Friday, 23 February 2007

The collapse of the Belgian social model

It mustn't be that funny to be a militant of a Belgian (Flemish or Walloon) socialist party just a few months before the federal elections will occur. The reason why is due to a report published by the Centre for Social Politicy (CSP) - a research institute linked to the university of Antwerp - and in which serious concerns are expressed about the future of the Belgian social model.

In its report, the CSP distuingishes four types of countries in the European Union according to two conditions: a) is the investigated country a poor country or a rich country? and b) is there a huge welfare redistribution/is there a large discrepancy between 'the rich' and 'the poor'?. The researchers of the CSP consider Belgium as a rich country with a lot of welfare redistribution. Other European countries that we can find in this category are the Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France and Germany. So all these nine countries all have a large social security system. The aim of the report is to investigate how the Belgian social security performs compared to those other countries.

And the conclusions that can be drawn from the report aren't that positive at all. For a start, the Belgian labour market performs dramatically. The employment rate is bellow the 'EU-9'-average, while the unemployment rate is equal to that of the EU-9 average. However, while this rate is lower in Flanders, it is soaring to incredible heights in the Walloon region and Brussels.

But there is more: as there is a lot of inactivity in Belgium, there are also a lot of unemployment benefits to be handed out. As the state has to distribute a lot of unemployment benefits, this will push down the value of each benefit. The result is poverty among the unemployed people. So what should be the best solution in that case? Getting a new job of course! But... how can thet get a job if the very same reports stresses the fact that taxation on labour force is also twice as high as in the rest of the EU-9? They are doomed to live their gloomy lives that are provided by the social (?) security (??) system. A system introduced by the socialist parties, who stand for the "rights of man"! Sic! By the way: the report underlines the fact that the risk to get poor is much higher in Wallonia than in Flanders. Another reason why the PS is the deadliest poison that could ever have spoiled the Walloon region and its people.

Finally, the report argues that social redistribution isn't always that fair as it seems. A certain 'Mattheus effect' is inevitable. The Mattheus effect - named after the New Testamentical Gospel of MatheĆ¼s - argues that social distribution sometimes flows from people with lower incomes to people with higher incomes. The Belgian pension system for example is full of those effects. As in the Belgian pension system every employee pays the pensions of the current elderly people, more money will be transfered to rich pensioners, because of the simple reason that they live longer and have more financial needs. You see, the Belgian social and socialistic model isn't that fair as it seems on the first sight. Undersigned can't wait for the moment that socialism will finally rotten in the dungeons of political hell, the only place where this horrible system deserves to be.

For those who are interested and perform well in the Dutch language can download the full report of the CSP by clicking on this link: .

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