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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 Dec. 27, 2006 / 6 Teves, 5767

A dangerous obsession, Part II

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The media and academic obsessions with economic "disparities" have gone international. Recent news stories proclaim that most of "the world's wealth" belongs to a small fraction of the world's people.


Let's go back to square one. Just what is "the world's wealth"?


You can check in your local phone book, surf the Internet or do genealogical research: There is no one named "The World." How can a non-existent being own wealth?


Human beings own wealth. Once we put aside lofty poetic nonsense about "the world's wealth," we at least have a fighting chance of talking sense about realities.


Who are these minority of the world's population who own a majority of the world's wealth?


They are the population of the United States, Western Europe, Japan and a few other affluent countries. How did these particular people come to possess so much more wealth than other people?


They did it the old-fashioned way. They produced the wealth that they own. You might as well ask why bees have so much more honey than other creatures.


The rhetoric of clever people can verbally collectivize all the wealth that was produced individually, and then they become aghast at the "disparities" that are magically turned into "inequities" in the distribution of "the world's wealth."


Have all the people in the world had an equal chance to produce wealth? No, nowhere close to an equal chance — either in the world or within a given society.

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Geography alone makes the chances grossly unequal. How were Eskimos supposed to grow pineapples or the Bedouins of the desert learn to fish?


How were people in the Balkans supposed to have an industrial revolution like that of Western Europe, when the Balkans had neither the raw materials required by an industrial revolution nor any economically viable way of transporting raw materials from other places?


The geographic handicaps of Africa would fill a book. French historian Fernand Braudel said: "In understanding Black Africa, geography is more important than history."


What are we supposed to do about these disparities? File a class-action lawsuit against God? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals might accept such a lawsuit but they are unlikely to be able to do much about the situation.


Geographic disparities are just the tip of the iceberg. Innumerable cultures have evolved differently in different places and among different peoples in the same places. No given individual controlled this process and each generation began with the particular culture that generations before them had created.


Some cultures proved to be more economically productive at given places and times, and other cultures proved to be more economically productive at other places and times.


In our own time, the economic effects of these cultural differences often dwarf the effects of differences in material things like natural resources.


Natural resources in Uruguay and Venezuela are worth several times as much per capita as natural resources in Japan and Switzerland. But income per capita in Japan and Switzerland is about double that of Uruguay and several times that of Venezuela.


Nobody likes to see poverty in a world where technology and economic know-how already exist that could give everyone everywhere a decent standard of living.


All you have to do is change people. But have you ever tried to do that?


The quick fix is to transfer wealth. But more than half a century of trying to do that with "foreign aid" has left a dismal record of failure and even retrogression in Third World countries.


Some countries have themselves made changes that lifted them from poverty to prosperity. Indeed, the affluent countries of today were once living in poverty.


But they didn't do it with quick fixes or by turning a dangerous power over to politicians.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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