rent, economic concentration, greed - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Michael
    • 23.07.11 | 10:23 (IDT)

    We have plenty of room to build here - we just need the authorisations. The prices here are not only about supply and demand. In the past demand was high and supply lower but this does not explain a 4-fold price increase in the last decade. In Israel the absolute cost of the most basic necessities is somewhere between 2-10 times that of England. The average income in Israel is around half of that of England. So prices here are more like 4-20 times that of England. Butter, bread, cheese, cereals and we're not talking about imported food, only local. Aspirin (the most basic drug made from tree bark) is sold at 10-15 times the price compared with the UK. How is this possible? Israel is largely owned by some 20 families and the industries here from import/export of cars to communications and food have little real competition. The market is not open but rather closed with a veneer of apparent competition. There are cartels who fix prices and give the appearance of 'competition' and 'good value'. And people have largely gotten used to being ripped off and thinking that the costs are due to our high defence budget. Sadly, our main problem is simple greed. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has decided to become a property tycoon and the basic value of day-to-day jobs is lost. We, as a country and as individuals, need to start looking at ourselves first and to consider others before we lose all perspective and hope.

    from the article: Could Israel's middle-class spearhead a national revolution?
    First published 15:45 22.07.11 | Last updated 15:45 22.07.11
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