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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 March 7, 2013 25 Adar, 5773 /

Spending Cuts May Be Answer to Slow Economic Growth

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Dow set a new high on Tuesday, but the larger economy is a different story. What if today's sluggish economic growth turns out to be the new normal? That's the unsettling question asked by some of our most creative economic thinkers.

And the people asking it are not necessarily partisan opponents of the Obama administration. They argue that economic growth rates were disappointing even before the financial collapse and recession of 2007-09.

Take Tyler Cowen, author of the e-book (belatedly published in print) "The Great Stagnation." Economic growth is the product of increases in the labor supply and productivity, he argues uncontroversially.

But the U.S. labor force — even assuming we get back to full employment — is not increasing as rapidly as it did when baby boomers and Gen Xers were reaching their working years.

As for productivity, Cowen argues that we simply haven't had the kind of innovations in technology or means of production that we saw in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Advances in information technology, he writes, have produced nothing like the productivity gains produced by the development of electricity, the synthesis of ammonia, the invention of the internal combustion engine and the development of new metal production technologies — gains documented in Vaclav Smil's book "Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact."

In response to Cowen, Megan McArdle of The Daily Beast writes, "We are not prepared for low growth: culturally, economically or psychologically."

In a fast-growth economy, it makes financial sense for young people to borrow and for government to transfer money from current earners to the elderly.

That's why we had government policies subsidizing people borrowing to buy homes and pay for college.

Unfortunately, those policies produced windfall gains for unscrupulous mortgage originators and university administrators. And they produced the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and the higher education bubble that is in the process of bursting now.

Politicians have been searching for policies to restore the status quo ante bubble.

But in a slow-growth, new-normal economy, it doesn't make sense to borrow to buy a house whose value will only stagnate. It doesn't make sense to take out college loans for degrees that won't get you a job.

Recent data indicate that young people are taking on less debt than in the recent past and that applications to many universities are sharply down.

And the policy of transferring money from current workers to retirees — Social Security, Medicare — simply isn't sustainable if current workers aren't going to be producing and earning substantially more than those they're subsidizing.

As McArdle writes, "Government accounting is explicitly based on the assumption that spending grows, in real terms, every year — difficult to achieve unless the economy grows at least as much."

Which suggests a question: Is new-normal slow growth inevitable? Even if you accept Cowen's argument that productivity-enhancing innovation occurs sporadically, can't America do better than it has in the past five (or, if you like, dozen) years?

Barack Obama has been trying to stimulate the economy with record-high government spending funded by higher tax rates and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's low interest rates.

But as Stanford economist Michael Boskin points out in The Wall Street Journal, "Japan tried that, to little effect, in the 1990s." Slow growth has become the new normal there.

There are alternative policies. One is to cut government spending, or cut it more than you raise taxes. As Boskin points out, the Netherlands in the mid-1990s and Sweden in the mid-2000s "stabilized their budgets without recession (with) $5-$6 of actual spending cuts per dollar of tax hikes."

And he notes that Canada reduced government spending in the mid-1990s and early 2000s by an amount equal to 8 percent of gross domestic product.

Those cuts weren't painless, but they put Canada on a trajectory different from ours. Canadian voters value budget surpluses, and Canada managed to avoid almost all the bad effects of the 2007-09 recession.

Of course policies can't be transported mechanically from one country to another. Circumstances and customs inevitably differ.

But a strong case can be made that our current policies threaten to make slow growth the new normal. And that would be profoundly painful in ways we are only beginning to imagine.

Republicans are being attacked as irresponsible for allowing the relatively small sequester cuts to occur. But maybe that was the responsible thing to do. Maybe it would be responsible to cut spending even more.

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.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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