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December 2, 2014

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 Feb 8, 2012/ 15 Shevat, 5772

Government Can't Make Us Happy

By John Stossel




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called the pursuit of happiness an unalienable right. This was a radical idea. For most of history, most people didn't think much about pursuing happiness. They were too busy just trying to survive.

Then came the liberal revolution based on the idea of individual freedom. Only then did they start thinking that happiness might be possible on earth.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the right to pursue happiness has been perverted into a government-backed entitlement to happiness.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says, "There's more to life than money. ... It's time we focus not just on GDP, but GWB — general well-being."

Well-being sounds good. But is that something that government programs promote?

Philip Booth, an economist with London's Institute of Economic Affairs and editor of "... And the Pursuit of Happiness," says no. I spoke recently with Booth and economist Christopher Coyne of George Mason University, who contributed to that volume.

Since the country of Bhutan got all kinds of publicity by using a measure it calls "gross national happiness" instead of gross national product, and The New York Times says it's a "new measure of well-being from a happy little kingdom," I asked them if there is anything to it.

"It's not a model that most Western societies would want to copy," Booth said.

I didn't think so. In Bhutan, people can get locked up for criticizing the government. Yet one study ranked the United States 23rd in the list of happy places. Bhutan was higher on the list.

That's nonsense, said Coyne. It makes more sense to judge a country's ability to make its citizens happy by whether foreigners want to move there. Clearly, more people want to move to America than to Bhutan. "The way to think about this," Coyne said, "is the fact that so many people want to come to the United States indicates that they at least perceive there is the opportunity to pursue what makes them happy."

What does make people happy? People fantasize about leisure and luxury, but the best data show that such things don't create lasting happiness. What does make for happiness is obtaining work that allows you to move toward goals that you find meaningful. In other words, what's important is not just employment, but purposeful work. So is having control over your workplace. Chrysler found that if workers have more control on the assembly line, they are happier. The freedom to decide your own goals is crucial.

Other things that make people happy are religion, having family and friends you care about, giving to others (face to face or via charity) and money.

Actually, money makes you happier if you're miserably poor. But once you have a certain amount — maybe enough that you no longer have to worry about your family's well-being — more money doesn't make much difference. Lottery winners report that, a year after their windfall, they were no happier than they were before.

That's counterintuitive. Instinct tells us that wealth brings happiness. It's a reason why some people envy the rich and why income inequality causes lots of angst today. One left-wing journalist writes, "Every model shows the most unequal societies are the least happy."

"There's no evidence that this is true," Coyne said. "Even the staunchest proponents of government intervention to increase happiness admit that there's no relationship."

You wouldn't know that reading The New York Times.

The mainstream media claim that the way to make people happy is to have government protect them from misfortune and give them stuff. The research doesn't bear that out, says Booth.

"In fact, the bigger government is, the less happy societies tend to be. There is a direct relationship, stripping everything else out, between the government allowing people more freedom and well-being increasing."

Yet politicians move in the other direction. The socialist likely to be France's next president wants to lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 and institute a "maximum-work" law.

When will they learn that you don't make people happier by taking their options away?

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© 2012, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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