A lesson in modesty for the government of change, a lesson in modesty for all of us
With the publication of the June index, which was relatively moderate thanks to the drop in the prices of fruits and vegetables, the government rushed to appropriate the achievement, apparently thanks to the very partial reform in agriculture.
What will they say now when those fruits and vegetables jumped the July index?
And when will someone demand explanations from the governor of the Bank of Israel?
Monday, August 15, 2022, 7:10 p.m. Updated: 7:24 p.m.
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Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
When is it their fault and when is it their right? (Photo: official website, Mark Israel Salem)
Let's go back exactly one month, to the June index which was relatively mild, certainly when compared to the indices we have seen around the world.
The Ministry of Finance almost opened a champagne bottle: "Here" they told everyone who was willing to listen: "The prices of fruits and vegetables are the ones that dragged the index down, all thanks to the reform in agriculture."
In the heat of the celebrations, the fact was almost forgotten that what we saw in the government of change was more purple than reform: one step forward and two steps back, and alas: even the bad opposition cannot be blamed for this: the opposition to the (essential!) reform and the uncompromising loyalty to the agricultural lobby came precisely from the ranks of the coalition - yo The agricultural lobbyist is not Itamar Ben Gabir, Israel Katz or Moshe Gafni, but Ram Ben Barak, from the party of the interim prime minister.
But the issue is not the reform in agriculture, but the growth craze that attacked the political system in Israel: Israeli high-tech dragged the economy to record performance in 2021?
Immediately a running competition started on behalf of Bennett, Lapid and Lieberman to the microphones, to say: it's all thanks to us.
To be fair to those who do the work, it should be said that just as the herd of unicorns that flowed all the way from Tel Aviv to the Nasdaq was not their fault, so the sharp jump in the cost of living and the rising inflation is not their fault either.
Chairman of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu. He started the election campaign in a supermarket, but he also knows that the current government is not to blame for the cost of living (Photo: Reuven Castro)
The growing madness of the politicians in Israel
The opposition was indeed quick to bash the government for the increase in electricity and fuel prices, for example, but what caused the energy prices to rise was not related to the actions of the government but to the actions of Putin, Biden and others.
That is - even in criticizing the government, there should be a degree of modesty (if we have already completely despaired of fairness).
This does not mean, of course, that the government is not responsible for the situation, but by and large - both its successes and failures in the economic field depended more on trends in the global economy than on one or another budget item.
So it is true that a lesson in modesty would not have been harmful to the government of change, which is thinking about the end of the year, but what is it to us that we demand modesty from the elected officials in Israel, while they are actually demonstrating a delusion of grandeur?
Here - in about two and a half months we will all go to the polls, a move that will cost about NIS 3 billion, which those so-called "elected officials" decided on too easily and while the citizens of Israel count the money they don't have and struggle with every weekly purchase at the supermarket or the monthly rent payment.
Is it any wonder that more and more citizens despair not only of this or that side of the political map, but even of the democratic system itself?
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Governor of the Bank of Israel, Prof. Amir Yaron.
It's not only on his watch, but also because of him (Photo: Government Press Office)
Don't say say
So in order not to fan the flames, let us turn the spotlight on someone who is not an elected official, but a professional appointee: Prof. Amir Yaron, Governor of the Bank of Israel.
Of course, the governor is not to blame for inflation either, but he is solely responsible for fighting it.
The voices calling on the governor to raise the interest earlier and at a higher rate did not impress him.
He waited for his colleague, Jerome Powell (who himself reacted belatedly to the increasing signs of inflation in order to win another term) and even then he acted with moderation, a positive trait in almost every area of life, just not in war (the fight against inflation is like a war for everything).
Prof. Yaron preferred to be blessed with a relatively moderate inflation rate and signs that transmit the financial strength of the Israeli economy - and reacted too little and too late to the accelerating inflation.
If you will, he saw the wave approaching and decided it was enough to take some air and put his head under the water.
The problem is that an inflationary wave may develop very quickly, too much, into a tsunami that will destroy everything in its path - and the governor of the bank simply falls asleep in protecting the economy.
Since there is no functioning government in Israel - certainly with regard to senior appointments - and there probably won't be one in the next six months (and maybe long after that, who knows?), the governor can rest easy: no politician will call him to order and demand explanations from him regarding what is beginning to look like Failure to curb inflation.
So the governor will survive, but the citizens of Israel whose fate is in the hands of megalomaniacal politicians on the one hand and sleazy public servants on the other, what will happen to them?
How will they survive?
Cost of living
Bank of Israel Governor