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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 June 7, 2009 15 Sivan 5769

Recovery, meet sobriety

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Noting that people "criticize me for harping on the obvious," Calvin Coolidge justified that practice by saying, "If all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves." Consider what individual Americans know they ought to do, and what their government should know not to do.


The nation could subtract from its health-care bill a significant portion of the costs caused by violence, vehicular accidents, AIDS, coronary artery disease, lung cancer and Type 2 diabetes resulting from obesity. All six problems are significantly related to known risky behavior, which can change.


Visa, the credit card company, recently reported a behavioral change that went remarkably unremarked: In the fourth quarter of 2008, for the first time ever, the dollar volume of purchases made with its debit cards — they deduct funds immediately from checking accounts, rather than allowing card users to carry debt — exceeded the dollar volume of its credit card transactions.


Suppose Americans begin living within their means. Will this marvel complicate the nation's biggest domestic challenge, the task of achieving and sustaining the rapid economic growth necessary for generating revenue to fund pension and medical entitlements for an aging population?


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The nation now is 17 months into the demographic deluge that began in January 2008 when the leading edge of the wave of 78 million baby boomers began exercising the preposterous entitlement to collect Social Security at age 62, as most Social Security recipients do. In 1935, when Social Security was enacted, no one envisioned it supporting most retirees for a third of their adult lives. So, should Americans shop until the boomers drop?


During recent periods of strong growth, 70 percent of economic activity has been personal consumption. If Americans' new sobriety — more saving, less spending — survives the first tantalizing green shoots of recovery, can the recovery continue? It will not be killed by moderate thrift, because money saved does not disappear under mattresses; much of it goes into institutions that put it to work. The personal savings rate rose to 5.7 percent in April, the highest since 1995. It was 9 percent during the 1980s boom.


The world economy's condition is so weak that this year, global consumption of electricity is set to decline for the first time since 1945. Using a defibrillator as large as the sum of money being thrown at the U.S. economy will somewhat quicken its pulse. But a patient cannot become healthy attached to a defibrillator. If the economy relapses, three causes might be: protectionism, refusal to allow creative destruction and rising long-term interest rates.


The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 ignited reciprocal protectionism that suffocated global trade and deepened the Depression. The cap-and-trade legislation passed recently by a House committee is Smoot-Hawley in drag: It contains provisions for tariffs on imports designated "carbon-intensive" — goods manufactured under less carbon-restrictive rules than those of the proposed U.S. cap-and-trade regime. Eco-protectionism is a recipe for reciprocity.


The administration's deepening involvement in designing and marketing automobiles through two crippled companies ignores this truth: Capitalism is a profit-and-loss system, and the creative destruction it produces is supposed to clear away failures such as Chrysler, freeing capital for more productive uses.


Recently, Standard and Poor's noted that Britain's ballooning need to borrow might cost the country its AAA credit rating, which would raise its cost of borrowing. Britain's deficit this year is expected to be at least 12.4 percent of its gross domestic product. America's is scheduled to be more than 13 percent. Years of such government borrowing might crowd private-sector borrowers out of credit markets and raise long-term interest rates.


Trillions of dollars of capital are being allocated sub-optimally, by politically tainted government calculations rather than by the economic rationality of markets. Hence the nation's prospects for long-term robust growth — and for funding its teetering architecture of entitlements — are rapidly diminishing.


The president's astonishing risk-taking satisfies the yearning of a presidency-fixated nation for a great man to solve its problems. But as Coolidge said, "It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man." What the country needs today to shrink its problems is not presidential greatness. Rather, it needs individuals to do what they know they ought to do, and government to stop doing what it should know causes or prolongs problems.

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.

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