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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 Oct. 9, 2013/ 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

Obamacare's next round

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For all the acrimony in Washington over Obamacare, there's an intriguing consensus around one issue: the ratchet effect. Neither side uses the term, but both the right and left treat it as an article of faith.

The term was coined by the libertarian economist Robert Higgs. In his book "Crisis and Leviathan," Higgs describes how the state takes on massive new powers during a crisis, usually wars. When the crisis subsides, the state relinquishes some of those powers, but it never gives them all back. This is how the state grows over time.

But the concept has broadened in recent years. On both the right and the left, there's agreement that once you give people a new entitlement, they won't want to let go of it. Government programs become so ingrained, even Tea Party protesters can hold signs saying "Keep government out of Medicare!"

Democrats insist the Affordable Care Act will join the sacred pantheon of programs, alongside Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and opponents say pretty much the same thing.

"If we don't do it now, in all likelihood, Obamacare will never, ever be repealed," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last month. "Why is that? Their plan is to get the American people addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies." Once that happens, he suggests, there's no going back.

President Obama basically agrees. He even cites Cruz, boiling down the senator's criticism to this: "The notion is, we've got to stop it before people like it too much."

What ratchet effect proponents on the right and left get wrong is that popularity is overrated. For starters, popularity alone doesn't justify a program. If Congress passed legislation giving every American a puppy plus $10,000 in cash, the program might be very popular, but that alone wouldn't make it a good idea.

Many conservatives and liberals talk about the entitlement ratchet as if it's an iron law of the universe. But there's precedent for bad ideas -- even entitlements -- being modified or undone. In the 1990s, for example, Washington reformed welfare. In the 1980s, Congress dropped catastrophic health insurance like a hot rock.

And we shouldn't assume that a majority of Americans will like Obamacare once they get to know it. Its list of unintended consequences is already long and still growing. (Just ask the administration officials listening to complaints from organized labor.) If the program lives down to the promise of its website -- already arguably the biggest IT disaster in American history -- then you can be sure it won't be popular.



But, again, popularity is overrated. The relevant economist on this point isn't Higgs but Mancur Olson, who argued that modern societies tend to produce interest groups (also known as lobbies) that undermine the public good for private gain. Virtually everyone wants to get rid of mohair subsidies, but almost no one cares about getting rid of them as much as the subsidy's recipients care about keeping them. Large majorities of Americans oppose racial preferences, but few are willing to take on the activists -- and journalists -- eager to demonize critics of such policies. Head Start doesn't work very well, but it's politically immortal.

The White House hopes that Obamacare will create a coalition of interests -- including such diverse groups as people with preexisting conditions and hospital conglomerates -- that will defend the law, regardless of the social costs.

No one knows if that strategy will work. Obamacare is different than the typical program that concentrates benefits while diffusing burdens. It creates new constituencies eager to protect the law, but it also creates huge constituencies eager to get rid of it (at least for them).

Meanwhile, the supposedly addictive subsidies conservatives fear and liberals are pinning their hopes on don't in fact go to individuals. They go to insurance companies. All consumers see is a discounted insurance plan that may or may not be less expensive than what they used to get or what they hoped to get. And millions of young people are likely to decide it's in their interest to pay the fines and go without insurance.

I have no idea how it all will play out, but one thing is clear already: The fight didn't end on Oct. 1. It heated up.

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