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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 June 10, 2008 / 7 Sivan 5768

Lessons from the poor

By Cal Thomas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Listening to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton repeat stories they claim to have been told by the poor and the unemployed, who are unable to pay for food and medicine and feel miserable about it, is enough to make one think we are living in a Third World dictatorship and not the United States of America. But victimhood and a "can't do" spirit is what the Democratic Party has mostly been about since the Great Depression.

A more positive narrative comes from a new book, "Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit," edited by Alvaro Vargas Llosa and published by the Independent Institute. The book is an optimistic triumph and a lesson about the unlimited capacity of the human spirit, properly inspired and unencumbered.

In the introduction, Llosa writes, "Entrepreneurial ability and energy are present almost everywhere. But in those countries that still languish in backwardness, the labyrinth intervention of the state and the absence of adequate institutions have kept that ability and energy from translating into full development." He writes of nations that used to be poor but are no longer, detailing how their people climbed out of poverty. He blames political, legal (and I would add in some cases, religious) systems for stifling prosperity.

Llosa is about creating wealth and his inspirational stories about real people and how they did it ought to be read in every school and in every home that has accepted inevitable failure.


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In 1988, the Ananos family of Ayacucho, Peru - the cradle of the Maoist terrorist organization known as Shining Path - founded the Kola Real Company. Coca Cola and Pepsi had pulled out due to the unstable political situation. In just 20 years the Ananos family has transformed a mom and pop operation into the biggest transnational manufacturer of nonalcoholic beverages in Latin America. They now have subsidiaries in Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, four Central American countries and Thailand. By 2005, they had more than 8 million customers and employed 8,000 workers. Their sales totaled US$1 billion.

The Ananos family overcame years of socialist and populist experiments that hurt Peru's economy. They demonstrate what can be done when obstacles are overcome by the power of optimism.

Aquilino Flores is another Peruvian who started out washing cars 40 years ago. He had no capital. Today, Flores is the most important textile businessman in Peru, heading a company called Topy Top with annual sales of more than US$100 million. As Daniel Cordova writes in his contribution to the book, "...the story of the Flores family and Topy Top is one of tenacity, determination and intuition." Didn't we used to teach such things in American schools before class warfare, envy and penalizing the successful?

The story behind Nakumatt, Kenya's largest supermarket chain, could have been written in America. Google Nakumatt for details.

In Nigeria, a clothing design industry has been created to produce and sell adire attire, traditional in the Yoruba culture. There are thousands of adire workers, most of them women with little or no education, but they have "an entrepreneurial drive to make a living and create wealth where there was previously only misery," writes Thompson Ayodele in his essay. "These entrepreneurs receive no government aid. In fact, through action or omission, the government has placed and continues to place many obstacles in their way. Yet they have been able to combat poverty much more effectively than foreign aid and official poverty-reduction programs."

Please re-read that last sentence. Government aid impedes success and creates dependence, while entrepreneurs create success and independence.

In countries with far less capital and opportunity than America, people haven't sung songs about overcoming. They have overcome through tenacity, risk-taking and self-reliance.

During the presidential campaign, each time Barack Obama focuses on misery and the need for more government spending, John McCain should trot-out American stories of the formerly poor and let them tell how they made it so that others can too.

Llosa says Spain is "particularly interesting and instructive for those who think that certain nations are doomed forever by virtue of their culture. In the past two decades, Spain, whose culture was once inimical to notions such as self-reliance and individual initiative, has experienced an economic and social transformation."

If Spain and the poor in Peru and Africa can do it, what's stopping America and poor Americans?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many 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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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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