Sunday, April 12, 2015

It’s time for change. It’s time to believe in Israel

Israel is a small country. It’s got only 8 million people. By contrast, there are 26 cities world-wide with more people than that.
Israel is small. 95 countries have more people than Israel (“Population by country”, indexmundi).
Israel is tiny. 154 sovereign entities have greater land mass than Israel (“Land/Area. Countries of the World”, world.bymap) .
Israel is smaller than tiny. The value of everything it produces (its Gross Domestic Product, or GDP) is smaller than 1/50th that of the USA.
Israel’s economy is constrained. It can’t flex its muscle. It’s got to allocate too much of its wealth for defense, not investment. It spends more of its GDP on defense than the US. As a per cent of GDP, Israel spends app 60 per cent more for defense than the US (CIA World Factbook, 2014). Only six, perhaps seven, other countries world-wide spend more than that (“Military expenditures - percent of GDP - Country Comparison”, indexmundi).
Nevertheless, Israel competes with the world’s biggest economies. Despite its small size and economic constraints, it ‘plays with the big boys’.  You can see Israel’s competitiveness in the annual Global Competitiveness Report.  This Report is published each year by the World Economic Forum. You should take a look at it.
This year’s Report provides an overview of the performance of 144 economies. Each annual Report contains a detailed profile for each of the economies it studies. Each Report includes extensive data tables with global rankings covering over 100 indicators.
The 2014-2015 Report dissects a nation’s business, health, education and government sectors to identify strengths and weakness. Here’s how Israel compares with the world’s largest economy, the US.
For comparison purposes, the rankings for the USA are in brackets []:
-for business innovation and sophistication, Israel ranks 10th in the world [5th].  
-For annual per cent change of inflation it ranks 1st in the world [also 1st].
-for impact on business of HIV/AIDS, it ranks 8th in the world [75th].
-Infant mortality: 16th [39th].
-Life expectancy: 10th [34th].
-Venture capital available: 9th [3rd].
-Soundness of banks: 18th [49th].
-Legal rights index: 11th [also 11th].
-Availability of latest technology: 10th [2nd].
-Firm-level technology absorption: 5th [3rd].
-Competitive advantage: 8th [14th].
-Production process sophistication: 21st. [7th].
-Capacity for innovation: 3rd [2nd].
-Quality of scientific research institutions: 3rd [4th].
-Company spending on R&D: 7th [4th].
-University-Industry collaboration in R&D: 7th [2nd].
-Gov’t procurement of advanced-tech product: 9th [8th].
-Patents/applications: 5th [11th].
Of these 18 categories, Israel out-performed the US in 7 (impact of HIV/AIDS on business; infant mortality; life expectancy; soundness of banks; competitive advantage; quality of scientific research institutions; patents/applications).  In two areas, rankings are the same. In two other areas, Israel ranks just one rank below the US.
Remember now, America’s population is 39 times greater than Israel’s population. America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 57 times greater than Israel’s.
America has the world’s greatest GDP. Israel ranks 39th in GDP.
GDP suggests national potential. It measures an economy’s ‘engine power’. With that kind of spread in GDP, Israel shouldn’t be able to compete with America in any positive category. It would appear not to have the economic power to drive high rankings in any category. Yet, Israel is very, very competitive.
In the overall rankings:
Switzerland ranked 1st.
USA ranked 3rd.
Qatar ranked 16th.
Saudi Arabia ranked 24th.
S. Korea ranked 26th.
Israel ranked 27th.
China ranked 28th.
Kuwait ranked 40th.
Turkey ranked 45th.
Italy ranked 49th.
Russian Federation ranked 53rd.
South Africa ranked 56th.
Brazil ranked 57th.
Mexico ranked 61st.
Jordan ranked 64th.
India ranked 71st.
Greece ranked 81st.
Iran ranked 83rd.
Argentina ranked 104th.
Lebanon ranked 113th.
Egypt ranked 119th.
Libya ranked 126th.
Venezuela ranked 131st.
Yemen ranked 142nd.
Guinea is last—144th.
(The Palestinian Authority, ‘Palestine’ and Gaza aren’t listed.)
Israel isn’t perfect. There’s lots of room for improvement. But its international standing, given its size, GDP and challenges, isn’t just stunning. It’s miraculous.
Believe in Israel. Believe the miracle.

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