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February 17, 2014

If Haredim Continue To Refuse To Work, Israel’s Economy Will Take A Major Hit, New Bank Of Israel Governor Says

Dr Karnit Flug"Not only will we not advance, we will go backwards. We must improve their human capital. Even if they join the workforce, unless the human capital gap is closed, we are talking about low-paid employment.…The challenge to growth in the coming years is enormous, because of two trends. The rate of growth of the population of working age is expected to fall from 2.2% today to only 1.2% in 2050; and the growth in the proportion of the population with low rates of employment (Arabs and haredim) is likely to shave 1.3 percentage points off the annual rate of growth.”

Dr Karnit Flug

Dr. Karnit Flug

If Haredim Continue To Refuse To Work, Israel’s Economy Will Take A Major Hit, New Bank Of Israel Governor Says
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

The new Governor of the Bank of Israel said that poverty and low productivity are the key challenges for Israel’s economy – and for its future stability and security – Globes reported.

"The existing growth model based on high tech has not been successful in bringing the fruits of prosperity to all, and a different, more inclusive growth model is required, one that will integrate sections of the population with low rates of employment, while raising substantially their productivity and earnings.…The automatic pilot will not bring us to where we want to be. Only proactive policy can set us on the desired track,” Dr. Karnit Flug reportedly said today.

But Flug’s sharpest words were saved for haredim and, to a lesser extent, Arabs. Both groups have low employment rates, Arabs because women in many Arab communities are expected to stay home and be housewives, and haredim because most haredi men refuse to work and subsist on government welfare benefits and stipends while studying in yeshivas for their entire adult lives. This, Flug said, must change or Israel faces economic disaster.

"Not only will we not advance, we will go backwards. We must improve their human capital. Even if they join the workforce, unless the human capital gap is closed, we are talking about low-paid employment.…The challenge to growth in the coming years is enormous, because of two trends. The rate of growth of the population of working age is expected to fall from 2.2% today to only 1.2% in 2050; and the growth in the proportion of the population with low rates of employment (Arabs and haredim) is likely to shave 1.3 percentage points off the annual rate of growth,” Flug said.

The dependency rate  – the number of people of working age per each person of retirement age – is now 5.5, but will fall to 3 by 2050, and this statistic.

"[This] brings home the burden that will be placed on the pensions, health, welfare and nursing care systems. If we want to maintain the same level of old age pensions, pensions savings will have to rise substantially, as will provision for healthcare, to maintain the same level of health services," Flug reportedly said.

Flug also bemoaned the low rate of investment and tied it directly to Israel’s low productivity rate and called for a significant increase government spending on public services such as education, health, and welfare.

"We cannot be satisfied with a situation in which people go from welfare-based poverty to work-based poverty," Flug reportedly said, and pointed out the huge gaps between Israel’s very high rates of poverty and inequality and other comparatively much lower rates in other Organization for Economic Cooperation And Development member countries.

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The Prime Minister is only worried about the next election, so I doubt that he will take her comments seriously. He is not about to antagonize the Haredi block vote, so the country will eventually have to deal with the consequences. If the major secular parties cannot agree on tackling these pressing economic issues, Israel, as we know it, will go the way of the Weimar Republic. In the meantime, there will be more tear jerker stories of Israeli Jews facing hard times, even as rich American Jews increasingly redirect their philanthropy to US causes; e.g. the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

The US is also facing pressing economic issues in the future, but at least we don't have to be worried about being attacked by Canada or Mexico.

I wonder when the tipping point will be reached at which time non-Haredi Israelis begin to emigrate in sizable numbers to get out from under the drain the Haredim place on national resources. That will be a sad day for Israel.

Refuse to work? Not legally allowed to work. In 2012 over 100 haredim were told at the induction office that they didn't cut it for thehhared I combat units and they should "go back to yeshiva." And when a hared I gets a legal exemption from military service (not for lifetime Torah study) there are few, if any, jobs waiting for him in the workplace (and widespread discrimination, with no governmental control or legal recourse for someone facing discriminatory hiring policies).

Maskil--You are truly a fool playing the blaming game blaming the government,well i say where there is a will there is a way.

+++there are few, if any, jobs waiting for him in the workplace (and widespread discrimination, with no governmental control or legal recourse for someone facing discriminatory hiring policies).

Posted by: Maskil | February 17, 2014 at 02:14 PM+++

No. They are unable to get even basic semi-skilled jobs because they have deliberately not been allowed to be educated by their parents and rabbis (contradicting halacha). And when opportunities are offered they make unreasonable work place demands like not wanting to talk to women or shake hands with them, gender specific offices and eating areas, time off for davening, expecting others to comply with their dress code etc., etc..

Look, there is only one reality. No matter what, if the Haredi population refuses military service, they must work. The welfare or dependency rate must decrease. One cannot have a diminishing populace monetarily supporting an expanding populace. That model is unsustainable and will inevitably result in widespread hunger and a breakdown of society. It cannot continue. The sooner that the Haredim clue into the fact that the government may have to take a hard line the better. Their Gedolim are fighting this tooth and nail, but unfortunately, they cannot continue to do so for very long. This is simple economics and this is reality. The Haredim will have to learn secular subjects and bring themselves into the 21st century. They will have to learn to feed themselves then go about doing so.

there are few, if any, jobs waiting for him in the workplace (and widespread discrimination, with no governmental control or legal recourse for someone facing discriminatory hiring policies).

Posted by: Maskil | February 17, 2014 at 02:14 PM

what discrimination, they do not even have minimal skills? Do not know how to use a computer and stuff like that. Given that who will hire them? Then as others have mentioned ask for so many demands that many companies simply cannot afford to hire them

Maskil: There are few if any jobs around these days that pay decent wages for someone with the equivalent of a grade 3 level secular education. Certainly no legal ones that allow a family to raise 12 children. Not in Israel and not in the US. Read Chaim Levin's article on education (April 5, 2012) on this web site. It is too bad that politicans in both the US and Israel refuse to tackle the issues raised in the article head on.

The ignorance that is shown here is Unbelievable for any one who has actualy been to Israel will know and have seen hundreds of religous people(people who keep shabbos etc I class that as haredi)working in all types of jobs yes there are plenty that don't work but to portray all hareidim as not working is just plain lies

In related news - water is wet.

@frum and proud

Here is what I do know - I gave one haredi Jew 20 shekels at the kotel so he could buy his son teffilin, and was flocked by dozens more - ALL needing to buy their sons' teffilin before I could walk from the wall to the common area.

That's what I know.

Rebitzman
That is the israeli mentality not exclusive to hareidim

frum and proud--That is exactly the hareidi mentality,here in bp day and night there are shnorers ringing my bell in shul they go in pairs or even 4 shnorers at one time i saw one going out of the shull after shnoring and got into his nice car driving away they are shamelss they take the money for themselfs and dupe everyone that gives them money,they are beyond the pale,and you frum but an idiot are defending them this kind of shoring did not occur pre ww2 in shtetel even thoguh they were truly poor they never went in mass to others taking their money by lying to them this is not our religion it is a mockery of our religion.

@frum and proud

Didn't ever have a single secular Jew hit him up for a shekel - not one.

In over a year. Not one.

Haredi? Every damned day.

No. They are unable to get even basic semi-skilled jobs because they have deliberately not been allowed to be educated by their parents and rabbis (contradicting halacha). And when opportunities are offered they make unreasonable work place demands like not wanting to talk to women or shake hands with them, gender specific offices and eating areas, time off for davening, expecting others to comply with their dress code etc., etc..

Posted by: David | February 17, 2014 at 03:06 PM

That's an urban legend. Hare dim who seek normal job listings are ready to comply with any work environment to get the job, and wish only to be considered based on their qualifications vis-à-vis other applicants rather than being turned down in favor of lesser qualified applicants.

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