In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 Aug. 5, 2014 / 9 Menachem-Av, 5774

Amid current fights, the economy still matters most

By Byron York

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As a news story, the economy has been overshadowed lately by war abroad, a border crisis at home, and the escalating fight between President Obama and congressional Republicans on a variety of fronts.

But in the long run of presidential politics, the economy is still pretty much the only story that really matters, and, while there's been some good news in recent days, there are plenty of troubling indications that today's economic unhappiness will dominate our politics for years to come.

Yes, it's a good thing that the economy grew at an estimated rate of 4 percent in the second quarter of this year, even though it contracted at a rate of 2.1 percent in the first quarter.

And yes, it's a good thing that unemployment is now at 6.2 percent -- down from a high of 10 percent in October 2009 -- even though that reduction partly reflects the discouraged jobless who have left the workforce altogether.

But the bad news is really bad. The Russell Sage Foundation recently released a report showing that for households right in the middle of the American wealth distribution, net worth has declined from $87,992 in 2003 to $56,335 in 2013.

For households in the bottom quarter of the wealth distribution, net worth fell from $10,129 to $3,200 in the same period. And for those households in the lowest 5 percent, the last decade was about falling deeper into the hole; their net worth went from negative $9,749 to negative $27,416.

That kind of damage is not undone in a year, or two, or three. "Through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the losses in wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession," the Sage Foundation study notes. "Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013."

The damage extended beyond those Americans in the middle and below. Although net worth grew for households at the top of the wealth scale, for those in the 75th percentile -- well above the average -- the Sage Foundation found that net worth declined from $302,221 in 2003 to $260,405 in 2013.

Much of the loss for all groups came from a steep decline in home values, but job losses and the depletion of savings hit hard, too. And the net worth news comes on top of Census Bureau data showing that median household income fell from $55,030 in 2000 to $51,371 in 2012. So households not only had to get by with less income, they also felt less of the security that substantial savings and home values bring.

Barring some calamity like Sept. 11, how can our elections be about anything other than the hardships represented by those numbers?

"Economic anger is going to drive our politics for a long, long time," says Stuart Stevens, the political strategist whose candidate, Mitt Romney, struggled to reach disaffected voters. "The 2014 races are more regional and have a lot of different factors, but I can't imagine that the candidate who wins in 2016 won't be the one who best speaks to this."

The Democrats' answer has been a menu of expanded transfer programs. Obamacare is the largest, offering health premium subsidies to those lower on the income scale but burdening many in the middle who either earn too much for a subsidy or for whom cost increases outweigh any subsidy they might receive.

Then there are other transfers: skyrocketing numbers of Americans on disability, food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit and many more. The result, not an unhappy one for Democrats, is that more Americans are dependent on government than ever before.

Republicans are still searching for a response. Some remain wedded to the party's traditional tax-cutting agenda, but a group of conservative reformers believes there's little left to gain from further marginal income tax rate cuts, preferring instead a plan to increase the child tax credit. It's a promising proposal, but controversial -- a Wall Street Journal column called it "a capitulation to the left's inequality and middle-class talking points." Rep. Paul Ryan's new poverty agenda, unveiled last week, is also attracting criticism, although nothing quite so bracing.

Meanwhile, at least many Republicans have learned to say the right thing. One recent morning, with the border debate raging on Capitol Hill, Speaker John Boehner began a press conference, as he always does, with a vow to keep working to produce jobs and economic growth. Even as they fight the battles of the day, Republicans have to remember the big problem they must solve if they are to win in 2016 and beyond.


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