In this issue
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 14, 2009/ 20 Nissan 5769


By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was just a naive kid at the time. That's how I got snookered.

It happened in the spring of 1978. My best friend Ayresie and I had quit our jobs as cooks at the Ponderosa Steakhouse to start a business rebuilding retaining walls. We put an ad in the community paper and some fool — attracted by the cheap labor, no doubt — entrusted his driveway wall to us.

After a week of hard labor we completed the job. After we paid for our supplies and Mitch Morton's dad's truck — we'd hired Mitch to haul off the excess stones and dirt — we were each left with a profit of $100.

My father was eager for me to put my very first profits into my college fund, but I had a better notion. I was going to "invest" that money and turn it into thousands.

An interesting scheme had come to our community, you see. To participate, you needed $100. You'd give $50 to the person who brought you into the scheme. Then you'd mail another $50 — inside a birthday card — to a name at the top of a list of 10 names.

Your name would then be placed on the bottom of the list and your task was to find two other suckers to cough up $100 each — each person would give you $50, so you'd get your $100 back — and then each person would find two other people and so on.

As your two people brought in two people, your name would then be on four lists; as those four people got two people, you'd be on eight lists, then 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 and so on.

So long as the scheme continued to expand — so long as you were one of the early participants in the scheme — your name would move up to the top on thousands of lists. Thousands of participants would send you $50 in the mail.

That's exactly what happened to the lucky early participants. They made thousands of dollars off the deal — though their postal carriers wondered why so many people were so interested in their birthdays.

But of course the scheme was unsustainable for the rest of us. It was a classic pyramid scheme — a simple shifting of wealth from the many to the few.

You see, in time, there weren't enough suckers to risk their $100. The scheme finally collapsed under its own weight and a lot of people ended up just as I did.


I learned from the experience, though. I learned that every pyramid scheme has three stages. The first was enthusiasm — the folly that huge returns would come pouring in. The second was realization — that you've been duped out of your hard-earned dough. The third was embarrassment — you felt shame and regret for letting your emotions cloud your judgment.

This knowledge has helped me avoid numerous financial schemes over the years.

I was puzzled that tech stocks kept soaring in the '90s, when few tech companies we're earning profits, and I avoided that collapse.

I was puzzled that housing prices were doubling and tripling earlier this decade, when the average income remained the same, and I avoided that collapse, too.

And now I'm puzzled by the latest nutty idea — that our government can prop up our economy through massive expansion and spending.

President Bush was no stranger to such spending. In 2002, he was the first president to propose a $2 trillion budget. In 2008, he was the first to propose a $3 trillion budget.

But President Obama puts Bush to shame. Despite a severe economic downturn, he's the first president to propose a nearly $4 trillion budget — and he's enthusiastic about it!

Whereas Bush nearly doubled our debt (from $6 trillion to $11 trillion), Obama wants to nearly double it again (from $11 trillion to $20 trillion) in only 10 years! Such a public debt would be unsustainable.

Even a 16-year-old kid wouldn't be dumb enough to invest in a scheme like that.

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© 2009, Tom Purcell