Bibi, Bain, and Wall Street's Boy*

Discussion in 'Politics' started by georgephillip, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Romney, as opposed to Obama, hasn't had his chance to show what his economic policies would be, but that doesn't mean you can't catch a glimpse of Romneyland on the Mediterranean if you're not afraid of being called an anti-Semite.

    "Romney may mention his old friendship with Benjamin Netanyahu, which dates back to the time when the two of them, fresh from business school, worked at the Boston Consulting Group. Journalists will dutifully ask him and Netanyahu about Iran, ignoring the fact that Israel has an economy and that running it is Netanyahu's passion.

    "This is a shame, because Israel can be seen as a laboratory where tests have been conducted in managing a country as if Bain Capital had bought it—and the lab results aren't pretty."

    Romneyland on the Mediterranean

    * Mark Twain thought the difference between the right word and the almost right word was the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug. With regard to the title of this thread, "Boy" is the bug; the lightning starts with the same letter and rhymes with rich, regardless of which Bitch wins the White House next November.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  2. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    "To be fair, the Israeli government has followed free-market orthodoxy since the 1980s, whether the Likud or another party has been in power. Left and right came to refer exclusively to favoring a two-state solution or opposing it.

    "Think of how cultural issues sometimes define liberal and conservative in America, drowning out economic positions. Then imagine a much harsher version of that reality, and call it 'Israel.'

    "But if other politicians have treated the need for budget-cutting, privatization, and union-squashing as verities you'd look silly denying, Benjamin Netanyahu is a true believer. In two terms as prime minister, and as finance minister in between, he has done his best to eliminate the last traces of Israeli social democracy.

    "A particularly effective step was the tax plan he put into effect as finance minister: a steady, year-to-year reduction of personal and corporate income taxes.

    "Since half of Israeli workers make less than the threshold to pay income tax at all, the benefits went entirely to the well-off, and the wealthiest received the largest windfall."

    Romneyland on the Mediterranean

    By 2010 Bibi's largesse to his 1% resulted in 25% of all Israelis living under the poverty line, "about twice the average for countries in the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation."
     
  3. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    A very thought provoking op-ed. Since I know nothing substantive about the economy in Isreal a few links to evidence the opinion would be helpful. In general, however, the Starve the Beast practice has been tried and has been successful in the US, successful in the sense that the wealth of the nation has been redirected to benefit the few and not the many.
     
  4. georgephillip
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    georgephillip Gold Member Supporting Member

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    There appear to be some obvious parallels between Israel's 1% and ours:

    "The government, especially under Netanyahu, has treated its wealthiest citizens as shareholders and increased their dividends. It has treated the rest of the population as employees whose pay can stagnate. And the immediate dividends for the 'shareholders' come at the price of long-term investments that will keep the 'company' profitable."

    Surprisingly enough, education seems to be first on the chopping block in both "knowledge based" societies. In Israel's case...

    "According to the latest State of the Nation Report by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, successive governments have let the Israeli education system 'sink to the lowest level in the developed world.'

    "Keep in mind that Israel's economy is driven by high-tech industries, which depend on a highly educated workforce. Israel starving its schools is like Kuwait destroying oil wells."

    Romneyland on the Mediterranean

    I'm not clear how "choosing" between Likud or Labor in Israel or Republican or Democrat in this country allows us to even begin discussing class problems in either society.

    I'll try to find those links, thanks for your observations.
     

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