In this issue

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 August 1, 2006 / 7 Menachem-Av, 5766

Blueprint's new idea

By Michael Barone

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the best political magazines around is the Democratic Leadership Council's bimonthly Blueprint, edited by my former U.S. News colleague Peter Ross Range. This month's issue has several thoughtful and interesting articles. I'd like to focus on one, Austan Goolsbee's "Democratic Capitalism." Goolsbee is an economics professor at the University of Chicago but not a discipleine of the "Chicago school" of Milton Friedman and others. He's bothered, as many Democrats and the editorial writers of the Washington Post are, by the apparent rise in economic inequality in the United States. In this article, he focuses not on incomes but on wealth:

The average net worth of the top 10 percent of American families is almost 30 times greater than the average net worth of families in the middle 50 percent of the spectrum — and these disparities in net worth have been growing even faster than the disparities in income.

This is not surprising. As Goolsbee points out, high-income people save and invest a larger share of their income than lower-income people, and so naturally accumulate more wealth. And, as Goolsbee points out, tax deductions for 401(k) investments are worth more in dollars to people in the top income tax bracket. As he doesn't point out, that's necessarily the case with any tax deduction when you have progressive tax rates. There's an intellectually serious case for progressive taxation, but only a progressive tax with no deductions — politically unthinkable here or just about anywhere else — is going to deny high-income earners a disproportionate benefit for deductions.

As others have pointed out, even significant tax rate increases on those with high- incomes, above and beyond repeal of the Bush tax cuts, would have only a limited income redistribution effect. In light of this, Goolsbee sensibly calls not for increasing the tax burden on the rich, but for public policies that will help others accumulate more wealth. Here are his last three paragraphs:

Economists don't know whether the stagnating wage growth of recent years will be a persistent feature of the economy. But the returns on capital investment are as high as they've ever been. So at least until there is some clarity in the wage picture, the clarion call for progressives ought to be: Democratize capital ownership!

In the current order of things, the well-off are benefiting from higher wage growth and higher capital income growth than everyone else. On top of that, they've been enjoying a third helping of dessert in the form of preferential tax incentives that have been much more generous to them than to the middle and working classes.

Providing incentives for more people to share in the modern economy's rewards through savings and investment — that is, democratizing capital ownership — would establish a kind of hedge for the middle class against just the sort of problem the country has experienced in the past three decades, where the economy grows, but the incomes of typical workers stagnate or even fall.

Democratizing capital ownership: an excellent idea. But what sort of public policy would do that? One idea that occurs to me is to have individual investment accounts as part of Social Security. Every wage- earner would have investments and would accumulate wealth in the form of financial instruments over a lifetime. Unfortunately, when George W. Bush proposed individual investment accounts — admittedly, in rather vague form — no Democrats, including the leaders of the DLC, stepped forward to support some such proposal. On the contrary, most Democrats loudly opposed any such policy change. Goolsbee doesn't mention Social Security in his article, but it provides one available mechanism for his goal of democratizing capital ownership. Will the Democrats, when they win congressional majorities and the presidency again, take up his goal? Will they, like Bill Clinton in 1998 and early 1999, give serious consideration to some investment component in Social Security? Sooner or later we'll see.

One griped about this article. Goolsbee, like most people who write about wealth distribution, doesn't stratify the statistics by age. When you do that, you find that young people have very little wealth (often negative net worths) while most Americans in the 55-to- 64 age bracket have significant (six-figure) wealth, as I pointed out in this blog posting. If, like Goolsbee, you're more interested in increasing wealth accumulation among the great mass of Americans than you are in reducing wealth accumulation among the rich, then you ought to recognize that we already have in place public policies — those encouraging and enabling home ownership, 401(k)'s, and similar investment vehicles — that already do that for very many Americans. Your goal then would be to create policies that do more of this.

Another article well worth reading in the latest Blueprint is by DLC leaders Al From and Bruce Reed, "Proven Formula." Here's the nub of their argument:

Fortunately, the Democratic Party doesn't have to look far for a robust political and governing philosophy. It's called Clintonism, the party's most successful formula for winning the White House in more than half a century.

One of the fascinating things about American politics today is the way the Democrats have turned their back on Bill Clinton's politics and public policies. It's almost as if the Clinton administration and the two Clinton election victories had never existed. Democrats seem so frozen in their hatred of George W. Bush (From and Reed throw them some red-meat denunciations of Bush) that they have lost sight of what was, as From and Reed point out, a winning political formula.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future  

America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.

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