Thursday, September 12, 2013

4 Minim at a subsidized price, is this a good thing?

For the first time in all the years I have lived in Israel, I am seeing ads all over the place for subsidized ד' מינים. Many chesed organizations are organizing sales at cost or even subsidized prices. Below are 2 of the many ads that I saw.

I assume the reason for this is the government cutbacks in kollel stipends and child payments and therefore many people simply cannot afford it. While at first glance this seems like a great idea, it may have negative consequences. There are a lot of people who make a good part of their yearly income by selling ד' מינים. This year it will be very hard for them to compete with chesed organizations undercutting their prices by as much as half. In essence, this will be depriving the sellers of their parnassa.

In fact, I am seeing this kind of sale happen for more and more items, meat, clothing, etc. If this trend continues then Charedi stores will simply have to go out of business, there is no way they can compete against the prices that these organizations offer. This may set off a vicious cycle, people are poor and therefore can't spend money in the stores, which makes the stores unprofitable, making the store owner and all his workers poor which makes the Charedi community even poorer.


Jonathan B. Horen said...

A good place to begin is Paul Krugman's blog on the NYTimes website. A professor of economics at Princeton University, Dr. Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics in 2008. His analyses are forthright and clear, and have been alarmingly prescient. I also recommend the labor- and economics-related articles on the website.

צום קל ומואיל לכל עם ישראל!

juda said...

heres a more accurate explanation the total production cost until consumer of an arba minim set is 2.17$ any thing above this is inflationary by the mochrim taking advantage of ignorant magic thinking charadim trying to do a mitzvah (yes i know some of the mochrim r part of that group and have bought into there own BS like some homeopathic healer's) so... this "subsidizing is just a ploy to cut there self inflated price and make more sales if they do have donors "subsidizing" this project the subside is for the salary of the one arranging the sale

SF2K01 said...

I don't know about the idea that Charedi stores can't compete, it just means they have to be subsidized as well, E.g. The KRM kollel store in Brooklyn.