"Israel's gas as economic equalizer," by Prof. Norman Bailey

by Norman A. Bailey  |  January 29, 2014  |  ARTICLES

Israel's gas as economic equalizer
Israel has the opportunity to use its offshore discoveries to help close corrosive wealth gaps.

"Own or Be Owned" is the slogan of the Center for Economic and Social Justice in the US, a think-tank devoted to the propagation of projects for the expansion of the ownership of productive capital assets in ever-greater segments of the population. In a recent issue of "The Economist," the lengthy lead article was dedicated to the ever-increasing phenomenon of the concentration of the ownership of such assets in smaller and smaller segments of the population in advanced countries, and the pernicious economic, social and political consequences of that development.

The facts are startling in their effects on the position of the middle class, on unemployment and on dependence on government transfers. In the most advanced of the advanced economies, the United States, almost one-half the population now depends in whole or in part on such "entitlements", while the top one percent of income earners receive 22% of total income. A photo-sharing website with 30 million customers was sold for one billion dollars in 2012 to Facebook. It had thirteen employees. Kodak, which used to mean photography for generations of consumers, recently declared bankruptcy. In its heyday, it employed 145,000 people.

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