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 June 17, 2014 / 19 Sivan, 5774

Is America in Decline? Not So Fast

By Mort Zuckerman

Mort Zuckerman

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the country is witness to an ongoing roller coaster in Washington, powered by a leadership too often passing off the tough decisions, we sense a growing crisis in our political system. It is no wonder that both the Congress and the president have some of the lowest approval ratings in decades. In particular, we have seen President Obama's poll ratings experience one of the sharpest drops of any modern presidency, with an approval rating now hovering around 40 percent; according to the Associated Press, 59 percent disapprove of Obama, a political version of Gwyneth Paltrow's "conscious uncoupling." Who could be surprised, given the concern in the country that we have lost the capacity to compromise and are unable to solve the problems of the nation, and, as a result, that we may lose our leadership role in the world?

Everyone is concerned about the weak economy. This has now crystallized into the feeling of an aging America in decline. No longer can we exude what Mark Twain described as the serene confidence of a poker player with four aces. Quite the opposite, for we now worry that our children will not enjoy the opportunities we so long have taken for granted. We are anxious about a mysterious runaway financial system that may very well threaten the economy, not to mention a health care crisis that has not been resolved, all in the context of gigantic fiscal deficits that stretch as far as the eye can see. Meanwhile, members of both parties seem to be voting against each other more than at any time in living memory, a reflection of the president's failure to cultivate friends in Congress.

Another pattern that is now visible to the American public, described by Mancur Olson in his book "The Rise and Decline of Nations" as one of the consequences of institutional aging, is an accumulation of special interest groups that seek to eat away at the national wealth through obscure tax breaks, special appropriations, earmarks and other favors to individual interests. All this against a backdrop of Democrats and Republicans who are more ideological than ever and more proudly firm in their positions than they have been at any time since Reconstruction.

Nonetheless, it is important not to let the despair overshadow how well placed we are today to exploit the global economy. Yes, we are challenged in technology at a time when we have to diminish our reliance on the old industrial economy. But our cumulative investments in — and the quality of — our high-tech training and superior college education have produced significant benefits in the form of increased quality control and improved information systems to manage our factories' ability to adjust supply, output and prices more quickly than ever.

On a per capita basis, we spend considerably more on information technology than Western Europe and China do, and a much higher multiple (now estimated at around 7 or 8 times) of the global average. We have already replaced a number of large mass-produced consumer products with sophisticated goods that derive from both intellectual output and knowledge-based industries.

Thankfully, we are blessed with a culture of individual and corporate enterprise, management and entrepreneurialism. We can credit the need throughout our history to deal with vast markets stretching over mountains, deserts and rivers, and the challenge of meeting the requirements of enormously diverse populations. We are also blessed to have a national foundation of respect for the rule of law that has enabled American business to operate by contract rather than kinship and custom. Management practices here have been assisted by a level of labor flexibility that is the envy of the world. No other country has a population so imbued with a culture of self-improvement, and the capacity to be mobile both physically and mentally.

No other country benefits to the degree that America does from an egalitarian culture that has rejected primogeniture and instead is guided by the rule of merit and a common belief in technology and scientific management. No other country has focused on and invested so much in training and retraining its people, and has drawn so many of the world's best and brightest to its labs and research centers. It is no wonder that we can attract young talent from the world's top universities and from many of our competitor countries; talent understands that it will be exposed in America to a unique level of opportunity, including in many cases the possibility of participating on an equity basis in the businesses that stem from innovation.

No other country sees its most talented members moving to such a great extent into the private sector, to be financially rewarded as they are here as creators and doers. Witness the stunning valuations, in the billions of dollars, recently given to what not too long ago were seen as start-up companies — think Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Today, blue-chip companies no longer represent the greatest opportunity for creative young doers, for they have to compete with thousands of smaller businesses and start-ups with great potential to thrive and grow even as many others fail. As new products are released, our business culture's marketing and advertising skills can maximize their potential to succeed.

In fact, then, America nurtures the very qualities that offer the most to tomorrow's promising industries and technologies — to wit, flexibility, openness and a can-do attitude. Add to this a financial world that increasingly funds the future, not the past — and not with short-term capital but rather with long-term risky investments, reflecting a diversified culture that understands that necessary economic synergies come when there is money to back these new ideas.

On top of that, we have an enormous cultural sway worldwide, one that binds Americans together to a greater extent than in any other country and also binds the people of the world together as they share in popular American culture, music, Hollywood entertainment, Google and consumerism. Even as it may seem to be eroding, we are still living in the American century.

There is a popular consensus as to what we have to do, particularly in the area of education. Thus we make it easier for foreigners to come here to study and get advanced degrees in science and engineering, and hopefully, given our shortage of this kind of talent, to stick around after graduation. We must think of qualified and educated immigrants as a core dimension of the future of the American political economy, and establish some national system to recruit them, a tack that has worked well for Canada and many other countries. These people are job creators and job multipliers, and so we should increase the number of H-1B visas to its earlier level of 195,000 from the current 65,000. In its own way, this is itself a recruiting system that allows us to attract the best possible talent, particularly in the sciences and engineering, from other parts of the world.

One other program to boost the start-up world is to create a version of the large industrial park that has taken hold in places like Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and much of China, which offers access all in one place to the necessary permits, regulatory approvals, zoning, etc., and will make it possible for companies to deal with their growth without too much diversion.

All this demands a national leadership that inspires confidence and trust in the economy and in the business community; such policies reflect a long-term view of America's interests and needs.

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.

Mort Zuckerman is editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report.


© 2009, Mortimer Zuckerman