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The welfare system is called to provide social support services to people who are in need of healthcare, employment benefits, and so on. The government uses taxes paid by employees and employers to assist citizens with their needs. According to the article by Shorto (2009), the Netherlands and the US has rather different welfare systems. This paper focuses on identifying healthcare, unemployment benefits, and other related issues in these countries’ systems.
First of all, the amount of paid taxes should be noted. If the author of the article identifies 52 percent as the amount established in Holland, he notes that 35 percent of the income should be allocated to taxes (Shorto, 2009). However, it is essential to clarify that the former contains all the taxes, including social security and local taxes. If one would sum all US taxes, it is likely to be approximately 52 percent. More to the point, it is stated that the Dutch government returns significant funds on children and vacation issues, considering that even unemployed people should rest to prevent depression. This shows that the government tries to cover every citizen so that they feel protected and engaged in society.
On the contrary, unemployed US citizens may receive only eponymous benefits. It goes without saying that America also strives to eliminate poverty and increase the overall amount of the income received by employees. Nevertheless, the situation remains critical, and many people have to live in poor and criminogenic areas, which creates additional social challenges. It should also be emphasized that currently, the US government cannot ensure that every citizen feels safe and has everything he or she needs in terms of the appropriate standard of living. For example, many social programs are unavailable to them due to age, living conditions, et cetera.
The Netherlands’ social welfare system may be described as the effective combination of socialism and capitalism, where the former is expressed in care about people and the latter in the market. The country has plenty of orphanages, hospitals, and social support organizations, which are driven by religion and the local culture. For several centuries, the citizens of the mentioned country create a safe and open environment to assist everyone in achieving his or her goals and living comfortably (Shorto, 2009).
Even though the welfare system organization looks as it was based on socialism, the Netherlands practice the open market and is known as a pioneer of the free market. It seems that American capitalism and the corresponding welfare system should have been more successful in addressing the social needs of citizens due to the increased attention to market relations and advanced strategies. In fact, seemingly lower taxes cannot provide the required level of social assistance, as reported by Shorto (2009). In addition, it becomes evident that the system of the Netherlands is more transparent and legally elaborated compared to that of the US.
To conclude, it should be emphasized that the key difference between the welfare systems of the US and the Netherlands is the amount of taxes and their allocation. It is evident that the US government counts various taxes separately, while Holland openly charges 52 percent of the total income and returns essential amounts back, clearly identifying the reasons. In general, the Netherlands’ system seems to be more understandable and effective as it covers almost all citizens and strives to ensure their well-being.
Shorto, R. (2009). Going Dutch. The New York Times. Web.