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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 Dec. 27, 2007 / 18 Teves 5768

Lovin' it all over

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | TO GAUGE THIS pell-mell nation's velocity, visit here with Jim Skinner, CEO of a company on pace to have a net income for 2007 of $3.46 billion, up 12.7 percent, on revenues of almost $23 billion.


The evolution of McDonald's mirrors that of the nation in which it serves 27 million customers a day.


Americans commonly say this or that distinction is "as clear as night and day." Americans, ricocheting around the country around the clock, are erasing the distinction between night and day. Breakfast, the meal most apt to be eaten at home, now accounts for more than 25 percent of U.S. business for McDonald's. More than 90 percent of its restaurants have extended hours — beyond the regular 6 a.m. through 10 p.m. — and almost 35 percent are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, up from less than 10 percent just five years ago.


America is in the third era since its meals began to mirror its mobility. First came the Steak 'n Shake Era. That restaurant chain began downstate in 1934, in the perfectly named town of Normal, Ill., as Americans were getting used to eating out. They were leery of food that came from a kitchen they could not see, so Steak 'n Shake put its grills behind glass in full view of the dining area and adopted the slogan "In sight it must be right."


In 1955, when Ray Kroc launched the McDonald's Era, Americans were doing what Dinah Shore urged them to do, seeing the USA in their Chevrolets, seeking novel experiences — but not in food. When they got out of their cars for nourishment, they wanted no surprises. Hence the rise of franchising — the same food here, there and, eventually, everywhere.


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Now we are in the Snack Wrap Era. Last year McDonald's started selling chicken and other stuff wrapped in tortillas. This product was a response to consumer appetites for something to eat between meals and with one hand on the steering wheel. More and more Americans do not want to get out of their cars: Most of America's McDonald's have drive-through windows, and most of these restaurants sell most of their food through those windows.


McDonald's exemplifies the role of small businesses in Americans' upward mobility. The company is largely a confederation of small businesses: 85 percent of its U.S. restaurants — average annual sales, $2.2 million — are owned by franchisees. McDonald's has made more millionaires, and especially black and Hispanic millionaires, than any other economic entity ever, anywhere.


McDonald's has 14,000 restaurants in America, another 17,000 in 117 other countries. The company will add another 1,000 in 2008, more than 90 percent of them abroad. Such is the power of the McDonald's brand, 48 percent of the people of India were aware of McDonald's before it opened its first restaurant on the subcontinent.


Skinner's job is to maximize shareholder value. Shareholders should be pleased. The value of their stock has more than doubled during his three-year tenure. McDonald's stock will have either the best or second-best (if second, only to Merck & Co.) gain among the Dow industrials this year.


The food fascists are not pleased. Pursing their lips and waxing censorious at the mere mention of McDonald's, they blame it for fat people. But although it might seem peculiar to cite McDonald's customers as evidence of Americans' increasing health consciousness, consider this: Red meat has become suspect and McDonald's now sells as much chicken as beef — 150 percent more chicken in dollar volume than just five years ago.


Do the arithmetic, says Skinner. Americans eat 90 meals a month. The average American, who has 900,000 restaurants to choose from, eats three of those meals at McDonald's. Surely the other 87 meals are more of a problem. Even McDonald's core customers, who eat there 50 times a year, consume more than 1,000 meals elsewhere.


Asked if McDonald's now offers salads because they sell well or to silence those who think McDonald's is causing the nation's obesity epidemic, Skinner candidly and succinctly says: "Both." Still, although its core products remain hamburgers, fries and milkshakes, it sells a lot of salads to the 52 million customers it has every day worldwide.


Kroc, who died in 1984, once said he did not know what his company would be selling in 2000 but he knew it would be selling more of it than anyone else. He was right.


Kroc and Walt Disney — the inventors of the Big Mac and Mickey Mouse, respectively — were born in Chicago 10 months apart and served in the same Red Cross unit in World War I. Quite a state, Illinois.

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.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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