I’ve long held the view that the extortionate taxes I’ve been paying here in the Netherlands are not being used towards the greater good of the Dutch economy, but that of my fellow countrymen back home in Ireland.
I say this, because as a “DINKY” who earns a pretty decent salary, herself and I are net contributors to the Dutch economy rather than net beneficiaries. We do not benefit from the multitude of tax breaks families with children get, we do not benefit from the Dutch schooling system (mind you, given the majority of Dutch children I have come into contact with, I doubt the Dutch benefit from their schooling system either) and I am never ill enough to benefit from the “extra dental and health” insurance I have to pay each year, let alone get to break-even from the benefit I get from the Dutch quack doctors.
So, I can only assume that my taxes are being used to benefit my fellow Irishmen and women, especially when the Dutch are so keen of late about reminding me about “all that bailout money” they sent over the Ireland not so long ago. Amazingly, they always seem to wash over the fact though that the bailout of Irish banks was actually a protectionist move to prevent their own banks from collapsing after those banks put money down like an uncontrollable gambler, betting the house on new housing estates across the Emerald Isle.
But now we have Greece, whose economic growth seemed to defy all the odds with year over year increases in its GDP since the 1970’s. But the bit that I never understood is why since the early 1990’s the Greek government thought it was a good idea to spend more than they could generate. As any business or government will attest, generating cash is easier said than done, especially if your customers are based in Spain, France, Italy, Greece or Portugal, all of whom are complete fuckers when it comes to getting paid on time….or even at all. So when it comes to the average Greek taxpayer, those problems become compounded, because we all know how nicely padded with drachmas (and now euros) those Greek mattresses are when stuffed full of undeclared income.
We also all too aware that Greece should never have been allowed join the eurozone in the first place. But it’s been done, and to boot them out, some would say, will fuck it up for everyone else….in particular ze Germans and French who have so much to lose. So they see fit that everyone else should stump up the cash and bail them out. Here’s the next bit that I don’t understand.
Why should countries, such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, all of whom have smaller economies and lower standards of living comparatively to Greece, be forced to help out its wealthier neighbour? More to the point, why do we still feel the need to throw good money after bad, to a government who has not exactly been the most proactive in implementing good fiscal policies, unlike those of say Ireland or Spain, and who is no nearer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel……maybe it’s good that they haven’t because that light may end up being the lights of the oncoming train, ready to finish derailing it’s economy and government.
So the solution, in my mind is simple. I am a taxpayer, and my taxes are going to help out my fellow European citizens. But I am not exactly seeing the benefit from my end. So why don’t we do it like this.
Give everyone across Europe a free holiday to Greece! Instead of sending the money directly to the Greek government (who’ll only go and spend it on the wrong thing anyway) the governments of Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Britain, France and anyone else who wants to join in) pays for you and me to fly down to Greece on holiday. They can pay for their own national airlines to fly us down (that way ensuring full employment at home) and contribute towards our hotel bills and some spending money when we get down to Greece. Then the Greek economy would be buoyed up from all the cold hard cash we’d spend in the bars, restaurants, tours, boat rides, ferries, taxis and everything else one spends ones money on when abroad.
Greece still gets the cash infusion she so desperately needs, but the citizens from across Europe who have up until now not actually seen their taxes at work, get to reap the benefits of their taxes and get to experience true harmonious European economics at work, first hand! Everybody wins 🙂
Honey…..where did I put my passport?