The Shiny Shekel

A few economics-related items today: Fox Business has a glowing piece on the booming Israeli hi-tech market, entitled “Israel’s Technology Creates an Investment Goliath.”

[Israel] is third only to America and Canada in the number of companies listed on the Nasdaq, ahead of economic powerhouses like Germany, England and China. …
“Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean,” said David Anthony, a partner in 21 Ventures, a venture capital company that has invested $75 million in Israeli companies.

A few days previously, CNN noted the story:

The country’s economy grew more than five percent last year — faster than the U.S., Europe, UK and Japan. …

And wine news:

According to the 2008 edition of Rogov’s Guide to Israel Wines, written by Ha’aretz newspaper wine critic Daniel Rogov, the number of wineries in Israel has grown dramatically, particularly since 2001. In a country about the size of New Jersey, there are now about 130 wineries. Sales of Israeli wines reached about $140 million in 2007. According to the Israel Export Institute, wine exports hit $21 million in 2007, up 42% from 2006.

Another good reason to keep the Golan, as if any were needed.

The amazing thing about all of this growth is that it is taking place in an economy that the just-released Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom ranks as only the 46th freest in the world — less free than a good number of the most sclerotic and torpid socialist leftovers in the western world.