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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. 2, 2007 / 12 Teves, 5767

A dangerous obsession, Part Part V

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Perhaps it is one of the fruits of the "self-esteem" emphasis in our schools that so many people feel confident to voice strong convictions about things they know little or nothing about — or, worse yet, are misinformed about.


One of the hardest things for anyone to be informed about is the value of someone else's productivity. Yet there are cries from all directions that some people are being paid "too much" and others "too little."


Who can possibly be better informed about the value of what someone else produces than those who use the goods or services that the person provides and pay for it with their own money?


Things are worth it or not worth it to particular individuals. What these things might be worth to somebody else is irrelevant.


People who think that they, or the government, ought to be deciding how much income people make are in effect saying that they know the value of people's output better than those who use that output and pay for it with their own money.


How did Bill Gates get his fortune? Not by someone deciding how much Bill Gates was worth to "society," but by innumerable people around the world deciding whether what Microsoft offered them was worth what Microsoft charged.


What all those sales added up to — Microsoft's income and Gates' fortune — nobody decided. Nor is there any reason why they should have, even aside from the fact that nobody is qualified to make such a decision.


We can each decide for ourselves whether what Microsoft offers is worth it to us. That is all we are competent to decide — and only for ourselves individually, when spending our own money.


The idea that we should pool our collective ignorance and then decide how much it is "fair" for Gates or anybody else to earn in total income is as ridiculous as it is dangerous, for it means arming politicians with the arbitrary power to decide everyone's economic fate.


Do we want our own family's living standards to be at the mercy of politicians? Are we so eaten up with envy that we will risk that, in order to keep Gates from having "too much" money, paid by people who voluntarily bought Microsoft's products?


A recent campaign in California to sock the oil companies with bigger taxes hyped the fact that oil company profits were $78 billion.


That sounds like a lot of money. For that matter, $78 million would sound like a lot of money. If the truth be known, there was a time when just $78 would have seemed like a lot of money to me.


But so what? What do we know about the economics of the oil industry? How many billions did they invest to get that $78 billion in profits? And how many billions did they lose in their bad years?


Utter ignorance of all these things has not been enough to discourage people from loudly demanding that the government "do something" about "Big Oil" and its profits.


The same reliance on ignorance applies at the other end of the economic scale. People who know nothing about retailing, nothing about labor markets and nothing about economics are loudly demanding that the local, state or federal government "do something" about the low pay of Wal-Mart's employees.


Those employees know what their alternative job opportunities are and other employers know what their productivity would be worth to them. If the workers themselves choose Wal-Mart as their best option, what qualifies us to say that either their choice or Wal-Mart's choice was wrong?


Most low-income people, whether at Wal-Mart or elsewhere, do not stay low-income forever — or for more than a few years. Most Americans in the bottom 20 percent at a given time are later in the top half of the income distribution, after they have acquired some more job experience.


Are individual decisions made by people deciding what is best for themselves to be over-ruled by ignorant busybodies, obsessed by things they do not understand? Is the whole economic system of supply and demand, on which the nation's prosperity is based, to be disrupted whenever moral exhibitionists have a need to feel puffed up about themselves?

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