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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 December 9, 2013 / 6 Teves, 5774

Inequality far worse than economic

By Mark Steyn



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One consequence of the botched launch of Obamacare is that it has, judging from his plummeting numbers with “millennials,” diminished Barack Obama’s cool. It’s not merely that the website isn’t state-of-the-art, but that the art it’s flailing to be state of is that of the mid-20th century social program. The emperor has hipster garb, but underneath he’s just another Commissar Squaresville. So, health care being an irredeemable downer for the foreseeable future, this week the president pivoted (as they say) to “economic inequality,” which will be, he assures us, his principal focus for the rest of his term. And what’s his big idea for this new priority? Stand well back: He wants to increase the minimum wage!

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos of Amazon (a nongovernment website) is musing about delivering his products to customers across the country (and the planet) within hours by using drones.

Drones! If there’s one thing Obama can do, it’s drones. He’s renowned across Yemen and Waziristan as the Domino’s of drones. If he’d thought to have your health insurance cancellation notices dropped by drone, Obamacare might have been a viable business model. Yet, even in Obama’s sole area of expertise and dominant market share, the private sector is already outpacing him.

Who has a greater grasp of the economic contours of the day after tomorrow – Bezos or Obama? My colleague Jonah Goldberg notes that the day before the president’s speech on “inequality,” Applebee’s announced that it was introducing computer “menu tablets” to its restaurants. Automated supermarket checkout, 3D printing, driverless vehicles – what has the “minimum wage” to do with any of that? To get your minimum wage increased, you first have to have a minimum-wage job.

In my book (which I shall forbore to plug, but is available at Amazon, and with which Jeff Bezos will be happy to drone your aunt this holiday season), I write:

“Once upon a time, millions of Americans worked on farms. Then, as agriculture declined, they moved into the factories. When manufacturing was outsourced, they settled into low-paying service jobs or better-paying cubicle jobs – so-called ‘professional services’ often deriving from the ever-swelling accounting and legal administration that now attends almost any activity in America. What comes next?

“Or, more to the point, what if there is no ‘next’?”

What do millions of people do in a world in which, in Marxian terms, “capital” no longer needs “labor”? America’s liberal elite seem to enjoy having a domestic-servant class on hand, but, unlike the Downton Abbey crowd, are vaguely uncomfortable with having them drawn from the sturdy yokel stock of the village, and thus favor, to a degree only the Saudis can match, importing their maids and pool boys from a permanent subordinate class of cheap foreign labor. Hence the fetishization of the “undocumented,” soon to be reflected in the multimillion bipartisan amnesty for those willing to do “the jobs Americans won’t do.”



So what jobs will Americans get to do? We dignify the new age as “the knowledge economy,” although, to the casual observer, it doesn’t seem to require a lot of knowledge. One of the advantages of Obamacare, according to Nancy Pelosi, is that it will liberate the citizenry: “Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.” It’s certainly true that employer-based health coverage distorts the job market, but what’s more likely in a world without work? A new golden age of American sculpture and opera? Or millions more people who live vicariously through celebrity gossip and electronic diversions? One of the differences between government health care in America compared to, say, Sweden is the costs of obesity, heart disease, childhood diabetes, etc. In an ever-more sedentary society where fewer and fewer have to get up to go to work in the morning, is it likely that those trends will diminish or increase?

Consider Vermont. Unlike my own state of New Hampshire, it has a bucolic image: Holsteins, dirt roads, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Ben & Jerry’s, Howard Dean … . And yet the Green Mountain State has appalling levels of heroin and meth addiction, and the social chaos that follows. Geoffrey Norman began a recent essay in The Weekly Standard with a vignette from a town I know very well – St. Johnsbury, population 7,600, motto “Very Vermont,” the capital of the remote North-East Kingdom hard by the Quebec border and as far from urban pathologies as you can get. Or so you’d think. But on a recent Saturday morning, Norman reports, there were more cars parked at the needle-exchange clinic than at the farmers’ market. In Vermont, there’s no inner-city underclass, because there are no cities, inner or outer; there’s no disadvantaged minorities, because there’s only three blacks and seven Hispanics in the entire state; there’s no nothing. Which is the real problem.

Large numbers of Vermonters have adopted the dysfunctions of the urban underclass for no reason more compelling than that there’s not much else to do. Once upon a time, St. Johnsbury made Fairbanks scales, but now a still-handsome town is, as Norman puts it, “hollowed out by the loss of work and purpose.” Their grandparents got up at four in the morning to work the farm, and their great-great-great-whatever-parents slogged up the Connecticut River, cleared the land, and built homes and towns and a civilization in the wilderness. And now? A couple of months back, I sat in the café in St. Johnsbury and overheard a state official and a chamber of commerce official discuss enthusiastically how the town could access some federal funds to convert an abandoned building into welfare housing.

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“Work” and “purpose” are intimately connected: Researchers at the University of Michigan, for example, found that welfare payments make one unhappier than a modest income honestly earned and used to provide for one’s family. “It drains too much of the life from life,” said Charles Murray in a speech in 2009. “And that statement applies as much to the lives of janitors – even more to the lives of janitors – as it does to the lives of CEOs.” Self-reliance – “work” – is intimately connected to human dignity – “purpose.”

So what does every initiative of the Obama era have in common? Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security disability expansion, 50 million people on food stamps. The assumption is that mass, multigenerational dependency is now a permanent feature of life. A coastal elite will devise ever-smarter and slicker trinkets, and pretty much everyone else will be either a member of the dependency class or the vast bureaucracy that ministers to them. And, if you’re wondering why every Big Government program assumes you’re a feeble child, that’s because a citizenry without “work and purpose” is ultimately incompatible with liberty. The elites think a smart society will be wealthy enough to relieve the masses from the need to work. In reality, it would be neofeudal, but with fatter, sicker peasants. It wouldn’t just be “economic inequality,” but a far more profound kind, and seething with resentments.

One wouldn’t expect the governing class to be as farsighted as visionaries like Bezos. But it’s hard to be visionary if you’re pointing in the wrong direction. Which is why the signature achievement of Obama’s “hope and change” combines 1940s British public health theories with 1970s Soviet supermarket delivery systems. But don’t worry: Maybe one day soon, your needle-exchange clinic will be able to deliver by drone. Look out below.


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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is a syndicated columnist. Comment by clicking here.

© 2013, Mark Steyn

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