Sunday, December 29, 2013

The most fascinating statistic I’ve heard this month

I had a meeting the other week in Israel with Roi Assaf, Head of the Social Department in The Authority for Economic Development of the Minorities Sector, which sits in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office.
He gave a fascinating presentation on “Governmental Policy towards Economic Development of the Arab Sector.”

One quote, in particular, really struck me … because, in addition to low standards of living and difficult conditions on individual and community  levels, high rates of poverty mean high costs to the country in state welfare services,  lost productivity, lost tax revenue, and low consumer activity. 
So low employment and high poverty have a macro-level impact, not just on the individuals concerned but on the strength and economic vitality of Israel as a whole. 

And then Roi said:
"Arab citizens, despite constituting more than 20% of the population, contribute only 8% to Israel's GDP, at an estimated loss of over NIS 30 billion each year."

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