Israeli Economy Eats Its Spinach
That’s why it’s doing well, says ex-Clinton adviser
In case you haven’t heard, the Israeli economy is—contrary to all expectations—doing pretty well these days, despite the recession dragging on in the United States and in Europe. It’s doing so well, in fact, that Bank of Israel chief Stanley Fischer decided last week to raise interest rates to counteract rising inflation. Why? Well, William Galston, a former Clinton advisor who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution, thinks it’s because the Israeli government decided to spend its stimulus shekels (well, dollars, really) on private-sector R&D programs and infrastructure projects instead of on feel-good programs designed to prop up consumer spending, like the Obama administration’s cash-for-clunkers initiative or the Bush administration’s tax rebate checks from a couple of years ago. “While Israel, besieged throughout its existence, builds its future, the United States, with every advantage in the world, devours its seed-corn,” Galston writes in The New Republic. “Does our government have the guts to feed us some spinach before dessert?”
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