Dutch government: deaf, dumb, blind and impotent
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‘The biggest threat to humanity, is not the evil of the bad persons. It is the passivity of the good ones!’ Martin Luther King
by Frank van Empel
Nationalism is always just one step around the corner. As soon as the economic engine starts to sputter fascists, disguised as politicians, come out of their holes to spread their lies. They smell blood. Unemployment is blamed on foreigners coming here to drive Dutch people out of there jobs. ‘They eat our food, they spend our money, use our wives and daughters, steal our phones,’ they say. A solution is easily found. Close the door. The debt of Greece recently even was a reason to reïnvent the Dutch guilder. That their own country number 3 worldwide in debtbuilding is, doesn’t suit them. So they ignore it. Mama and uncle Jeff don’t know it, so why should théy care? Facts are of no importance to them, they pick up what fits and hear what they want to hear.
Everyone is free to think and say what he or she wants to in a country like ours. No problem. The frightening part however is the lack of opposers. It cannot be a lack of arguments. At your service:
- The United Kingdom, not Greece, is World Champion Debt All Categories (total debt as a percentage of gdp: 469), thanks to its financial institutions that scored an all time debt record of 202% of gdp in 2008. The silver medal in the year of the crisis went to Japan (459%), where the national government with 188% of gdp was the champion. Number 3 were the Netherlands with a total debt of 3,5 time (350%) growth domestic product (gdp). Dutch consumers with a debt-ratio of 104 (104% of gdp) are in the lead here followed by the banks (99%). Spain just missed the medals, like number 5: South-Korea. Greece is not even noticed as a debt racer.
- The populations of Germany and Japan shrink. As a consequence economic growth of both countries is tempered. Fewer people produce less. And if gdp is sinking, debt as a percentage of gdp increases, because declining economic growth, rising debt and the growing costs of ageing press harder and harder on the shoulders of a shrinking workforce. In the Netherlands the total population keeps on growing until 2040, however the amount of people working will shrink from 2012 on as a consequence of ageing. Depending on the demand the risk of tension on the labour market gets higher every year. In the year 2015, consultants expect, there will be a shortage of 500.000 employees on the Dutch labour market. One of the possible solutions – internationalization – is under pressure due to current nationalistic sentiments in Dutch politics. Moreover the xenophobe foreign policy and stringent procedures designed to keep asylum seekers out of the country will prove to be destructive for the Lowlands. The Netherlands should have an open door policy instead. Migrants are a stimulus for production, income and future population growth. The Netherlands will badly need that growth in order to get rid of debt. It is easier to grow out of debt than to cut in jobs and incomes of people. According to YER and the Intelligence Group, there is no policy in The Hague to counter the trend of ageing. The current Dutch government is not only deaf, dumb and blind, but also impotent.
- Re-introduction of the guilder is non-sense. We retrieve the power to manipulate the flow and price of our own currency, but we will loose much more, dependent as the (small!) country is on trade. We cannot lean on our strong neighbour Germany – the economic engine of Europe – anymore. Instead of that we’ll have to face fierce competition from the common market. It will be economical suicide on one hand and moral bankruptcy on the other. Leaving the Euro is betraying the peace movement that put the foundations under the European Dream after World War Two. The Netherlands is one of the founders of the Union that prevented war on the continent for already fifty years. As a small country it has to work together with other countries, to make a difference from within. We are not in the World to compete with our friends, but to join forces to make the World a better place to live in. To make love, not war.
Ecolutie, 20 November 2011
 Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period.
 McKinsey Global Institute, Debt and deleveraging: the global credit bubble and its economic consequences, Januar 2010. And Jaap van Duijn, De Schuldenberg, De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam 2011, p 34.
 Since 2005 the category 60-65 years old outweights that of 0-15 years old.
 De Nederlandse arbeidsmarkt 2011-2015, Paradoxale ontwikkelingen in een krappe arbeidsmarkt, Intelligence Group and YER, 2011.
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 YER is an international recruitment agency that focuses on Bachelors and Masters; Graduates, Professionals, Executives and Directors for Permanent and Temporary positions.