Middenklasse Voelt Zich Gesandwicht (The Middle Class Pays the Crisis)
Opinie in De Tijd, p. 14, December 2011
1 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 18, 2011
In this Op Ed I comment on the new budget program of the newly formed Belgian government and I argue that not the poor (rightly so) nor the extreme rich, but the wealthy (primarily Flemish) middle class will pay for the crisis. I criticize the Belgian tax legislation since it is not able to create a transparant and efficient balance between individual responsibility (stimulating entrepreneurship) and collective responsibility (solidarity and welfare programs).
Also I criticize the Belgian policy of answering the crisis mainly with new additional taxes rather than with sound and solid long term cost cutting. The "bonus pater familias" principle would require the latter.
I also argue, as I have done in other OpEds and scholarly articles, that the Belgian ethnic problem between Dutch speaking Flemish and Francophone Walloons and Brussels inhabitants will never lead to a split of the country, but that economic problems may well do so. The question is how long the rich Flemish middle class will accept to continue serving as the milking cow for a socialist system that is demotivating entrepreneurship.
I conclude with the dream of a positive political project, stimulating entrepreneurship, creativity, studying and learning, creating the conditions for a happy society with a true spirit of civic duty, balancing individual and collective responsibilities.
Note: Downloadable document is in Dutch.
Keywords: Tax Reform, Fair Balance, Entrepreneurship
JEL Classification: K00, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation