Douwe Osinga's Blog: Non

Monday, May 30, 2005

So the French have voted 'No'. And I suppose so will my fellow country men. The end of the EU constitution. The interesting thing of course is that most people are not against the constitution. They are just dissatisfied with a number of things and feel like saying no. And things were going so well at some point.

During the nineties I often thought that roaring would be the word for the decade. At least in the Netherlands, economic growth was high, crime decreasing, unemployment almost non-existent. These before then end-of-the-bubble days were great. The government looked very reasonable too: a grey haired statesmen led the bunch, going to his work on a bike. You'd think they would be returned after the elections with an even greater majority.

They were not. The mood had changed and people were unhappy. They suddenly complained about crime, foreigners and the state. Fortuyn came along and captured the mood perfectly, became enormously popular and was then murdered.  Also begann Holland's Untergang.

What's wrong with these people? The Dutch have always had somewhat of a reputation for complaining, but it always concentrated more on the lousy weather and the football results against Germany. Now they've become a nation of grumpy old men. Where are those liberal traditions of tollerance now?

Social welfare is a great good, but sometimes I'm affraid it makes people lazy. I don't mean lazy in that they don't want to look for a job because they'll get money from the state anyway; that may be too.

The first generation under a social welfare economy is of course happy. They're used to work and now they can work in the secure feeling that should they lose work, a leg or their youth, the state will step in and help out. Now the second generation thinks it is a right, this welfare and forgets that somebody has to pay to make it work. So mis-use becomes the norm and things have to be reformed.

The third generation just feels ripped off, since the system isn't so great as it used to be, but they grew up believing it should take care of them. So they complain.