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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 March 11, 2009 / 15 Adar5769

The Fatal Conceit

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We've been rolled again.


Sure, the economy is in bad shape — though the late '70s and early '80s were worse in many ways, but is it true that every economist agrees that massive "stimulus" is the solution?


"A failure to act, and act now, will turn a crisis into a catastrophe," President Obama said.


If someone expresses skepticism, Obama and other political leaders suggest that economists are unanimous in believing that government spending is the only answer.


"We have a consensus that we need a big stimulus package that will jolt the economy back into shape," Obama said.


House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer agreed: "Every economist from right to left, Republican, Democrat, advises that it has to be a very substantial package."


It's a lie. There was no consensus. (Anyway, a consensus doesn't mean something is true.) Finding an economist who opposed government spending as a way to fix the economy was easy. More than 350 signed a petition opposing the bill.


"How is it the government is going to be able to spend a dollar in such a way that it generates a dollar or more in value?" asked George Mason University economist Peter Leeson. "A more likely possibility is that a dollar that government takes out of the private sector is a dollar the private sector doesn't have to spend."


Leeson is referring to the "broken-window" fallacy, which comes from Frederic Bastiat's story about a boy who throws a rock through a shop window. Since the shopkeeper has to buy a new window, some believe the mischief will actually stimulate the local economy. The fallacy lies in overlooking that the shopkeeper would have spent the money some other way if he didn't have to replace the window.


Every penny the government spends will first have to be borrowed from someone in the economy. So where's the stimulus?


It's also quite a conceit to believe that a few men in power are smart enough to know precisely how to spend trillions of your dollars.


"They're exploiting a minor correction in the economy. ... Markets go through corrections all the time," Lydia Ortega of San Jose State University told me.


I pointed out that people say this correction is worse — maybe like the Depression.


"But markets need to go through this correction," she said. "What's happening now, what's making it worse, is that people don't know what's going to happen. There's so much uncertainty generated by the government spending."


The more the government does, the more private investors wait.


"Part of the reason that people aren't spending is they don't know what these characters in Washington are going to do," says Howard Baetjer of Towson University.


"Japan tried six spending packages in the early 1990s. The result? A decade of lost growth," points out Ben Powell of Suffolk University. "It's the government's own policies that contributed to the bubble. The government's not the answer to it."


I wanted to ask the bailout's big boosters about that. Two agreed to talk, Maxine Waters of the House Finance Committee and Majority Leader Hoyer.


Hoyer conceded that he "overstated the case" when he said every economist endorsed government action.


Wasn't the bubble caused by too much debt? I asked.


"No doubt about it." So the answer is more debt?


"Most economists believe that's the case."


This stimulus spending is this going to work?


"I hope so." Might it cause hyperinflation?


"We hope it doesn't. " Well, that's comforting.


"Government can't sit and just twiddle its fingers," Rep. Waters told me. "We have got to interject money into these banks and these systems that help this economy work."


How are you going to pay for it?


"We have borrowed money before. We continue to borrow money, but we pay it back."


She left a few things out. Debt means interest payments and higher taxes in the future. It also means inflation when the Fed prints money to reduce the real value of the debt.


But the politicians are confident that they can wisely spend trillions of your dollars. The arrogance of the political class is stunning.

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JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


© 2009, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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