Star Parker
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According to the Economic Policy Institute, black unemployment in St Louis in 2011 was 14.9 percent, the ninth highest black employment rate of metropolitan areas in the country.

In 2010, the graduation rate in St Louis public schools, according to the school district, was 60 percent.

In Education Week’s recently published ranking of public school systems nationwide, Missouri is rated number 41 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

These bleak statistics are not new. This has been going on for years.

In St. Louis, and in the nation’s largest urban areas, we see all the same chronic and persistent pathologies.

Poverty, hopeless urban schools, and chronically high unemployment among minorities are becoming a way of life in our country. What really should be provoking fear is not that there are committed conservatives who want genuine change but that Americans are becoming resigned that real change is not possible.

The McCaskill vs. Akin faceoff is really about what is happening in the country nationwide.

Maybe in the best of times views from different political parties can be about splitting hairs. But in times like this, we’re talking about being at a crossroads and recognizing that our problems exist at the core of how we choose to see the world and define our lives.

According to the latest Gallup poll, only 3 of 10 Americans are satisfied with how things are going.

The fact that a persistent, principled and uncompromising conservative like Todd Akin can keep his candidacy viable under such challenging circumstances shows there’s a healthy constituency of Americans who understand that what is wrong is we’ve lost our principles and values.

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Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.