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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 23, 2008 / 18 Nissan 5768

The sky's not falling

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Mortgage Crisis," shouts the New York Times. The Times has used the term "subprime crisis" at least 11 times. Not in opinion columns — in news stories.


The columns are worse. Paul Krugman writes: "A lot of the financial system looks like it's going to shrivel up and have to be rebuilt."


The "financial crisis," says Fortune's senior editor, "is threatening to bring down the entire system, with dire consequences."


When the current troubles aren't a "crisis," they're a "disaster". That's what John McCain called them, while Hillary Clinton prefers "crisis," saying, "This market is clearly broken, and, if we don't fix it, it could threaten our entire housing market."


Wait a second.


Where is this "credit crisis"? Did the supermarket reject your Visa card? I still see Ditech commercials offering fixed-rate mortgages at around 5.5 percent.


Sure, some lenders are skittish while things play out. Some investment banks and brokerage houses are sitting on shaky mortgage-backed securities. But why call that a "crisis"?


Do we have 25 percent unemployment, as we did during the Depression? Do we even have 7.5 percent unemployment, 12 percent inflation and 20 percent interest rates, as we did during Jimmy Carter's presidency?


There's a been a loss of jobs in the past two months, but that comes after years of strong job creation — 25 million net jobs in the last 15 years. At 5.1 percent, unemployment is low by historical standards.


And are we really experiencing a mortgage-default "crisis"? No. The Mortgage Bankers Association's 2007 fourth-quarter survey reports that foreclosures came to 2.04 percent of all mortgages. Many of those were speculators seeking flip profits rather than homeowners losing a dream house. During the quarter, only 0.83 percent of homes entered the foreclosure process. It may get worse — in March, "foreclosure filings, default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions rose 5 percent," Reuters reports. But let's keep things in perspective: Ninety-eight percent of borrowers are not in foreclosure. Only a small percentage of them are even late in payments.


Politicians love a "crisis." John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all think that the government should bail out homeowners who can't pay their mortgages. When they say the government should do this, they mean the taxpayers, including those who are paying their mortgages. They also think the government should regulate the lending and investment industries further.


Why?


Because "crisis" justifies making big government bigger.


It's why we now have a global warming "crisis" and in previous years we had "crises" over avian flu, the Y2K threat to computers, imaginary cancer spikes caused by pesticides, killer bees flying up from Mexico, and uncontrolled population growth leading to a "Population Bomb" that will bring "riots and mass starvation" by the year 2000.


This is not to say that lots of homebuyers aren't having a hard time. But the rapid rise and fall in housing values in some parts of the country — and the rippling consequences at each stage — do not justify scrapping what we know about economic success and turning to government control. Prosperity and stability come from people being free to innovate and produce — and yes, fail. Bureaucrats, however well-intentioned, cannot know enough to manage that process. They are unqualified to give the green light to some innovations and the red light to others. Bailouts create irresponsibility.


I expect the silly people to say silly things. Here's Paul Krugman: "[I]t's puzzling that Democrats haven't been more aggressive about making the disaster an issue for the 2008 election. They should be."


Keith Olbermann even seems to find the "crisis" exciting. "You watch, this is going to make Enron look like the failure of a lemonade stand."


But the rest of us should get a grip. The best regulator of economic activity and source of knowledge is free competition.


Of course, government inhibits that in many ways. If we want to avoid disruptions like the current one, let's undertake a wholesale examination of government intervention in the economy. Freedom, not control, is the ticket to success.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JUST OUT FROM STOSSEL
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel --- Why Everything You Know Is Wrong  

Stossel mines his 20/20 segments for often engaging challenges to conventional wisdom, presenting a series of "myths" and then deploying an investigative journalism shovel to unearth "truth." This results in snappy debunkings of alarmism, witch-hunts, satanic ritual abuse prosecutions and marketing hokum like the irradiated-foods panic, homeopathic medicine and the notion that bottled water beats tap. Stossel's libertarian convictions make him particularly fond of exposes of government waste and regulatory fiascoes. 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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