Israel turned 60 this week. In human-years, that’s middle aged; in nation-years, that’s adolescence. The stories will be almost all about national security, and why shouldn’t they be? The state of Israel has been in mortal peril more than any state in memory. But what about Israel as a wealth creator, why ignore the money miracle?
Israel punches way above its weight class in initial public offerings, patents, and technology in general. It should – the nation is itself, after all, an IPO. In 1948, the country was an act of entrepreneurship – an idea, an implementation plan, setbacks and then success. In this way, it’s a lot like its closest ally, America: utopian vision, harsh reality, painful lessons, improved performance. Like America, it had its failed experiments with central planning and inflationist policies in the 70s. Like the US it lurched towards markets in the 80s, and again in the 90s. Like America, it has staked much of its future on commerce with other nations.