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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 July 17, 2013/ 10 Meanachem-Av, 5773

Strangling Life

By John Stossel




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are now 175,000 pages' worth of federal laws. Local governments add more.

I'm not so cynical that I think politicians pass laws just to control us. Someone always thinks: "This law is needed. This will protect people."

But the cumulative effect of so many rules is to strangle life.

Yet lawyers like George Washington Law professor John Banzhaf want more rules.

Banzhaf requires his law students to sue people, just for practice.

"And we keep winning!" he bragged to me.

They do. But his legal "victories" hardly benefit the public.

He and his students have sued Washington, D.C., hairdressers and dry cleaners for "discrimination" because they charge women more.

Of course, they charge women more for a reason. Women's haircuts take longer. "Women get pampered," said hairdresser Carolyn Carter. "Men just get a haircut." Women's clothing is more varied and doesn't always fit dry-cleaning machines. The market sorts out these differences through differing prices.

But intrusive Washington, D.C., politicians write laws that say, "Discrimination ... cannot be justified by ... comparative characteristics of one group as opposed to another."

So the poor defendants have to spend thousands on legal fees, while law students get their "practice." A Korean dry cleaners association "went through three or four high-powered law firms" defending itself, Banzhaf says with pride.



Banzhaf's lawsuits even got "ladies' nights" banned at Washington, D.C., bars. Women liked "ladies' night." Men liked it because it brought more women into bars. Bars liked it; that's why they did it. But the practice violates the lawyers' concept of "equality."

As if his lawsuits weren't obnoxious enough, the real irony is that the cost of the suits is passed on to future customers. Businesses charge more to cover the cost of suits and complying with regulations.

Lawyers like Banzhaf aren't elected, but their actions still govern our choices.

Tibor Machan, professor of business ethics at Chapman University, told me we should object to Banzhaf on principle. "Is it right to manipulate people all the time, to treat them like they're little children? The next step from the nanny state is the petty tyrannical state. And a dictatorial state."

Machan echoes writer C.S. Lewis' point that well-meaning tyrants are even more dangerous than purely selfish ones. Lewis wrote, "Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end."

The conceit of politicians and lawyers is that they think they can manage life through rules. So they keep adding more.

They don't see that these rules gradually wreck life.

Critics of lawsuit abuse focus on the cost of litigation, but the bigger harm is that fear of lawsuits itself deprives us of good things.


  • Drug companies invented a vaccine against Lyme disease, but they won't sell it, because they're scared of lawyers.

  • Fearful medical device makers often stick to old technologies because trying something new, even if it's better, risks a suit.

  • Monsanto developed a substitute for asbestos, a fire-resistant insulation that might save thousands of lives, but decided not to sell it because the company feared it might be sued.


We don't even know how many wonderful life-enhancing products we might have today if innovators didn't live in a climate of fear.

I don't suggest that we should be at the mercy of rip-off artists. Some lawsuits are useful — if businesses commit theft or fraud, they should be sued. But American law encourages suits. In other countries, if you sue and lose, you and your lawyer must pay the court bills of the people you dragged into court.

When I started consumer reporting, I believed that only legal rules could protect us. But it's not true. The rules just give us a false sense of security.

The free market does a better job protecting consumers. Competition protects us.

Repeal most of the laws. Let the market work its magic.

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© 2013, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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