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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 Nov. 24, 2010 / 17 Kislev, 5771

Helicopter Ben Whirls On

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You'd think any country that had gone through hyperinflation would be aware of the dangers thereof. And you'd be right. No one has been more critical of this administration's inflationary policies than the Germans. They remember the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic -- much better, apparently, than we Americans remember the stagflation of the Carter Years.

To quote Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's current finance minister: "It doesn't add up when the Americans accuse the Chinese of currency manipulation and then ... artificially lower the value of the dollar."

But that's the whole point of Ben Bernanke's grand strategy as chairman of the Federal Reserve System. He says, and doubtless believes, that what the American economy, and maybe the world's, needs right now is a little inflation. There is, of course, no such thing as a little inflation. Any more than a lady can be a little pregnant. It is in the nature of inflation to grow. Till just a little inflation becomes a lot. (Recommended Reading: "A Tiger by the Tail," Friedrich Hayek's classic treatise on, or rather against, inflation.)

Not just inflation but the expectation of inflation, says Doctor Bernanke, is a good thing. As he told a conference of fellow gurus at Jackson Hole (they always meet in the best places), "an increase in inflation expectations could become a benefit."

The great apostle of inflation in our time, Paul Krugman, has it all worked out. Call it Krugmanomics, which is not to be confused with real-world economics any more than Dr. Krugman's Nobel for his earlier, scholarly papers is to be confused with the slapdash punditry on display in his newspaper column.

Professor Krugman is often described as a Keynesian, but that's a libel on John Maynard Keynes, who understood the dangers of inflation early on. (See his "The Economic Consequences of the Peace," published in 1919, for an early warning against what he called "inflationism.")

Ben Bernanke seems to have read his Krugman. It would be more assuring if he were reading Milton Friedman, who caught on to this game long ago. As the Carter Years neared their sad anticlimax, it was Milton Friedman who warned that, instead of being a cure for unemployment, inflation would only bring more of it down the road.

The great rhetorical advantage of the inflationists is that, if their policies don't work, and one economic stimulus after another fails to stimulate the economy, at least to the extent they promised, then they can explain it's only because not enough of their advice was taken. Not enough money was printed!

Much like the player at the roulette table who keeps doubling his bet every time he loses, the inflationist believes that all he has to do is double down and eventually he'll win a fortune. Of course it'll be in worthless currency by then, but why spoil the fun by mentioning that minor detail?

Inflation is the quick fix that doesn't fix, not for long. It's a remedy that only aggravates the disease. Lest we forget, it wasn't till the Reagan Recession drained the inflation out of the economy that the long-running Reagan Recovery began.

But try telling that to Ben Bernanke, aka Helicopter Ben, who earned that sobriquet in honor of the theory that the economy could be strengthened and prosperity assured just by increasing the money supply -- much like dropping currency out of a helicopter.

Or as Dr. Bernanke once put it in an all too revealing footnote to an academic paper, "people know that inflation erodes the real value of the government's debt and, therefore, that it is in the interest of the government to create some inflation."

Now that he's chairman of the Fed, he can create a lot of it, and he doesn't need a helicopter to do it, just the authority to buy another $600 billion's worth of Treasury bonds.

If anybody questions the wisdom of that approach -- Barack Obama certainly doesn't; indeed, the president supports it -- then Chairman Bernanke can point out that, however deep the government goes into debt, we only owe the money to ourselves!

Besides, these bonds are guaranteed, aren't they? Right. Just the way Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's were. No wonder people no longer use the expression, "sound as a dollar."

To be fair, the president is scarcely unconcerned when it comes to matters fiscal and commercial. Just the other day, speaking from Jakarta, that key listening post when it comes to American monetary policy, Mr. Obama warned that the global economy is becoming unbalanced. He took especial aim at countries that are "intervening significantly in the currency markets to maintain their advantage." That's telling off the Fed. If unintentionally.

If there's one thing this administration is out to supply in even greater abundance than ever cheaper dollars, it's unintentional irony.

Chairman Bernanke is a font of irony all by himself. Last weekend, he was lecturing the Chinese about how they're unbalancing the global economy by keeping their currency artificially low. Which is much the same policy he advocates for this country -- as the Chinese, Germans, Brazilians and others at the Seoul summit were quick to point out, Dr. Bernanke isn't about to prescribe his own medicine (Keep your currency strong!) for the Fed. That would risk being consistent.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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