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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 January 25, 2008 18 Shevat 5768

Happy talk is a sad policy

By Michael Goodwin


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You don't have to be Chicken Little to think the sky is falling. Panic selling on stock markets around the world reflects the fear that we're headed for a deep recession and that the United States is unable to stop the slide.


History teaches that we have been here before. Consider a passage describing the nation's mood during the Great Depression: "Capitalism, it seemed to many, had spent its force; democracy could not rise to economic crisis. The only hope lay in governmental leadership of a power and will which representative institutions seemed impotent to produce."


That's from volume two of the late Arthur Schlesinger's three-volume account titled "The Age of Roosevelt," which compellingly chronicles how America spent decades digging itself into a hole, and how FDR, within 100 days, started the recovery. The times and specifics are different, and we're not in a depression now, yet broad similarities between the 1930s and today are striking.


Start with the fact that wealth, in terms of homes and other assets, is vanishing daily in great gobs. Confidence in our leaders, once again, is missing in action. Fear has become a psychological barrier. The levers of power are elusive.


We need somebody with vision and courage to show us the way forward.


But is there a new Roosevelt among us? Would we recognize him? Would we even follow anyone who told us the truth instead of just blabbing on in feel-good happy talk?


Judging by how timidly and unrealistically the presidential candidates are approaching the unfolding crisis, the 2008 campaign has not yet produced a leader or the bold ideas America desperately needs. Even the alleged geniuses at the Federal Reserve were slow to see the train wreck coming. The .75% slash in the interest rate yesterday was a sign of panic, an emergency measure reflecting a dire situation mere months after the same bankers expressed a "don't worry" nonchalance. That it made a disastrous day only a bad day is no cause for cheer or hope.


Failure, like success, is often a matter of will. And the failure by the leading candidates of both parties to offer solutions is surely because such solutions will be painful for many Americans. Better to hide the scope of the problems, at least until after Election Day.


Let's face it - promising pain and sacrifice is not a path to victory. Not when our culture preaches we are entitled to the easy way out. The hard work and discipline that made our nation great has been replaced by magical thinking. Heaven help the pol who tells us otherwise.


So we are stuck with the shared illusion that if only the government hands out fairly modest amounts of money and tax breaks, all will be well. Hence the competition to see who can offer the biggest and fastest stimulus package, as though the candidate with the most expensive, least-considered giveaway will look the most presidential.


Hardly. Not when you realize that, with the government operating in the red, the planned giveaways to consumers and businesses are financed with borrowed money. That China has become our biggest banker adds to the sad point. The government is borrowing more money from China so Americans can go to the mall and buy more goods made in China. Sounds like we're bailing out China and digging a deeper pit for ourselves.


It's time to stop pretending the economy has small problems that we can fix quickly and painlessly. To do so only puts off the day of reckoning, and makes it ultimately more severe. The overriding truth is that we are living beyond our means and have become dependent on other countries to prop us up.


It can't go on forever, no matter how tightly we close our eyes and wait for magic.

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




Michael Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.


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