Sunday, May 12, 2013

Barking up the wrong tree

Hezi Sternlicht
This is the last call for anyone interested in a Trajtenberg Committee II. It is your right to protest against anyone you see fit, but here's a little piece of advice: Don't do anyone any favors. Protest against the people who are really taking the people's money -- the ports, the Israel Electric Corporation, the tycoons. 

There are a few more bodies that can be added to that list. Perhaps the Kirya Defense Ministry compound, where 50-year-old desk jockeys are free to enter the private sector equipped with an exorbitant Defense Ministry pension and haircuts worth millions of shekels -- all at the expense of the state. My dear friends, what are you doing marching to the squares again? Didn't you do enough damage last time?

Finance Minister Yair Lapid was actually right when he told you, the protesters, that you are protesting against yourselves. But since you are planning to recycle your protest signs from 2011, I will let myself recycle the cliché: Albert Einstein is credited with having said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I don't know if Einstein actually said it; I wasn't able to find out, and honestly, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you are going to cry to the government, again. What you should do instead is demand compassion from the powerful workers' unions. Instead of embracing the Histadrut labor federation (they already got their good deal), go demand that the Histadrut show some consideration.
If we end up with another Trajtenberg committee (appointed as a result of the 2011 social justice protest movement to compile recommendations for easing the financial burden on the middle class), it will simply be sad. I am among the few Israelis who benefitted from the Trajtenberg recommendations. The government subsidized childcare for my children. But I say: No thank you! Very soon, my personal subsidy will run out because -- what can you do? -- my kids are about to pass age three, and then I, and the rest of you, will subsidize everyone else's children forever and ever, by paying more value added tax, more income tax, more corporate tax, and there are probably plenty more tax hikes in the works. No thanks. Really. I don't need any favors.
The financially oriented left-wing camp that suffered defeat in the last election is trying to make the country crazy again, in hopes of gaining political power. Some of them will be demanding "social justice" from their chair in the parliament. Let us leave the recycling to the bottles, please. You want to demand justice? Get on a bus and bark up the right trees.

No comments: