The Dutch have just announced a massive reform of their welfare system, designed to reduce dependency and put a new emphasis on work. For example, welfare applicants will now be required to prove that they spent at least 4 weeks actively searching for a job before they become eligible for any assistance. And once they begin to receive benefits they will either have to work or perform volunteer community service. Dutch welfare recipients would be required to take available jobs even if they had to move or commute up to three hours per day.That sounds familiar. Where have we heard that before? Oh, yeah, during the Clinton Administration, when the first major welfare reform since LBJ's Great Society took place. “Welfare as we know it” ended and was refocused upon those who really needed it. Generations of welfare dependence ended and people actually went out and got jobs to support themselves.
Much of those reforms have been wiped away the Obama Administration, all in the name of “helping” those in need. That was the same argument used by LBJ while selling his Great Society reforms, something that ended up trapping millions in poverty who would have otherwise gotten themselves out of poverty.
At least the Dutch have come to realize that their liberal welfare policies and benefits were doing nothing but fostering government dependence and creating an increasingly heavy tax burden that would eventually bankrupt their government, and with it, their nation. The Dutch are learning a lesson both we and the British learned over two decades ago (and have since forgotten).
If nothing else we should pay attention to what the Dutch are doing, look back into our own history, and break the cycle of more entitlement spending followed by increasing numbers of citizens/non-citizens becoming dependent upon the government, which in turn means more spending and more taxes.