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Restructuring our Social System: A Step in the Right Direction, but Isolated

Restructuring our Social System: A Step in the Right Direction, but Isolated

 

May 16, 2024

 

On my way from one of my remote workplaces to my home office, I heard about a parliamentary meeting discussing the reform of our social welfare system. The topic had been covered in the press previously. I reached out to my network in hopes of obtaining the report but to no avail. However, there were three extensive articles in the AD once a week or two ago. I was able to download the report from the internet when I got into the home office (Economisch Bureau Amsterdam, 2024).

The report, spanning around 26 pages, is decent, and the parliamentary debate is on par, complementing the report well. Our socioeconomic problems are significant, and indeed, our social welfare system is in dire need of reform. The report rightly focuses on implementation, as it is an area where we tend to need help.

However, it's hard to shake the feeling that the report is somewhat technocratic. Poverty and aging are reduced to mere statistics. The framework for implementing changes seems to mirror the Dutch system, with the exception of the benefit amounts. But there's a lack of understanding of the intricacies of our socioeconomic problems. We need a more empathetic approach that understands the human side of these issues, not just the numbers.

Furthermore, the discussion seems isolated. There's no real connection with economic policy, education policy, or even public transportation policy. And not to forget the elderly policy. While I do support this initiative, it's crucial to realize that without addressing these other domains, our problems won't be solved. However, by recognizing the potential impact of interconnected policies, we can inspire a more comprehensive approach to social welfare reform.

 

May 16, 2024

 

On my way from one of my remote workplaces to my home office, I heard about a parliamentary meeting discussing the reform of our social welfare system. The topic had been covered in the press previously. I reached out to my network in hopes of obtaining the report but to no avail. However, there were three extensive articles in the AD once a week or two ago. I was able to download the report from the internet when I got into the home office (Economisch Bureau Amsterdam, 2024).

The report, spanning around 26 pages, is decent, and the parliamentary debate is on par, complementing the report well. Our socioeconomic problems are significant, and indeed, our social welfare system is in dire need of reform. The report rightly focuses on implementation, as it is an area where we tend to need help.

However, it's hard to shake the feeling that the report is somewhat technocratic. Poverty and aging are reduced to mere statistics. The framework for implementing changes seems to mirror the Dutch system, with the exception of the benefit amounts. But there's a lack of understanding of the intricacies of our socioeconomic problems. We need a more empathetic approach that understands the human side of these issues, not just the numbers.

Furthermore, the discussion seems isolated. There's no real connection with economic policy, education policy, or even public transportation policy. And not to forget the elderly policy. While I do support this initiative, it's crucial to realize that without addressing these other domains, our problems won't be solved. However, by recognizing the potential impact of interconnected policies, we can inspire a more comprehensive approach to social welfare reform.


Miguel Goede


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