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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#Tomorrow13 Stanley Fischer speaks to bloggers

Stanley Fischer is speaking to bloggers at the #Tomorrow13 conference in Jerusalem. He is the soon-to-be-retiring governor of the Bank of Israel.

Israeli economy starts with world economy. Low growth in Europe this year, US slightly better, but Israel's outside environment not good.

Israel also undertaking 'needed fiscal contraction to get the budget back.' Change in budget relative to year before is rather small but had to break promises. Look for 3.8% growth this year of which 1% will be impact of gas so 2.8% growth overall. Looking at 3-3.5% for 2014.

But we're at full employment - unemployment rate the lowest in 30 years.

Someone from Times of Israel asks if we have moral obligation to help 'Palestinians.' Fischer says we have moral obligation to help world, and economic growth for 'Palestinians' would probably be good for us. If we had free trade and a 'Palestinian' economy at peace, we would probably see a pickup in growth.

Someone asked about China and Fischer said that we don't need to be the ones to boycott China because of its human rights issue when no one else is.

Someone asked him about access to credit for small and medium enterprises. He said that some banks have put aside money for it but this is a worldwide problem.

There's a long line to ask questions so I will pass on that privilege. I wanted to ask about some of his statements about the size of Haredi families. I think what he really meant was that we ought not to be paying people to have children. I would say that we ought to have a means test to decide who needs help to raise their children. The yeled v'kelev crowd (one child and one dog) in North Tel Aviv that makes NIS 100,000 per month or more does not need the monthly subsidy. If so, he ought to say that. But that would enrage the chattering classes....

He's now talking about infrastructure priorities. He admits he doesn't know much about it, and the questioner, who keeps trying to get Fischer to say something about the JNF, is probably from the JNF. 'Nuff said. Have to talk to Elie Klein about limiting next year's blogger sessions to bloggers....

Someone asks him about solving Europe's economic problems. By the way. the rumor here is that Fischer will return to the US to be the governor of the Federal Reserve, so all of you stateside may be hearing a lot about him soon.

End of meeting.

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3 Comments:

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Carl,

What you are arguing for is "spreading the wealth around". Why does the one child and one dog family in Tel Aviv deserve their money less than a Haredi family? Think about it.

 
At 5:48 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Red Tulips,

I'm not. I'm arguing for limiting welfare to those who actually need it, rather than having a welfare state where everyone gets benefits regardless of whether they need it. I'm arguing for a means test. To a wealthy family, the couple of hundred shekels you get every month are meaningless but the costs of providing them to the entire country are enormous.

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Carl,

If being poor means you get money, then is that not an incentive to stay impoverished? Isn't this itself the problem of the welfare state?

Personally, I believe in providing a school lunch program to children, as well as proper funding for public schools, in order to enable the next generation of children to have the best chance possible of success. But I am quite wary of government-mandated welfare programs that pay families per kid and are income-based. It has hardly worked out well in the USA and I see no reason why it would in Israel.

 

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