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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 20, 2008 / 19 Menachem-Av 5768

Economic myths

By Walter Williams


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | By taking a couple of courses in economic theory, we could immunize ourselves from nonsense spouted by politicians and pundits, but in the meantime check out Professor John R. Lott's "Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works."


His first chapter is "Are You Being Ripped Off?" It addresses myths about predation where it's sometimes alleged that corporations will charge below-cost prices to bankrupt their rivals and then charge unconscionable prices. There's little or no evidence that corporations would choose predation as strategy; there are too many pitfalls. A major one is that in order to recoup losses from charging low prices to bankrupt rivals, the predator would later have to charge higher-than-normal prices. That would attract new rivals who might have purchased the bankrupt assets of the predator's prey and be able to undercut the predator's prices.


A far more successful means to monopoly wealth is for businesses to enlist the aid of congressmen to form a collusion. Classic examples are the dairy industry, which uses the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Federal Milk Marketing Orders to set statutory minimum prices, or the Gasoline Retailers Association using state law to do the same or the sugar industry using Congress to establish quotas on foreign sugar imports.


Professor Lott's chapter "Government as Nirvana" highlights examples of government predation. When the U.S. Postal Service raised the price of first-class mail in 1999, it reduced its price for domestic overnight express mail from $15 to $13.70, even though it was losing money at $15. The Postal Service was facing stiff competition from FedEx and UPS overnight services and wanted to keep its market share.


During the 1980s, private meteorology firms saw a chance to make money by selling television stations specialized forecasts that weren't provided by the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service started providing television stations the same services for free, thus driving private forecasting companies out of business.


Predation is observed in higher education. UCLA is both Lott's and my alma mater. It spends $40,000 per student but charges $6,522 tuition for in-state students. Such below-cost pricing gives public universities a significant competitive advantage over private universities. State universities have acquired many formerly private universities after driving, or threatening to drive, them out of business. Lott gives examples of George Mason University School of Law, University of Buffalo, University of Houston and University of Pittsburgh. In the case of University of Buffalo, the State University of New York reportedly threatened to open a public university across the street unless the University of Buffalo joined the state system.


The U.S. Department of Justice would go after a private business using similar predatory practices of intimidating its rivals and selling goods and services below cost. The U.S. Department of Commerce sanctions foreign companies accused of selling goods in the U.S. below cost with anti-dumping duties. If selling goods below cost is seen as unfair in the international arena, why is it not when it's done by government entities?


Lott's "Crime and Punishment" chapter has a lot of interesting tidbits. It starts off stating a fundamental principle of economics: the higher the cost of something, the less people will do of it. To demonstrate the generality of this principle, Lott says that when the number of referees were increased from two to three in the Atlantic Coast Basketball Conference, fouls fell by 34 percent; fouling became more costly. The American League has more hit batsmen than the National League, but the difference only appeared after 1973 when the American League removed its pitchers from the batting lineup in favor of designated hitters. Not being afraid of being hit themselves, American League pitchers threw more bean balls; bean balls became cheaper. The same principle applies to the U.S. crime rate that fell after the death penalty was reinstated, more prisons were built and concealed-weapon carry laws were enacted. The higher the cost of a crime, the less people will do of it.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate.

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