The third Tuesday in September

Regarding our subject of economic and political freedom. Past Tuesday was an excellent opportunity to get an idea of the role the government plays in our everyday economy. This day (the third Tuesday in September) the government presents its annual budget (miljoenennota). Connected to the budget, the government announces its plans for the upcoming year and also says something about its long-term plans.
The effect on the citizens can be viewed at the following site, categorized by interest groups (site translated by google translate since it is in Dutch):

http://translate.google.nl/translate?prev=hp&hl=nl&js=y&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.prinsjesdag2009.nl%2Feffect_op_u&sl=nl&tl=en&history_state0=&swap=1

I will leave it to the reader to judge to what extent our economy is free or to what extent it is planned.

This is not a day where economists pop up at a place where you do not expect them to be but instead they are in the front row of the public debate (well, maybe second row because the debate is performed by the policitians in the house of representatives first). Nevertheless, this is an article with the opinion of some prominent economists, which include economists of our own faculty.

http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2360588.ece/Top_economists_disappointed_by_boring_budget

Maybe for the foreign student, this is an article on what Tuesday was all about:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prinsjesdag

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The third Tuesday in September

  1. What is interesting to me here, is that the budget is “boring.” So sometimes it can be more exciting, boring (saai?) is euphemism for shy? conservative? cowardly?

  2. ocmer

    I would say cowardly but that is it not the right word. With the crisis I would also expect a plan or idea how they will deal with the economy now and the debt in the future but this is hardly mentioned. Instead there are now all sorts of research committees that will investigate the best budget cuts. But by the time they are finished investigating, it is only months until the next elections.
    No doubt that they try to postpone unpopular measures to a next government, it may be cowardly but this is how the political system with cycles of 4 years works.

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