Jul 16, 2020

stimulus money on the way in Israel.. maybe

All this stimulus money being promised by PM Netanyahu recently is exciting. If they actually approve the plans, and if they actually implement them, neither possibility to be taken as a given at this point, it could be very helpful to a lot of people.

Obviously a one time payment is not going to get a business owner who had to close for 2  months and then deal with much less business than usual back into a good situation, but it will help relieve a little bit of immediate pressure. A one time payment of a little bit of money to a household (max of 3000nis, if you meet all the terms) isn't going to get a household out of their overdraft, or won't pay the rent and the electricity and water bills, but it will help relieve the pressure just a bit.

I am not in favor of this. I think we will pay for it later with higher taxes. But I understand that this is a time of crisis, and extreme measures must be taken. Business owners are not suffering now because of bad decisions they made. Families are not struggling because of overspending and poor budgeting. Everyone is struggling because of Covid-19, because the government shut us all down for a while, because business was, and is, curtailed, because hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, because even if some people can reopen their businesses, there might still be nobody to do business with as their customers and clients and suppliers and business relationships are also all suffering, no matter where in the world they might be located.

These are unusual times and difficult times. Even though a stimulus might not be a great idea right now, and there is no such a thing as free money, it seems this injection is something that will help many people, even if just a bit.

Many are upset about the terms of it - why give everyone the money? Why not only give it out to those who need it? Why cap it at a maximum of 3 children under 18, why not for every child, no matter how many?

I say - why argue about the details, when we don't even know if the government is actually going to do this? They have passed other stimulus programs that got bogged down in bureaucracy and never got off the ground. Stop fighting about the details, and let everyone get a little bit of assistance as quickly as possible/ Do the better off people not pay taxes that everyone deserves this but them? Is it really worth delaying the program so they can figure out how to set the criteria, and how to determine who qualifies, just to save a little bit of money? Are there really so many wealthy people that it is going to be a significant amount of "free money" that is wasted and given to those who do not need it that it is worth probably delaying the stimulus, and then dealing with those who needed it but mistakenly didn't get it?

And then there is the movement encouraging people who are doing ok to donate their stimulus money to those who need it more. Anyone who wants to donate their money, or any money, to the poor or any charitable program, should be blessed. As beautiful as the sentiment is, I don't like this public peer pressure. Nobody knows who else really needs it or who does not. Stop pressuring people to give away money they might need. if someone wants to give it away, that's his or her business alone.



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