Question: On January 31, 2016, the Secretary General of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Angel Gurria gave Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon a report regarding the economic situation in Israel.
Although the housing prices are rising and poverty increasing, Israelis feel happier. How can this paradox be explained?
Answer: Apparently for Israelis, happiness does not depend on money. In fact, the feeling of happiness doesn’t depend on whether you have an apartment or not. I believe that you can live and be happy in a Bedouin tent or a small room.
Comment: But the Israelis keep complaining.
Answer: I understand that they are complaining, but on the other hand, they buy more and more apartments every year even though housing prices are rising sharply. And the state is interested in that because it actually determines the price level by raising taxes. When a person buys an apartment, he pays the state, through the sellers, 40%-50% of the price and even more.
Moreover, I saw a TV program not too long ago where a fancy 5-room apartment that costs a million dollars, for example, could be bought on Arab territory for the price of $50,000, which is 20 times cheaper, although it is built of the same materials and is of the exact same standard. You can buy 20 flats of the same standard and even houses for the price of one flat that was bought in Israel, not too far from the center, at a distance of 50, 20, and even 10 kilometers from the center, as long as it is not under the jurisdiction of local laws.
Why is that so? Because such prices and inflated profit are common both among the builders and those who collect the taxes.
What can we do about that? Ask the state since it has determined the building policy. If the state had clearly determined the level of housing prices according to size or location, everything could certainly have been different. It is all in the hands of the state but they don’t take this matter seriously.
Question: Is feeling happy an Israeli quality?
Answer: Yes, basically we feel good. Despite the fact that no one loves us, everyone pressures us, etc., an Israeli who lives in the country, surrounded by others who are like him, with his army, and with its industry, feels good. His children can study in a university even if they have to work part-time since things aren’t always that simple, but they can still do it. There are still social elevators. Even people who were born and grew up in the periphery may, in a few years, attain high positions in the hi-tech industry and get very high salaries. I believe that Israel is still a land of opportunities.
It is a unique country with unique minds that will still “sell” their brains. Hi-tech is our future. We will live on it and everything else will disappear because there will be no need for it. We don’t even need agriculture because others can do that, but the brains cannot be transferred to others.
Our future is in hi-tech and good minds. This is enough in order to be the head of the world. It isn’t bad and not too little; we only have to use our mind correctly.
Question: What about the spiritual factor?
Answer: This is what I meant when I said that you have to know how to use your head. Besides, we have to provide the world with new technology as to the right development and how to build the right society in order to bring the world new technology and new techniques.
I believe that we will also discover that because what we have and no one else does is the wisdom of Kabbalah, which can show the whole world an example of unity, peace, and real happiness. Then the whole world will be happy just like Israelis are today.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 2/2/16