In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 3, 2005 / 24 Shevat, 5765

Granny's Social Security shakedown

By Michael Graham

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear Granny,

Just got your package. Thanks so much for the delicious cookies. But I was a little confused by your note about Social Security. You don't think we should do anything about it at all? Granny, in 2018, there won't be enough money coming in from the Social Security taxes to cover the payments. We'll have to start taking money away from things like roads and schools. Surely there's some reform you can support.


Uncle Sam.

PS —No, I don't know why they took Matlock off the air, but I think it was awhile back. I'll look into it.

Dear Granny,

You knitted me a sweater! How sweet. About that Social Security thing again. I wasn't trying to "confuse you with numbers." I was just pointing out that there are many more retirees compared to workers than 50 years ago. And because those retirees will spend an average of 17 years receiving Social Security benefits, there won't be enough money coming in to cover the costs.

I know you paid into Social Security most of your life —well, your husband did, anyway —but remember that the average Social Security recipient gets back everything they paid in, with interest, in four years or less. Do the math: 17-4 = a lot of young people working a long to give you their money.

Besides, the money you paid in 20 years ago was immediately paid out 20 years ago to that generation of retirees. It's gone. Forget that Al Gore guy. There isn't a Social Security "lockbox" or "trust fund" or even a brown paper bag of cash under the mattress. There aren't any Social Security assets of any kind. The money comes in, the money goes out.

That's why we need to fix it, Granny, so there will be something to "go out" to all the young people working so hard to cover your current checks.

I know you'll want to do your part to help.


Uncle Sam.

Dear Granny,

Sorry I missed you for the "Early Bird" special at the diner. Usually I eat dinner sometime after 3pm.

I must say I'm a little taken aback by your angry comments about young people and Social Security. "Quit whining and pay up" doesn't strike me as a productive attitude.

Besides, these younger workers can do the math, and a majority have no confidence that the next generation will be able to afford to take care of them like they are taking care of you.

And you can talk about raising their taxes all you want, Granny, but that couple in their late twenties with their first child is, statistically speaking, as cash poor as they're ever going to be. They have the highest need for income —for bills, student loans, a down payment on their first home —and you're taking about 13% of that precious money right off the top to pay for your Social Security and Medicare right now.

Meanwhile, you and your senior citizens are the wealthiest age group in America. More than 80% of you own a home —a higher percentage than any other age group— and your net worth is more than $200,000 on average. According to the AARP, Americans over 50 are responsible for half of all consumer spending a well. You've got the money, Granny, and you're spending it.

So why are you lashing out at anyone who suggests changing the system for those young workers paying your way? Nobody's talking about taking away your Social Security (though the fair-minded among us wonder why millionaires who happen to be 65 should get a check paid for by minimum-wage workers). All we're talking about is allowing these young workers to set aside some of the money they're paying now in a personal, investment account. You get your check. They get to have a more prosperous future. Why are you and the AARP fighting against that?


Uncle Sam.

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My, what language! Have you been watching Deadwood? I've tried to remain positive because I believe it's in everyone's interest to fix Social Security for the next generation. But getting angry won't change the facts: You know it's not your money. You know young people are getting ripped off. You know Social Security starts losing money in 15 years and goes completely broke 20 or so years after that. And yet you reject even the idea that there's a problem.

What else can be said? You know me, Granny. I'm not going to give up. As usual, I'll find a way to deal with these problems somehow. I was just hoping the "Greatest Generation" would stop fighting against a brighter future for the next one.

Uncle Sam.

PS —Matlock sucks.

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JWR contributor Michael Graham is a talk show host and author of the highly acclaimed "Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War." To comment, please click here.


© 2005, Michael Graham