In this issue
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 August 11, 2009 / 21 Menachem-Av 5769

Response to manipulation is education

By Jack Kelly


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last Friday morning (8/7) the unemployment in July declined a tenth of a percentage point from June, to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent.

This welcome news prompted President Obama to declare a few hours later that his administration has "rescued our economy from catastrophe."

Mr. Obama should be careful about overstatement. His overpromising about the $786 billion "stimulus" bill passed in February (his economic team said it would keep unemployment from rising above eight percent) is a big reason why so many are wary of his health care reform promises. The BLS reported another 247,000 Americans lost their jobs in July.

This is a distinct improvement over June, when 467,000 were laid off or fired. But how can the unemployment rate go down if the number of unemployed is still going up?

The reason is because the BLS doesn't count the number of unemployed workers who've become so discouraged they've stopped looking for work. According to the BLS, 796,000 people stopped looking for work in July.

That amounts to two tenths of a percent of the labor force. Had they been included in the BLS' calculations, the unemployment rate would have increased to 9.6 percent instead of declining to 9.4 percent.

If the number of discouraged workers who quit looking for work in the months before July were added in, the unemployment rate would be still higher. The BLS offers an unemployment rate that includes discouraged workers. It increased to 10.2 percent in July from 10.1 percent in June.

According to the BLS, the number of the long term unemployed (27 weeks or more) climbed by 584,000 in July to five million. The long term unemployed now account for a third of all unemployed persons, the BLS said.

Overall, the percentage of Americans of working age with jobs declined in July to 59.4 percent from 59.5 percent in June, 60.5 percent in January, the BLS said.

Things are actually a little worse than this number indicates because, according to the BLS, there were 8.8 million people working part time in July who really want to work full time, but can't find full time jobs.

The BLS has been calculating the unemployment rate the same way for a long time, so there is no chicanery here. But it's important to know the real rate of joblessness, because consumer spending is the great engine of our economy, and people with jobs spend more than do people without them. Also, the unemployed are more likely to default on credit card payments, home mortgages and auto loans.

Things could get worse in a month or so, because about then people who lost their jobs last fall will be running out of eligibility for unemployment insurance. Congress will have to expand eligibility or their already meager incomes will plummet.

If more people default on their credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, that'll put more pressure on banks. As you know, many of our largest banks required a massive federal bailout after the residential housing bubble burst.

Most experts (the very same experts who were caught by surprise when the housing bubble burst) think home prices are at or near the bottom. This is one reason why the stock market has been rising.

But, the Wall Street Journal reported July 21, commercial mortgages (on office buildings, shopping malls, hotels and apartments) are now failing at the fastest rate in nearly 20 years. This is an $8 trillion market.

And, as they did with home loans, banks have sliced up commercial loans into derivatives that multiply risk.

It's chiefly regional banks rather than the "too big to fail" national giants such as Citibank or Bank of America that are holding the shaky commercial paper. But if one or two of them were to fail, it could start the bank run we narrowly averted last fall, because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is nearly broke. In theory, the FDIC insures our bank deposits up to $250,000. In practice, the FDIC has about $15 billion on hand to insure $13.5 trillion in deposits, or about a penny for every $9.

"A large number" of bank failures may occur through 2010, the chairman of the FDIC, Sheila Bair, said in a letter in March.

I hope the economy has turned the corner. But administration claims that it has may be as misleading as claims unemployment has actually declined.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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