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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 January 23, 2008 / 16 Shevat 5768

Dangerous demagoguery, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Everybody expects politicians to lie, especially during an election year. You can bet the rent money on it.


Among the many lies we can expect to hear this election year, none will be bigger or more often repeated, in the media as well as by politicians, than the lie that there is a widening income gap between the rich and the poor.


Why is that a lie, when there are so many statistics that seem to substantiate it?


Let's start at square one and take it a step at a time.


First of all, there is a fundamental difference between statistical categories and flesh-and-blood human beings.


When there is a growing disparity between one statistical category and another statistical category over time, that does not mean that there is a corresponding growing disparity between flesh-and-blood human beings over time, since human beings move from one statistical category to another.


The statistical categories in this case are income brackets. There is no question that incomes in the top income brackets have risen both absolutely and relative to the bottom income brackets.


The joker is that millions of people move from one income bracket to another.


The even bigger joker is that taxpayers whose incomes were in the bottom 20 percent in 1996 had a 91 percent increase in incomes by 2005.


Meanwhile, taxpayers in the top one-hundredth of one percent — "the rich" or "superrich" if you believe politicians and the media — had their incomes drop by 26 percent over those very same years.


Obviously, when millions of people's incomes nearly double in a decade, many of them move up out of the bottom income bracket. Similarly, when other people who were at the top see their income drop by about one-fourth, many of them drop out of that bracket.


When we talk about "the rich" and "the poor" we mean rich and poor human beings, not rich and poor statistical brackets. Yet politicians and the media treat people and statistical categories as if they were the same thing.


Part of the reason is that data on statistical brackets are more numerous and easier to find, whether from Census Bureau statistics or from a variety of other sources.


Data based on following actual flesh-and-blood individuals over time are, however, also available. The statistics quoted above are from the Treasury Department, which has people's income tax returns, so it is no problem for them to follow the same people over the years.


You can check out the numbers for yourself in a November 13, 2007 report from the Treasury Department titled "Income Mobility in the United States from 1996 to 2005." You can find a summary of the same data in a Wall Street Journal editorial that same day.


These are not the only data that tell a diametrically opposite story from the usual political and media story that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.


A previous Treasury Department study showed similar patterns in individual income changes between 1979 and 1988.


Moreover, a study conducted at the University of Michigan, following the same individuals over an even longer span of time, likewise found most people moving from income bracket to income bracket over time — especially among those who began in the bottom 20 percent.


The University of Michigan Panel Survey on Income Dynamics showed that, among people who were in the bottom 20 percent income bracket in 1975, only 5 percent were still in that category in 1991. Nearly six times as many of them were now in the top 20 percent in 1991.


There was a summary of the University of Michigan data in the 1995 annual report of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which also issued an excerpt titled "By Our Own Bootstraps."


Among the intelligentsia, it is fashionable to sneer at income mobility as a "Horatio Alger myth" — and, as someone once said, you cannot refute a sneer. But, among people who have not yet abandoned facts for rhetoric, it is worth stopping to consider whether they are being played for fools by politicians and much of the media.

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 Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

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