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 1, 2011 / 1 Menachem-Av, 5771

Cut the Gordian Knot

By Jack Kelly

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The kingdom of Phyrgia in what is now western Turkey was leaderless and wracked by civil unrest. The elders consulted an oracle, who told them their next king would come riding in a wagon. As the elders were discussing the prophecy, a peasant rode into town in an oxcart. They made the bewildered Gordius king. In gratitude, he dedicated his oxcart to the god Zeus, tying it with an intricate knot to a pole in front of the temple.

There the oxcart remained for many years, and another legend arose. Whoever could loosen the Gordian Knot would rule all of Asia. Thousands tried, none succeeded.

Then, along came Alexander the Great. According to yet another legend, he drew his sword and cut the knot. (Aristobulus, a contemporary, said Alexander actually loosed the famous oxcart by pulling the pin out of the pole to which the yoke was tied.)

Whatever. Alexander went on to conquer Asia, and ever since the Gordian Knot has been a metaphor for how to solve the apparently unsolvable.

Many think our economic problems are intractable. In a CNN poll last week, 59 percent of respondents said the economy will be just as bad next year as it is this year. That's the first time a majority was pessimistic since CNN began asking this question 14 years ago.

"That's a very significant and very discouraging change in public attitudes," said polling director Keating Holland.

There's reason for pessimism, thinks the founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Ray Dalio. He told the New Yorker that an economic crisis is likely in "late 2012 or early 2013."

Our economic problems were small half a century ago. The national debt in 1960 was $290.5 billion, 56 percent of the gross domestic product. Our $13.4 trillion debt today is 95 percent of GDP. The unemployment rate then was 5.5 percent. It's 9.2 percent now.

The swelling of these problems to monstrous proportions coincided with an exponential growth in the size, power and cost of government. The federal government spent just $92.9 billion in 1960, 18 percent of GDP, and ran a $300 million surplus. Federal spending this fiscal year of $3.82 trillion is 24 percent of GDP.

In 1960, there were just 14,479 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. There were 165,494 pages in the CFR at the end of last year, an increase of 1,043 percent.

The explosion in federal spending and regulation hasn't helped ordinary Americans much. The annual incomes of the bottom 90 percent of American families, when adjusted for inflation, have increased just 10 percent in the last 38 years.

This statistic understates the gain, because health and pension benefits have increased much faster than inflation. But even when you include benefits, the lives of ordinary Americans were improving much more rapidly before the arrival of all this government "help." Between 1950 and 1970, the median income of a married couple family increased 93 percent after adjustment for inflation, according to the Census Bureau.

If the standard of living of workers hasn't risen much since government became obese, the taxes they pay for benefits have. In 1960, the Social Security tax was 3 percent on just the first $4,800 of income. Today, it's 6.2 percent on incomes up to $106,800, plus 1.45 percent for Medicare.

President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress have responded to the fiscal emergency chiefly by ignoring it. They don't really want to reduce spending or cut back on job-killing regulations.

Republicans in Congress do, but they keep trying to untie the Gordian Knot. They try to slow the growth of spending, but not reduce it. When an agency proposes a particularly egregious rule, they try to block it, but the fundamental problem of regulatory overreach remains.

America in 1960 was in most ways a freer, happier, stronger, more prosperous and more respected country than America is today. The plethora of boards, bureaus, agencies and Cabinet departments created since then have done more harm than good.

Washington has made an art form of papering over problems and kicking the can down the road. But our economic troubles are now so massive and so urgent that tinkering around the edges will not do. We must actually reduce -- pronto, and by a lot -- the size, cost and intrusiveness of government. We must cut the Gordian Knot.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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