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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 May 26, 2014 / 26 Iyar, 5774

The country looks back to go forward

By David M. Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | In almost every period of our history the national focus has been on the future. The debate about slavery was about the preservation or the abolition of the peculiar institution, not about its origins. The debate about civil rights was about the prerogatives of blacks in a changing nation, not about the roots of prejudice. The debate about Vietnam was about whether the country's fall to Communism would trigger the fall of other Asian dominos, not about America's legacy of involvement in the East.

Which is why this is such an extraordinary moment in our national life. For the country in recent weeks has been engaged in three unusual debates, focused not on a misty future but on a cloudy past, designed not to shape the years to come but to understand years gone by. This is a distinctly un-American impulse, and yet this is a peculiarly American passage, a pause to examine our most fateful pathways and to evaluate our most cherished mythologies.

This is a moment that comes as the affirmative-action doctrine that has governed admission to the nation's most selective colleges and professional schools is being rethought, as the nation's response to the fall of the Soviet bloc is being reassessed, and as the presidencies of both Presidents Bush are being reappraised.

But standing out amid all these re-evaluations are three other, critical undertakings in reanalysis, serious reassessments that are not mere academic exercises but are instead vital examinations that will, even as they look back, guide Americans as they move forward. Here are the old questions, full of new implications, that are being asked by policy makers and voters alike:

How did we get into this irrational situation with medical care, where health insurance is tied to employment?

No one designing a health-care system for a post-industrial nation of enormous wealth and with some of the most advanced medical facilities in the world would tie the health of its citizens to the employment of its citizens. And in fact, no one did. It just developed that way, the result of efforts to improve the quality of life of workers' families without providing wage hikes and without exposing their improved circumstances to increases in their tax bills.

It was, for a time, a great boon, especially to unionized workers in the manufacturing sector, and also to hospitals and physicians, but in time it warped the job market and distorted the medical world, which increasingly became dependent on insurance reimbursements rather than direct patient fees.



This situation led to a generations-long cry for national health insurance, which in turn has reopened the question of tying medical care to employment. Now, under Obamacare, many businesses are evaluating whether they ought to offer health insurance at all, instead considering whether they ought to provide a stipend for their workers to purchase their own plans in the new exchanges — perhaps offering more choice, an important value on the right (which argues for choice in schools) and on the left (which argues for choice in abortion).

Did the War on Poverty really help reduce poverty? This is one of those debates whose answers lie in the lies statistics tell. If the debaters sit on the right, they argue that the Johnson-era anti-poverty programs created a culture of dependency, undermining the dignity and family structures of the poor. If they sit on the left, they argue the programs ameliorated poverty and limited its spread. Defying stereotypes exactly 40 years ago, Gary Hart, a Democrat then running for the Senate for the first time, said the War on Poverty raised "the expectations, but not the living conditions, of the poor."

Spending on programs employing an income test — providing proportionately more to the poor than to others — now represent about one out of every six dollars of federal expenditures. Those on the right argue that official statistics indicate that the number of poor has increased or at best remained constant since 1964, despite billions of dollars of spending. But Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago and James Sullivan of Notre Dame argue that poverty has fallen by12.5 percent.

This is more than a debate for scholars and ideologues; its answer will give shape to future budgets. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan argues that 92 anti-poverty programs costing about $800 billion offer the poor an incentive not to increase their income. A half-century later, the disagreements continue.

Was Bill Clinton an effective economic steward? On the surface, this seems like a pointless debate, Mr. Clinton being a former president more than a dozen years out of office. But it may not be pointless, and not because his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is contemplating a presidential campaign of her own. (It may be convenient to expect that Mrs. Clinton's economic policies will mirror those of her husband's, but the world of 2017 will bear little resemblance to the world of 1993. Ms. Clinton's outlook may bear little resemblance to Mr. Clinton's.)

This month Mr. Clinton embarked on an effort to polish his economic record, his argument based on his claim that 7.7 million emerged from poverty during his administration — 100 times as many, he suggested, as during the Reagan years.

Historians have long debated how to parcel out credit and blame for economic booms and declines — a debate of particular interest to Mr. Clinton, who may have been elected because of economic distress during the George H.W. Bush administration and who may have profited, at least in the beginning, from a recovery that gathered force at the end of the Bush administration but took form after Mr. Clinton was inaugurated. The mere act of typing that sentence will, of course, spawn a long and bitter debate, with pugilists taking positions that are completely predictable and also completely self-serving.

That debate will never be concluded to anyone's satisfaction, but the reason why the debate began in the first place is of vital importance. It underlines the significance — in the Clinton years, at the end of the Obama years and at the beginning of the 45th presidency — of the issue of inequality. By the time the 2016 campaign begins, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and French economist Thomas Piketty, both of whose books are spawning vigorous debates this spring, won't be the only ones talking about inequality.



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David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

© 2014, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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