Monday, August 1, 2011

Hezi Sternlicht/ Look at them and look at us

(Hezi Sternlicht-IsraelHayom).Political circus on the one hand, bankruptcy on the other. To put it lightly, the U.S. is not really looking its best these days. Who would have believed that a failure of what amounts to technical legislation would, in hindsight, be able to bring the U.S. economy to the point of insolvency? The U.S.'s temporary bankruptcy, one which may render the country unable to pay off its own deficit as well as massive international debts, may lead the rest of the world into economic doom.

And here? A cottage cheese boycott, a housing protest, a general sense of daily struggle.

If we could forget our daily struggles for just one moment and put things into perspective, then maybe -- just maybe -- we would see the bigger picture: The U.S. is an economic power still (barely) leading the rest of the free world, brought to its knees by officials caught up in a ridiculous round of political arm wrestling.

Washington is looking worse for wear these days, even circus-like. Things don't bode well for the U.S. economy, which dampens the outlook further for the global markets. What can be done? The U.S.'s fiscal recovery is influencing our jobs all the way over here in the Middle East. It also affects our cost of living, an issue no less sensitive during these intense times.

The U.S. must make a decision on its role in the debt ceiling crisis. At least we in Israel don't have this type of worry. If the organizers of our current protests are able to tip the state budget in their favor, and the Israeli government irresponsibly decides to acquiesce to any new social whim, then we, too, will find ourselves battling a crisis over the debt ceiling. Only here, we can't rely on a printing press to make more dollars. Look at them, and look at us.