Monday, February 14, 2005

Secrets Exposed: It’s the Economy, Stupid!

Very well done opinion piece the Jerusalem Post:

Put simply, as long as aliya entails economic sacrifice, it will be limited to a trickle of the welcome and valuable ideologically-motivated few.

And I’ve been saying this for years. Recently I got a pamphlet on making Aliyah from the Jewish agency. It came with a photocopied sheet of updates. The paper read something like this:

Page 1 – This benefit is no longer provided.
Page 2 – This tax has now been raised to double.
Page 3- This right has been shortened from 6 months to 3 months.
Page 4- This benefit is no longer provided.
Page 5- There is now a 200% tax on this.

You get the point. Perhaps I exaggerate, but not by much. What Israel needs today is a nice healthy dose of Reganomics (done more carefully this time.) Yes, listen closely I am about to tell you the secret of America’s economic success. In a word: cars!

Yes, cars! No pun intended, but cars fuel the economy.

Consider the following: According the statistics taken by the Federal Highway Administration in the year 2000 only 10% of all US household’s did not own a car. In fact 34% owned 1 car, 38% owned 2 and get this - a wooping 17% owned three or more vehicles!

Now think about it. Cars cost money. They cost money to operate – gas. They cost money to maintain - repairs. And in large cities they even cost money to park. All that money is pumped straight into the economy. Add on top of that even more money to pay for insurance. And in a country, like America, where taxes are reasonable - and purchasing cars is encouraged - you will find large percentages of citizens buying new cars every year!

The Israeli government tends to be short sighted when it comes to taxes thinking that raising taxes will automatically bring in more money. Wrong! High taxes stop people from owning cars and without those cars Israel not only lose taxes earned on cars themselves, but also loses all the taxes from gas and repairs too. Think of it this way – is it better to take 100% from $1 or 50% from $5 or %20 from $200.

In New York every once in a while they have something called “No-Tax Week.” There is no sales tax charged on certain merchandise (usually clothing articles). Does New York State lose money on this deal? Of course not! If they did why would they have it? New York State gets the taxes another way. No-Tax week gives the economy a boost. With a heather economy people earn more money. When people earn more money they pay more income tax. It’s that simple. Lower taxes = healthier economy. Healthier economy = more money earned in taxes.

And another thing. Who does Israel think they are fooling by charging so much in tax on new items shipped to Israel from abroad? Hello customs officials: Israelis have stuff shipped to friends and family in the US instead which proceed to open those packages and make them look used then reship them to Israel to avoid these taxes. If the taxes were reasonable people would pay them. (And even buy more stuff.) So in your greed, instead you get nothing! Think about it.

It’s time Israel break out of its socialistic nature and embrace Capitalism. And when she does more Americans will come on Home. Stop charging North Americans making Aliyah through the roof in taxes – charge them nothing (I don’t mean that literally – but yes, give them loads of tax breaks.) And something very funny will start happening. Millions – yes millions of Olim will start returning home and pouring money into the Israeli economy. It will become economically beneficial to invest and live in Israel. And with a healthier economy the country will be able to collect more revenue in taxes.

Lower taxes. Everybody wins!


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