Balance Sheet



? Clear Language. California's Proposition 227, the "English for the Children" initiative, passes with nearly 61 percent of the vote. (See "Loco, Completamente Loco," January.) The initiative, which will end most of the Golden State's bilingual education programs, gets one of the largest victory margins of any contested referendum since Proposition 13 passed 20 years ago.

? Moon Shot. Hughes Global Services Inc. completes the first commercial flight to the moon. The HGS-1 satellite circles the moon twice before settling in a geosynchronous orbit, where it will provide communications services for government agencies and private customers.

? Choice Chances. For the first time, a state supreme court lets low-income students use tax-funded vouchers at private religious schools, as Wisconsin's high court upholds the Milwaukee program. And through the CEO America Foundation, financier Ted Forstmann and retailer John Walton (of Wal-Mart fame) commit $100 million to underwrite scholarships for impoverished kids. Their antes will be matched by donors nationwide.

? Speed Dial. The cost of joining the information revolution plummets. Sprint's Integrated On-Demand Network will provide voice, fax, video, and high-speed Internet transmissions over one line. The network, available to residential customers late next year, will reduce the cost of long-distance calls by 70 percent and deliver Internet connections at 100 times the speed of a typical modem. ION also includes local service, which could obliterate local telephone monopolies.


? Civic Removal. First sex shops. Then taxis. Now hot dog vendors. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's quest to disinfect the Big Apple targets food and clothing vendors who sell their wares on the city's streets. If Giuliani succeeds, he may move these entry-level entrepreneurs off the streets and into welfare lines.

? Running Scared. Trying to protect their phony-baloney jobs, Republicans cast aside any remaining limited-government inclinations. Before the November election we'll see GOP-led votes to restrict political speech (a.k.a campaign reform), private contracts (HMO regulations), freedom of conscience (the school prayer amendment), and other calls for mobocracy.

? No Satisfaction. Onetime London School of Economics student Mick Jagger demonstrates his understanding of supply-side economics. The Rolling Stones cancel the four British concerts on their world tour after the Labor government repeals a 20-year-old tax break for part-time residents who earn money outside the U.K. Jagger says the Stones would have had to pay $20 million in taxes if they played a single show on British soil.

? Excessive Success. The Clinton administration's war on commerce proceeds with the Federal Trade Commission's bizarre antitrust suit against computer chip giant Intel. Message from the White House to America's entrepreneurs: If you deliver goods and services effectively to consumers, we'll see you in court.