more than 75 percent white, according to the 1990 census. Less than 30 percent of the 160 crimes against whites occurred in tracts more than 75 percent black."

Free-market bleeding heart. "Root causes are much out of fashion nowadays as explanations of criminal behavior," writes Northwestern University law professor Daniel Polsby in Atlantic (March), "but fashionable or not, they are fundamental. The root cause of crime is that for certain people, predation is a rational occupational choice. Conventional crime-control measures, which by stiffening punishment or raising the probability of arrest aim to make crime pay less, cannot consistently affect the behavior of people who believe that their alternatives to crime will pay virtually nothing. Young men who did not learn basic literacy and numeracy skills before dropping out of their wretched public schools may not have been worth hiring at the minimum wage set by George Bush, let alone at the higher, indexed minimum wage that has recently been under discussion by the Clinton Administration."

Should the government pay for property acquired or regulated in order to protect endangered species? Yes, say Thomas Lambert and Robert Smith, writing for the Saint Louis-based Center for the Study of American Business. Would that make saving endangered species too expensive? Not really. "Requiring the government to pay for the costs the ESA [Endangered Species Act] imposes does not make the Act any more expensive; it simply shifts the cost burden off the individual property owner and onto the collective citizenry, who do, after all, share the benefits of the Act. A just compensation requirement would insure that the public purse pays for the public good the ESA creates."

Decade of the nerd region. Diane Swonk, senior regional economist and vice president of First Chicago Corporation, quoted in Norbic Network (March) on the midwest's economic prospects: "We missed the party in the 1980s. But this time, we don't have a hangover. Our conscience is clear in the Midwest."

"A century ago children were essential to the prosperity of most Illinois families as a source of cheap labor," writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (March 10-16). "The postwar prosperity of this century enabled well-provided-for children to be cherished as trophies of affluence, polished and shown off like a new car. Today, with faith in an ever-expanding economic future shaken, children are beginning to be seen as a drag on prosperity, their value to their parents being substantially sentimental or therapeutic. What does the family owe society (and vice versa) if children are more valuable to society than they are to families that are expected to raise them?"

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

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