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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 March 26, 2007 / 7 Nissan, 5767

Happy Birthday, EU! (But forget the party)

By Niall Ferguson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, I went to Paris for lunch. I took the Eurostar. I paid with my Societ- G-n-rale credit card. I bought my Metro ticket with euros. In making my travel plans — train not plane, Metro not taxi — I was mindful of the European Union's new commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In the restaurant, my French was rather rusty, but the waiters were happy to speak in English. They were probably Polish anyway.

So you can understand why (especially after three delicious courses and half a bottle of Bordeaux) I felt ready to toast the Treaty of Rome, the founding charter of the present-day European Union, which was signed 50 years ago today.

Who could possibly wish to return Europe to its pre-1957 state of fragmentation? Twice in the last half a century the Continent had torn itself apart. When peace finally came in 1945, whole cities lay in ruins. People were starving. Currencies were reduced to worthless paper.

So totally has life in Europe been transformed since then that you might expect the European Union to be universally adored at 50. Yet that is not the case. Only 46% of European Union citizens have a positive view of the EU, while more than a third believe their country has not benefited from EU membership. Support for the EU is lowest in Britain, where just 1 in 3 people regards EU membership in a positive light.

Does this merely illustrate the truth of the old saying that no good deed goes unpunished? Or are Europeans right to be somewhat Euro-skeptical?

Take the issue of the avoidance of war. The truth is that the EU has not been the principal guarantor of Europe's peace. Rather, it was the American-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization that (in the famous phrase of NATO's first secretary-general) kept "the Soviets out, the Americans in and the Germans down."

What about the claim that the European Union has generated the Continent's present prosperity? This is certainly not to be underestimated. True, in terms of raw output per capita, the United States is still ahead, but by a range of other measures it is Europeans who are better off. Whereas the average American worked about 1,800 hours in 2005, the average Austrian, Dane, Dutchman, Frenchman or German worked fewer than 1,500 hours.

At least six EU countries have higher productivity (measured by gross domestic product per hour worked) than the United States. Europe is also fairer: Income inequality is greater in the U.S. than in any EU country.

And Europe is healthier too. According to recent research, Europeans are living as much as 15 months longer than Americans. There is even evidence that they are growing taller too. Whereas the average American 60-year-old is about an inch taller than his or her German counterpart, among 20-year-olds it's the other way round.

Yet Europeans are probably right not to give the EU much of the credit for their high standard of living. One of the paradoxes of European integration has been that, even as the EU has expanded its range of responsibilities, so too have national governments. Government expenditure today is a much larger share of gross domestic product than it was in 1957.

Indeed, it is hard to find a clear "EU effect" on economic growth. Between 1973 and 1998, for example, non-members did just as well as new members and better than founding members. Growth after 1957 was determined more by national policies and by global economic conditions than by European integration.

As we mark the EU's 50th birthday, then, let's remember what the Treaty of Rome actually did. It committed six countries to create a customs union (with a single external tariff and gradually reduced internal trade barriers) and common policies for agriculture, transport and social policy. That was all.

Much has happened since those days, of course. The six have become 27. Thirteen of them now share their own currency. European law now reigns supreme. And the customs union has become a (still imperfect) single market. Yet, at root, the EU remains not the federal super-state of conservative nightmares but a confederation whose primary concern is trade policy.

The deal reached with the U.S. last week on transatlantic air routes is far from perfect, but it is a great deal better than any individual European state could have hoped to achieve by negotiating solo.


The real reason that the EU is unloved is the often glaring discrepancy between its aspirations and this somewhat prosaic reality. And yet Europe's leaders persistently refuse to see this. No sooner have they quietly acknowledged that they have no chance of making Europe "the most competitive and the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010 — the goal set at Lisbon in 2000 — than they embark on an equally unrealistic plan for a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.

Am I the only person in Europe wondering how cheaper transatlantic air fares are going to help achieve this? Oh, what the hell. The next time I want lunch in Paris, perhaps JetBlue will be flying a shuttle.

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.


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Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is the author of "Empire" (Basic Books, 2003) and "Colossus" (Penguin, 2004). Comment by clicking here.


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10/25/06: America's brittle empire
10/17/06: Failing to stop North Korea from going nuclear may have been the last straw for the onetime guardian of world order
10/03/06: Why Churchill opposed torture
09/27/06: Insanity on a Global Scale
09/19/06: The GOP will hang on
09/13/06: Long Live Royal Bloodlines!
09/05/06: Red-state Republicans and blue-faced liberals are starting to agree: Green is the way
08/29/06: What if the London Bombers Succeeded?
08/15/06: Testing the Limits of the U.N.: Who seriously expects Kofi Annan to stop Al Qaeda terror attacks?
08/08/06: The coming tsunami of trash
07/18/06: Forget the '60s and ‘Make Love, Not War.’ Today's world is facing a Summer of Rage
07/11/06: When will China pull the plug on North Korea?
06/20/06: Hedge funds vs. central bankers: Will inflation, deflation or recession win in the coming months?
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01/31/06: Missing the Cold War
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12/20/05: History, democracy and Iraq
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11/22/05: Ghost of Napoleon haunts Tony Blair
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11/15/05: Red plus blue equals purple
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11/01/05: Triumph of an über-wonk

© 2006, Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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