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 Jan. 9, 2006 / 9 Teves, 5766

New economy, old rules = confusion

By Peter A. Brown

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Anyone with a brain knows that the 21st-century global economy is fundamentally different than what has existed since the dawn of time.

Those who profit from the change embrace it. People hurt or threatened by it fear a future they understand will contain more of the same.

Beneath the rhetoric about trade, job loss and the international flow of cash to the most efficient markets, however, lies one very important unanswered question:

Do the old economic rules still apply, or does the convergence of new technology, open markets and global enterprise mean that the traditional signposts are no longer valid?

In truth, the answer has to be that some are no longer valid, because several that historically were almost always in agreement now diverge markedly.

The question is: Which remain ones remain valid, and which need to be examined skeptically?

And if some numbers are no longer useful in predicting the economic future, then our political leaders need to understand that to avoid policy choices that are ill-suited for the times.

The political debate and public-opinion polls might lead a Martian who dropped in for a visit to think the U.S. economy was overlooking a gigantic precipice.

Most people say the economy isn't very good and see the yawning federal budget deficit as an ominous warning of more bad times to come.

If the tangible measurements of prosperity   —   employment and inflation   —   are accurate, there is little on the horizon to worry about.

However, if two of the most historically accurate predictors of economic woe are to be believed, then the U.S. economy really is facing serious problems.

We all know about the federal budget deficit. This year's is now projected at about $340 billion, lower than the record $412 billion for 2004 but large enough that administration critics bring it out at every opportunity.

That number is ominous, yet as a percentage of our gross domestic product, it is smaller than many, if not most, Western democracies and lower than it was for the United States during the Reagan years.

It is worth noting that the size of the deficit then was the argument used by his critics, too, and the country made it through those times in pretty good shape.

Those who continue to point to huge deficits as harbingers of woe note that, historically, such large government borrowing has forced up interest rates, which make it difficult for the private sector to borrow the money it needs to expand and increase the number of jobs.

That may be true historically. Today, however, interest and unemployment rates are within hailing range of historic lows, so it is hard to see why people are so pessimistic about the economy.

Then there is the lesson of the yield curve on government-backed securities. In the past, it has almost always accurately predicted economic downturns and recessions.

We have been flirting with, and now began experiencing, what the economists call an "inverted yield curve."

Simply put, interest rates show a normal yield curve when they are lower in the short term than for a longer period. Normally, longer-term investors are paid at a higher rate for their money because they are taking a larger risk by tying up the cash for a longer period.

But there have been unusual situations in which investors have taken lesser returns for a longer investment and that produces an "inverted yield curve."

Historically, this has occurred when investors believe the economy is tanking and this is their chance to lock in a higher interest rate than they could in the future when slowing economic activity will drop rates even farther.

According to a tutorial on interest rates at the Web site of Fidelity Investments, the nation's largest mutual-fund group, inverted yield curves are rare and deadly.

"Never ignore them. They are always followed by economic slowdown   —   or outright recession," it states.

Now perhaps Fidelity and its fellow economic soothsayers will turn out to be correct about the current inverted-yield curve. Or perhaps the yield-curve inversion that just began between the two-year and five- and 10-year Treasury bills will turn out to be just a temporary phenomenon.

If not, however, and we don't see bad times right around the bend, the lesson is worth pondering.

Even those of you who think Wall Street is a rigged game and keep your money in your mattress need to consider whether times have changed so much that the old rules don't apply anymore.

If they don't, then perhaps globalization will be even a greater change than we already believe.

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.

Peter A. Brown is an editorial page columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. Comment by clicking here.


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