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 14, 2010 / 2 Tamuz 5770

Public workers are straining state budgets and ought to accept cuts

By Jack Kelly


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's probably just as well that Rita O'Neill-Wilson, a special education teacher at the high school in Rutherford, N.J., doesn't teach math.

Ms. Wilson had a spirited confrontation with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a town meeting last month. It's become a YouTube sensation.

The governor earned the ire of the teachers' union when he asked teachers to accept a one-year pay freeze and contribute 1.5 percent of their salaries toward the cost of their benefits package to help close an $11 billion state budget deficit.

Ms. Wilson told the governor "you're not compensating me for my education" -- she has a master's degree -- "and you're not compensating me for my experience."

She said she ought to be paid $3 an hour for each of the children in her class. That would come, Ms. Wilson said, to $83,000 a year. But, she said, she "makes nothing near that."

Actually, she makes more than that. According to the Rutherford Board of Education, Ms. O'Neill-Wilson makes a base salary of $86,389, plus a "stipend" of $652. When health and pension benefits are added in, her total compensation package exceeds $100,000 a year. And she doesn't have to work summers.

Ms. Wilson told Mr. Christie she teaches "because she loves it." I don't doubt she meant that. But private sector workers in New Jersey -- the ones whose taxes pay Ms. Wilson's salary -- don't think she's suffering financially for her career choice.

In 2009, state and local government employees had total compensation packages which averaged $39.66 per hour, 45 percent more than the $27.42 per hour earned by workers in the private sector, according to a study by the Cato Institute.

Several states and many municipalities are on the verge of bankruptcy, chiefly because of the vast sums they are paying in salary and benefits to public employees.

Government employees make more in part because they have more education than do workers in the private sector. But it's mostly because of the strength of public employee unions and the willingness of political leaders to give them taxpayer money in exchange for votes and campaign contributions.

"We are paying much, much more money to deliver government services that (with few exceptions) are not performing any better, and the single biggest line item in that cost increase is employee compensation," noted Matt Welch of Reason magazine. Education is a good example. A whopping 27 cents of every state and local tax dollar goes to K-12 education. In 2008, according to the Center for Education Reform, $10,889 was spent per student in public schools.

The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (2003) indicated the longer our kids are in school, the worse they do compared to our international competitors. U.S. fourth graders were a little above average in math, eighth graders a little below average and high school seniors near the bottom. In science, our fourth graders were near the top, eighth graders a little above average and 12th graders near the bottom.

Students in charter, private and parochial schools outperform public school students by most measures, despite spending much less per pupil. (Public schools do have to educate more high-cost, special-needs children, though.)

In the past, Americans have been willing to spend more for less on public education. Southern Methodist University researchers James Guthrie and Arthur Peng noted "there have been 11 periods during which GDP declined but mean total real per-pupil revenues still increased."

But the current recession is so severe most Americans now think public employees should share in the belt-tightening. And the resistance of the teacher's union to the modest sacrifices Mr. Christie is asking them to make in New Jersey is making people angry. In a poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University released late last month, only 33 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the New Jersey Education Association, while 44 percent had a negative view.

"In an astonishing fall from grace that has taken only months, teachers have gone from respected and beloved members of the community to some of the most reviled," wrote Kevin Manahan of the Newark Star Ledger last month.

The Obama administration wants to spend $23 billion we don't have to spare teachers the indignities of pay freezes or layoffs. For a nation that is $13 trillion in debt, this is not a wise expenditure, and would not be popular.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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