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 Nov 10, 2011 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Working for Fun Is No Laughs in Market Capitalism

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some of my friends in the conservative blogosphere have been ridiculing a New Yorker named Joe Therrien. I want to put in a good word for him.

Therrien appears in the lead paragraph of a story in The Nation on Occupy Wall Street. He's an example, writer Richard Kim wants us to know, of the "creative types" ingeniously protesting capitalism.

It's one of those no-violence-or-anti-Semitism-here-just-nifty-people articles you find not only in the avowedly leftish Nation but also in mainstream media.

Conservative bloggers and commenters have been making fun of Therrien, who quit his job as a drama teacher in New York City public schools to get a master of fine arts in puppetry at the University of Connecticut.

Now he's saddled with $35,000 in student loans and unable to find a puppetry job. So he's substitute teaching at half his former pay and is a member of Occupy Wall Street's Puppetry Guild.

"Could he not see this coming if he spent $35k on a degree in puppetry?" asks cartcart on lucianne.com. "A hopeless case."

But actually it turns out that some Americans do make a living doing puppetry. And not just the famous ones like Burr Tillstrom of the 1950s TV show "Kukla, Fran and Ollie," or Jim Henson of "The Muppets."

Some do so working for outfits like the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, the Sandglass Center for Puppetry and Theater Research in Putney, Vt., and the Spiral Q Puppet Theater in Philadelphia.

Reason's Mike Riggs notes disapprovingly that these organizations got federal money from Barack Obama's stimulus package. But they also receive money from people who buy tickets for performances and those who make larger voluntary contributions.

They look like good examples of the Tocquevillian voluntary associations that crop up all over America and benefit from the prosperity generated by market capitalism.

Therrien, according to Richard Kim, thought his master's in puppetry would bring him "a measure of security." But I think that in quitting a tenured job he was giving up security and taking a risk to achieve his dream.

He presumably felt that he could be a good enough puppeteer to make a living at it and could find a job doing so. That's the sort of thing the late Steve Jobs told Stanford graduates that they ought to do.

Therrien didn't know that we were going to have a financial collapse in fall 2008 and that a lengthy recession would follow. Neither did most economists — including the very good ones in the Obama administration — and most people in banking and financial services.

Or perhaps Therrien didn't understand that a lengthy recession could reduce the market demand for puppetry, as fewer people could afford tickets or make generous gifts.

I have long thought that one of the wonderful things about our affluent society is that more and more people could find jobs doing things they love.

In a hunter-gatherer society, men hunt and women gather, whether they like it or not. In an agricultural society like 18th century America, practically everybody has to make a living farming even if they hate it.

In industrial America a century ago, people had jobs as factory workers or, if they were skilled and lucky, file clerks. Liberals today ooze nostalgia about how half a century ago an unskilled guy just out of high school could get a steady job on an auto assembly line.

Well, I grew up in Detroit, and I know that people hated those jobs.

In the America of our time, a lot of people make livings as actors, musicians and, yes, as puppeteers. I think it's a safe assumption that they get more satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from their work than they would as file clerks or factory workers with significantly higher pay.

Joe Therrien bet $35,000 that he would be able to find work he loved, and I think well of him for it, even though he has at least for the moment lost his gamble.

What he probably doesn't realize is that jobs in fields like puppetry aren't generated by government but are the product of bounteous market capitalism, which enables people to buy luxury goods like puppet show tickets and subsidize puppet theaters through philanthropy.

Government is a poor and unreliable substitute, and a government that chokes private-sector growth inevitably hurts the puppetry business. Sorry, Joe.

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