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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 July 1, 2014 / 3 Tammuz, 5774

Why Government Isn't Working and How to Make it Better

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Government just doesn't work very well. That's the persuasive thesis of three important books published this year.

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge's "The Fourth Revolution" takes a historical and international (and British) perspective.

They argue that the welfare state, a creation of early 20th-century Brits, has become clunky in comparison to recent reforms in Scandinavia and the Asian model most highly developed in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

Peter Schuck's "Why Government Fails So Often" looks at a multitude of federal programs and concludes that most, though not all, have "deep structures" which make "policy failure and mismanagement" inevitable.

Philip K. Howard's "The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government" takes a different approach.

Howard, a New York lawyer and founder of a group called Common Good, starts off with anecdotes showing how law prevents problems from being sensibly solved.

A bridge blocking New York's harbor from the newest supertankers can't be elevated without 47 permits from 19 government agencies, and environmental groups will bring lawsuits at multiple stages.

A lifeguard is fired for saving a man outside his zone of the beach. A community soup kitchen was shut down because it served potluck meals and had no kitchen to be inspected. Day care centers have to offer two sets of blocks with at least 10 blocks a set (who counts them each day?).

You get the idea. You've almost certainly encountered this sort of thing in your daily life. "Legal rigidity trumps everything," Howard writes. "Law has crowded out the ability to be practical or fair."

American laws and regulations tend to be over-detailed and to rob government officials of all initiative and, therefore, responsibility. Case in point: The 2,700-page Obamacare, with a 28-word definition of "high school" and a (so far) 7-foot high pile of regulations.

How did this democratic nation come to be saddled with, as Howard puts it, "a government run by clerks and jerks"?

Howard traces it back to Progressive and New Deal legislation, which gave regulators wide latitude to enforce vague laws. In response, Congress in 1946 passed the Administrative Procedures Act, which tended to produce bureaucratic bloat and paralyze government action.



The biggest changes came in the 1960s. Southern segregationist officials purported to follow the law, but in fact blocked equal rights for blacks. The response — effective in breaking segregation, but a disaster otherwise — was a distrust of all officials and detailed rules that robbed them of discretion.

At the same time, the just-born environmental movement used new statutes and court decisions to bring lawsuits to achieve the goal of BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything).

These were liberal initiatives, but conservatives also got into the business of tying officials' hands. Corporations came to seek detailed regulations that would provide them "safe harbor" protection against prosecutions and lawsuits. K Street lobbyists with ties to both political parties developed a lucrative vested interest in complex laws and regulations.

Howard wants to undermine this "rule of nobody." Get rid of all the detailed instructions and trust the common sense of responsible individuals to make decisions promptly in line with social norms.

He notes that in 1988, Australia got rid of detailed nursing home regulations (so many square feet per resident) and substituted general standards, including "homelike environment," "privacy and dignity."

Academics who decried this reform were surprised to find that nursing homes improved under the new standards. Regulating by principles rather than rules replaced arguments and nitpicking with cooperative conversations and consensus.

Howard would like to reconstruct the federal government along similar lines. Laws with budgetary impact should sunset periodically, to prune the legal code of the underbrush planted by now-defunct legislators.

Presidents should be freed from the entanglement of detailed restrictions and 1970s legislation barring them from not spending funds and hamstringing advisory committees.

Judges should be empowered to dismiss invalid claims quickly. Someone should be given the authority to conclusively and speedily decide environmental issues. Congress should set up commissions to propose simplified legal codes on everything from education to entitlements to the environment.

Pretty radical stuff, and both liberals and conservatives will fear potential changes. The current president has low credibility and a demonstrated incapacity to compromise.

I'm not sure I'd trust Howard's inevitably elite-dominated commissions. But his central insight — that ordinary Americans can be trusted to behave responsibly — is a good starting place in reforming government.

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




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