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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 July 29, 2014 / 2 Menachem-Av, 5774

Fighting Parasitic Bureaucracies and Crony Capitalism

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Pare down the parasitic fringe" of government. "Favor a gospel of work" instead of aristocratic entitlement. "Rationalize finance" and "reverse the Parkinson's law of bureaucracy."

All that sounds like rhetoric from the Tea Party or reform conservatives who assail what they call crony capitalism.

But it's not a contemporary criticism. Those are phrases from a long essay, written more than half a century ago, by the British historian H. R. Trevor-Roper, titled "The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century."

In his plummy prose, Trevor-Roper sought to explain why revolutions or revolts of varying sorts broke out in the British Isles, France, Spain, Italy and Germany in the years between 1640 and 1660.

He was especially eager to refute Marxist historians' claims that these were the necessary predicate to what their master proclaimed would be the inevitable and beneficent communist revolutions that unaccountably had not yet occurred.

Trevor-Roper argues that the growing nation-states of the 1500s, engorged with New World silver and inflationary currencies, built up large bureaucracies that stifled trade and manufactures. The Counter-Reformation Catholic Church had a similar effect.

These bureaucracies were particularly expensive because rulers gave their favorites "the right to exploit their fellow subjects," with monopolies in particular commodities and grants of land they could profitably dispose of. Crony capitalism was squeezing out a potentially productive private sector.

It's not hard to see some resemblance to America today. The federal bureaucracy head count is not significantly larger than it was 50 years ago. But the federal impact is much greater, through entitlement programs, subcontracted welfare provisions and regulation that favors entrenched interests.

Thus the Dodd-Frank Act gives favored financial institutions too-big-to-fail status that enables them to muscle aside potential competitors. The Export-Import Bank provides special favors to a few giant corporations. But there are few loans to start-up businesses.

Government subsidization of health care, even before Obamacare, and of higher education creates huge dysfunctional bureaucracies that vacuum up supposed benefits to patients and students.

Agricultural subsidies and price-fixing, "green energy" programs, laws such as the Jones Act and Davis-Bacon that restrict work to unionized firms — all siphon off money and resources from the productive private sector to politically well-positioned special interests.

Trevor-Roper points out that princely states and the Counter-Reformation Church proliferated "hatcheries which turned out the superfluous bureaucrats," as many colleges and universities do today.

State and local governments, often the captives of public sector unions, pay higher-than-private-sector wages to bureaucrats and teachers and make pension promises that will burden the productive economy for generations.



Seventeenth century European reformers had another model in mind, the prosperous Renaissance city-states of Italy and Flanders, many of which were squeezed out of business by nation-states.

After 1660, the nation-states that pared back bureaucracies and allowed room for such trading cities to operate — England, Holland and, for a while, France — flourished, while Spain, Italy and Germany mostly languished.

Americans today, thanks to our federal system, have models available, too. Texas, with its low taxes and sensibly light regulation, has a booming multi-sector economy with high job creation. Fracking technology, on private lands not owned by the government, has increased oil and gas production far above levels government agencies and big corporations predicted.

Some conservatives nostalgic for the Reagan revolution insist that the key to sparking private sector growth is cutting high tax rates. But rates aren't so high today, and crony capitalism, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, has metastasized far beyond 1980s levels.

Today the reform conservatives and Tea Partiers are moving, hesitantly and unevenly, on the path toward clearing away impediments to growth and paring down what Trevor-Roper calls "the monstrous parasite."

The bipartisan coalition that has supported farm bills has broken down. Proposals to raise the gas tax to fund transportation are going nowhere. House Republican leaders are talking seriously about refusing to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

Reform conservatives have called for measures to help struggling Americans without political connections work their way up. And last week, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a 73-page antipoverty agenda going beyond his previous tax cut and entitlement reform proposals.

Such proposals are emerging without any institutional economically motivated base. It's starting to look something like what Trevor-Roper saw in the 17th century: an "indeterminate, unpolitical, but highly sensitive miscellany of men" mutinying "against the vast, oppressive, ever-extending apparatus of parasitic bureaucracy."

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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