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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Jan. 3, 2006 / 3 Teves, 5766

The Wal-Mart model

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The American economy continues to surge ahead, though you won't read much about it in mainstream media. Economic growth in the third quarter was 4.1 percent  —  despite Hurricane Katrina!  —  the 10th consecutive quarter with growth over 3 percent. Unemployment is 5.0 percent  —  lower than the average for the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s. Since April 2003 the economy has created a net 5.1 million new jobs. Core inflation is only 2.1 percent, and gas prices, which surged above $3 a gallon after Katrina, are now down around $2. Productivity growth for the five-year period of 2000-2005 is 3.4 percent, the highest of any five-year period in 50 years.


This is a remarkable performance and owes something surely to the Bush tax cuts and to Alan Greenspan's stewardship at the Federal Reserve. But it also tells us something broader about the American economy. Mainstream media coverage about the economy tends to be full of bad news, especially during Republican administrations, and to focus on economic problems. But over the longer term the story of the American economy is one of success. A quarter century ago many economic commentators said that the era of low-inflation, high-job-creation economic growth was over. In the ensuing 25 years it has come to be the norm.


The negative bias of economic coverage can be seen in stories about the current No. 1 private-sector employer in America, Wal-Mart, and the No. 1 employer back in the 1970s, General Motors. The GM story is genuinely grim: The company is laying off thousands of workers and closing plants and is threatened with bankruptcy. Stories about Wal-Mart tend to focus on allegedly low wages and healthcare benefits, and to say less about the company's continual profitability and the low prices that benefit consumers. These companies are not entirely comparable; they're in different businesses. But some of the differences between them illustrate why the American economy, which seemed to have run out of gas 25 years ago, is now doing so well.


One big difference is this: General Motors' business model was designed for a static economy; Wal-Mart's for a dynamic economy. From the 1930s, GM  —  as one of only three major automakers  —  was able to pass along to consumers the high costs imposed by wages, pensions, and health benefits negotiated with the United Auto Workers. When emerging foreign competition started to make life tougher for Detroit executives in the 1970s, they tried to insulate themselves with government tariffs and domestic-content requirements. More recently, they've tried to offload their high healthcare costs onto the government. Wal-Mart, in contrast, started off with many retail competitors and has sought more, by taking on supermarkets. It competes by holding down costs and prices for consumers.


Quick reaction. Wal-Mart has been much more skilled at adapting to market conditions. Its computers keep it instantly apprised of sales, and its distribution system keeps stores stocked with items consumers want. Someone making a 3-ton car cannot adapt so quickly, but even so it still takes GM years to get new models on the market  —  and often they're not what consumers turn out to want.


Then there are employment costs. Yes, Wal-Mart does not pay high wages or provide healthcare benefits to all employees. But not all workers today want full-time jobs (they may want to be home when kids return from school) or health insurance (many are covered by a spouse's policy or Medicare). And Wal-Mart promotes from within: You can work your way up from the store floor to management ranks. GM and the UAW, in contrast, insist on a sharp line between labor and management, with all employees working full time and getting full benefits. That made sense when almost all workers were men supporting families. But it is a poor fit with a labor market in which many workers are women, teenagers, or retirees seeking extra income.


In retrospect it's not so surprising that 25 years ago, when GM was deemed the prototypical firm, experts were pessimistic about the American economy. They failed to foresee that more nimble firms like Wal-Mart would rise and would supply the amazing resilience that has enabled the American economy to thrive, as Greenspan has observed, even when hit by calamities like September 11 and Katrina.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

BARONE'S LATEST
Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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