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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. 9, 2008 / 12 Kislev 5769

Myth no. 87

By Paul Greenberg

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article | It appeared, in all places, as a closing item in the fall issue of a little religious newsletter I get here in Arkansas. Somewhere in between the ecumenical conferences coming up and the comings and goings of local preachers, the nice lady who puts it out couldn't resist an editorial comment in the spirit of the season, namely the campaign season:

"A tribute to my late and great neighbor, U. S. Senator Joseph T. Robinson from Lonoke. The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 was steered through the Senate by him! This was a summit of good lawmaking after the 1929 market crash, and our senators saw the cause and how to remedy such greed, for this law imposed strict regulation and accountability. It would prevent wild speculation that put the assets of others at risk, and the approach worked! Then, sadly, politicians embraced the same creed that blew up in the 1920s. Will we ever learn? This act has been gradually dismantled, especially in the last eight years. Just look at the catastrophe! For unchecked greed will always prove to be irrational."

Like most good campaign myths, there is enough fact here on which to build an airy tower of fiction. The Glass-Steagall Act, enacted as part of the New Deal's first Hundred Days of emergency legislation, did indeed erect a wall between commercial and investment banking. But it never made it to this century. The Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999 by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, and with the full support of Bill Clinton, as the bubble was reaching its height. The firewall between commercial and investment banking was gone, and it's unlikely to be restored.

Having been eroded by various administrations over the years, and with the financial industry champing at the bit to try all kinds of new and exotic investment instruments, what remained of the firewall between commercial and investment banking was finally torn down. The moral of the story: What we learn from history is that we seem to learn very little from history.

Yet the myth persists that the deregulation of the financial markets took place largely during the Bush administration. This pseudo-history became a mainstay of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Here's how he put it in his second presidential debate with John McCain when the current tumult in the financial markets came up: "I believe this is the final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years ... that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on us."

Actually, it was early in the Bush administration that another bipartisan coalition passed the Sarbanes-Oxley law, which re-regulated Wall Street after it had been shaken by a series of scandals. ("Some lawmakers called it the most sweeping securities legislation since the 1930s." —New York Times, Page 1, April 25, 2002.) George W. Bush signed it into law over the vigorous objections of business interests and the accounting industry. So much for the great deregulation of the past eight years.

This year's presidential campaign is over now, Barack Obama is president-elect, and as reality dawns, he continues to rise above his campaign rhetoric. By now he's on track to dismay the hysterics on both ends of the political spectrum: those who had him pegged as some kind of wild-eyed radical who would turn the American system upside down, and those who hoped he would.

Candidate Obama is now President-elect Obama, and his talk of punitive taxes — on the rich, on the dead, on American capital in general — has been put on hold. Just as his misconceived "windfall profits" tax on the oil industry, a throwback to the disastrous economic policies of the Carter administration, has been quietly shelved.

Note the team of realists the next president has just appointed to handle financial policy. It's composed of familiar faces, and there's not a radical in the bunch: Tim Geithner, who played a leading role in the current administration's day-to-day responses to the economic tsunami that struck the country this fall; Paul Volcker, chairman of the Fed during the Reagan years; and Larry Summers, longtime advocate of free trade who lost his post at Harvard for saying politically incorrect things. (So much for Barack Obama's rhetoric about re-negotiating NAFTA, which was clearly for campaign purposes only.)

At this rate, there should be a seamless succession between the Bush and Obama administrations when it comes to stemming the financial Panic of '08 and its aftershocks in '09.

The campaign is definitely over. The myths will go on.

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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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