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A George W. Bush Alan Pogue was wearing twice as much make-up as several women in the room, who looked very much like our own ecumenical versions of Tammy Faye Bakker. And Governor Bush said “a lot” a lot, as in: “I love my wife a lot…. I love our girls a lot… [and] I’m running for President because I love my country a lot.” No kidding. After that he said a lot of nothing. He recycled lines from his big tax-cut speech from that morning, and he offered up his daily soundbites. Unlike the other candidates, he never even really spoke about Israel. The speech he chose for a Jewish group left a lot of us wondering if he’d ever met a Jew before. Yet he received more applause that all the other candidates combined. Shapiro was applauding so hard, she bounced up and down. Someone in front of me whistled. Someone beside me cheered. This for a man who answered a question about his motivation by saying, “It’s important we win the White House. It means a lot.” And that’s when I started to believe that Machiavelli was Jewish. It was a logical spoke about a moral crusade that most people in the room \(like most people in the applause. Three men \(Hatch, Bauer, and erything that Jewish Republicans should want to hear; they got polite applause. Two nothing of any interest to the Jewish community; they received ovations. It was more than a lesson in realpolitik. It was a demonstration of Machiavellian philosophy: grab power at any cost; embrace the most likely means to your ends. It was the only way to explain this Jewish audience ignoring comments Bush made only a few years earlier about how non-Christians are eternally damned. On my way out, I picked up a Coalition publication. The cover featured a photograph of Charlton Heston portraying Moses. Charlton Heston: not Jewish not even a chance. Moses, now there’s a Jew. He didn’t reflexively root for the frontrunner, and he demonstrated real compassion and commitment, as well as a personal relationship with God. He was even, at least according to Disney’s revisionist history, a prince. I’ll bet he was never a Republican. Jeff Mandell, formerly a Texas Observer prince, is currently appearing on the “Response,” from page 13 Portugal a job-creating policy that we recommend for the other low-income regions of Europe. Portugal does not have full employment because its wages are low. As for the larger correlation, it holds up despite this detail or quibbles about the U.K. and Italy. Bottom line: The United States is enjoying both high employment and reduced pay inequalities; improvements here in this decade have been far greater than in Europe. The key issue for Americans is not whether these improvements have occurred of course they did but how to sustain them. What is really behind the furious tone of DuBoff and Herman’s two letters? Despite that list of other important variables they claim to care about, they do not have a study of their own to oppose to mine. Nor have they actually checked my calculations. They merely raise a mish-mash of objections, in the hope that one or two might stick. Their general approach seems to be to deny that anything can go right in this country, and to object violently, as a matter of high principle, when anyone finds otherwise. I take a different view. I wrote my book, Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay, to debunk conservative myths about the inevitability of rising inequality in the Eighties and to show that rising pay inequality was closely linked to rising unemployment. Falling unemployment has since proved me right. It seems to me proper, honest, and sensible to build on the modest progress of the past few years. No one should be under the illusion that the job is done. Now is the time to press for a higher minimum wage, for labor law reform favoring unions, for expanded public investment and social spending, and for universal health insurance. My point is that these wage-raising measures do not carry a “cost” in terms of lost jobs. I still cannot quite see why DuBoff and Herman hold to the contrary view, which is manifestly “conventional, politically reactionary, and demonstrably wrong.” Note: The work mentioned above can be read in full at , “Working Paper No. 11” \(which also appears in the current issue of New Left ReSee also the measures of inequality in all sectors of the U.S. economy, which are in the frame “Inequality Watch,” behind the American flag. JANUARY 21, 2000 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15