In this issue

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 August 23, 2005 / 18 Av, 5765

Don't Look Now, But...

By Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the classic serial melodrama of the comics, the hero was left with a single finger gripping a high ledge, a tiger above and a ravine below. The following week we would read, "With one bound, he was free." That same incredibility now looks to be the happy story line for Uncle Sam.

Following the dot-com bust of 2000-2001, you will recall, it seemed we could no longer enjoy the benefits of the "new economy" of growth without inflation and the inevitable risks of a Fed-induced monetary squeeze that could plunge us into recession. Well, far more hazards than a single snarling tiger now face us. Start with soaring energy prices, the seemingly endless costs of Iraq, a falling dollar, ballooning deficits, and corporate layoffs. The list goes on, but amazingly, we still haven't fallen into the ravine of recession. Just the opposite, in fact. Today, economic growth is stronger than had been anticipated, and fewer are out of work—207,000 new jobs were created just last month, and over 2 million in the past year. Inflation and long-term interest rates are much lower than expected. Corporate profits and global growth match or exceed the averages of the late 1990s.

What's going on? The tiger's teeth aren't as sharp as we thought—that's what. Inflation is at 2 percent or lower. The critical measure of growth in personal consumption expenditure (excluding food and energy costs) is expected to remain below 2 percent through the end of next year. According to JPM organ Chase, that same index has fallen in the second quarter to an annual rate of only 1.8 percent—down from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. Inflation continues to be restrained by technology investment, market liberalization, and globalization. U.S. technology investment grew from 36 percent to 58 percent of total capital spending during the past decade. This year it will hit the trillion-dollar mark for only the second time ever. That investment is responsible for the leap in productivity, now growing at close to 5 percent a year in the nonfinancial corporate sector. Which means that the labor input of producing a unit of output is growing more slowly, constraining the push of costs on pricing. The information revolution, meanwhile, has empowered consumers by giving them broader knowledge of products, markets, and prices.

Global trading of goods and services has surged at four times the rate of global growth. China, India, and other East Asian countries have been integrated into the world economy, keeping the worldwide costs of producing almost everything under control and limiting pricing power in all markets. Interestingly, there is still some slack in the labor market despite an unemployment rate that has declined to 5 percent and an economy that employs almost 4 million more people today than four years ago. The cushion of reserve labor is the result of an increase of 10 million working-age men and women over the past five years. Many have dropped out of the job market, but they're still available for work, damping any significant increase in wages.

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Many believe the most critical feature is the Federal Reserve's credibility as an inflation fighter under Chairman Alan Greenspan. Testimony to the world's expectations in this regard can be seen in the surprisingly low pattern of long-term U.S. interest rates. The 10-year treasury today is roughly 4.2 percent, compared with 12.4 percent in 1984, but it is still yielding a higher rate than comparable securities in Europe and Japan. The relative attractiveness of the dollar has recently increased vis-a-vis the euro, given the failure of the European Union to ratify the European constitution. So capital flows into U.S. securities. Remarkably, there may be too much savings in this world rather than too little. Money is piling up everywhere—in Japanese corporations, in China, and in American businesses. The International Monetary Fund predicts that this year worldwide savings ratios will hit their highest levels in two decades.

The consequence of all this is that the Fed has not had to reverse its recent policy of monetary accommodation. Instead, it has maintained equilibrium by small but steady increases in the federal funds rate. If anything, we may be entering a period of even greater momentum, thanks to the solid growth in consumer and business spending that makes up 70 percent of GDP. Wages and salaries have risen, and with a record household net worth of $48 trillion, spending, as a percentage of net worth, is still lower than the long-term average. Business spending, supported by record corporate profits, is up in real terms over the past three years by an average of 15 percent. The modest slowdown in second-quarter growth was mainly due to declining inventories that will now have to be rebuilt. Despite the rapid escalation in housing prices that may flatten out, America's prospects look bright enough that most economists have increased their estimates of GDP growth for 2005.

All hail the "new economy"!

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JWR contributor Mort Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


© 2005, Mortimer Zuckerman