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December 2, 2014

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 March 14, 2014 / 12 Adar II, 5774

Has America Lost Its Grit?

By Mona Charen




JewishWorldReview.com | Amy Chua, the "Tiger Mother" who launched a thousand panic attacks among ambitious but lenient parents, is back with an almost-great book about why some groups achieve spectacular success in America while others languish. Written with her husband Jed Rubenfeld (both are law professors at Yale), "The Triple Package" examines a number of groups who've succeeded in this country and advances a thesis about why groups (and nations) prosper or decline.

The success of Asian-American immigrants (this principally includes people from China, Japan, Korea and India) is legendary. Less familiar is the bounding achievement of Nigerian immigrants. Though they account for only 0.7 percent of the black American population, they comprised 25 percent of the blacks at Harvard Business School last year. Nigerian immigrants are estimated to be 10 percent of America's black physicians. The average family income of Nigerian immigrants is not only above the black average, but above the national average as well.

While we think we know about Asian achievement (who hasn't seen the Asian students walk away with most of the honors at high school graduation ceremonies?), the statistics still have the power to startle. For the last five years, nearly 50 percent of the top prizewinners at the Intel Science Talent Search have been Asian Americans. They constitute "30 to 50 percent of the student bodies at the country's leading music programs." In 2012, of the 141 top-ranked high school students in the country, those designated as "presidential scholars," 48 were Asian-American. On the SAT, Asians score on average 143 points above the norm. Though only 5 percent of the college-age cohort, they represent 19 percent of the study body at Harvard, 16 percent at Yale, 19 percent at Princeton and, well, you get the idea. If there were not an unspoken quota on Asians imposed by universities, they would probably account for half of the students at the leading schools.

The high fliers academically and economically are not only immigrants. Mormons have recently been taking the top spots in the corporate and banking worlds. They have risen to the top at Dell, American Express, Sears, Roebuck, Fisher Price, Lufthansa, Black & Decker and many other companies. Goldman Sachs's third largest office is now in Salt Lake City.

Cubans, Jews, Lebanese, Iranians, blacks from the West Indies and others also excel. Chua and Rubenfeld think they know why. It's three traits that combine to drive achievement: 1) a sense of group superiority; 2) a feeling of insecurity and something to prove; and 3) a capacity for delaying gratification.


All of the groups that have excelled in America share all of these traits, though some are showing diminishing levels of these qualities. Jews, for example, have been losing place to Asians in science prizes, admission to Julliard and other measures of achievement, perhaps, the authors speculate, because they've been in America long enough to feel secure. In fact, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of super achievers do seem to slide toward the mean. Certainly, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants have long since lost their dominant positions in the American elite. They are generations removed from the sense of exceptionalism that motivated the Puritans, for instance, and no longer believe that G0D requires great things from them.

The Chua/Rubenfeld thesis is consistent with the latest social science trends. Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania wrote an influential paper suggesting that grit, not IQ, was the best predictor of success. The authors cycle back several times to the "marshmallow" study, which found that small children who could resist eating a marshmallow for 15 minutes on the promise of getting another were more likely to have life success than their more impulsive peers. Asian Americans, they urge, succeed not because they have higher IQs, but because they spend less time watching TV, playing soccer and hanging out at the mall, and more time drilling their times tables, practicing their violins and reading. The authors' insistence that Asian IQs are no higher than others is debatable. But they are certainly right to highlight the research showing that Asian students with an IQ of 103 get higher grades than white students with same IQ.

Chua and Rubenfeld are careful not to transgress politically sensitive topics, and their obedient liberalism leads them into some embarrassing mistakes, as when they misperceive President Barack Obama's comments about American exceptionalism. Still, their willingness to bash the culture of "self-esteem" and immediate gratification that characterizes so much of American life today is welcome, as is their belief that America is, at its core, a "triple package" nation — if it can find its way back to the traits that made it great.

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Mona Charen Archives

© 2014 Creators Syndicate.

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