La cura dell'Olanda per la malattia olandese

STANFORD – Troppo pochi sono i governi in grado di contenere lo straripamento del welfare state prima che sia troppo tardi. Di conseguenza, alcuni cittadini finiscono per subire l'equivalente economico di un attacco di cuore, vale a dire un lancinante impoverimento del tenore di vita quale effetto finale di programmi insostenibili. La Grecia e la città di Detroit sono soltanto gli esempi più recenti di questa triste situazione.

Molti più cittadini soffrono le conseguenze di una scarsa crescita e di un inconsistente aumento dei redditi, frutto della malsana combinazione tra un eccesso di spesa governativa, una normativa opprimente e una tassazione corrosiva. Gran parte dell'Europa rientra in questa categoria di stagnazione economica.

Occasionalmente, però, alcuni governi riescono a reagire con successo alle disfunzioni del welfare state. Il Canada ha ridotto la spesa di oltre l'8% del Pil negli anni '90, mentre gli Stati Uniti hanno tagliato la spesa non militare del 5% del Pil a partire dalla metà degli anni '80, una tendenza favorita tanto dai governi di centro-destra quanto da quelli di centro-sinistra.

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