OECD report: PM boasts on satisfaction, ignores poverty

Benjamin Netanyahu  photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exulted in life satisfaction figures, while overlooking that Israel has the highest percentage of people below the poverty line.

At the beginning of the week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a post on his Facebook page in which he took pride in decreasing emigration rates and in OECD figures stating that the citizens of Israel have one of the highest levels of satisfaction from their country worldwide.

The prime minister wrote, "I have been pleased to see how strongly we, the citizens of Israel, are connected to our land and country. According to the last Central Bureau of Statistics review, emigration from Israel reached the lowest level in dozens of years. And why? Because we love our country.

"Here is another figure that has recently appeared in an OECD report: the satisfaction of the citizens of Israel from their country is one of the highest in the world - sixth among developed states, before the UK and the US. As for young people - we made second place worldwide in terms of satisfaction. We still have what to improve so we can reach first place."

According the report, Israel had the sixth highest level of life satisfaction among OECD member states in 2014/5.

What about the empty half of the cup?

Well, it seems that Netanyahu perceives only the positive data published by the OECD and forgets the 'empty half of the cup'. A few days ago the OECD published a report on relative poverty rates among its member states. The report puts Israel at the top of the index, with the highest, 18.6%, relative poverty (correct for 2014). That is, Israel has the highest percentage of citizens living under the poverty line (according to the state's definitions) of all OECD states, compared with an OECD average of 11.4%.

And still, as we see above, these very citizens have one of the highest levels of satisfaction in the world.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 19, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Benjamin Netanyahu  photo: Reuters
Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Reuters
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