Hard Times

Israel's inflation nears 200% You see this carton of cigarettes?"

asked an unemployed young man in the southern Israeli town of Mizpe Ra mon. "I paid for it this time, but next time I may have to steal it." That scene, shown on Israeli television last week, is typical of the tales of economic woe that have be come standard fare. A few days earlier the government announced that prices had risen 11.6% in December alone, bringing the inflation rate for 1983 to a record 190.7%. That prompted Finance Minister Yigal Cohen-Orgad to impose new rules barring Israelis from holding or taking...

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