How Much is that Rabbanut Sign in the Window?

My favorite type of packaged cookies are those (Paskez?) brown and white confetti cookies. The cookies are good, but the approximately 74 kashrut symbols on the side are better.  I used to imagine the person looking for the 75th symbol. Something I was less aware of in my youth was how much each symbol cost. Continue reading “How Much is that Rabbanut Sign in the Window?”

How many Teachers is One Plane Worth?

If you could start a country from scratch, in a somewhat hostile region, how would you structure its budget to attract the most people? Also, what would you name it? I would go with Not Sudan.

Recently, Moody’s, one of the foremost credit rating agencies in the world, affirmed Israel’s status as a stable and successful country. They clearly have never tried to send a package through the mail to the country. The report complimented Israel’s economic and institutional strength and the government’s fiscal policies. However, the agency also mentioned that Israel’s high defense expenditures keeps it from receiving the highest rating. Continue reading “How many Teachers is One Plane Worth?”

Two Unbelievable Reasons Why Israel’s Crazy Car Tax Makes Sense

Car taxes in Israel are high. Like highest of any non-Danish OECD country high.  In 2015, on average, Israelis paid almost an 80% purchase tax on cars (down from over 100% in 2005). With news that a tax rebate for environmentally friendly cars is going to be harder to receive, I thought it might be useful to delve into car taxes, why they exist and some alternatives that the government could choose. It turns out that they’re not entirely the work of the devil. However, we should all pray for the speedy arrival of the trains. Let’s look at the numbers (charts below. Most of the info was taken from this OECD working paper and this document). Continue reading “Two Unbelievable Reasons Why Israel’s Crazy Car Tax Makes Sense”

Amazing Ways that Bank of Israel Decisions Affect You

We here at Kalpi attempt to provide you, our lovely readers and lovelier donors (one day), with a full picture of the key operators in Israeli politics. Aspects of the picture, such as Oren Hazan, are exciting! And depressing! Smiling helps to prevent the tears! Other aspects of the picture, such as the functions of the Bank of Israel, are even more exciting! Recently, the bank announced that they were holding a record amount of foreign currency reserves and I thought I’d provide a little explanation as to how that affects you. Continue reading “Amazing Ways that Bank of Israel Decisions Affect You”