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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 May 13, 2008 / 8 Iyar 5768

Too ‘Complex’?

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some people think that the reason the public misunderstands so many issues is that these issues are too "complex" for most voters. But is that really so?


With all the commotion in the media and in politics about the high price of gasoline, is there really some terribly complex explanation?


Is there anything complex about the fact that with two countries— India and China— having rapid economic growth, and with combined populations 8 times that of the United States, they are creating an increased demand for the world's oil supply?


The problem is not that supply and demand is such a complex explanation. The problem is that supply and demand is not an emotionally satisfying explanation. For that, you need melodrama, heroes and villains.


It is clear that many people prefer to blame President Bush. Others prefer to blame the oil companies, who have long been the favorite villains of the left.


Politicians understand that. Numerous times they have summoned the heads of oil companies before Congressional committees to be denounced on nationwide television for "greed," with the politicians calling for a federal investigation to "get to the bottom of this!"


Now that is emotionally satisfying, which is the whole point. By the time yet another federal investigation is completed— and turns up nothing to substantiate the villainy that is supposed to be the reason for high gasoline prices— most people's attention will have turned to something else.


Newspapers that carried the original inflammatory charges with banner headlines on page 1 will carry the story of the completed investigation that turned up nothing as a small item deep inside the paper.


This has happened at least a dozen times over the past few decades and it will probably happen again.


What about those "obscene" oil company profits we hear so much about?


An economist might ask, "Obscene compared to what?" Compared to the investments made? Compared to the new investments required to find, extract and process additional oil supplies?


Asking questions like these are among the many reasons why economists have never been very popular. They frustrate people's desires for emotionally satisfying explanations.


If corporate "greed" is the explanation for high gasoline prices, why are the government's taxes not an even bigger sign of "greed" on the part of politicians— since taxes add more to the price of gasoline than oil company profits do?


Whatever the merits or demerits of Senator John McCain's proposal to temporarily suspend the federal taxes on gasoline, it would certainly lower the price more than confiscating all the oil companies' profits.


But it would not be as emotionally satisfying.


Senator Barack Obama clearly understands people's emotional needs and how to meet them. He wants to raise taxes on oil companies.


How that will get us more oil or lower the price of gasoline is a problem that can be left for economists to puzzle over. A politician's problem is how to get more votes— and one of the most effective ways of doing that is to be a hero who will save us from the villains.


You have heard of the cavalry to the rescue. But have you ever heard of economists to the rescue?


While economists are talking supply and demand, politicians are talking compassion, "change" and being on the side of the angels— and against drilling for our own oil.


Has any economist ever attracted the kinds of cheering crowds that Barack Obama has— or even the crowds attracted by Hillary Clinton or John McCain?


If you want cheering crowds, don't bother to study economics. It will only hold you back. Tell people what they want to hear— and they don't want to hear about supply and demand.


No, supply and demand is not too "complex." It is just not very emotionally satisfying.

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