Home
In this issue
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 21, 2010 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Dems are the French Party

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Only in France could a labor action sound like a tasty appetizer. They call it "escargot," but they're not referring to snails in a buttery/garlic sauce. No, this escargot refers to the practice of truckers who work in teams to snarl traffic by driving at a snail's pace. Infuriated drivers cannot get around them.

Those were among the milder tactics on display in France during the past week as more than a million Frenchmen (according to Interior Ministry estimates) engaged in strikes, demonstrations and protests that often turned violent. The streets have been thronged with the apparently always-summonable union workers and students. Fuel depots have been blockaded, leaving a third of the nation's gas stations empty. Motorcycles and cars have been torched, bus shelters smashed, and stores looted around the country (protesters presumably don't want to let a crisis go to waste). More than 1,400 arrests have been made over the past week, and 62 police have been injured. Trucks have blocked tunnels, and 69 ships sit at anchor in Marseilles harbor unable to dock due to the strike at oil terminals. Those aboard ship may be better off though, because the sanitation workers strike has caused stinking piles of trash to push skyward on Marseilles' streets.

This spectacle of French petulance is in response to the government's proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. Life expectancy in France is 81 years. But that modest proposal (too modest, actually, as it will only buy France eight years before the pension system again plunges into insolvency) is enough to spark millions of cris de coeur. Work an extra two years? C'est insupportable! (Across the channel, the British are imposing deep benefit cuts without, so far, eliciting tantrums.)

Democrats in the United States must be wishing that their French brothers would pipe down, at least until after Nov. 2, because American voters may notice that everything the Democrats want for America is what France already has.

Years of socialist legislation have shackled France's economy and depressed growth. Between 1980 and 2000, only Greece and Germany grew more slowly (in Germany's case, reunification took its toll). French law mandates a "livable" minimum wage, with the result that jobs are comfortable for those who have them but often unobtainable for those who don't. Because the French also make it extremely difficult to fire people, employers are reluctant to hire. The unemployment rate hovers at around 10 percent. But for the young, the rate is closer to 25 percent. And for African and Arab immigrants, 50 percent is the norm.

The French government has an active "industrial policy," guiding "investment" in favored companies and industries. Employment is highly regulated. Until 2008, the government required that workers be asked to toil no more than 35 hours per week and guaranteed a month of paid vacation each year. The health care delivery system is public. And taxes are high -- a marginal rate of 50 percent -- among the highest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But France is deeply in debt and faces an aging population. In order to maintain its AAA bond rating, the French government is frantic to find economies. Thirty-five years of uninterrupted deficits have driven France's gross debt to 1.4 trillion euros, equivalent to about 86 percent of GDP, according to Bloomberg news. (We are not far behind, with debt equivalent to 67 percent of GDP.)

But all of those goodies distributed by the state -- all those free lunches -- have significantly corrupted France's civic culture to the point where any cut in benefits, even a trifling change in the retirement age, is violently resisted. One protester, Reuters reports, carried a sign reading, "To hell with the national debt! We'll give them nothing and we don't give a damn about their AAA." Those are socialism's spoiled brats.

What Democrats have most to fear is that American voters will perceive that, indignant denials notwithstanding, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Patty Murray, Joe Sestak, Barbara Boxer, Jerry Brown and the Democratic Party, in general, are indistinguishable from the socialist parties of Europe. With this difference: Where the Europeans are struggling to reverse their leftward lurch, the Democrats are accelerating ours.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles