Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The cash machine that is the Israeli government

As a followup to yesterday's post where I detailed how much money the average Charedi gets from the government today (and may lose with the new government), I would like to refer to a post of mine (The Charedi view of the government and money), from 8 years ago that is more relevant today then ever.

Here are some of the highlights with my comments from today mixed in, in [brackets]:

This made me realize that the Charedi view of the government in Israel is completely different then everyone else. They view the government as a cash machine, give us money and leave us alone. The budget is a zero sum game, whatever we can save and get for us great whatever doesn't go to us is basically lost. The Charedi population views itself as hardly using any government services (no, schools, university, roads, police, jails, etc.) [which is of course not true, they use the roads, health care, the army protects them etc.] . They also feel that they have little or no stake in the government, they don't believe in it. In addition, the Charedi population pays less in direct taxes because many people don't work, they are poor, and those who do work get a lot of money under the table and therefore when they get money from the government they don't look upon it as their tax money coming back to them. [Lately, some in the Charedi world have made the claim that the Charedim pay more in taxes then the average Chiloni and get back less, however, this is not at all backed up by any real data]  Last but definitely not least, the money the Charedi population gets from the government is in many cases the difference between making it through the month or not making it. The government money is a huge part of their income that they cannot do without [see yesterday's post which quotes an estimate from Mishpacha that it was over 3000 shekel a month a very big sum when your total income is about 7000 shekel]. Therefore, when their representatives in the Knesset bring money for Yeshivas etc. it is a big deal and is the way success is measured.

The middle and upper middle class (who vote for Shinui [this past election Yair Lapid]) sees things very differently.
1. They pay the majority of taxes and know that any money in the budget is coming from their pocket, taxes

It has always amazed me that the secular majority has not wiped out the money for Charedim yet, I believe that the day is coming and then the Charedi society will be in for a huge shock and adjustment. [Lo and behold that day seems to have come and as predicted the Charedi world is in shock]

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