Green Leaf party unveils economic plan

"Old socialist way of expecting the state to take care of you doesn’t work,” party chief Omer Moab says; claims party natural coalition partner for Likud Beytenu.

Green Leaf press conference 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Green Leaf press conference 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Green Leaf – New Liberal Movement Party, known mainly for its support of legalizing marijuana, is a natural coalition partner for Likud Beytenu, the party’s economic adviser said in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
During a press conference presenting the party’s economic platform, Omer Moab, a Hebrew University economics professor and a former top adviser to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, said he sees the party as a natural partner for Netanyahu, who “will be much more comfortable with us in the coalition.”
Moab criticized Netanyahu for enlarging the deficit to pay for social programs, saying he “is heading in the opposite direction from his world view; he has raised taxes rather than lower them and has carried out no changes to the foundation of the Israeli market.”
Moab said that calls to redistribute spending to help the middle class will not work because the middle class is too large to be helped by spending. He said that while such spending could work to help bail out small minorities of the public, “if all of us in the middle class pay a shekel to the government in order to get a shekel back – first off, half of that shekel will get lost on the way, and what will we be left with?”
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The plan Moab presented, which he also put together for the party, is devoted to freeing up the Israeli market and making the job market more flexible, according to Moab. The plan also calls for efforts to break the influence of “pressure groups” such as the labor unions, the agricultural industry, security establishment workers, haredi parties and others that, in the Green Leaf Party’s words, have taken over the Israeli market.
The party says that overreaching government influence of the market warps and corrupts it, and that the country needs to take efforts to reduce the national deficit burden on individual households.
Moab also lashed out at the Israel Lands Authority, and called for the country to rapidly free up land for development, and abandon the idea of rent control, which he said has failed miserably everywhere it was tried. He also called on the country to end the monopolies enjoyed by Israeli producers and allow more imports, which he said will bring down prices for Israeli consumers.
The latest incarnation of the Green Leaf Party is a close Israeli equivalent to American libertarian parties. They call for lower taxes and for a hands-off government approach to the free market and the economy, as well as less government incursion into the private lives of citizens, as embodied by the pro-marijuana legalization platform of the party.
Towards the end of his statements on Sunday, Moab summed up the party’s economics, saying: “We’re not saying there are any magical solutions, but our experience shows us that the old socialist way of expecting the state to take care of you doesn’t work.”