Huh. When did that comic hit everybody-reads-it-now status, anyways?
This depends on the definition of everybody I guess.
Israel already has an established software industry without aid from the US.
Most people (in SW industry) I know from Israel have their background in Silicon Valley and most companies have their background on people who met while working in States. Again most (if not all) do not have USA governmental support, but US private sector had lost lots of brilliant people to Israel software industry. While this is true for some other countries as well, I guess Israel has a bigger percentage when normalized in population etc.
I can't speak to the financial end of it, but I can tell you that despite my karma being "bad" for almost my entire stay, here, I have the checkbox. So, yeah, that's weird.
Can it be caused by the fact that contribution is giving comments, making posts etc. and karma is the evaluation of some random moderator about your "contribution". Take a discussion about apple vs. linux. Depending on the day and the phase of the moon, you would end up either at -1 or +5 if you have anything of value in your post.
"Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch." -- Robert Orben