Monday, August 03, 2009

The Israel test - George Gilder

George Gilder is one of the leading thinkers of our era: the roles of men and women; entrepreneurship and capitalism. He is on top of the advanced technology that is making quantum leaps in capability. Now he wrote a book about Israel - The Israel Test. Israel? Here is an interview of him by Jennifer Lopez of National Review. National Review Online:
Do you admire and emulate excellence and accomplishment, even if it excels your own? Or do you envy and resent it? And try to tear it down? That’s the Israel Test and it is administered by cosmic law — the law of capitalist success: The good fortune of others is also one’s own. The people who admire and emulate excellence thrive. Those who resent and envy it gnash their teeth and tear their hair and never accomplish anything worthwhile. You can see the Israel Test play out in the Middle East and in Washington. Israel, per capita, is the most creative and innovative country on the face of the earth. Since 1991, venture capital in Israel has increased sixtyfold. Israel has become an extension of Silicon Valley that is excelling its source. It is a paragon of defense-technology innovation. In 2008, a study by Deloitte and Touche showed that Israel has become the world’s chief fount of innovation outside the U.S. in such fields as microchips, telecom, software, biotech, medical devices, and cleantech. Only Germany is close, and they are ten times larger. Israel epitomizes the excellence and accomplishment of Jewish culture. It is hated by anti-Semites not because of any flaws or legal infractions but because of its unique virtues, which show up and shame the forces of mediocrity everywhere. LOPEZ [interviewer]: How does defending Israel defend capitalism? GILDER: Under Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel is the world’s ascendant capitalist country. While the U.S. is immersed in a slough of increasing taxes and regulations, Israel has been privatizing its companies and deregulating its financial institutions. They are reducing tax rates and preserving the key capitalist assets of the West while the U.S. is trying to cap and trade capitalism, suppress energy production, and raise tax rates on everything. As rates rise above 50 percent, entrepreneurs have a greater incentive to shuffle and hide existing wealth than to create new wealth.
Read it to learn about the huge increase in life expectancy of Arabs living on the West Bank under Israel's government.

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