This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Compromise Helps Dutch Stay Afloat In Crisis

By TOBY STERLING

AMSTERDAM (AP) â¿¿ In the U.S., tax hikes have been the subject of partisan warfare that brought the country to the very edge of a "fiscal cliff." In southern Europe, spending cuts have led to mass protests and labor strikes.

Maybe both could learn from the Dutch â¿¿ whose compromise culture has kept the country afloat throughout the economic storm.

In the Netherlands, hits from the global financial crisis have so far been absorbed in a more relaxed way, as political parties, trade unions and officials have been more focused on cutting deals than in fighting over principles â¿¿ and sharing pain as well as prosperity.

After all, the pragmatic Dutch outlook says, we're all in this together.

The Dutch system, known as the "Polder Model," seeks to divvy up the inevitable suffering from a downturn in a way that feels fair to all. Employers agree not to slash as many jobs as they otherwise might in exchange for workers agreeing to take pay cuts and not go on strike. The government, meanwhile, attempts to build public support for tax hikes and spending cuts by distributing them evenly across groups.

"Everyone is going to feel the pinch," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after a recent meeting with industry and union leaders, while adding: "We're going to share the burdens as equally as possible. As a united country we're strong."

The idea of "Poldering" resonates deeply with the Dutch populace. Historically, dwellers of the low-lying country had to cooperate across social classes to share the costs of maintaining the system of windmills and dikes that protected them from floods and turned marshes into dry farmland known as "polders."

It was a matter of life and death.

Now, with the economy in the doldrums, the housing market in decline and unemployment at a 10-year high of 7.2 percent, Poldering is back in vogue.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs