The economy is humming, the stock market is flirting with another record high, unemployment remains low, and the neighbors all seem to be buying sports utility vehicles. Life is good in America. But there is a problem--a problem economists refer to as income differentials, otherwise known as the gap between rich and poor. Despite the economic boom, this gap has been widening.
When the man who coined the term Moral Majority decides that the majority is gone and that the culture war is lost, people pay attention. Paul Weyrich, who launched Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed as religiopolitical operatives, recently declared that Americans' moral decline is so advanced and the culture so corrupt that it's futile to attempt to restore traditional values through politics.
Frank Almonte is a good man, an upright man, a man of peace. He gives of himself. He has, for example, built hospitals. He recently raised $4 million for medical supplies, food and clothing for hurricane victims. A legal immigrant from the Dominican Republic, he has lived in Corona, Queens, for 22 years.