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 April 11, 2014 / 11 Nissan, 5774

If You Think the Sky is Falling, Check out the Prophecies of the 1970s

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Forty years is roughly the length of a working lifetime — and long enough for history to have taken some unexpected turns. And to have proved that long-term forecasts based on extrapolations of existing trends usually end up wide of the mark.

The list of failed prophecies from the 1970s is rather long. The conventional wisdom of the time was more than usually unreliable.

Example: the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth report in 1972, which predicted that the world was running out of oil and other natural resources. For a while that seemed right, as the 1973 and 1979 OPEC oil price hikes led to gas lines in the United States.

But in the longer run, as the Club came to recognize, engineers and entrepreneurs found more oil and other natural resources and figured out how to get them to market. Capitalism works, and in ways planners don't expect.

Another common assumption in the early 1970s was that Britain was a fusty, antiquated country that had to join the modern, up-to-date Common Market (now the European Union). Europe's war-devastated economies had actually grown faster than Britain's in the quarter-century after World War II.

Fast forward to today. It is Europe that looks out of date, with zero economic growth and economies smothered by sclerotic regulation, overlarge welfare states and the poorly conceived euro.

Britain got rid of much of that under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. And thanks to Gordon Brown, it wisely avoided the euro. Now it's growing solidly while the continent lags.

A third bit of conventional wisdom from the 1970s is that Asia generally and China in particular could never grow because of the burden of overpopulation.

But Asia's state-led capitalism and Deng Xiaoping's adoption of that model in 1978 has made Asia the growth capital of the world. Hundreds of millions have risen from poverty.

As for the population bomb, the biggest problem for Asia and China today is low birth rates and a contracting work force. These stopped growth in Japan and may do so elsewhere.

A final thing taken for granted in the 1970s was the enduring strength of the Soviet Union. It was, after all, ramping up its military even as America was recoiling from defeat in Vietnam.

Many seers predicted that the Soviet and Western models would converge, and that Soviet living standards would approach America's.

It turned out that the very few leaders who predicted the demise of the Soviet Union — Ronald Reagan, Daniel Patrick Moynihan — got it right. America, once it got the will, could outclass the Soviet military, and economic stagnation and ethnic tensions brought down the "evil empire."

There are common threads running through these mistaken projections. One is the extrapolation of recent trends far into the future. History doesn't proceed like a straight line on a graph; sometimes the lines bend.

Another is the assumption that progress means ever-larger states and increasing superintendence by international elites.

But much unpredicted progress has occurred when nations freed markets from the grip of centralized states and private sectors produced innovation that the supposed experts failed to anticipate.

A third common thread builds on the insight of economist Herbert Stein, who said that anything that could not go on forever would some day stop.

This prompts a question: Which of the widely accepted prophecies of today will seem as invalid today as the Club of Rome report? I have my own nominations, made with some confidence since actuarial tables tell me I will not be here in 40 years.

One is that the Chinese Communist regime will remain in place. Remember that it seemed on the verge of tottering in Tiananmen Square in 1989. It's lasted 25 years since, thanks largely to robust economic growth.

But certain dates in history — 1789, 1917, 1991 — tell us that sudden upheaval is possible when a regime's legitimacy seems exhausted.

And will today's conventional wisdom that the planet faces inevitable warming seem as risible in 2054 as the Club of Rome's prediction of exhausted resources seems today?

We are told that "the science is settled," when it is in the nature of science never to be settled, but always to be subject to verification and revision. I think we're in for more of that.

Finally, those widely shared views that America's best days are over. That's never been a good bet and I suspect it never will be.

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.




Michael Barone Archives

© 2009, Washington Examiner; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast