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 July 15, 2008 / 12 Tamuz 5768

Food & gas pains

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Life isn't much fun anymore now that the wife has me doing all kinds of things to economize.

Ah, yes, you speak of our rapidly rising fuel and food costs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, families are spending nearly 10 percent of their disposable income on grub — a percentage that's shooting up fast as inflation is, around 5 percent.

You got that right. We used to enjoy evenings out. Now the wife and I sit around clipping coupons, searching for sales and thinking up ideas to cut our household costs.

The horror.

Take one of the wife's bright ideas. To avoid the high cost of meat and poultry, she decided we were vegetarians. I wake every night dreaming of juicy burgers. As one wit said, if God didn't want us to eat animals why did he make them taste so good?

An excellent point.

But it's not like produce is cheap these days, either. So the wife made me plant a large garden. I spend hours digging, planting, pruning and weeding. I thought mankind invented the suburbs so lugs like me could avoid such menial labor.

Sounds like a lot of work.

What's worse is the wife is so cost-conscious all we ever eat is leftovers. To borrow from Calvin Trillin, I've hired a crew of archeologists to uncover the original meal.

That's no good.

Then the wife reads an article in Money magazine about homemade laundry detergent. Next thing I know I'm grating natural soap, boiling it, then adding borax, baking soda and essential oils. It only takes several hours — what used to be my free time — to make a batch.

Rapidly rising fuel and food costs are surely agitating many Americans, but aren't there some upsides?


According to many reports, more families are dining together. They're carting their kids off to organized events less often and spending more evenings at home, too. Such quality time is surely needed.

If you say so, buddy.

Many Americans are realizing how spoiled and wasteful we have been. We used to grab anything we wanted at the grocery store. Now we think things through. We look for lower-cost items and we're finding lots of ways to enjoy a healthier diet on a smaller budget.

Believe me, the wife has mastered the concept.

A little pain can be good. The hope is more Americans will begin to understand how economics and global markets work — and how bad ideas can result in pain at the pump and in the grocery store.

Bad ideas?

Look, 70 percent of the fuel that powers the American economy comes from foreign sources. That makes us extremely vulnerable — as evidenced by the recent spike in gasoline costs. Some politicians want to produce more oil and gas at home and some want to block such attempts.

I better bone up on what my congressman is thinking.

One of the causes of high food prices is huge government subsidies for ethanol. As a result, one quarter of our corn is being converted into fuel. That has increased the demand for corn, which has driven up its cost. It's driven up the cost of beef and pork, too, because cows and pigs eat corn.

So everything is connected!

Consider, too, that one presidential candidate will raise taxes and the other will lower them. Higher taxes will slow economic growth, which will hurt the profitability of businesses, which will limit their ability to pay you higher wages. Won't that make it even harder for you to keep up with rising costs?

You're saying we can vote our way out of our food and fuel woes?

Not entirely, but it's an important place to start. Ideas matter and we'd be wise to examine them carefully.

Look, I'd love to talk more, but I got to go. The wife converted a stationary bike into a power generator and it's my shift to ride.

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© 2008, Tom Purcell