All That Glitters / The Real Answer to the Social Protests

The committee wants to change the culture of competition of the entire economy, willing to do the dirty work, recommending a long list of reforms.

The Trajtenberg panel's subcommittee on increasing competition really deserves credit - if their recommendations are not castrated or buried. The committee members should soon create a real and lasting revolution - even more than that of the committee on economic concentration headed by Haim Shani.

Two main things stand out in the work being prepared by Dror Strum, the former antitrust commissioner, and Shlomi Parizat, chief economist at the Antitrust Authority.

The committee wants to change the culture of competition of the entire economy, and is willing to do the dirty work and has recommended a long list of reforms in a number of industries that suffer from a lack of competition. Some of the recommendations are not new and have been proposed before, but Strum and Parizat are bringing the matters as a complete package, and at a time that politically and socially will allow their practical implementation.

The recommendations are quite creative. For example here is one that very few thought about, if at all. The committee will recommend that if someone comes and asks for a license to open a second business, it will only be granted if there are at least three competing businesses in the same area.

Why? Residents of outlying areas have discovered recently that prices are much higher than in the center of the country, often by tens of percent, because there are so few businesses competing in their area.