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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 Dec. 22, 2011 / 26 Kislev, 5772

End of America as we've known it? The data says otherwise

By Ben Wattenberg

Ben Wattenberg


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have been exploring the notion that income sociologists call the "Index of Well-Being." (IWB) If you consider that notion, it yields a potent question: "are we keeping our eye on the ball?

Economic gloom is pervasive although recent data shows that America is picking up --- for example, it is the only nation in the world showing a growth in manufacturing. Still, the revealing polling question "Is America on the Right Track or Wrong Track?" is solidly negative driven by economic news that shows sluggish growth. (Mind you, not decline, only slow growth.)

The IWB analysts ask: can income really be flat and the standard of living stagnant if over the bad last decade solid data shows that: Americans own more cars, have greater living space, have attended better facilities of higher education in record numbers, live in homes that are more spacious than ever and are more likely to be equipped with central heating and air conditioning (one of the great unsung inventions that allows people in the warm climes to function productively all year long)? And how do you place a dollar valuation on dental anesthesia?

When Apple released the first iPhones, those remarkable instruments recorded 12 million sales in the first year. Museums, legitimate theaters and opera companies have sprouted everywhere offering high culture in places that never could boast such institutions. Talk to most any foreign-born cab driver and ask his what he thinks about America? You won't lose any money if you bet that the word "opportunity" comes up in the first two sentences --- as in "you have work hard here but there is so much opportunity." In 2011 Fortune magazine ran a huge article entitled "100 Great Things About America." They included Walmart, the Ford F-150 pick-up truck, Kindle, GPS, the incredible network of East-West and North-South rivers, Nike, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet and, oh yes, the towering document added to the Constitution shortly after it was ratified --- the Bill of Rights.

Much has been made of the disaster of low interest home sales. Yes, there have been foreclosures, but for most of those transactions the lower-middle class buyers have stayed on, participants now in the American dream. There is excellent data to back this up.

The goods we get today are better and less expensive. That iPhone is much better than previous models and costs less. Laptop computers have come down in price from about $3,000 to about $750 and the machines are much, much more efficient and can be used to perform a much wider array of tasks.

High unemployment and poverty rates, low economic growth rates and a poor stock market are surely troubling these days, but if the entirety of American history is reckoned there should be no doubt that soon we will be back on track. It is said that the American the middle class is eroding. Really? Some data-watchers say that is a misleading statistical artifact. What is happening they say is because so many Americans are moving up the income staircase.

The American educational system --- which stems directly from America's exceptional past --- puts a premium on thinking outside the box. That led directly and indirectly to the victory in the Cold War. Example: The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, aka Star Wars) scared the Soviets silly. Soviet society did not countenance young tech-happy kids free-lancing in the garages of their parents. Across generations, David Packard, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg did just that. That cannot be measured in dollars but it is potent. Test scores for American students are lower than in many other nations, but other nations are trying infuse their students with American-style innovative ambience.

How do you measure in dollar terms the explosion of black and immigrant youngsters moving on to college --- and doing well? You don't hear much talk about kids in lower class neighborhoods denouncing that schooling is for suckers. It wasn't long ago that women were a distinct minority in the world of higher learning; now they are in a clear majority.

What is the dollar value to be placed on the fact that Americans are the most patriot (read "proud") people on the face of the earth? .

The great University of Chicago historian William MacNeill closes his landmark work The Rise of the West, by noting that people (everywhere) live in one the great eras of mankind surely on a par with Rome, Greece, Victorian England.

But without question the 21st century will be an American one. Those Americans who wave the flag at international sporting events and chant "we're number one" are on the something.

We are.

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JWR contributor Ben Wattenberg has been a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of 14 books. He has just begun writing "The Second American Century," from which some of the material here is drawn.


© 2008, Ben Wattenberg.

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