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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 Aug 9, 2012 / 21 Menachem-Av, 5772

Mitt, more gaffes like this, please

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the few things Americans on both sides of the partisan divide can agree on is that this election is shaping up to be vexingly petty. The hunt for gaffes -- some real, many imagined -- has taken over. Romney's recent overseas tour, we are told, produced three: an impolitic, if defensible, statement about Britain's preparations for the Olympics; a statement about the importance of culture in economic development; and when an aide to Romney dressed down a reporter with an inflated sense of entitlement.

Not only is that list pathetic in its own right, in the rush to paint Romney's campaign as hapless, the press and partisans glossed over a philosophical insight worthy of a presidential debate.

In a thoughtful discussion about Israeli prosperity, particularly in comparison to neighboring Palestinians, Romney cited the work of Harvard economic historian David Landes, who had concluded after a lifetime of study that culture was the greatest single factor in explaining a society's successes and failures. "Culture makes all the difference," Romney said, paraphrasing Landes. The Palestinian Authority immediately cried "racism," and their complaints were taken as proof that Romney's diplomatic skills are wanting, as if diplomacy is all about telling countries what they want to hear and offending no one. Does anyone honestly believe that the Palestinians -- half ruled by the murderous terrorists of Hamas, half ruled by the kleptocratic thugs of the Palestinian Authority -- lack cultural impediments to peace and prosperity? Really?

Outside the hothouses of the election season and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, virtually no one disputes the importance of culture. If you've only read the Cliffs Notes to Max Weber's foundational "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism," you'd know this was an utterly defensible, if not wholly uncontroversial, observation.

Though conservatives are more likely to tout this fact than liberals, the truth is virtually every serious liberal believes it to be true to one extent or another. When you hear liberal politicians celebrate diversity as essential to a 21st century economy, they are making a point about culture. When they lament the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow as a partial cause for the various challenges facing the black community, they are making an argument about culture. When they talk about the "culture of corruption" on Wall Street, they're not talking about advances in computerized trading.

In recent years, economists have focused on "intangible capital" -- the wealth of a nation not captured by statistics about such things as industrial production, oil reserves and real estate values.

In 2006, the World Bank issued a study, "Where is the Wealth of Nations?", which found that "natural capital" (croplands, gold deposits, etc.) and "produced capital" (cars, roads, iPads, etc) amount to a small fraction of a nation's wealth.

Researchers concluded that worldwide, "natural capital accounts for 5 percent of total wealth, produced capital for 18 percent and intangible capital 77 percent."

In 2000, the richest country in the world on a per capita basis was Switzerland. But only 1 percent of its riches were attributable to natural resources, making it physically poorer than many Third World countries. All of Switzerland's expensive watches, chocolates and other forms of produced capital added only 15 percent of its wealth. Meanwhile, intangible capital -- its laws, respect for law, industriousness, skills, customs and expectations -- provide 84 percent of Switzerland's wealth.

Think of it this way. We all know the saying about giving a man a fish vs. teaching a man to fish. Well, who's richer? A lazy man who doesn't know how to fish with 10 flounders in his fridge, or a fishless but industrious man who knows how to fish?

Now, just because it is a simple truth that culture is incredibly important -- vital -- to economic success, doesn't mean it's a simple phenomenon. Cultures are complex things. Palestinian culture -- such as Arab culture generally, according to the U.N. Report on Arab development -- has many problems, but the causes and remedies of those problems are worth debating, without tired whining about "racism." Cultures can produce prosperity, but cultural changes, often driven by government, can erode prosperity -- just look at Greece and Spain today.

What is clear is the fact that cultural factors are inextricably tied to a productive society. For instance, researchers show that low-skilled Mexican laborers become 10 to 20 times more productive simply by crossing the border into the U.S.

This could have been the basis for an informative and revealing debate between the two campaigns. President Obama, who (outside of education) emphasizes policies tied to tangible capital, has long inveighed against the culture of what he considers excessive capitalism (in his memoirs he describes working in the private sector as serving "behind enemy lines"). Romney argues that the American tradition of free enterprise needs to be renewed.

Rather than get bogged down in the tired "gaffe" storyline, wouldn't it have been better to have both candidates explore this idea more?

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