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Why Do Americans and the World Hate Trump –   But Israelis Love Him?

By Shlomo Maital

   Let’s run the numbers. “Do you approve of President Trump?” — Some 56% of Americans disapprove; 41% approve. So a majority of Americans DO dislike Trump.

   He is divisive, deeply so, in an unprecedented manner, and on purpose. Some 91% of Republicans approve.   Only 4% of Democrats. And 34% of Independents.

   A study by the Pew Research Center asked 36,000 people in 33 countries whether they “trust Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs”. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents said, No! Only 29% said yes.

   Trump is mistrusted even more than Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.   Imagine that.

   The country that distrusts Trump the most? Mexico (89%!). Not surprising – “Build the wall!” was Trump’s mantra, still is…   Next to Mexico: Germany (85% distrust him). After that, Turkey (84%), Sweden (81%), and France and Spain (78%). Then: Canada (74%). The two nations that border on the US mistrust its leader heavily.

     This is to my knowledge unprecedented, that the American President, leader of the free world, is mistrusted and despised worldwide.

     Except – my country Israel. In Israel, 71% of the respondents said they trust Trump.

     Why? Why is Israel so out of step with the world?

     It’s very very simple. Trump has moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, and proposed a “peace plan” that royally screws the Palestinians. Israelis love this.

     What don’t they get? Israel vitally, desperately needs American support, as Russia, China and Iran wreak havoc in the Mideast. Israel needs a strong united United States, with a strong economy and cohesive democracy that is effective and competent. When the US has an Administration that is composed of kleptocratic, incompetent inexperienced Secretaries, and a President who lies only when he opens his mouth, who seeks to destroy the November election by sabotaging mail-in ballots (and he is open about this)….   Israel is in deep trouble. Trump weakens the US. A lot. And hence weakens Israel. Perhaps even existentially.

     Israel is Startup Nation, right? Are we also “Don’t get it” Nation?   I’m afraid so.   Will somebody please explain the reality to us Israelis? And soon!?

Generation Z – There Is Hope!
By   Shlomo Maital  
   Generation Y is the generation of those born between 1981 and 1995.  They are also known as Millenials. They have been slandered as selfish, egoistic, live-for-the-present, and worse.  Today they are between 23 and 37.
    Generation Z is the generation of those born 1996 and later.  A New York Times column by Dan Levin, “Even young Republicans are drifting left on social issues”,  Jan. 25/2019,  reports on a Pew Research Center survey of American  Gen Z, some 12,000 of them.  Here are the main findings:
• Only 30% approved of Trump’s performance.  This is well below the average (Trump is deeply underwater in his approval ratings).
• 70% said they wanted government to do more to solve the nation’s problems.  [Levin says, those attitudes mirror those of Gen Y, which may mean that these two younger generations can powerfully combine to change the current bleak reality in the US].
• There are more than 68 million Americans who belong to GenZ.  This is 22% of the American population.  So more than one American in every five is GenZ.  This makes this group politically decisive, in the long run.  
• 2/3 of GenZ believe blacks are treated less fairly than whites in the US.
• GenZ believe government should play a more active role.

    This is not good news for Republicans; GenZ is more progressive than older generations.  But it is good news for those who seek a less conservative America.


Freedom? Or Security?  Do We Have to Choose?

By Shlomo Maital    

Freedom Security  

  A Pew Global Attitudes survey asked this question, a few years ago:

   Which is more important?

     Freedom to pursue life’s goals without state interference, or

    State guarantees that nobody is in need.

  The results:  58 % of Americans chose freedom; only 35 % chose security. 

  In Britain it was the opposite.  Some 55% chose state guarantees, and 38 % chose freedom.  In Germany, France and Spain, 62 % chose state guarantees.

  Here, in a nutshell, we have the reason why America has a great deal of entrepreneurial energy, and enormous social and economic inequality.  And why Europe has a terrible dearth of entrepreneurial energy, and strong infrastructure and social safety nets. 

    In his New York Times column, Roger Cohen even goes so far as to blame America’s obesity on the choice of ‘freedom’.  Taxing sugar-laden drinks would never fly in America.  Raising gas taxes is a non-starter, even though the U.S. highways are crumbling. 

    Benjamin Franklin, that creative entrepreneurial American who invented public libraries and many other things,  spoke up for freedom, in 1776.  At the time, he was right.  America’s democracy had just been born.  As a new-born baby, it needed strengthening.

   But today?  My question is —   Are “freedom” and “social safety net”  really, necessarily, perforce  “Either-Or” choices?   Must we choose?    Are there examples of nations that have both?

    Take Denmark, a very well off, prosperous European nation, wisely not part of the Euro block,   which has very high taxation,  superb social safety net and security, and a great deal of innovation and entrepreneurship.  If entrepreneurs truly seek to create value, rather than become billionaires, they will not be deterred by high rates of taxation that generate revenues to support the safety net.  If the wealthy earn 8 per cent on their wealth after-tax, park their money in tax havens,  while the middle class barely earns 1 or 2 per cent,  is it not reasonable to allow the middle class access to the same privileges, the same 8%?

    No, “freedom” and “social safety net” are not either/or. They are only if we believe they are.  Freedom and social safety net CAN BE both/and.   That is how it should be.  Now, the question, is, how do Europeans gain more entrepreneurial freedom without ruining their safety net, and how do Americans get a proper safety net without ruining their entrepreneurial energy.  It’s NOT that difficult!

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital