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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 Dec. 6, 2010 / 29 Kislev, 5771

Gut-check time for a land of financial gloom and doom

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pending catastrophe is not an easy notion to entertain, much less sustain. Americans, moreover, have a low tolerance for doom and gloom. We are the nation of optimism, after all. We elect leaders who promise hope and change. We are the shining city on a hill.

But what happens when the lights go out?

Can't happen.

Won't.

We're America. The most powerful nation on Earth. The land of plenty and opportunity. The place all others want to live. We are the dream.

But. But. What if . . . they do?

As they say, denial ain't just a river in Egypt. Count me among those who wish not to see what is horrifyingly apparent. Having recently arrived at the conclusion that the worst-case scenarios we've been hearing about for months (and even years to those more alert) might be true, I feel my optimism flagging.

Oh, but it's not really that bad, we tell ourselves. We've hit hard times before. We'll manage. But what if the worst really is yet to come?

Alas, the facts do not give optimists much to work with. If we do not get our financial house in order, few scary scenarios recently described by doomsayers will be reviewed as hyperbolic.

For prompts to assume the fetal curl, one need read no further than the Dec. 3 issue of Foreign Affairs, where Roger Altman, former deputy Treasury secretary, and Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, describe a nearly apocalyptic future - just around the bend - if we do not act yesterday.

Okay, today may do, but not so much tomorrow.

Begin here: Within 10 years, the federal debt could reach 90 percent of gross domestic product. No, wait, even that is "too optimistic," given low rates of economic growth, they say. The latest report from the International Monetary Fund projects that the federal debt could equal GDP by 2015.

The consequences of this slide are profound, not just at home but also abroad as our power is eclipsed by developing nations. This is a difficult thought to grasp, not least because it happened so suddenly in historical terms. As Altman and Haass point out, the national debt was only about 35 percent of GDP just 12 years ago. Furthermore, the debt had been shrinking to the point that some thought it might even be paid off. With the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts now animating the professional bickerers in Washington, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prescription-drug benefit for Medicare, we shifted our fiscal policy so significantly that we are faced with an era of austerity.

Other factors include a George W. Bush-era end to budget rules to balance spending and tax cuts. What has transpired was not only inevitable but predictable. To sum up:

"The eight years of the Bush administration saw the largest fiscal erosion in American history."

That's a pretty unequivocal indictment. Throw in the financial and economic crisis that hit just before the 2008 elections, and voila. Or however you say that in Chinese.

Most Americans probably figure they can muddle through a deep recession. Let's face it, we could use a little austerity around the waistline. But how do we manage a planet in which we are no longer the final arbiters of justice? Whatever one may say about our flawed history, few would argue that the world would be better off without us. When America is no longer able to rally her forces for good, the light dims for civilization. If you doubt it, we may yet get to test the thesis.

The instability inherent in the world's biggest economy being the world's biggest borrower is problematic beyond the obvious. Not only will we be limited in the extent to which we can fight necessary wars, but our financial constraints will affect homeland security, intelligence and foreign aid, according to Haass and Altman. Most important, our global clout will be increasingly diminished.

Haass and Altman offer two scenarios: One, our president and Congress get their deficit-reduction act together. (The failure Friday of the bipartisan debt commission to garner enough votes to send a plan to Congress was not a good omen.) Or, two, global capital markets will impose a solution, which would probably be "ugly and punitive."

Doubtless we would all prefer to fix things ourselves. But the fix will not be a product only of optimism. It will require sacrifice and, yes, a little suffering. The great American strength and will about which we've read so much in our history books will have to be resurrected.

The president of the United States needs to say that.

Today.

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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