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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 June 24, 2008 / 22 Sivan 5768

The imitators, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It must be a bitter disappointment to those in the media and in politics who have been dying to use the word "recession" that, for the second quarter in a row, there has been no downturn in the economy, though growth has been slow.


Alarmists have been reduced to quoting other alarmists on the supposedly impending recession but that is still not the real thing.


The definition of a "recession" is very clear and straightforward: Two consecutive quarters of negative growth. We have not yet had one consecutive quarter of negative growth.


The fault-finding brigades of critics of the American economy and society are among the reasons why there is so much talk about how we ought to do things that are being done in Europe.


We need to understand America first, before we start imitating Europe.


The American economy produces the largest output in the world— more than Japan, Germany, and Great Britain combined.


Measured by purchasing power, output per capita in the United States is the highest of any large nation.


There are some very small places like Luxembourg or the Cayman Islands with higher purchasing power per capita but, as Professor Benjamin M. Friedman of Harvard put it, places like Luxembourg are "technically countries but are more like large suburbs."


Luxembourg's total population is about the same as that of Long Beach, California. Wal-Mart has more employees than the total population of Luxembourg.


Some other small places like the Cayman Islands are tax havens that attract the wealth of people who are not really Cayman Islanders.


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Among countries at all comparable to the United States in size or population, none has achieved as high an output per capita. New Jersey produces more than Egypt. California produces more than Canada or Mexico.


Desperate efforts to depict all the prosperity and progress in the United States as being monopolized by "the rich" have led to all kinds of statistical mumbo jumbo, such as comparing the changing ratios between statistical categories over time and ignoring the fact that most of the people in those categories move from one category to another over the years.


Studies that follow given individuals over time show the exact opposite of what is being said in the mainstream media and in politics. That is, most of the working people in the bottom fifth of the income distribution rise into the top half, and the rate of increase of their incomes is greater than that of most of the people initially in the top fifth. Those individuals in the top one percent, as of a given time, actually have an absolute decline in income over time. As they drop out of the top one percent, they are replaced by others, so the statistical category can be doing great, while the flesh-and-blood people who pass in and out of that category are by no means gaining on those further down the income distribution.


None of this is rocket science. But most people in politics, in the media and in academia still insist on using statistics based on the fate of abstract categories over time— households, families, income brackets— even when other statistics, based on following specific individuals over time, are available.


Households and families vary in size from group to group and are generally declining in size over time, but an individual always means one person. Income per household or family can be stagnant, or even declining, while income per person is rising.


That has in fact been a general pattern in recent decades, which may be why the nay-sayers are forever citing household and family income statistics, while ignoring statistics on income per person.


Amid a general undermining of American economic performance, it is hardly surprising that so many people think we should imitate what the Europeans are doing— whether in the economy, in foreign policy or in other areas.


We can always learn particular things from other countries, whether in Europe, in Asia or elsewhere. But imitating Europeans when they are not doing as well as Americans makes no sense.

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