Sunday, August 12

The budget and the "hesderim"

Any country has a budget, but how many countries have "hesderim"? I'm wondering about the correct translation of that term. "Kombina" isn't proper English i assume.
So what should we call it? Is there actually a word for it? Suggestions anyone?

The official budget of the state talks about how governmental money is spent or rather, should be spent. No doubt there are many ways to mislead the public and the politicians, but that happens in many countries. Money that should have gone here in reality is channelled there, but at least the public can check and criticise.

"Hesderim" is a different soup all together. A thick book full of little rules on where the money really goes, or will not go. Or how to prevent the money from reaching certain groups while preferring other groups.
Our politicians are supposed to vote on the whole package, which is extensive and needs more than simple translation.
Unless very aware, in many cases politicians simply are not able to understand the true and full implications of many of those rules. Sometimes perhaps no one really grasps what it will lead to. There appear to be few standards and even fewer checks.

Which is perhaps why it might be a very good idea to cancel the hesderim.

But the hesderim are ways of little politicos to favour their even smaller friends. To pay back elegantly where the term "banana republic habits" would be more apt.
The problem is that many of these little hesderim are presented as more or less "one liners", e.g. socal security payments will not be updated for the next year in the budget.
The hesderim contain such "goodies" as raising local taxes, raising the electricity and water and municipal taxes while cutting discounts for the poor. Or privatising certain services or raising the cost of public transport. Another "goody" is postponing the rise in the minimum wage. Hell.
Certain services, in the good of all, or dealing with major social issues, should stay the responsibility of the state. Turning them over to private business, where the stress is on money rather than the good of society, seems a very bad idea. Just think "bridge collapse in Minneapolis" or Michael Moore's "Sicko" to understanding what privatisation does to the public good: it does mostly bad.
The hesderim conceal all kinds of sneaky little ways to privatize the public good. Which tends to do good mostly for a few very wealthy business owners. And what about us? We'll be paying the price.

You need to add 1 & 1 in order to understand the full meaning of these hesderim interventions.

The poor will be poorer and there will be more of them
The rich will get yet richer.

Social justice and human rights have stopped being relevant in this country.






8 comments:

Tamar Orvell said...

Sorry, I don't have the right word in English for hesderim in this context.

Yet I offer this link to an American woman's blog where she reports on similar dirty tricks in the USA. check it out -- Barbara's Blog:

http://ehrenreich.blogs.com/barbaras_blog/

Lirun said...

הדמוקרטיה שלנו היא מאד מיוחדת ושונה מזאת של רב המדינות הדמוקרטיות בעולם.. באמת נדיר שבמדינה יש מיליון מפלגות שחלק משמעותי מביניהן גם יכולות ממש להשפיע..

המחיר מתבטא ביציבות שלנו ומעל הכל כמובן בתקציב שכתוצאה מהביזור כפוף ללחצים מגוונים ולרב לא פרופורציונליים ביחס לגורם שמפעיל אותם..

הרבה מחשבה הפעילו בהמון דיוןנים על שיטת הממשל בישראל ונכון להיום עדיין לא ביטלו את הכח שיש לכל מפלגה שעוברת את אחוז החסימה..

לא יודע שזה כל כך רע שבמדינה שלנו גופים יכולים להתגבש ולדרוש שישמעו אותם.. לא יודע שזה כל כך לא צודק - גם לא יודע שיש דרך לבטל את זה ולשתק את האופרטוניזם מבלי לפגוע ביתרונות הדמוקרטיים החיוניים..

לא מקבל את הגישה הלא מאוזנת שלך שרואה רק את הרע ומבקרת אותו תוך כדי התעלמות מוחלטת מהיתרונות..

yudit said...

"Most of the democratic countries?"
To the best of my knowledge in the majority of the European as well as quite a few of the South American democracies there is a multi party system, unlike of course in the US and France & the UK. Israel is not at all rare in that sense with its many parties.

It appears to me you simply miss the point of my statement and in stead try to bring up unrelated issues.
You may not like or "accept my unbalanced view" , as you state in your last sentence.
That's your good right of course, not to like of accept my view. However, by using such terms as "unbalanced" you don't really start a discourse, but rather simply try to cancel out my wiew by making a "flippant" remark about it, instead of bringing up a real argument.It appears that in the end we simply are very different in our ideologies. And that's ok, that's what democracies are all about. When dealing with ideology, there is no "right" nor "wrong", it has to do with having a different set of values, not the same agenda.
If you don't like mine and do not wish to carry out a real discourse, why not go elsewhere?
If, however, you ARE interested in a serious discourse, 1. Present arguments, not judgments 2. write in English.
I'm not a native English speaker, yet make a great effort to write in that language as i am interested in a discourse with people from various places. Hebrew would be MUCH easier for me, but i would like this to be an international platform.

ee said...

To Tamar: this isn't just any old American woman, it is the reporter Barbara Ehrenreich, who wrote the book "Nickel and Dimed" or "Calcala Begrush", in its Hebrew translation. It's about her experiences, as a middle-upper class woman who embarked on a series of minimum wage jobs, as a reporting endeavour. Her conclusion: even if you work like a god at two drudge jobs, you cannot break out of the cycle of poverty.
And of course, she was lucky - she could always get out. She knew her experiences were temporary. Scary...

Yudit:
I haven't been online for two weeks, as I participated in a choir convention in Jerusalem and purposely stayed away from anything broadband... Here and there just checking my "floating" Internet address.
There were choirs from Croatia and Serbia who barely managed to come to Israel (mostly helped with grants) and their poverty stories about life in their home countries were also pretty grim.

J.P. said...

Participation in such an international event is allways good (like you wrote, some people are less fortunate than a lot of us)but EE, did you bring home the first prize?

ee said...

Hehe, first prize, I wish!!
j.p.- actually it wasn't a competitive event, although choirs that have won international prizes participated in it. It's more of a goodwill event that gives choirs from all over the world an opportunity to meet, sing together and share music and knowledge. The conductors of the various workshops are also internationally reknowned.
It was a barrel of fun!

J.P. said...

Zimriya!
You know the performances on CD Agnus Dei, music of inner harmony and the second Agnus Dei, music to soothe the soul by the Choir of New Colledge, Oxford by Edward Higginbottom?

ee said...

Yes and yes...