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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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, 2011 29 Shevat, 5771

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The 2008 financial crash originated with a housing bubble. Not long ago, the cheap money policies of the Federal Reserve, the infusion of trillions of dollars in new foreign investment, and the misguided policies of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae all conspired to extend to millions of Americans lots of easy cash for inflated houses that they could hardly afford. Owning a house was seen as a "right" rather than the just rewards of household sacrifice, delayed gratification and budgetary discipline.

Builders, lenders, realtors and bureaucrats all got in on the easy-money Ponzi scheme -- until a few noticed that the emperor had no clothes and that rather pedestrian homes were hardly worth what unqualified purchasers had paid for them. Financial hysteria followed when shaky borrowers began to miss exorbitant mortgage payments, walked away, and lenders panicked. The subsequent meltdown is history.

There is a similar pension bubble rising as well. There is perhaps as much as $6 trillion owed in retirement pledges to Americans, $500 billion in California alone. That tab under present conditions simply cannot be met. For the last 30 years, politicians outbid each other to offer more lavish retirement packages to union members and public employees -- more eager for their votes than for ensuring the payment of what they had promised. Receiving a generous retirement package was considered a right rather than an investment predicated on past savings coupled with modest interest and dividends.

There may already be an immediate $1 trillion shortfall in meeting what is owed current retirees. Pensioners on the receiving end are becoming more numerous, older and more affluent, while the younger workers on the paying end are becoming less numerous and poorer. At some point, a city, a state or perhaps the Social Security system itself is going to announce there is no more money. Then, if there is not another financial crisis and Wall Street meltdown, the fantasy will end with workers paying higher contributions, retiring later and receiving less.

Then there is the higher-education bubble, as collective student debt nears $1 trillion with no guarantee that it will be paid back. Lots of poor college students and their strapped parents are floating huge government-subsidized student loans to pay for ever more costly bachelor's degrees that no longer ensure that the recipients are either well educated, will find a job upon graduation or, if employed, will be better-paid than the vocationally trained. Going to college has somehow become seen as a national right rather than a privilege predicated on superior academic achievement, financial sacrifice and continued academic discipline.

There are disturbing commonalities to these expanding bubbles -- and others like the recently enacted health care entitlement on the way. The rich and connected seem exempt from the impending reckoning, and the poor assume government will offer them debt relief. Those in between are on their own and will have to pay more for receiving less.

America is not creating enough wealth to justify the notion that everyone should go to college, get a higher-paying job than their parents, buy a nice, affordable house, and retire earlier and with more money than did prior generations.

We have forgotten what wealth is -- and how tenuous the good life is. Riches are created by educated and skilled workers who directly translate natural resources into commodities that make life easier. The nonproductive sector in government, law and banking must facilitate that process with efficient and transparent financial and political systems.

Instead, we are failing to provide our college graduates with unique skills that make them rare assets in the global competitive arena. Meanwhile, our more talented and better-trained workers are suing, subsidizing and regulating more than ever -- instead of searching for more oil and gas, supplying more water to productive farmland, fast-tracking nuclear power plants, manufacturing machines and consumer goods, or devising new and more efficient ways to help others to produce such food, fuel and products. In other words, we are living the good life in the abstract that we have not quite earned in the concrete.

America is a naturally rich country. Unlike Russia, China, Egypt or Greece, it is stable, transparent, tolerant and free of civil strife. The result is that we are not doomed to see these bubbles expand and burst with the attendant social unrest. We need only return to our old American creed that wealth is created only with hard work and delayed gratification. In other words, America must get back to producing real, rather than imaginary, riches and ignore pleasing rhetoric that masks unpleasant reality -- the faster the better.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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