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 Nov. 12, 2007 / 2 Kislev

Teacher unions' gain is children's loss

By Michael Barone

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Education is not ordinarily thought to be in the purview of a Federal Reserve chairman. So it's striking when Alan Greenspan in his memoir, "The Age of Turbulence," raises the subject.

"Our primary and secondary education system," he writes, "is deeply deficient in providing homegrown talent to operate our increasingly complex infrastructure." The result: "Too many of our students languish at too low a level of skill upon graduation, adding to the supply of lesser-skilled labor in the face of an apparently declining demand."

So if you're concerned about widening disparities in income, Greenspan tells readers attracted to his book by its publicists' promise of criticism of George W. Bush, then what you need to do is to "harness better the forces of competition" in educating kids.

As Greenspan concedes, we have done that to some extent. Governors Republican and Democratic have worked to make public schools more accountable, charter schools provide some needed competition, and the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act has further prodded states and localities in those directions. But except for a few cities, notably Milwaukee and Cleveland, we have not had school choice programs with vouchers allowing parents to choose private as well as public schools.

Vouchers are adamantly opposed by the teacher unions, which spent millions persuading Utah voters last week to repeal a voucher law passed by the legislature. No one can say for sure how much vouchers would improve education. But they are "forces of competition," as Greenspan puts it, which we're almost entirely prevented from harnessing because of the power of teacher unions — the power, more specifically, that they wield in the Democratic Party.

I was reminded of this by a recent exchange on theatlantic.com between libertarian blogger Megan McArdle and liberal bloggers Matt Yglesias and Kevin Drum. These are three of the most intellectually interesting and usually independent-minded young liberal bloggers, but on vouchers they advanced one lame argument after another. On this issue, they were playing team ball.

The teacher unions are an incredibly important source of money and volunteers for the Democratic Party — about one in 10 delegates at recent Democratic national conventions have been teacher union members or their spouses. When they snap their fingers, the Democrats jump. Vouchers threaten to dry up dues money, and that is that.

Teacher unions are not the only public employee unions important to the Democrats — nearly half the union members in the country are public employees. And you can see their power exerted as well in House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel's tax reform proposal.

Rangel, who deserves credit for raising the issue of broad tax changes, proposes vast tax increases in order to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT, originally designed to make sure that a few millionaires could not avoid paying income tax, has never been indexed for inflation, and threatens to engulf 20 million taxpayers next year unless Congress passes another one-year "patch" or, as Rangel wants, abolishes it.

The AMT has no deduction for state and local taxes, and tends to hit high earners in high-tax states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and California — heavily Democratic states, you'll notice. These states tend to have highly paid unionized public employees, and their union leaders surely understand that the AMT threatens to create political pressure to lower state and local taxes and therefore spending. If voters can't deduct their state and local taxes, their tax burden will go way up, and they may start a tax revolt. Better not let that happen! So eliminating the AMT is an imperative for Democrats.

Looking ahead to future fiscal burdens, many people understand that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid threaten to consume an ever-larger share of the economy over the years. But so do state and local governments if public employee unions get their way. And to get it, they rely on taxpayer's funds — all their dues income comes from the public fisc.

Their goals are to increase pay, which runs counter to taxpayers' interests, and to minimize accountability, which runs counter to citizens'. Republicans are not their reliable adversaries — union leaders get cozy with Republican legislators when they can, by letting them know they won't oppose them. But the Democrats are, with some few exceptions, their humble obedient servants — from the young liberal bloggers up to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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The New Americans  

Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. 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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