May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
June 7, 2009
15 Sivan 5769
Recovery, meet sobriety
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.
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