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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 May 22, 2014 / 22 Iyar, 5774

Isn't it time to pick on Piketty?

By Jay Ambrose




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It can happen, I suspect, to any of us. Someone comes along with major thoughtfulness, lays it out in an enticing book that happens to lend aid and comfort to our ideological druthers, and we shout its praises and sneer at those who don't.

I've been there. I've quoted my heroes at length and, on a couple of occasions, embarrassingly learned later of faults and fallacies hidden in the bushes. My question is whether leftists will give up their sneers as critics raise serious questions about a new book by French economist Thomas Piketty.

Called "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," it says capitalism is heading for virtually inevitable catastrophe in the absence of taxing the tarnation out of the rich — or something very close to that. There has seldom been such rejoicing among leftists who clearly see the work as a powerful means of wining political battles, thanks to the well-argued, clearly expressed thesis and research that is nothing short of mountainous.

Piketty's central point is that growth of capital significantly exceeds the rate of economic growth, meaning that income from stocks, bonds and other assets is vastly outstripping the income of labor. For historical reasons, income inequality was held in reasonable check during some periods, he says, but no longer. It is getting crazier all the time, and, to stop the madness, he wants a tax of 80 percent on incomes over $500,000 or maybe a million in highly developed countries and a progressive, global, wealth tax on our assets.

Here comes Martin Feldstein of Harvard. He disputes the thesis, saying capital only grew minutely more than the U.S. economy in recent decades once you take tax rule changes into account. As for a disastrous future, others contend, there are just too many variables to allow reasonable predictions.

Piketty says his proposed confiscatory taxation won't hurt, but critics say it will deter innovative entrepreneurialism and other diligent efforts while enlarging bloated government. He makes it seem the wealth of the rich stays put while critics note the well-off are now paying most of our taxes, generate vast economic activity by spending on their lifestyles and invest in companies that are then enabled to expand and produce more jobs.



Another notable complaint is that Piketty left out something big in assessing U.S. income, namely $2.3 trillion in government transfer payments to the poor and middle class. In the end, it is also noted, the problems of the poor have far less to do with capital than with such social factors as single-parent households.

And hey, if Piketty is right that capital will keep growing at great rates while other income sinks, why not help fix the inequality issue by hitching more wagons to this star? Investing a percentage of Social Security contributions in stocks could pay off big time, right? President George W. Bush was beaten up badly for this idea, but some point to how the Piketty thesis gives extra credit to a proposition that had merit before he spoke up.

John Cassidy, who reviewed "Capital" in the New Yorker, makes a point I especially applaud. He says Piketty barely deals with the incredible economic good happening in the developing world. In 1981, Cassidy says, about 40 percent of everyone lived on one dollar a day. Today, it is 14 percent. In the 1950s, people on average did not live past 42 in poor countries. The life expectancy has now risen to 68. China's economy may be creating new inequalities, but it has raised hundreds of millions out of excruciating destitution.

This brings me to a book that I believe is worthy of more attention than Piketty's. It is Matt Ridley's "The Rational Optimist," which demonstrates how it is exchange, specialization, innovation — the work of free markets and trade — that are leading us not to a forlorn future, but to a great one worldwide if we let it happen.


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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.



© 2013, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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