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. 18, 2011 / 13 Shevat, 5771

Uncertain for sure

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Boy, is uncertainty making us uncertain.

Jonah Lehrer, a specialist in psychology and neuroscience, explains why in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Lehrer cites an experiment in which subjects were asked how much they would offer to pay for either a $50 bookstore gift certificate or one valued at $100. They offered an average of $26.10 and $50, respectively.

Then uncertainty was added to the mix.

The subjects were told to bid on a lottery in which they were guaranteed to win either the $50 or $100 certificate.

You'd think they'd offer at least $26.10 -- after all, the worst they would do is win the $50 certificate -- but they were barely willing to cough up an average of $16.

Uncertainty took the gumption out of them.

Lehrer cites another experiment conducted recently by California Institute of Technology neuroeconomists.

Subjects played a simple gambling game -- they bet on whether the next card from a deck of 20 would be red or black.

At first they were told how many cards in the deck were red and how many were black. This gave them some confidence in calculating the probability of the next card's color, based on the color of the preceding cards.

And so it was that "the scientists observed increased activity in those parts of the brain, such as the striatum, involved with the expectation of rewards."

In a second gambling game, though, subjects were not told how many red and black cards were in the deck of 20.

"With less information to go on, the players exhibited substantially more activity in the amygdala, a brain area associated with scary memories and emotional arousal," Lehrer says.

He explains that the gambling games correspond to the way people make investment decisions.

To wit: When a set of risks is fairly well known, people are more willing to act -- but when uncertainty is high, people freeze.

And boy, is our uncertainty high these days.

In one report a week back, economists discussed whether American supremacy is over and our decline is under way.

Another report says 1 million homes were foreclosed in 2010 and the housing market is in worse shape than it was during the Great Depression.

A third tells us our kids, woefully unprepared for the future, scored near the world's bottom on math and science aptitude tests -- though they're No. 1 in self-esteem!

If that doesn't make you uncertain about the future, this will: Government policies are making uncertainty all the worse.

Lehrer says there are 141 tax-code provisions that require congressional renewal -- up from fewer than a dozen in the late 1990s.

If you are an investor, how can you make investment decisions when you have no idea what capital-gains taxes -- a cost you must factor into your risk calculation -- will be three or four years down the road?

If you are a small businessman, how can you determine the cost of new employees or a new plant when it's anybody's guess how much health care, or cap and trade -- or a host of other emerging regulations -- might cost you?

So you freeze -- and the whole economy freezes with you.

Some certainty is surely what we need -- simplicity, order, a clear understanding of what the rules will be -- but our government has been unable, or unwilling, to give us that.

Only the old maxims hold true.

Death and taxes really are the only things certain in life.

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© 2011, Tom Purcell