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December 2, 2014

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 Oct. 25, 2006 / 3 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Economy needs no help from politicians

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's election season, so you can be sure you'll hear a lot of silly stuff about how this or that political party can run the economy. I prefer Republican economic policies to Democratic ones. But the truth is, most debates on economic policy are silly because they miss the big picture.


The biggest picture is the one most obscured by our dated arguments. Poverty, as defined for millennia, is pretty much nonexistent in the United States. Until very recently, poverty was defined by material scarcity of essentials, chiefly food, shelter and clothing. Today, some people go without these things, but scarcity isn't the culprit. "If poverty today remains a serious problem," Christopher DeMuth noted in Commentary magazine nearly a decade ago, "it is a problem of individual behavior, social organization and public policy. This was not so 50 years ago, or ever before."


To understand how subjective poverty in America is, one need only recognize the fact that most rich people from a century ago would be considered poor by today's standards, and today's poor would be considered rich by the standards of 1900. In 1900, 2 percent of homes had electricity and 1 out of 10 homes had flush toilets. Today, pretty much all of them do. In other words, the tangible goods that defined wealth have been democratized.


Absurdly, according to the official measurements used by the federal government, fewer people lived in poverty in 1973 than today. But in 1973, most poor people didn't have a car. Today, almost 75 percent of those officially in poverty have a motor vehicle. Today's poor households, according to statistician Nicholas Eberstadt, are more likely to have telephones and televisions than non-poor families were in 1970. In the 1970s, undernourishment still factored into poverty. Today, obesity is a far bigger problem.


At the beginning of the 20th century, sweeping ideological movements promised to solve poverty through state planning. It turned out Americans solved it themselves, largely by keeping the planners at bay.


There are other factors that seem to be invisible to government bean counters. We live in a "knowledge economy," but the folks who measure the gross domestic product don't count the money spent on research and development (or money spent on training and education) as an investment. Business Week's Michael Mandel notes that Bugsy Siegel's $6 million construction of the Flamingo Hotel was counted as a contribution to the GDP, but AT&T's investment in Bell Labs — where the transistor was invented around the same time — wasn't.


Similarly, all the research and development that goes into things such as the iPod (or various new medicines) isn't counted in GDP stats. Instead, writes Mandel, the government merely counts each iPod twice: "when it arrives from China, and when it sells. That, in effect, reduces Apple — one of the world's greatest innovators — to a reseller of imported goods." Indeed, trade-deficit fetishists have led us to believe that China has the better part of the deal because it gets to make the iPods, while California-based Apple merely gets to sell them at an enormous profit.


Meanwhile, the single most underreported good-news economic story of the 21st century so far is the explosion in American productivity. From 2000 to 2004, productivity in the United States grew by 17 percent. That is a staggering number which tells us more about the long-term health of the American economy than statistics about the GDP, unemployment or wage growth. Those four years — which include a recession and 9/11 — are almost better than all of Bill Clinton's eight years in office (which also saw impressive productivity growth).


This isn't a partisan point. Bush and Clinton deserve virtually no credit here. The credit goes to American ingenuity and technological innovation (chiefly in the form of computers finally paying off on a massive scale). But these improvements aren't easily captured in the statistics that bureaucrats are paid to keep on top of, and politicians can't claim credit for them, so the media ignore them. Collectively, policymakers are like a man looking for his car keys only where the light is good.


This predicament is a byproduct of the great paradox of political economy. Free markets are better than any other system in the world at solving those things we want economics to solve. But it doesn't feel that way. Markets shake things up and make us feel insecure even as the big picture continues to brighten. People want guarantees — even though the lack of guarantees makes American ingenuity possible — and politicians are only too happy to oblige.

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