Laws that hurt the very people they try to help

January 21, 2015 22:30
3 minute read.

Shekel money bills. (photo credit: REUTERS)

“Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business, frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise. They are the residue of centralized bureaucracy, of government by a self-anointed elite.” – President Ronald Reagan

We are in the midst of election season, where demagoguery reigns supreme, and actual plans that solve problems are few and far between. I am not going to use this forum as an endorsement of any political party; when you get down to it, regarding economic issues, all the major political parties miss the boat.

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While the Right talks a good game about growing the economy, those in charge have raised taxes three times in the last five years, increased government spending substantially and added tens of billions of shekels in debt that will be passed on to the next generation to deal with. At least those on the Left are honest about their devotion to socialism and the need for a larger government and more spending, which means higher taxes and a general reduction in the economic and personal liberties the Israeli public deserves.

I have been critical of the breadth of Israeli bureaucracy and the harm it does to the local economy. Instead of the government getting out of the way and making it as easy as possible for individuals to succeed and achieve their dreams, more and more roadblocks are put in the way by our elected officials. Though many have never had to make a payroll, they clearly think that they own the secret sauce and know the road map for success much better than you and I. Just “trust in us” and all will be swell! Price controls A few months back, when the cost of a Milky chocolate pudding was the leading story on the news, the natural response of our elected officials was to have the government fix the price.

My brother said: “I understand what is behind the price controls on bread and milk. It doesn’t work and ultimately makes these products more costly, but I understand the theory. But price controls on Milky? Why?” A few days ago I was speaking to a friend, and I was on one of my typical rants about the need to unshackle the Israeli economy.

I had a brand-new example: an addition to the Employment Conditions Law–2002. The addition makes it mandatory for employers to report back to prospective employees – i.e., someone who has interviewed for a job – within 14 days of the interview to update them on the process, let them know that they have been rejected for the position and a host of other requirements.

Let’s face it, if you are applying for some kind of sales-related position, there is a good chance that the employer will actually want you to call and check in about the job, as it shows a certain tenacity needed for that field. For other applicants, if they don’t hear back, it means that they didn’t get the job. Why on earth would you require an employer to go through an onerous process when interviewing? What will the outcome of this law be? It’s pretty obvious that the number of candidates brought in for an interview will decline substantially. Candidates with quality resumes will be brought in, and those with little experience will be skipped over, even if they have potential, because it is a huge hassle for the employer. Who is this law meant to help? Who were the Knesset members who voted for it? The potential for the Israeli economy is off the charts. All the creativity and ingenuity needs to be set free, instead of continuously being bottled up. Instead of excessive and irrelevant requirements, why don’t we let job creators do what they do best: create real good-paying jobs. Don’t be the cause of another bureaucrat hired to oversee whether the Human Resources Department sent out a properly constructed rejection letter.

The political party that follows this recipe will get credit for creating an economic boom the likes of which this country has never seen, and citizens from all socioeconomic rungs will benefit tremendously. Just do it.

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., or its affiliates.

[email protected] Aaron Katsman is a licensed financial professional in Israel and the United States who helps people with US investment accounts.

He is the author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing.

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