The Israeli stock exchange reacted poorly to the election results, as this Jerusalem Post article points out. Looking at the results, the only thing that most people are sure of is that the newly elected government is going to have to spend a lot of money, and will probably roll back some of Netanyahu's financial reforms. This is worrying a lot of investors.
Those who voted Labor, Shas, and for the Pensioners, are looking forward eagerly for an increase in minimum wage, and increase in child benefits, and an increase in pensions. Those of us who voted for the Likud are looking forward with dread to higher taxes (which are extremely high already by American standards!), higher inflation, and higher unemployment - which has been decreasing steadily for the past year.
The Israeli mentality is one of big government, what I call the "magia li" syndrome ("I deserve this"). Everyone looks at everyone else's money, and there is resentment of the rich - which are, of course, people who make more money than you do. Noone regards themselves as rich - just middle class. There is always this mythical group of other people who make so much money, that it is logical to raise their taxes in order to pay for the social benefits that the poor deserve. The main problem with this thinking is that there are only a relative few who are genuinely rich - and even if you ask more from them (they are already paying 50% in income taxes already) it won't cover the expenses of the social programs. And, to be honest, the really rich always have ways to shelter their money anyway. So the middle class ends up paying more in taxes.
In addition, it is not just the poor who receive the money. Every family, regardless of income, receives a monthly child stipend. Personally I think this is a huge waste, but since the government takes so much in taxes, and everyone has this "magia li" attitude, the government can't even THINK of taking away this benefit from people who don't need it (and I am one of these people who don't need it). What is really tragic, is that those who are really poor, and honestly can't work, don't receive enough money to really help them. This includes the diasabled and the retirees.
I am very happy that the retirees won seven seats, and I sincerely hope they receive an increase in pensions, because they deserve it. But I am scared to death that Peretz will push forth his minimum wage increase, because I think businessnes will suffer and stop hiring, which will lead to more unemployment and more poverty. I also hope that Shas does not get an increase to the child allowances. If they really want to help the poor this way - fine. But stop wasting so much money giving it to everyone - and take the saved money and increase the allowances to those families who really need it.
The problem is, you can't get elected doing things like that. Just ask Bibi Netanyahu.