Sunday, May 3, 2009

"How I Learned to Love the European Welfare State"

Not sure I'm there yet, but here's an article from today's NYT Magazine that I found interesting in light of certain parallels between the Dutch and Belgian social welfare systems (the differences are many, too), and in the context of impending health care reform in the U.S. Also, after my family lived in the Netherlands from the mid '80s to the early '90s, my parents became committed Democrats after having voted straight Republican tickets from the day they became U.S. citizens - in part because they felt the Dutch system worked.

I would also like to add to the quote from the former McKinsey consultant ("If you tell a Dutch person you’re going to raise his taxes by 500 euros and that it will go to help the poor, he’ll say O.K. But if you say he’s going to get a 500-euro tax cut, with the idea that he will give it to the poor, he won’t do it."). Well, if you tell a Dutch person you're going to raise his taxes by 500 euros and that it will go to help poor Dutch citizens of Turkish and Moroccan descent, he might not say O.K. Or say O.K. begrudgingly and go vote for the far Right party.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

Having moved from the USA to Belgium, I know which social welfare and healthcare system I would rather depend on.

The discrimination towards some immigrants in the Low Countries is such a shame. When people start talking that way to me, I remind them that I am an immigrant, but then they say "oh, but you're different".