September 19, 2019

Israelis, Like Americans, Don't Trust the Government

“For better or for worse, Israel looks more and more like America, albeit a somewhat paler version. We’ve never developed America’s firearms fetish, but we carry guns as much as Americans do. We can’t quite recreate the same shopping experience because prices are too high and the quality of services too low, but we’ve adopted American-style consumer culture. It’s hard to measure, but it’s even possible that Israelis are even more polite in public than they were a couple of decades ago.

Now, it looks like Israelis have become American in their attitude toward taxes and government. That has important implications.

It wasn’t too long ago that even with Israel’s transition from a state-dominated economy to the free market one we have today, people expected government could and would solve problems, like stopping a factory from being closed and jobs lost, or intervening in the foreign exchange market to protect the shekel. They didn’t object to high taxes. No one was in principle against big government, not even business.

A survey this week released by the Israel Democracy Institute shows that is no longer the case. It found that while 86% want more services from the government, just 37% were ready to pay more taxes to get them.”

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