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True blue collar

By Michael J. Smith on Saturday November 19, 2005 01:27 PM

One of the wonderful things about the unexpected thunderbolt of John Murtha is his district, the 12th of Pennsylvania. On a map, it's the oddest-looking thing you could ever hope to see -- clearly a classic gerrymander, occupying roughly the third ring out from Pittsburgh (after the city core and the near suburbs).

A quick galnce at the Census results shows that it is, to say the least, decidedly blue-collar: The 2000 median household income was $30,612. Only 6% of families had incomes over $100,000. 20% of families with children under 5 were below the official poverty level. 14% of the population over 25 were college graduates.

As the guy says in the opera, Traulich und treu ist's nur in der Tiefe; falsch und feig, was dort oben sich freut. Loyal and true are the depths -- false and frightened, they who enjoy life on high.

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