Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bureaucracies



My wife and I have begun the process of getting our Israeli driver's licenses.  We went to a local designated optometrist's office for an eye test.  We now need to see our physician (in our chosen health care plan), and from thence, we will need to go to a (not so) local Ministry of Transportation driver's center.   Then our application swill be approved (we hope), and we will then need to take driving lessons (though, with our history of driving in the States, we may only need a few sessions, we are told), and then the road test.

Not an efficient system, even by New York DMV standards.

Meanwhile, our American licenses, together with our passports, will suffice for the next few months.

But never mind the Israeli version of the DMV; we have the Postal shmucks to contend with.  Several times they failed to deliver, or (more often) delivered late packages we sent to our son and other friends and relatives, even when sent via Registered Mail.  With UPS and FedEx, it's still lots of paperwork and expense, but at least the packages reach their destinations in a reasonably timely manner.

But the consensus seems to be that things are improving.  The old Labor Party in Israel was very much into giving patronage plums to lots of its sycophants, and the ways of the old bureaucracy are still entrenched to a large extent.  But as Israel's high-tech sector grows, the toleration for such inefficiencies is, over time, wearing a bit thin.  Labor (Histadrut) still tries to flex its muscles; for example, they had threatened a strike this coming Wednesday, but have now called it off.  Very much like the labor unions everywhere else.

[Not that I oppose labor unions per se.  In proper proportion, they do keep industry honest.  But they themselves need to be reined in by various checks and balances.].

And don't get me started with the banks here.

Okay, okay, enough of the gripes for now.  My wife and I are quite happy with our decision to take on our respective gigs here, notwithstanding the aforementioned problems.  But it takes a special kind of toughness to live in Israel.  So far, we seem to have been able to cut the mustard.

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