We need to improve our socioeconomic system to allow us all decent, long lives under existing budget constraints - and we can.
[…] It turns out that Europe’s extensive social benefits are mainly supported by borrowing. With growth potential fading, debt refinancing has become a problem and pension payments for retirees will probably need to be curtailed.
Western Europe’s mature economy could have done quite well thanks to its developed social and physical infrastructure. But Europeans are trying to run it like an expanding economy, only to see it generate financial bubbles, meltdowns and debts.
The situation in Israel is different, with the median age 29 and higher birthrates, even among the secular Jewish population. Israel’s economy is based on industries with growth potential, largely due to the technology sector, where Europeans trail.
One would think our situation should be much better, but is it? Not exactly. Much of the state budget goes where it doesn’t contribute sufficiently to the economy and growth, like yeshivas, settlements, local wheeler-dealers and workers at government monopolies.
Israel boasts one of the lowest jobless rates in the OECD, but the employment situation in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities ranks among the worst in the developed world. And what about the revenue side? It’s the middle class that bears the brunt of rising taxes and the growing burden of making ends meet - wage earners, the self-employed and college graduates who educate their children to work and contribute. Rather than taxing the rich, the prime minister and finance minister decided to raise value added tax by 1%.
Need more thorough (and ‘actual number based’) take on Israel’s economic prospect. (Expected to be one of the major divisive issues for next election in Israel.)
At least, this piece isn’t so ideological.