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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 April 26, 2006 / 28 Nissan, 5766

If you want to benefit from other greedy people, you have to make sure they benefit from you

By John Stossel


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That was Virgil Rosanke's reaction when "20/20" interviewed him for one of my TV specials. Without Rosanke and others like him, I couldn't have a steak dinner tonight, but I and most of the people he makes dinners possible for are unknown to him. He makes our dinners possible anyway.


Is Virgil Rosanke a philanthropist? No. Is he a government worker? Not that either. He's just a guy who delivers propane to heat water for cattle to drink. Why does he do it? To make money.


If pursuing profit is greed, economist Walter Williams told me, then greed is good, because it drives us to do many good things. "Those areas where people are motivated the most by greed are the areas that we're the most satisfied with: supermarkets, computers, FedEx." By contrast, areas "where people say we're motivated by 'caring'" — public education, public housing etc. — "are the areas of disaster in our country. . . . How much would get done," Williams wondered, "if it all depended on human love and kindness?"


Greed gets people to cooperate. If you want to benefit from other greedy people, you have to make sure they benefit from you. Consider one of the wonders of our age, the supermarket. There are thousands of products on the shelves. How'd they get there?


When I posed that question about just one of those thousands of products — a piece of beef I bought for my dinner — I found a trail back to an Iowa farm. That's how I learned about Virgil Rosanke, and how he learned about me.


We taped David Wiese and his family, farmers in Manning, Iowa, as they put in 14-hour days fixing fences, digging ditches, harvesting hay, and feeding the cattle. They don't do it for me and my neighbors — but I'm glad they do it.


"Do you think it's because they love people in New York?" Williams asked. "No, they love themselves. And by promoting their own self-interest, they make sure New Yorkers have beef."


The Wieses are just the first in a long series of people who, by caring about themselves, make sure I get my steak. Wanda Nelson keeps the packing house clean. Rosanke delivers propane. Other people slaughter the cattle and butcher the beef; they rely on people who make their knives, their overalls and their protective gear. Then there are the people who make the plastic that seals the meat, who run the machines that do the sealing, who pack the meat in boxes, make the boxes, inspect the boxes, and run the freezer facilities. Still other people track orders by bar code, which means they need the people who make the bar code machines. Eventually, packed steak is delivered to Randall Gilbert, a truck driver, who hauls it to New York.


No one person made my dinner possible. It took thousands of people to get me the food. And none of them did it for me. As economist Adam Smith put it, "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."


Rosanke and the others don't particularly care if some TV correspondent gets his steak, yet they cooperate to make it happen, motivated by self-interest — what many call greed. Think about that next time you listen to my colleagues sneer at the "greed" and "selfishness" of private business. They don't realize that the institution they celebrate, government, is far less effective at serving humanity.


"In a free market, you get more for yourself by serving your fellow man," said economist Williams. "You don't have to care about him, just serve him. I'd feel sorry for New Yorkers in terms of beef. If it all depended on human love and kindness, I doubt whether you would have one cow in New York."


Does anything get done based on "human love and kindness"? Well, a nonprofit group called City Harvest collects donations of restaurants' surplus food for the poor. But where does that food come from? Greedy people like Virgil Rosanke produce it, and greedy restaurateurs buy it. Kindness can only give away the goods self-love provides.

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Give Me a Break  

Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists -- and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research -- he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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