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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 Nov. 22, 2006 / 1 Kislev, 5767

Working mothers need the free market, too

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, my "20/20" co-anchor, Elizabeth Vargas, returned from maternity leave. Her first story was on the "mommy wars."


"Why," Elizabeth asked, "has so little been done on issues like paid maternity leave; safe, affordable child care; and flexible work schedules?"


I understand her pain. Elizabeth has a lot of responsibility: a full-time job, plus two young kids at home. I would find it overwhelming. But does that mean the government should impose leave, day care, and flex-time policies on employers or make taxpayers bear the cost for the choices women make?


No!


All these well-intended laws have unintended consequences, and the consequences are usually worse than the problem they were meant to solve. When governments require companies to provide paid maternity leave and other benefits, many firms avoid hiring women. How is that good for women?


But Elizabeth got support from Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who said government has to take charge. "Listen, we did that on child labor laws," he said. "If we'd left it up to business alone to decide that, I suspect there would have been many who would still be employing infants."


Even if Dodd were right that it took government to end child labor — there's evidence to suggest he's not — is he saying women need to be protected like children? That hardly sounds enlightened.


Dodd says businesses wouldn't suffer under his mandate because "in every study that's been done on areas of productivity, profitability and growth, 90 percent of the employers [who provide such amenities] have reported either no negative impact or actually a positive benefit."


Gee, if that's true, why do we need a government mandate? If offering paid leave and day care is good for companies, they will offer those benefits. Some do already.


But other companies think the burden of such promises would bankrupt them. I wouldn't dismiss that concern so quickly. People who risk their own capital make better decisions than a politician who imposes policies on others with little risk to himself.


Elizabeth pointed out that most countries have "family friendly" laws paid for by the taxpayers. But women in those countries pay a price. In Europe, the unemployment rate for women is over 10 percent — double the rate in the United States. From 1970 to 2003, employment in the United States increased 75 percent, by 58.9 million jobs. Yet in France, Germany and Italy, where many job benefits are mandated, employment grew only 26 percent, by 17.6 million jobs. And many of those new jobs were in government!


If a woman wants a career and a family, that's great. But why must government force other people to help her out? Forcing companies to behave in a certain way just limits the marketplace of possibilities.


Leaving workplace choices to women and employers creates better opportunities for both. The forthcoming book by Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women's Forum, "Women's Progress: How Women Are Wealthier, Healthier and More Independent Than Ever Before" points out that American women have never enjoyed more options or such a high quality of life. From 1997 to 2002, the number of female-owned businesses climbed 20 percent to 6.5 million firms.


That happened because in America, despite numerous attempts by bureaucrats to kill it, the entrepreneurial spirit lives. Let's not suffocate it with government rules that will only reduce women's choices.


It's wrong for politicians to treat women like damsels in need of rescue from the whims of employers. Women need what all of us need: the freedom to make decisions for themselves in a competitive marketplace.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in 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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