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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 Jan. 19, 2007 / 29 Teves, 5767

Welcome back to Democratland

By Mona Charen


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some of you are probably rusty. Others are too young to recall what life was like in Democratland before 1995. Now, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's majority well into its vaunted "100 hours," you are getting a refresher course. Call it the American Idyll.


It is a world in which facts always bow to feelings. What matters is not so much that you do good, but that you feel virtuous, or perhaps more to the point, are seen to be virtuous.


Consider the increase in the minimum wage Congress passed by a vote of 315-116 (more than 80 Republicans joined all of the Democrats in voting aye). The speeches were heartwarming. "With the passage of this crucial legislation, we will reward work, paying America's workers a decent wage so they may join in our nation's prosperity," declared Speaker Pelosi. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer chimed in that "You should not be relegated to poverty if you work hard and play by the rules." Rep. Bill Pascrell proclaimed that "The little guy is not going to be forgotten any longer."


Sounds great. The Democrats are back in power, and now the deserving working poor are finally going to be paid a living wage.


Except that it isn't true.


Fewer than one in five minimum wage workers lives in a family with income below the poverty line. Despite the picture painted by the Democrats in Washington, more than 82 percent of minimum wage workers have no dependents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Minimum wage workers tend to be young (under 25) and single (often they are students working part time), and a full 40 percent come from homes with an annual income of $60,000 and higher. Never-married workers are more likely than married workers to be paid minimum wage.


One of the Democrats who extolled an increase in the minimum wage reminded listeners that these workers "had not gotten a raise in 12 years." Well, that's misleading. It makes it seem that hundreds of thousands of workers have been toiling away at $5.15 an hour for more than a decade. Not so. Again, the BLS reports that 63 percent of minimum wage workers receive a raise after the first year of employment. Only 15 percent are still receiving the lowest wage after three years on the job.


The BLS also found that part-time workers are far more likely to be paid minimum wage than full-time employees. Only 1.2 percent of full-time, year-round employees earned $5.15 an hour or less in 2005.


The Democrats' claim to be fighting poverty by raising the minimum wage is way off target. Among the poor, the problem is not so much one of low wages as of non-work — call it the American Idle. The Census Bureau finds that 63.2 percent of individuals aged 16 or above living in poverty did not work at all in the year preceding the survey. Raising the minimum wage obviously does nothing for those who aren't working.


As for those who are, their prospects for employment may be narrowed by a rise in the minimum wage. Employers forced to choose between raising a marginal employee's salary and firing him or her may well choose the latter. Or the employer may reduce the number of entry-level positions available. This doesn't particularly hurt the college kid who is looking for extra pocket money, but it does hurt the unskilled worker looking to climb onto the lowest rung of the economic ladder.


So what should a well-intentioned politician do if he wants to improve the lot of the poor in America? Well, here's one thought: Encourage charities to give used cars to the poor. According to a survey noted by the National Center for Policy Analysis, having a car and some work experience increased the chances that a poor person would be self-sufficient by 94 percent. Here's the website: www.ncpa.org/pi/welfare/pd082101d.html. There are other intriguing ideas there as well — far more exciting and potentially successful than the hoary old minimum wage hike.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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