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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 Oct. 22, 2013/ 18 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

Does It Feel Good --- or Do Good?

By Dennis Prager





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There is a question that all of us need to ask. How we respond makes all the difference in what type of life we lead and what type of world we make.

That question is: Does an action feel good or do good?

Let me give three areas of examples — personal life, the left and most recently, unfortunately, the right.

In the personal sphere, many parents, especially in this last generation, have done what feels good rather than what does good.

It feels good to give one's children what they want, but it rarely does good. It feels good to build children's false self-esteem — giving them trophies for no achievement, for example — but it doesn't do good. It feels good to provide one's adult children with money and other material benefits when they should be providing for themselves, but it doesn't do good. And it feels good to coddle children rather than discipline them. But it doesn't do good.

In the social and political spheres, feeling good rather doing good has characterized virtually every left-wing policy.

Liberals feel good (especially about themselves — remember, the left founded the self-esteem movement) when they promote race-based affirmative action. Given the centuries of suffering blacks endured in America, it feels good to change rules of admission in order to have more blacks attend more prestigious colleges. The problem is that these policies have done considerably more harm than good to blacks (and to society). The black dropout rate at many colleges is much higher than that of non-blacks; and many black students feel resentful while at college — believing that, because of affirmative action, they are frequently not regarded by other students as equals. But to progressives, none of that matters. What matters is that they (the progressives) feel good.

For more than half a century, liberals have felt good (again, in large measure about themselves) giving ever increasing unearned benefits to poorer Americans. That these policies have led to an unprecedented percentage of Americans becoming dependent on — often addicted to — state handouts in no way disturbs progressives, because these policies make them feel good.

That the left cares more about feeling good than doing good is shown by the results of virtually all of its policies.



For example, over the long run the welfare state must fail, as it is doing in nearly all of Europe. Creating such a state and doing so by "taxing the rich" feels good, but it doesn't do good. There simply aren't enough rich people. Likewise, there are not enough young workers to support retirees. But giving away (someone else's) money feels good.

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a classic example of feeling good rather than doing good. Progressives feel good about insuring uninsured Americans. That the government would begin to take over another sixth of the American economy; that the Act consists of 2,500 pages (and its regulations already run into the tens of thousands of pages); that this is the first piece of major American social legislation to be passed without one vote from the opposition party; that doctors and hospitals will be paid less; that more doctors will retire or only take private patients; that medical devices needed for Americans' health will be further taxed; that companies will relegate vast numbers of workers to part-time work — none of this matters. What matters is that progressives feel good about the ACA.

And now, sadly, we have witnessed this most seductive human frailty — feeling good as opposed to doing good — within the conservative movement, the movement that prides itself as placing doing good before feeling good.

Republicans and conservatives achieved nothing — and did themselves substantial harm — when the House passed legislation that demanded defunding Obamacare as a condition of further funding the government and perhaps even raising the debt ceiling.

I have not read a convincing argument on behalf of these tactics. But I have read that the Republican Party is held in lower esteem than at any time in its history.

And any Republican who dismisses such polls ought to recall that the polls, not wishful-thinking Republicans, were right about Obama winning re-election.

Conservatives who supported the doomed repeal-Obamacare-tactic argue that it — and Senator Ted Cruz's filibuster — brought national attention to Obamacare's deficiencies. In reality it only brought attention to the Republican Party's deficiencies.

The primary reason for this tactic was that it made many conservatives feel good — "we need to stand up for what we believe" (even if we know in advance that it will fail to accomplish the stated goal). Otto von Bismarck, father of the modern welfare state, is credited with saying, "Politics is the art of the possible." His side seems to understand that better than ours.

My fellow conservatives fell into the very human — and very leftist — trap of asking what feels good rather than what does good. In politics, the only thing that should feel good is winning.


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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.


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