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 Dec. 8, 2011 / 12 Kislev, 5772

Facts are stubborn things

By Paul Greenberg

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

--John Adams

That quotation may be among the best known in Adamsiana. Not as well known is that John Adams would utter it years before he became a wise old man, and was still a brilliant young one.

He would become, in succession, Founding Father, president of the United States, and unpopular old fogey as his Federalist Party dissolved under him. Mr. Adams saw many a change in his time, but he himself remained unchanged. Perhaps the most unchanging thing about him was his stubborn refusal to court the fickle goddess Popularity.

Mobs drew only his contempt, talk of democracy his suspicion. A country lawyer, John Adams knew the people too well to shift with its every passing mood.

The man seemed constitutionally, congenitally, completely allergic to doing the popular thing. No wonder he was outdated in his own time, let alone how he would appear in ours, when politicians and political buffs follow the polls not just daily but hourly. He'd never have made it to the White House today, or even a governor's mansion.

John Adams would coin his famous phrase about facts being stubborn things in the course of pursuing the most unpopular of causes at the time, which was 1770, when he found himself picked to defend the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. The very name of that incident indicates how public opinion was running at the time.

New Englander to the core, Mr. Adams would do his duty as a member of the bar and stick to his convictions, come hell or high water or revolution, even a revolution he would lead. A thinker rather than a zealot, he refused to cut and trim his beliefs to fit the ideology of the moment.

Nothing is more offensive to ideologues than a fact that doesn't jibe with their slogans. Leading the list of those slogans at the moment is Occupy Wall Street's mantra about the greedy 1 percent who are exploiting us poor 99 percent. Oh, the injustice of it all!

No need to go into detail, like the fact that the grabby 1 percent, who account for 20 percent of the national income, pay 37 percent of the federal income tax.

As for the disappearing American middle class that today's protesters mourn, its death may be greatly exaggerated. The distribution of American wealth, according to Jim Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute, is pretty much the same as it was 20 years ago. Or even 20, 60 or 80 years ago. Even as that wealth has increased prodigously -- for all.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, every quintile of American income has shown a real increase in purchasing power of at least 18 percent over the past 30 years. What seems to irritate the Occupiers is not that all have grown richer, but that some have grown much richer. Their complaint is less analysis than envy.

How many times have we heard the American economy compared to a pie? The comparison usually precedes a complaint about how unequal the slices are.

But it's not how the pie is divided that determines Americans' wealth, but whether it grows -- or shrinks. It's a little embarrassing to make that elementary point once again and risk boring anybody who's had Econ 101, but it always seems to come as a revelation to some.

Expropriating the rich 1 percent would scarcely benefit the other 99 percent. On the contrary, without their capital, who would create jobs and employ the rest of us?

Pat answer: The government, of course. Well, we can all see how well that's been working out. All it takes is a glance at the unemployment rate, still hovering above 8 percent after almost three years of economic stimuli that don't much stimulate.

Theories, grievances and quick fixes abound in hard times. Facts don't seem to matter as much. Yet they remain stubborn things.

Whenever talk about redistributing the wealth surfaces, and it does so regularly, I think of a story Joe Hardin of Grady, Ark., used to tell. An honorable man who never gave up on reason in politics, he was one in a long line of sacrificial lambs who ran against Orval Faubus in the bad old days and, of course, got beat like a drum, for the race issue was still a sure political winner back in the Arkansas of his day.

A planter, Joe Hardin had a farmhand, one of the 99 percent no doubt, who would complain about how unfair life was: "You rich folks got all the money. What we ought to do is split it up even-steven. It'd be only fair."

Mr. Hardin's reply? "Now you know that once we divvied it all up, the same kind of folks would soon enough wind up with the lion's share."

Our sharecropper philosopher had an answer for that: "You don't understand, Mister Joe, we'd split it up every Sattiday night!"

Demands for redistributing America's wealth come almost as regularly as Saturday nights. The demands may vary in intensity, depending on whether the times are good or bad, but they always show the same disregard for mere fact. And facts are stubborn things.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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