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Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

August 17, 2011

Israel’s new social contract

http://www.jewishjournal.com/cover_story/article/israels_new_social_contract_a_proposal_20110817

High and inclusive growth is Israel’s shared national goal, with the objective of becoming one of the 15 leading countries in terms of quality of life. The test of progress will be the accumulation of financial, human and social capital by all citizens and, particularly, children.

Communities are the foundational unit of Israeli society and the basis for local prosperity, resilience and inclusiveness. Vibrant community life is the basis for the individual to form his or her identity, realize capabilities and accumulate capital, and, therefore, must be available to every citizen. Each community should be entitled to all platforms and to a standard of resources and services. Micro, small and medium enterprises and initiatives are an inseparable component of a vibrant and prosperous community with the active support of the government.

Locally elected civic leadership has a right and an obligation to participate in shaping its community and its local institutions, together with the municipality and government of Israel. The Knesset and the government will regulate, broaden and incentivize civic involvement herein, primarily in schools, community centers, youth organizations, sports associations, and arts and culture institutions.

Long-term saving and investments are a shared responsibility of the government and households. The state will incentivize individuals to accumulate financial capital for their children through pensions and long-term investments designated for home ownership, education or entrepreneurship.

Free-market and fair competition are the foundations of Israeli economy and society. Government intervention will take place in market failures that compromise rapid and inclusive growth. 

The IDF (Israel Defense Forces), National Civil Service, universities and colleges are engines of inclusiveness. The state will broaden programs that support the involvement of weaker populations in these frameworks.

Flexibility in the labor markets and life-long learning of professional skills are shared national goals, which are essential for productivity and high employment. Government will improve transportation and communication infrastructures, as well as employment incentives for hired and independent workers.

Israeli society will be a working society in which wages ensure dignified living. The national goal is a full integration of two-thirds of the labor force in an appropriate employment framework. The average salary will be higher than the cost of basic goods and services. The government will utilize the tools at its disposal to lower the price of basic products. Educated and skilled civil servants will be entitled, at the minimum, to the average salary in the market.

Corporate social responsibility will be expanded to include the value of inclusiveness by enhancing the human capital of employees, restraining monopolistic conduct in basic products and services, providing equal employment opportunity to excluded populations, operating fairly vis-à-vis providers and preserving the environment.

The basket of “basic goods and services” will be determined in a shared process and will represent the right to include the following components: Housing, education, transportation, parenting, food, communications, health, water, electricity, water and banking. This basket shall be the right of every citizen.

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