Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's A Small Start

The welfare state is dying--at least in one European country:
In an address to the people of the Netherlands earlier this year, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander declared the welfare state ‘dead,’ and said that the people of the Netherlands needed to look more after themselves in a ‘participatory society’ without depending so much on government.
The graphic showing public-debt-to-GDP is interesting:
It's about -3.8% in the Netherlands.


allen (in Michigan) said...

A small start indeed. Especially when you consider that the likes of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland got themselves into economic trouble by blandly ignoring that "Stability and Growth Pact" which sought to impede the more excessive extravagances of the redistributionist state and has been floating around, largely ignored, since 1999.

To be fair, not every nation in the EU are economically irresponsible wastrels. Germany, for instance, got into trouble with the EU by cutting taxes enough to start attracting businesses. France was particularly incensed being especially convenient for cross-border moves. Don't recall how that turned out but I haven't heard anything about France and Germany re-arming so the disagreement must have been resolved more or less amicably.

Call me a cockeyed optimist but I think we'll be seeing the emergence of a serious political movement in Europe analogous to the Tea Party movement. The result will be, in Europe as it has been here in the U.S., a flurry of hysteria on the left but that won't be much of an impediment.

People have a high tolerance for socialist failure due to the endlessness of socialist promises but eventually that reservoir of patience runs out.

Anonymous said...

Am I understanding this graph correctly? If the debt is one billion dollars and the GDP is is 100 billion dollars, then the value would be -1%?