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 Oct. 21, 2009 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Is this Barack Obama's economy yet?

By Robert Robb

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Congressional Republicans are trying to make it such. Their constant refrain, and taunt, is: "Where are the jobs?"

The Obama administration set itself up for this with foolish predictions about the effectiveness of its stimulus package. White House economists predicted that, if the stimulus package passed, unemployment wouldn't exceed 8 percent and 3.5 million jobs would be created or saved.

The stimulus package passed in February. The unemployment rate is now 9.8 percent. The economy has lost 2.7 million jobs. Republicans are trying to pin the blame for job losses greater than the predictions of White House economists on Obama's policies.

The Obama administration retorts that, without the stimulus, things would be worse. The latest pronouncement from the White House economists, who are still employed, is that the stimulus has in fact already created or saved 1 million jobs.

This is a childish econometric game grownups should ignore. There's utterly no way to measure jobs saved or even come up with a reasoned estimate, not that reasoned estimates have proved to be the Obama administration's forte.

The stimulus has produced very few jobs directly. So, virtually all of the Obama claim has to be of jobs saved. There are 131 million non-farm jobs in the United States. So, which ones would have disappeared if the stimulus package hadn't passed? There's no place to even begin an intellectually honest inquiry into that question.

So, it's a fair conclusion that, so far, the stimulus plan has been a bust. But that's different than saying that Obama is to blame for the current high rate of unemployment or the increase in it since he became president. In fact, there are deep economic corrections taking place beyond the ministrations of politicians. The alternative policies pushed by Republicans wouldn't have altered this contour much either.

American consumers have significantly retrenched in the wake of the housing bubble bursting. Overall consumer spending has been rather stagnant but a more enlightening indication comes from state sales tax figures. States try to tax the tangible things consumers buy. According to the Rockefeller Institute, state sales tax collections are down 9.5 percent over the previous year.

Businesses have responded to this contraction in consumer demand by shedding jobs, costs and inventories. They've done a good job of it, which is why the stock market is recovering.

Obama didn't cause the housing bubble while in the Illinois legislature. Obama didn't cause the housing bubble to burst while he was in the U.S. Senate. And his stimulus package hasn't caused the contraction in consumer demand.

Politicians don't want to say it because people don't want to hear it. But there's not much government can do during periods of significant economic corrections except expand the safety net to help people cope.

If government gives skittish consumers money directly through rebates, they save it or use it to retire debt. And, as the stimulus experience demonstrates, government just moves too slowly and clumsily to effectively compensate for a drop in aggregate demand, as classical Keynesian economics calls for.

This nonsensical economic blame game is a bipartisan indulgence in cynical opportunism. Democrats blamed George W. Bush for a recession that began in March, 2001, two months after Bush became president and before any of his economic policies were enacted into law.

That's not to say that politicians don't have considerable influence on the longer-term economic trajectory. Obama is pursuing many policies that are likely to lead to sluggish economic performance even after this economic correction in reaction to the bursting of the housing bubble runs its course.

If Obama's policies are adopted or still under active consideration and in two years the economy is still sluggish, he can fairly be held partially to blame.

But not for the current high rate of unemployment.

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JWR contributor Robert Robb is a columnist for The Arizona Republic. Comment by clicking here.

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