February 28, 2005
MICKEY KAUS, who has been noting the terrorism / welfare connection in Europe for a while, has this advice for the Dutch:
1) Welfare for people who could work plus 2) potential prejudice against a discrete, identifiable group still seems like the universal recipe for an underclass. It was in the U.S.. It is in France. It is in Holland. I’m sure this equation is facile but I don’t see how. … P.S.: A practical lesson from the U.S. for the Dutch? Of the two preconditions, welfare is probably the easiest to change first (though of course you want to try to change both). End perceived freeloading on welfare–as our 1996 welfare reform at least partially did–and you then have a much better shot at diminishing prejudice. You’ve attacked one of its “root causes,” if you will. (Plus the discriminated-against group is forced out of its isolation and into the labor market.)
I hope that Mickey will continue to write about this. Meanwhile, here’s a link to the Times article by Brian Moynahan that everyone’s talking about.