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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 May 9, 2012/ 16 Iyar, 5772

Creating a Risk-Free World

By John Stossel




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A child leaving home alone for the first time takes a risk. So does the entrepreneur who opens a new business. I no more want government to prevent us from doing these things than I want it to keep us in padded cells.

Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. One person takes out a second mortgage to start a business. Another thinks that sounds nerve-racking, if not insane. Neither person is wrong. Government cannot know each person's preferences, or odds of success.

Even if it did, what right does it have to tell them what to do?

When government gets in the business of deciding which risks are acceptable and which aren't, nasty things happen.

This includes government's attempt to improve life by regulating gambling and the use of medicine, banning recreational drugs and mandating safety devices in cars.

In what sense are we free if we can't decide such things for ourselves?

Through the Food and Drug Administration, the government claims to protect us. But some people suffer because of that protection: Some die waiting for drugs to be approved.

Don't we own our own bodies? Why, in a supposedly free country, do Americans, even when dying, meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices?

The Drug Enforcement Administration jails pain-management doctors who prescribe quantities of painkillers that the DEA considers "inappropriate." It's true that some people harm themselves with Vicodin and OxyContin, but it's hard for doctors to separate "recreational" users from people really in pain. Some cancer patients need large amounts of painkillers.

After the DEA jailed doctors, some pain specialists began to underprescribe. The website of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons warns doctors: Don't go into pain management. "Drug agents now set medical standards. ... There could be years of harassment and legal fees." Today, even old people in nursing homes sometimes don't get pain relief they need.

Even the best safety regulations have unexpected costs. Seat belts save 15,000 lives a year, but it's possible that they kill more people than they save.

University of Chicago economist Sam Peltzman argues that increased safety features on cars have the ironic effect of encouraging people to drive more recklessly. It's called the Peltzman Effect — a variation on what insurance experts call "moral hazard." Studies show that people drive faster when they are snugly enclosed in seat belts.

Also, while passengers were less likely to die, there were more accidents and more pedestrians were hit.

Perhaps the best safety device would be a spike mounted on the steering wheel — pointed right at the driver's chest.

There's another reason to think seat belt laws have been counterproductive. Before government made seat belts mandatory, several automakers offered them as options. Volvo ran ads touting seat belts, laminated glass, padded dashboards, etc., as the sort of things that responsible parents should want. I concede that government action expanded seat belt use faster than would have otherwise happened, but by interfering with the market, government also stifled innovation. That kills people.

Here's my reasoning: The first government mandate created a standard for seat belts. That relieved auto companies of the need to compete on seat belt safety and comfort. Drivers and passengers haven't benefitted from improvements competitive carmakers might have made.

If every auto company were trying to invent a better belt, today, instead of one seat belt, I bet there'd be six, and all would be better and more comfortable than today's standard. Because they would be more comfortable, more passengers would wear them. Over time, the free market in seat belts would save more lives.

We don't know what good things we might have if the heavy foot of government didn't step in to limit our options.

In a free country, it should be up to adult individuals to make their own choices about risk. Patrick Henry didn't say, "Give me safety, or give me death." Liberty is what America is supposed to be about.

Let's start treating people as though their bodies belong to them, not to a controlling and "protective" government.

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

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