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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. 19, 2008 / 21 Mar-Cheshvan 5769

Government ‘Fixes’ Slow Recovery

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Is the stock market trying to tell us something? It seems like every time Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson goes on TV, stock prices drop.


I can see why. Businesses would be reckless if they made investments that might lead to recovery when they have no idea day to day what Paulson or his successor might come up with next.


By my count, Paulson is now on his third plan for how to spend the pile of cash Congress gave him.


First he was going to buy "toxic" mortgage-based assets from banks.


A few days later, taking his lead from the Europeans, Paulson decided that some of the money should be used to buy stock in banks, both healthy and ailing. Let's put this plainly: The Treasury, on its own initiative, decided to partially nationalize the nine largest banks and many smaller ones. They would be given no choice in the matter on the logic that voluntary participation would stigmatize the participants. Direct big-business socialism had come to America.


Now Paulson says he doesn't want to buy the toxic assets from the banks.


Huh? What about the dire warnings that unless TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) was passed our very civilization was at risk? What about all those congressmen who were lambasted as know-nothings for voting against the first bailout bill?


Well, as Emily Litella used to say on "Saturday Night Live," "Never mind."


Paulson changed gears because the original plan wasn't getting banks to lend as intended. "Our assessment at this time is that this is not the most effective way to use TARP funds," Paulson said.


So last week he decided to target consumers. The consumer-credit market "is currently in distress. ... [N]ew issue activity has come to a halt," Paulson said. (Then why am I still getting credit-card offers in the mail?)


Then on Monday he scrapped that idea, too, and said he probably wouldn't do anything with the money. He'll leave the problem to the next administration.


Adding to the uncertainty is that some members of Congress want Paulson to lavish even more of your money on the Big Three auto companies beyond the $25 billion already promised. If President Bush vetoes that bailout, they say the Democrats will just do it after he leaves.


All this lurching from one plan to the next impedes recovery.


Why would a bank revalue its dubious assets to 50 cents on the dollar when Paulson might have paid 90 cents? Why would a firm renegotiate with its creditors if the Treasury might offer a better deal?


"Changing the rules in the middle of the game [has] thrown the market into a tizzy," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co.


Even some congressmen are asking good questions. "Where does this stop? We started with financial services, we went from banks to insurance companies. Does it end with manufacturing? What about retail?" asked Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, ranking Republican member of the House Financial Services Committee.


The uncertainty, with all its recovery-squashing consequences, has an eerie precedent: the Great Depression. Today's problems are nowhere close to the 1930s, with its 25 percent unemployment and rapidly shrinking GDP. In one respect, however, there is a similarity: the way that Franklin Roosevelt's administration created what economic historian Robert Higgs calls "regime uncertainty." Higgs writes:


"[T]he economy remained in the Depression as late as 1940, because private investment had never recovered. ... [T]he insufficiency of private investment from 1935 through 1940 reflected a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns. This uncertainty arose, especially, though not exclusively, from the character of federal government actions and the nature of the Roosevelt administration during the so-called Second New Deal from 1935 to 1940. ... [T]he willingness of businesspeople to invest requires a sufficiently healthy state of 'business confidence,' and the Second New Deal ravaged the requisite confidence. ... "


As usual, government's stumbling, bureaucratic "solutions" exacerbate problems that free people, allowed to pursue their own self-interest, would address on their own. We'd still suffer some tough times — it's painful when bubbles pop — but recovery comes sooner when businesses must quickly fix their own mistakes — or die. Archives

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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.


© 2008, by JFS Productions, Inc. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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