February 26, 2007


Capitalism on the kibbutz: Many Israeli collectives shunning system of financial equality (Matthew Kalman, February 26, 2007, Boston Globe)

[L]ast week, [Yoya] Shapiro joined 320 fellow kibbutzniks in a vote that finally ended the financial equality among members that was a cornerstone of the ideology hewn during those early years of agricultural labor.

With that decision, Deganya joined a growing number of the nation's 270 kibbutzim in adopting many of the trappings of free-market capitalism, including differential wages and the ability to own private property. The vote ended nearly a century in which members worked according to their ability and received food, goods, clothes, and services according to their needs. Under the new system, kibbutz members keep their salaries, but pay taxes into a fund for common services such as health, education, and cultural events, as well as a support fund for poorer members.

As of December 2006, 61 percent of kibbutzim were paying differential salaries to their members and more than 20 percent had decided to transfer ownership of kibbutz houses from the collective to the members who live in them.

After two hundred years of testing, it seems safe to say that the French model is a complete failure.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 26, 2007 12:00 AM
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