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 Jan. 15, 2007 / 25 Teves, 5767

Uncle Sam the meter maid

By Tom Purcell

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are only two words you need to know to understand the meaning of government: meter maid.

Though maybe I'm a little bitter.

I live in a wonderful suburban community, six miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Its main street is lined with pubs and shops and stores. I spend many days writing in a coffee shop there.

But my writing has been difficult of late — difficult because of our meter maid.

She's an extraordinary woman, a legend in these parts. No sooner does a meter pin "expire" than she is there. Park beyond the white lines? She'll nail you 15 bucks for that. Dare to park one second beyond the two-hour limit? She'll nail you 15 bucks for that, too.

I am punished repeatedly for these offenses. I thought it was funny at first — funny at how prolific our meter maid really is. But after thinking about what it really means, I don't think it's so funny anymore.

My meter maid is a perfect reflection of what is so worrisome about government — a perfect example of the unintended consequences and perverse incentives that only government can create.

A town like mine should have parking meters and parking rules. Lawbreakers who abuse them should be punished. It's necessary to preserve order — to keep patrons moving in and out, so that shop owners and the town may flourish.

But it is my meter maid who has become the aggressor. She's a master of her art. Her ticket pad is her blank canvas — she can saunter past 10 cars in 10 seconds and whip out 10 tickets without breaking stride.

It matters not if you're old and feeble and your doctor's appointment ran a few minutes over. Who cares if you're a shop employee unable to find a long-term parking spot. It will do you no good to park outside of the painted lines so the car behind you has room to get out.

You will be punished.

You will be punished because there's profit in it for the government. With every stroke of the pen, my meter maid is printing money for her employer — and, possibly, generating funds toward the annual meter maid ball (a cause, by the way, to which I contribute generously).

It's certainly not the meter maid's fault that she responds to such incentives — misdirected incentives that ultimately anger patrons and hurt the businesses and town the regulations were designed to benefit. The government is in the business of misdirected incentives.

Take poverty. Years ago, LBJ unleashed a flurry of government programs to eliminate it. We've spent well over a trillion dollars since and all our good intentions got us is more poverty.

It's not that I dislike government. I liked the federal loans that got me through Penn State. I like the world's finest highway system that allows me to travel freely state to state. I loved the way local police nabbed the fellow who hit my car and ran.

I just don't trust government.

Which brings us to the Democrats. Democrats love government. They think government and good intentions can solve all the woes of the world. And now that they're running Congress, they're going to try to do just that.

They'll promise to "fix" our health care troubles by having the government take over, which will increase our troubles and limit our health care.

They'll "fix" Social Security by raising taxes and growing the program, only to hurt the economy and damage the program.

They'll "fix" the gap between rich and poor by raising taxes on the rich, which will slow the economy and make all of us poorer — especially the poor.

The Democrats will unwittingly unleash a legion of federal meter maids who will regulate, monitor and punish — and unwittingly accomplish the opposite of whatever they set out to accomplish.

I hope they're less proficient than my meter maid. It's like she drops out of the sky every time a meter expires. If only Osama bin Laden would park in my town. He'd be cuffed and standing before my magistrate inside of 48 hours.

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© 2007, Tom Purcell