Saturday, May 29, 2010
Cockroaches Eat Israel
"Weaning itself off socialist-influenced policies that once brought 400% inflation and 60% income-tax brackets, Israel's economy is now growing despite the international financial slowdown. ... But one Israeli economist is warning that beneath Israel's back-patting lurks a hidden peril--fueled by demographic trends and political choices--that could eventually mean an end to the country. ... According to [Dan] Ben-David, nearly one in five Israeli men between 35 and 54--a group that he believes has 'no excuse' for not working--are not part of the labor force. That's about 60% higher than the average among nations in the [OECD], an international forum fostering market-based economies that Israel joined Monday. ... Nearly 27% of Arab men and 65% of ultra-Orthodox Jews don't work, government figures show, The non-employment rate for ultra-Orthodox men has tripled since 1970, Ben-David says. ... What worries Ben-David most is that the nonproductive part of Israel's population, which survives largely on welfare, is also growing the fastest. Today Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox together make up less than 30% of the population, but they account for nearly half of school-age children. ... 'Eventually it's going to break the bank,' the economist said. 'We're on trajectories that are not sustainable.' ... A radio talk-show host recently described ultra-Orthodox Jews as 'parasites.' Tel Aviv's mayor said the fast-growing ultra-Orthodox community was 'endangering' the economic strength of the 'silent majority'," Edmund Sanders at the Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2010, link: http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/topofthetimes/topstories/la-fg-israel-idle-20100511,0,6313284.story.
Did Sanders write this because "LA Times" management would not let him write of Hispanic immigration's economic effects on California? The ultra-orthodox Jews, haredim, are pejoratively called cockroaches in Israel. They do not work and produce families of 6-8 children, supported by the Israeli state. This trend, if unchecked may destroy Israel long before Iran can. It's ironic that Europe imported Moslems to increase its welfare recipients.