Home
In this issue
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 January 9, 2009 / 13 Teves 5769

Laying Dead Ideas to Rest

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Matt Miller gives me a headache.


If his name doesn't ring a bell, wait until his new book, "The Tyranny of Dead Ideas," gains traction in the national debate about how to fix The Current Mess.


Miller's diagnosis of what ails us is grim but optimistic. (You have to learn to think paradoxically.) And his prescription for a cure is painful because it requires something most humans resist: Change the way we think.


Before we can fix the economy, health care, Social Security, education and other problems, we have to rethink some of our most sacrosanct premises.


Here's a paradoxical thought to get you started: We have to increase taxes and federal programs to save the capitalist system.


I know, I know. But don't dismiss Miller without hearing him out. He has some compelling ideas that, though they seem at first counterintuitive, are ultimately reasonable. It is first necessary to suppress the instinct to remain comfortable in the familiar and to calm the knee that aches to jerk.


Miller — a journalist (Fortune columnist and host of the radio show "Left, Right & Center,"), Democrat and former economic aide in the Office of Management and Budget under Bill Clinton — has singled out six second-nature, but dead, ideas about how a modern economy ought to look.


If not corrected, he argues, our very economic model could be threatened as other nations lose faith in capitalism's ability to improve the lives of everyday people.


The dead ideas are that: our children will earn more than we do; free trade is "good" no matter how many people it hurts; employers should play a central role in the provision of health coverage; taxes hurt the economy; "local control" of schools is essential; people tend to end up, in economic terms, where they deserve to.


Is this man insane? More government? More taxes?


With a few tweaks here and there, Miller's dead ideas sound an awful lot like core American principles. (Exceptions: Even some hardened free-marketers will acknowledge the X factor of "luck," a subject Miller explored in his previous book, "The Two-Percent Solution.")


But he's got a point. In fact, he's got several.


The world has changed in significant ways and our old formulas simply no longer work. We once thought, for instance, that financial markets can regulate themselves. Whup. The disasters of 2008 proved that assumption false. If only we had noticed it sooner. Did dead ideas block our vision?


Miller doesn't pretend to possess a magic formula. Instead, he poses questions that expose the folly of our certitude. For instance:


Top economists of all political persuasions insist that free trade is "good for the country" because the benefits to some Americans outweigh the losses suffered by others owing to foreign competition. But, asks Miller, "Who put economists in charge of weighing the interests of one set of Americans against another?"


On education: Miller supports serious parental involvement and local ownership of the direction of schools, but insists that school funding based on local taxation dooms poor communities to substandard education.


Without a greater federal role in financing and standards, how are 10 million poor children supposed to compete?


Miller dismisses criticism that he is advancing a "nanny state." He acknowledges that "big government" liberalism is dead and rejects European socialist models. He even notes that Clinton's "Third Way" fell short of reducing insecurity in the global age.


At the same time, rigid conservative approaches have left us mortgaged to China through massive trade deficits, while deregulation of our financial system literally has broken the bank.


If rethinking comfortable ideas is painful, even more painful is the prospect in coming decades that, for instance, as many as 40 million white-collar jobs could be lost to competitors in such places as China and India.


Free trade was controversial as lower-paying manufacturing jobs moved overseas. "How will business and politics be reshaped when hungry foreign rivals set wage levels (and trigger 'downward mobility') for better-educated and politically potent groups in ways not previously imaginable?"


Unimaginable is the word for this and other scenarios Miller outlines in the book, but his arguments eliminate denial as an option. Although there's ample room for dissent, Miller's limber mind informs a rational voice that is crucial to the conversation.


Keep the Advil handy.

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.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2008, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles