no pony

Much-discussed article; American goes to Holland, finds welfare state actually quite OK really! I was amused by the pleasantly clueless quote below:

I asked a management consultant and a longtime American expat, Buford Alexander, former director of McKinsey & Company in the Netherlands, for his thoughts on this. “If you tell a Dutch person you’re going to raise his taxes by 500 euros and that it will go to help the poor, he’ll say O.K.,” he said. “But if you say he’s going to get a 500-euro tax cut, with the idea that he will give it to the poor, he won’t do it. The Dutch don’t do such things on their own. They believe they should be handled by the system. To an American, that’s a lack of individual initiative.”

Or perhaps they are sufficiently perceptive to realise that there is no comprehensive welfare system on earth that is sufficiently supplied by charity, and sufficiently self-knowing to realise that given a €500 tax cut, the marginal increase in charitable giving is not likely to be very much. Further, neither is it obvious that it will be evenly or even sensibly distributed; a lot would probably end up going to donkeys, or local equivalent. There is no pony (even though the donkeys might not do too badly)

It’s disturbing to hear someone who claims to be an expert on organisations being so very, very blind to the divergence of individual and collective interests. Meanwhile, this PPRuNe thread discusses the US airline pilot who was moonlighting in a coffee shop not long before dying in an aircraft accident after 30 hours without sleep.




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