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January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
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Yair Lapid’s Economic Scare Mongering

Does Finance Minister Lapid know what he'd doing?
Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, seen leaving his home on election day, January 22, 2013.

Polls show a sharp drop in the popularity of Yair Lapid.
Photo Credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash 90

What’s behind Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s scare mongering?  What’s his true agenda?

Yair Lapid: Deficit could cause collapse

Finance Minister: The austerity measures will stop Israel reaching the conditions in Europe with high unemployment.

2 July 13 12:42, Moshe Golan

“The idea that we have people here whose lives are at risk because they are doing their jobs is intolerable in a proper democracy,” said Minister of Finance Yair Lapid in his opening remarks at the Union of Local Authorities in Israel, referring to the “loathsome” economic measures he has taken. He said that without these measures, the deficit would balloon to NIS 70 billion within two years.

“We must make changes together. We must do this in two stages. The first, and short, step is to emerge from the deficit. The steps we’ve taken are painful, I admit it. Raising VAT is painful, raising income tax is painful, but you are people who understand budgets, so it is easy for me to explain this to you: the deficit is not a one-time event, it’s structural. If we don’t stop it now, it will continue to grow and grow until it buries us,” Lapid said.

The Israeli economy is one of the healthiest in the western/developed world?

Israeli Unemployment European unemployment

The euro area1 (EA17) seasonally-adjusted2 unemployment rate was 12.1% in May 2013, up from 12.0% in April. The EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with the previous month. In both zones, rates have risen markedly compared with May 2012, when they were 11.3% and 10.4% respectively. These figures are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.Eurostat estimates that 26,405 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 19,222 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in May 2013. Compared with April 2013, the number of persons unemployed increased by 16 000 in the EU27 and by 67 000 in the euro area. Compared with May 2012, unemployment rose by 1.324 million in the EU27 and by 1.344 million in the euro area.

United States unemployment

Unemployment fell in May from a year earlier in two-thirds of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas, but 27 still had jobless rates in excess of 10%, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Eleven of these areas were in California, the country’s most-populous state, which continues to grapple with fallout from the housing-market downturn. El Centro, Calif., had one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, at 22.8%, surpassed by Yuma, Ariz., at 30.8%.

Maybe we’ve been doing something right, and if we take those drastic  measures Lapid is recommending things will get worse…  Most of Lapid’s economic changes affect the poor, the minimum wage and lower middle class much more than they affect the lives of the wealthy.  And those in the middle-class, from whom Lapid got most of his votes, will feel poorer, rather than more comfortable. Unlike most developed countries, Israel has a population growth rate in the educated classes of society.  And davka, this important index will suffer the most from Lapid’s policies.  Population growth is a key to a healthy society.  All of the old age benefits, pensions, private and governmental are based on the pyramid principle.  The young people pay for the pensions of their elders.  If those young people don’t have enough children, then there won’t be enough new money in the system when they are no longer able to work.  There’s nothing evil in this aspect of the pyramid system; this is just a fact of life. The more children, the more growth the stronger the economy will be in the future.

Such irony, davka, Yair Lapid’s political party is called Yesh Atid, There is a Future.  His economic policies endanger the future for Israelis.

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About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


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