In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 May 1, 2009 / 7 Iyar 5769

The last optimist

By Paul Greenberg

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It makes a fellow lonely, not to see the disaster everybody tells me is upon us. It's not easy, being the Last Optimist of the Western World. I do my best, honest I do, to share the pervasive pessimism about the American economy and where it's headed in a handbasket. I feel it's expected of anyone who wants to retain his credentials as a Serious Thinker.

But every time I peer around, sincerely in search of the economic apocalypse that's upon us, all I can discern is just a classic 19th-century financial panic.

Yes, this 21st-century panic will strut and fret its hour (or even year or two) upon the stage, but then it will subside. Like the bust that follows every boom. Though the whole, familiar process would go a lot faster if we had a Federal Reserve System as competent as J. P. Morgan's one-man equivalent thereof in 1907.

What I'm starting to worry about isn't the great worldwide deflation that's supposed to be the big threat on the horizon, but the great inflation sure to come if government keeps spending money it doesn't have, and using the printing press to finance its mounting debt. Or maybe we'll get the worst of both worlds: another Carter Era stagflation, which brought us a two-fer: both stagnant growth and a depreciating currency.

The American economy may have seized up, but the engine is still there. It's not dead, just cooling off. What it may need most just now is a good leaving alone.

This isn't the Great Depression all over again, in large part because of the New Deal reforms that were adopted to deal with it, like federal deposit insurance, Social Security, unemployment insurance and one safeguard after another. If only we had stuck to that wall the New Dealers erected between commercial and investment banking! That way, some banks' speculative investments wouldn't have infected the whole system.

If the New Deal had its failures (see the late and unconstitutional NRA with its price controls and other economic diktats), it also had its successes, which still protect us from the results of our own excesses.

A little more perspective, please, and a little less panic. America isn't done for yet. And neither is capitalism. Though some of the remedies being proposed may only make the patient sicker. Like nationalizing Detroit's Big Three, perhaps as a prelude to making every bank a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. government. What a brilliant idea: That way, the economy could be run as efficiently as the U.S. Postal Service. And with all the clarity and simplicity of the Internal Revenue Code, heaven help us.

Here's this week's worst idea/trial balloon from the Obama administration: Convert the government's bailout loans to banks into common stock, making Uncle Sam not just the regulator of banks but their owner. So that the country's largest banks could become public-private corporations, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and just as capable of creating the next big boom. Which would soon enough trigger the next and even bigger bust. Will we never learn?

The New Deal never made that mistake. FDR saved the banking system by insuring and reconstructing it; he didn't seize it. No wonder our new president has already noticed a "confidence gap" in his administration.

Some enterprises have earned failure. Let them have it. That's what we have Chapter 11 and bankruptcy courts for: to save the assets, pay off the creditors, reorganize those parts of the enterprise worth reorganizing, and get on with business.

I myself hear from a bankruptcy court regularly, the one supervising the Tribune Company's crack-up. I'm a bona fide creditor now, if on a tiny scale, because its syndicate handles my column. But I notice its checks still cash. It's only bankruptcy, not the end of the world.

I've known some cock-eyed optimists who can see nothing but the bright side of things. But at times like these, it occurs that some folks can become intoxicated with pessimism, too. And it makes them advocate precisely the wrong policies.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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