In the News (from The Jerusalem Post): “Hebrew University economist challenges housing demonstrators to back up their chants for social justice with economic theory….
“‘We feel like the government started a war on its people,’ activist Stav Shaffir said at a discussion between protest leaders and an economist arranged on Monday morning in Jerusalem. Shaffir is a master’s student in History and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, and one of the nine original people who pitched a tent with Leef two-and-a-half weeks ago.…
“Among the requests of the demonstrators, explained Shaffir, is a restructuring of income tax brackets and a shift of the definitions of middle class and upper class. For people making more than NIS 1 million per year, they want to raise income taxes from 40 percent to 55%, which would generate an additional NIS 20 billion for social programs, said Shaffir.
“The protesters are also calling for a greater emphasis on income tax, which allows higher incomes to be taxed at a higher rate, rather than on value-added tax. VAT, the 16% tax added on to products and services such as strollers or meals at restaurants, is the same for everyone and is disproportionately felt by the lower classes, said Shaffir.
“‘We want to change the economic system from neo-liberal to a welfare state,’ she said.
“Economist Omer Moav, a professor at the Hebrew University and the Royal Holloway University of London and a former head economic adviser to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, said he was ‘sympathetic’ with the protesters, but cautioned them ‘we don’t live in a magic world.’ He accused the demonstrators of making grandiose claims without finding ways to pay for their new programs.…
“‘The Israeli economy is not sufficiently competitive,’ said Moav. ‘Prices are very expensive, but the solution to this is more competition. The government needs to allow imports in order to form competing prices,’ he added. ‘If you want a big pie to distribute, you need a market economy, it won’t work any other way.’”
My Comment: I believe that the survival instinct, common sense, and logic will prevail and will not allow the masses to be led by those who want not only to protest and thoughtlessly claim privileges, but also to immediately change the system and even annihilate the state of Israel, like the overseas instigators of these protests.