Israel's Dilemma, by Ezra Sohar
Start with government owner-ship or effective control of the bulk of the manufacturing, agricultural, and financial sectors, themselves saturated with monopoly enterprises. Add a tax system that stifles initiative and virtually mandates cheating. Stir in a method of wage-setting that is supposed to be egalitarian (bad enough!) but, thanks to a bewildering variety of tax-free “perks” and special exemptions, is not. Overlay all of this with a huge bureaucracy and give it the discretion to allocate land, water, and housing; to determine who shall be permitted to obtain foreign currency, and at what exchange rate; and to decide who will be preferred for most jobs. You have here, in short, a prescription for an ossified, inefficient, bankrupt economy. You have Israel.
Or at least you have the Israel seen by Ezra Sohar, a physician and social commentator whose book is somewhere between an eye-opening catalogue of the dash for economic ruin by successive Israeli governments and the agonized cry of a patriot outraged by “the yawning chasm between the awesome potential and the feeble reality of modern Israel.”
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