This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

Compromise Helps Dutch Stay Afloat In Crisis


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.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,472.37 +200.36 1.23%
S&P 500 1,951.36 +27.54 1.43%
NASDAQ 4,707.7750 +80.6910 1.74%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs