Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Israel is getting a new bank or is it?

Make America Think Harder - the Yang Gang cap, suitable for shul and school.
Make America Think Harder - the Yang Gang cap, suitable for shul and school.

The banks in Israel are largely responsible for the poverty in the country.

Because there is no protection of renters, many people work all their lives to own a house. The banks who “give” the mortgage, through a series of tricks, make the lenders pay trice the price of would you would pay if you would save first and then buy. The typical Israeli family consists of two grownups (and a slew of kids), one working for the cost of living and the other for paying off the mortgage. The “loans” to buy a house are risk-free for the banks. They will cover only two-thirds or so of the value. The rest you need to cough up yourself. And if you paid off 90% and want to quit, the bank will say: well, that was all interest that you paid but on the value of the house you haven’t paid anything, the house is ours, thank you. This is all legal and normal. On top of this, housing prices are needlessly high which drives up rent prices too. A small percentage of rich people keeps the rest of the population dirt-poor and feels good about it. How to get a small fortune in Israel? Come with a large one.

A new bank is in the planning, for the first time in Israel in 40 years. Two super-rich guys are going to establish it without any physical branches. A virtual bank. Because of that, it’s likely to give better financial deals and force the other banks to close their branches too. It’s called progress.

The hype, even in the supposedly leftist Haaretz, is that this would enlarge competition which according to capitalist theory is good because it would lower prices. However, it’s really just a ploy to reorganize bank tellers and other branch workers out of existence (mass firings), leaving customers at the mercy of computers.

So, really, what was announced is a new bank that will plunder us in the old ways and on top of it will give us less service and spread mass firings..

How great it would be to see banks whose goal would be to give service to the public, not to milk it dry. That would be new banks. They would still make money but only on the side. Yet, I don’t hear anyone suggest this. It also seems way too “radical” for Israel’s public-friendly finance minister.  I only had written this and the news announced this!

In the US there seems to be one presidential candidate, Yang, smart, thinking outside of the box and humane enough to start that. But he has a long way to go before becoming America’s number one. If he gets there, I’m sure Israel will follow swiftly. Meanwhile, we live under classical capitalism and don’t hold your breath.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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