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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 August 3, 2009 / 13 Menachem-Av 5769

Beware the High Cost of Unintended Consequences

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A teachable moment last Thursday night — no, I'm not referring to the beer-in-the-garden session featuring Professor Henry Gates and Sgt. James Crowley and the shirtsleeved president and vice president. We didn't learn anything more about the Gatesgate controversy except that only the least experienced of these four men — Sgt. Crowley — was the only one willing to speak at length before the cameras.


The teachable moment came at midnight Thursday when the government decided to suspend the less-than-four-weeks-old Cash for Clunkers program. Congress scheduled it to last until November. But many more car owners than predicted walked into dealers to qualify for the $3,500 or $4,500 rebates for trading in their old cars for new ones with slightly (four miles per gallon) better gas mileage.


Mind you, the government hasn't yet shelled out the $1 billion authorized for Cash for Clunkers. Dealers reduce the buyers' prices and have to apply to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the rebates and NHTSA — surprise, surprise — has only managed to process 23,000 of an estimated 250,000 applications. The checks, we are told, will be in the mail. Oh, there's another problem: The dealers are required to destroy the clunkers, which will reduce the supply and increase the price of spare parts for those low-income folks who can't afford to trade their clunkers in even with a $4,500 subsidy. So much for helping the poor.


Cash for Clunkers is a prime example of the unanticipated consequences of hastily drafted legislation. The House voted hurriedly Friday to transfer $2 billion of stimulus funds to Cash for Clunkers, and the Senate will probably agree next week. But who thinks Congress will stop there? There will still be plenty of clunkers on the road.


This brings to mind a similarly well-intentioned 2000 Arizona law that paid $22,000 per vehicle to owners of cars operable with alternative fuels. SUV owners began installing small propane tanks and pocketing the money; the law didn't say they actually had to use the propane. A program estimated to cost $5 million ballooned to $500 million, one-tenth the state budget. The Arizona legislature, unable to print money, repealed the law. Congress is not similarly constrained.


If such simple laws can have such huge unanticipated consequences, what should we expect from the 1,000-plus-page laws congressional Democrats have been trying to write that would regulate the provision and financing of health care, one-sixth of our total economy?


Ballooning costs, for one thing. Not many members of Congress — maybe not any — have had the time or motivation to read through 1,000-page bills to figure out how someone could game the system to bring in great gushers of government money. But some nontrivial number of 307,000,000 Americans will do so. And some will figure out how to tap the federal treasury to their advantage.


More important, any health care legislation will inevitably affect medical treatment and care. Under the Democrats' bills, the government will regulate the terms and conditions of health-insurance plans to reduce choice and discourage treatments that some centralized experts decide aren't cost effective. Never mind that experts currently differ on these matters, and constantly revise their assessments based on new information; certain procedures will be frozen into place.


The government insurance "option" sought by Barack Obama and liberal Democrats is clearly intended, as Congressman Barney Frank confessed the other day, to be the best way to get to a single-payer system like Canada's, in which choice will be further limited and innovation discouraged. Obama constantly says you will be able to keep the insurance you have, but not if your employer decides not to offer it any more and to offload you onto the government plan.


Polling shows that most Americans are happy with the health insurance they have. One reason is that they have, in economist Albert Hirschman's phrase, the option of exit. Most Americans choose health-insurance policies every year, and if we don't like our current plan, we can exit from it and choose another.


Government insurance will tend to close off the option of exit, trapping you in a system that is sure to be riddled with unanticipated consequences. Those cost you money when, as a taxpayer, you have to pay for the unanticipated cost of Cash for Clunkers. Unintended consequences can cost you far more when, as a patient, you need medical treatment and care.

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




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