Category Archives: General Update

King Willem-Alexander (i.e. the Dutch government) declares: classical welfare state is unsustainable

He said this, in English, on Prinsjesdag 2013:

The transition to a participation sociaty is particularly visible in social security and long-term care. The traditional welfare state from the second half of the twentieth century, produced schemes precisely in these areas that in their current form are unsustainable and are not suited to people’s expectations. In these times, people want to make their own choices, their own lives and to arrange care for each other. It fits with developing care and social services close to people and to organize these in conjunction with citizens. To achieve this, the government decentralizes government stakes in three areas […].

To which we now have a critique: ‘Did The Dutch Start The End Of Social Europe?’ by  Jose Igancio Torreblanca. I encourage to read the article but this sentence is central:

The Dutch government now thinks that some aspects of welfare should again be the business of the individual, while others should devolve upon local rather than national authorities.

I know that a lot of Dutch people are not at all happy with this. To many it feels if the costs of care are just put on the shoulders of individual citizens. This is especially true with the concept of ‘mantelzorg’, where elderly or otherwise needy people get access to official care only if close relations (family, neighbours, friends) cannot anymore cope with providing care. In an aging society there is a problem of keeping the welfare state working, but this does not seem like the right way to me.


“Marge Piercy on Why Work Matters”

“Marge Piercy on Why Work Matters”

Onko ihme, etten ole kovin optimistinen Suomen taloudesta?

Uusimmat Tilastokeskuksen tiedotteet...

Uusimmat Tilastokeskuksen tiedotteet…

Proud to Announce: WORK – Continuities and Disruptions in Modern Life, Turku, 21-23/8

Tomorrow the conference ‘WORK – Continuities and Disruptions in Modern Life’ starts in Turku. This is the first time we (i.e. the Turku Center for Labour Studies, TCLS) have organized this international, multi-disciplinary conference.

Scheduled are 16 tracks, roughly 160 paper presentations, 220 participants and four stellar key-note speakers: Steven Vallas, Silvia Gherardi, Jill Rubery and Jussi Vahtera.

The rest of the week is going to be very exciting! I have my own track, called Changing Employment Relations which has very interesting presentations.

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946

Companion to the previous post.

NYTimes: Orwell, China, and Me

NYTimes: Orwell, China, and Me

The necessity of ridicule, the relevance of Orwell. Where is Frank Zappa?

Why Germany (Mistakenly) Thinks it Can Kill Its Export Markets Through Austerity and Still Prosperll No further comments. Same also goes for the Netherlands, Finland and Austria to some extent.