Is our welfare state Outdated?

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor verzorgingsstaat fokke en sukkeThe Netherlands Is a welfare state, that means that the government plays an active role in securing welfare. How well is the Netherlands at securing welfare at the moment? The Netherlands are currently using the ‘Rhineland model’, this model has been applied since 1960. It’s fundamental goals are to achieve great social security and a good collaboration between the government and the citizens. Unfortunately the Rhineland model didn’t turn out to be as fair as was hoped for in the first place. Women’s participation is lower, education is lagging behind and the costs are increasing, not an ideal situation you would say. Might there be another possibility to ensure that the welfare will increase in the Netherlands?

Firstly let’s take a closer look at the Rhineland model. The Rhineland model is a combination between the Anglo-Saxton model and the Scandinavian model. If we take a look at the USA which uses the Anglo-Saxton model you will instantly see that taxes are very low. This might sound great, but the downside is that when now paying a high amount of taxes, you are dependent on yourself, benefits are low and the working hours are long. The USA is all about having a good entrepreneurial environment, everyone has the opportunity to be rich and make something of your life, as long as you work hard. In reality this might not be true, if you have got a handicap, or you are unable to work, America is not the country you want to live in. The Scandinavian model is the complete opposite. Citizens pay very high taxes, but benefits are high. Education is almost free just like public transport, women’s participation is high and the unemployment rates are low.

When adding up the above information about the different models you can state that the Scandinavian model has got the most benefits, but does have the most taxes. If you are thinking logically you could say ‘if benefits are high, wouldn’t people stop working so they can receive benefits’. The answer is actually no, if we take a look at an article of Henrik Pryser from the NY Times you can see that people tend to be finding work sooner by the high flexibility. People want to work because of the high salaries and high minimum wages, and public transport is very good, which encourages people to go to a minimum paid job. The exact opposite of what you would expect happens, which is beneficial for the state.

If we take another look at the Scandinavian model, people might still be arguing over the high tax prices. But if education is almost free, unemployment rates are high and public transport is cheaper, aren’t people then actually profiting from the high taxes? Even if all of a sudden a lot of people would become unemployed, they can be trained and benefit from the free education to improve their knowledge, and have another job. In this way the level of education remains high, and the level of knowledge of the employers will stay at a high level. Scandinavian countries have got the best education rate, due to this accessibility of education.

Concluding all of this, you can state that the Scandinavian model will be the best beneficial, even though in theory you wouldn’t expect that. High taxes might not sound appealing but in long term it will increase education and employment rate for man and women unlike the Rhineland or Anglo-Saxton model. If we would adjust our system to the Scandinavian model, a lot of problems the Netherlands is dealing with would be solves such as unemployment and low benefits. The Rhineland model isn’t working anymore, so let’s change directions by completely changing our system.


Getting to know Dutch society book

Author: Amber Aerts


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