Politics BS

Democracy, Meritocracy and corruption

Watching the U.S. election and the Chinese transition of power, my friend John has come up with the second guest post to share with us on this blog.

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Democracy, Meritocracy and corruption.

Watching the elections in the U.S. and the transition of power in China, it crystallized the thought I had for a while about the current government structure in China and how they compared to the Western democracies.

My understanding of the U.S. government is rudimentary. My understanding of the Chinese government even less. So my observations and analysis are based on information that could be readily obtained from the West. Nevertheless, many experts have done a lot worse over the years. One in particular, Gordon Chang, have been predicting the coming collapse of China since 2001! In fact, he thought China would go down by 2011! Yet, in spite of his records, he still is publishing in Major publications.

I believe that the China model of selecting leaders could have the potential to be far superior to the way the West selects them.

Let me first lay out my understanding of how the Chinese government works. The Chinese government is based on patronage. Officials enter the system of government either recruited from top colleges due to their outstanding performances, or, equally likely, they enter government services by their heritage. Their parents were also communist officials. Once they are in the system, their boss decide where they will go. If they perform well(or if they also have connections from higher up), they rapidly move up. While there are many considerations for a candidate to move up, competency is a major component for moving up. It is based on performance like in a corporation.

So one can think of this as performance based with heavy legacy considerations. Even for those with legacy, rising to the top requires competence. There are many people with fairly ordinary background which were elevated to the top due to their performance. For example, Shen Yueyue, one of the handful of the “sixth generation” leaders, has the following bio from one of the U.S. government reports

“Although she began her career as a shop assistant, she later earned a degree in mathematics and rose to prominence as Vice-Secretary of the Communist Youth League in her native Ningbo. She served as Deputy Secretary and Secretary of the Zhejiang Youth League from 1986 to 1993 and attended the Central Party School in 1996. When she was appointed Vice-Secretary of the Anhui Party Committee in 2001, she was 44 years of age. Long affiliated with the CCYL, she is thought to be aligned with Hu Jintao’s Tuanpai faction.”

She was a shop keeper when she started out! and she may rise to the very top of the Chinese power structure. But she was not someone who was just a community organizer or a junior senator with little achievement to show for. She took various posts in the government and gave an outstanding performance. That is how she moved up. That is how all others moved up.

So, we have a system where some of the people are recruited and promoted based strictly on merit, others are brought in through family background, but at the end, still promoted based on merit as they compete with other princelings for a spot towards the top. The higher they climb, the  more competitive it gets, even if it were just all the princelings competing with each other. In fact, the princelings are not the only ones made it to the top.  If you read the bios, there are many who rise to the top without a pedigree. The current leader, Hu Jintao is one of those. Most likely, he got to the top based on his performance. Near the top, the people are not only capable, they are also seasoned at what they do as they gained various experience.

In the West, we have a case where a man is elected and re-elected to be the president of the United States, yet, by the account of Bill Clinton, someone who had served as a president himself, this person is an “amateur”. Further, he was picked not because of the achievements that he has made, but because he can talk, and a large swath of the population identifies with him.

I am not saying democracy is a failure. It has served this country well over the years. However, democracy succeeds and fails based on the quality of the constituents. Without a quality constituency, the structures of the government matters little. Just take a look at Liberia to see how democracy is working. Liberia was founded by some ex-slaves from the United States. Liberia and the U.S. share very similar governments structures, constitutions and even down to the design of their flags. Yet, unlike the U.S., Liberia is in shambles. The latest CIA report indicated that the per capita GDP is $500. One of the lowest in the world.

There are many arguments against the China meritocracy model. Some say that the endemic corruption represents a failure in their system. Some pointed to the incident with Bo Xilai and the discovery of billions belonging to the current leader Wen Jiaboa as proof that the very top is rotten. Others are says that the Chinese system is not inclusive, that they should promote more women and minorities( yes, there are minorities in China just as there are in the U.,S.). Still others say that the past represented the low hanging fruit and the performance of the past will never be repeated again.

To me, the saga of Bo Xilai shows that the system works. You see, after decades of explosive growth, there are huge dislocation amongst the Chinese today. Many are dissatisfied with their lives and long for a simpler life of the Mao era, especially for many who either have forgotten how bad those years were, or were too young to know first hand. So in a democracy, Bo would still be in power representing these people. It is his base of power. The corruption of the party members also create more people who are not happy. The fact that the system can purge him represent a triumph of the reform ideas over the group that wanted to go back to the past.

While it is true that it is easier to start off growth from a low base, it is never the less very tough to change a large system going in a different direction. The Chinese joined the WTO  in 2001. While there are many ways to shield competition and favor the state sector, it still represented a major jolt to the system. Many of the decrepit state firms were going to be put out of business. Millions would lose their jobs. Imagine Detroit, in the seventies and eighties, with the Japanese invasion in full swing, sign a treaty to open the city to more competition from Japan instead of smashing Hondas in front of reporters. China joining WTO was a far-sighted decision that entails a great deal of pain. Something that the West would have a hard time executing.  Many China hands pointed out the big problems that China is facing today. I would argue that the problems that China faced twenty years ago were much more severe compared to the ones they face today. The fact that they managed to navigate through so many crisis which might sink a lesser government says something about the quality of the people running the show there.

Finally, we come to the issue of corruption. There is no doubt in my mind that every single one of the leadership is on the take. However, there is corruption, then there is corruption. In China, things get done even in face of corruption. The right decisions are made by the leadership to move the country forward. Contrast this with the corruption in India, where the Common Wealth Games, an event that is a small fraction of the Olympics, was badly mishandled. In fact, many of the foreign contractors, who were brought in to help save the day, were not paid when they sent the bill. That is right, the government stiffed these guys. Something unimaginable either in the U.S. or in China. You can think of corruption as integral to the functioning of the Chinese system. In the private sector, the motivating force for someone to climb the corporate ladder is to be rewarded financially. If you are a stock boy at Waltmart, you are making $10 an hour. If you become a CEO of WaltMart, you make tens of millions a year. If you are highly capable and have a good shot at becoming the CEO of a company, making millions, why would you want to join the government? In China, apparently, you join the government because you can make a lot of money through corruption. This brings in more capable people who would otherwise stay in the private sector. As long as there is work to keep the corruption in check and a system to promote based on one’s performance, corruption should not impact progress. Each of the top leaders making a couple of billion here and there over a decade does not damage an economy which produced 11 Trillion a year.

In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew instituted a system of salaries to the people running for public office based on their private sector pay. If you are a surgeon and wanted to run for an office, the office will pay you what an average surgeon would make. This way, you are not losing out financially if you wanted to serve the country. I think that corruption in China serves a similar goal.

In summary, I think that the Chinese way of selecting their leaders potentially are far superior to the way the U.S. select ours. They promote more competent people and give them the operational experience to succeed as they arrive at the top. Much like a corporation. Where as in a democracy, the leaders are as good as the constituents.

There goes my breakfast

A Washington-based human rights organization says that, overall, press freedom around the world stopped declining in 2011.  But while there are positive changes in some countries, the overall picture is not too bright.  Last year, less than 15 percent of the world’s population had access to a free press.

The title of that news is:

Report: Only 14.5 Percent of People Have Access to Free Press

So much for my appetite. And I started to drink more water:

For the first time in eight years, the negative trend that we’ve seen with the declines in freedom of expression around the world was staid and we actually saw some slight uptick and improvement, in large part due to gains in the Middle East,” said Radsch. “Libya, Tunisia, Egypt all went from ‘not free’ to ‘partly free,’ which was a pretty momentous change, and we also had countries like Burma that came out from under incredibly oppressive political rule

That’d be enough to make my stomach sick. Thanks, VOA.

Why I appear to be such a hateful and shameless jackass? Because I am really bigoted. I am just disgusted at how leftists disguised their indoctrination as “free press”. Hey fine for me if you are honest to admit 14.5% of the people are still not subject to our hypnosis with “our belief of dream“. But calling that piece of crap full of farce, gimmicks, useless sensational dabbling as free press? I’d have more respect for hard-core Islamic drilling. At least they didn’t put up with so much drama and claptrap to claim their superiority.

Off the rant, let’s take a look at who the hell wrote this piece of crap in the first place. I just can’t take it serious. The whole fuzz was set up by a Washington-based human rights organization, Freedom House in their freedom of expression campaign. Please, that’s what we need, another Washinton-based USG-NGO. In its wiki page: “As of 2010, US federal government grants accounted for most of Freedom House’s funding”, not to mention the top levels are all associated with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the right-on Ministry of Truth (1984 joke if you didn’t get it). And what about the thought police? Well, that piece of news offered a damn big picture of her. The picture says it all. You could find her name in that news. A perfect candidate of an agonized young white woman who looks unfit to get laid and turns to be a feminist freedom fighter. She can’t even be counted as a hipster with that extra pounds of hers. Yikes, I am gonna skip my breakfast.

Feed me more chocolate!

Longevity of the revitalization movement

Anthony Wallace wrote in his famous essay almost 60 years ago:

That regularity of patterned behavior which we call culture depends relatively more on the ability of constituent units autonomously to perceive the system of which they are a part… It is therefore functionally necessary for every person in society to maintain a mental image of the society and its culture…

Whenever an individual who is under chronic, physiologically measurable stress, receives repeated information which indicates that his mazeway does not lead to action which reduces the level of stress, he must choose between maintaining his present mazeway and tolerating the stress, or changing the mazeway in an attempt to reduce the stress.

The main contention is that most cultures were built to withstand certain level of “pressure”, either an outbreak of epidemic, an unassailable foreign invasion, or a heated irreconcilable internal societal strife. While most of the time cultures are able to maintain the homeostasis through digesting waves of “stress” and evolve gradually, a total breakaway from the old culture is not rare in the history of mankind. Wallace called this social phenomenon The Revitalization Movement, wherein new cultures (either newly created ones, existing minor ones, or existing foreign ones) are embraced by the populace over the old ones, in response to the out-of-range societal “stress”.

He was talking about how culture/religion responds to unexpected societal crises, with the claim that all religions arise in response to the crisis, from the origin of Judaism and Christianity in Levant, the Reformation in Western Christendoms, to the rise of Taiping Rebellion in late Qing China. This is where things get interesting. Within a first glimpse, his view seem a bit extreme. But to think further in his thesis, it starts to make a lot of sense. The introduction of monotheistic Judaism with the replacement of Aramaic-influenced Hebrew from Phoenician-related Paleo-Hebrew alphabet coincided when returned Israelites were puzzled why their holy temple was destroyed and their people subjugated into alien dominion. Christianity emerged as a formidable urban religion within the Roman Empire when people in the Roman cities were baffled by the devastation of the two deadly plagues in the 2nd and 3rd century. Reformation came into history after the infamous bubonic plague and years of harsh exploitation from the papal hierarchy. Taiping Rebellion erupted soon after the humiliating defeat of Qing to the British in the First Opium War. All of those changes of religions/cultures could be simplified as a change of belief. And in his assertion, all beliefs are blind, and all beliefs are constructed on some sort of “dream”.

One can ask whether a large proportion of religious phenomena have not originated in personality transformation dreams… The circumstances of whose origin have been distorted and forgotten, and whose connection with dream state is now ignored…It is tempting to suggest that myths and often, even legends, read like dreams because they were dreams when they were first told…

It is known that the spread of a religion/culture has little to do with individual enlightenment but rather its societal background and the influence of personal networking. In Wallace’s theory the emergence of dominant culture/religion only happened at those critical points when the old cultural structure can no longer relieve the exploding societal stress. According to this theory, all existing religions/cultures nowadays are the evidences of those old revitalization movements. This is such an eye-opening contention to me as I immediately try to apply it to interpret the rise of modern nationalism and more recently, the hegemony of leftism/liberalism in the contemporary world.

Modern leftism got everything it takes to be counted as a religion. It has a central belief exclusively consisting of emotional dreams like human rights, absolute democracy, freedom and egalitarianism. Those beliefs has been reinforced stronger than ever with the invention of mass media over the populace. One could even trace back the emergence of leftism in the era of Enlightenment as a revitalization movement in response to the decadence of social order and ethics with the rise of capitalism and industrial revolution in Western Europe.  This notion would further be propelled into a dominant position over its main competitor nationalism/patriotism that arise from the same societal stress, thanks to the two disastrous global wars and their final victory of both. However, when talking about modern leftism, I think “the inclusion of the savageland, and the escalating deterioration of the traditional societal structure in post-industrialism” deserves particular attention as the kind of societal stress that significantly facilitated the upgrade of modern leftism since the 20th century. The bafflement over the biological diversity, disparity of civilizations, the hollowness of modern lifestyle, serves as a major hit that struck modern leftism to forcibly (and painfully) evolve but have not yet mounted to a critical level to blow up the whole belief system.

In reality, the final blow to this old religion is on the way. The insurmountable pressure is accumulating from the discrepancy between reality and leftist dreams. The upcoming collapse of welfare economy, the foreseeable failure of multiculturalism, the growing frustration of the show business of democracy, and the increasing hostility against the equilibrium among corporate-bank-politician, would only grow bigger. This new window of opportunity will inspire various currently humble cults into the center of attention. Eventually there will be one that would supplant the old and prevail. We dissidents are the pioneers in this upcoming wave of revitalization movement. We appear, for the current religion can not handle the newly encountered stress fundamentally. Hopefully we would also be able to nurture and witness the arrival of the next revitalization movement.

Chinese nepotism: grab the money and GO!

Sailer was mentioning in an early article how Indian elite class are using their own power and status to help their children. I wasn’t surprised at all. Nepotism comes with the notion of kinship, the basic sense of collectivism that has been shared since the dawn of civilization by nearly all groups of people. Protestantism was the only one weird enough to break this lock, which lays the foundation for the arrival of modern economics, where the notion of kinship has been completely tossed away and ridiculed. But in reality, nepotism survives and remains strong among most of the population in the world. The nepotism in China is probably even worse than in India.

It’s just another basic social instinct of people, like ethnocentrism. You can’t blame the parents who are using their own power and status to foster the growth of their blood. After all, this is the ultimate biological mission of living beings (to most of people). Were I or you in the similar situation, things would not have been much different. But most likely we are not in those positions. And most of us would just lament how unfair it is and how unjust those spoiled ones get it all. Look at Bo Guagua, that spoiled son of the dark lord Bo Xilai and his cold-blooded murderer wife, he belongs to the lucky ones who have it all. Attending the most prestigious boarding school in London, then Oxford, then couldn’t keep up with the study and have to “be arranged” to transfer to Harvard, it would be silly to listen to his dad’s claim that his baby boy got it all figured out by himself with some mysterious scholarship. Most of Bo’s corruption money would probably go through this little dude, even after Bo got flagged and jailed. He has a good life and will probably keep having a good life somewhere in the west, long after people forget about his pretentious dad in China.

Bo Guagua: "What was I studying again? Does it matter?"

But he is definitely no exception. I ran through a quick check on the family background of the nine comrades that are allegedly the current top decision-makers in China. The findings are so disheartening at first that I feel immediately so ashamed of the idea that I want to keep my Chinese passport. All of those daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters are either studying in the ivy league or working as the big bosses in many state-own enterprises while residing in Hong Kong, Australia, US, etc. Literally no exception (at least not much infiltrated in politics, thank the celestial!). Mao’s fatso grandson was only made a window-dressing general probably out of pity, but those dudes are without doubt using everything they could to help their kids get more money and power, mostly money. The pattern goes probably like this, just like any other Chinese family who have kids, they would send their kids to the west for the best education, with tens of tons of cash to support their hedonistic lifestyle, cars, women(men), and mansions. But the little difference to the major Chinese populace is that they don’t really care if their kids do well in school or not. Mostly they don’t anyway. The point is they would graduate, live there long enough to get a permanent residence if not the citizenship, and then go back to be parachuted on the top position of those gigantic Chinese state-own enterprises or set up a company that expands miraculously fast and successful. In either way, life is set and tuned to be good for those lucky ones.

To give you a concrete idea of what I am talking about. Let’s have a glimpse of the vivid life of Zhu Yunlai, the precious son of the then-premier of China, Zhu Rongji, supposedly the most uncorrupted and beloved Chinese political figure. Yunlai was born in 1957 and had been graduated from the then Meteorology College of Nanjing University with a B.Sc in atmospheric physics in 1981, at the age of 24. He worked as a scientist in the China Meteorological Administration probably until late 80s when he went to University of Wisconsin for a PhD in atmospheric physics. He probably really got the potential of being a good scientist as he did manage to obtain the solid PhD in 1994. Honestly if his story ended up like this I would have much more respect for his dad as an extremely benevolent and honest example of Chinese high profile. He might continue pursuing his academic career and probably would even make a lovable story in the field of atmospheric physics. But that was just my wishful thinking. At the age of 37, as a dude who had dedicated all his adulthood in the field of atmospheric physics, he all of sudden decided it was a damn waste of time and “talent” for him, or he was “decided”. One could only speculate. But what actually happened was as soon as he graduated he got enrolled into a “one-year” Master program in one of the best private Catholic university “DePaul University” in something that is completely different to what he knew before: “accounting“. Not to mention the astronomical figures of the tuition, how the hell did he get qualified to get enrolled in “accounting”, at the age of 37? This first seemed odd. But if you cross-checked his father’s track at that time and his later life encountering, you would find it was a damn belatedly right move that should have been there 15 years ago. Zhu Rongji was ascending like a rocket in early 90s along with the Shanghai clique. In 1993, he was already the damn money lord of all China, the super big boss of the People’s Bank of China. Thanks to Deng, 90′s China has much more intense economic connections to the west than the 80′s. That was probably when the high profiles got frisky in planning the lucrative futures for their kids. Zhu Yunlai must have been under tremendous pressure to give up his beloved science for something that could bring him a way better life (in terms of money of course). I guess the dude finally gave in to his dad just like his dad’s political rivals. Then after 1994 he went through a delicately planned Cinderella storyline: after graduating with a 1-year M.A in accounting he was immediately hired as an accountant by Arthur Andersen, one of those “Big Five” accounting firms in the world. Then after working for only one year he was deemed valuable enough for Credit Suisse to lure him away from Chicago as an “investment consultant”. His life in western multinational corporate might have been better if Beijing didn’t put up a ban on the family members of high profiles to work under foreign companies (guess those damn western capitalists were grabbing too much in China and touched someone’s nerve) in 1998.

Zhu Yunlai: "At least I got a real PhD in atmospheric physics!"

So at the age of 41, with 3 years of experience in the financial sector, a degree of 1-year M.A in accounting, one B.Sc and PhD in atmospheric physics and at least 8 years of experience in the field of atmospheric physics, he went back to Hong Kong and joined the China International Capital Corporation, a state-own financial monster that helps Chinese state-own enterprises’ overseas financing. In just 2 years he ascended to the top circle of the company and in 2004 he was made the CEO. The company enjoys a de-facto monopoly in helping mega state-own enterprises’ overseas initial public offering, and he was named the 15th most influential business leader in Asia by Forbes. He now presumably resides in Hong Kong and possess a green card, with shit loads of money that you and I will never know. So much for a potential atmospheric physicist.

I mean if even the most acclaimed Chinese political figure’s son is like this, there certainly would be no exceptions that their children would be so indulged with money, power and foreign residence, and turn unanimously into a series of spoiled parasites without their own character. Maybe some of those kids could turn out to be kind of a man their father was. But I doubt it’s ever gonna happen with their golden spoon (in contrast, Xi Jingpi was hit to the rock bottom because of his dad and made his way mostly by himself). Things could only get worse. At least Zhu Yunlai got some solid science. Look at Bo Guagua and his generation, all they got is party, women, and booze (as those new nobility gets to fly alone earlier and earlier in their age). Nepotism is not what I am worried about. I am mostly haunted by the reminiscence of the old Chinese tales of A Dou, and Er Shi Zu. That reminds me of a Chinese phrase: 溺愛 (drowning indulgence). I get the idea that their parents just wanna ensure them of endless money, but please not at the expense of the vital leadership of those important sectors of China.

A rendezvous with panache

The Slitty Eye is back. At least I would begin to log in my account and start to write something. This time, about Chinese Politics.

Chinese Politics has never been a glowing treasure chest that fascinates the west, for the people outside of that mysterious place know so little about what really is going on there. No one could figure out what is really going on beyond those emotionless high profile figures that occasionally visit some random countries or make some monotonic speeches. There are only loads of gossips, rumors, speculations, conspiracy theories that revolve around Zhongnanhai, . The Shanghai clique, the League clique, the Princelings… Those terms are possibly the way most exciting terms that are created for Chinese politics. Who cares about the forgetful names and faces in the central politburo anyway?

Long eroded by the show business mentality and leftist dogmas, the western media has never been an avid follower of Chinese politics except for its evil suppression on people’s freedom and equality, and of course, the catnip for western liberals: Tibet. Few really gives a damn on what it is going on with the real decision-makers and how they are trying so hard to put pieces together in this awfully big and messy country. The current government is probably the smartest of all time in managing China as far as I concern.

I often secretly relish the fact that we don’t have the western-style specious jokers in the politics, for I always think politics would be the most serious things on earth as it deals with literally everything. Clowns on the television blurring populist slogans and slurring on each other are not even those leftist ideological founders wished for in the first place.

Anyway, back to Chinese politics. A few days ago, a name that non-Chinese could barely pronounce, “Bo Xilai“, became a viral sensation that simply sweeps over major western media all of sudden. Described as “a charming, charismatic, and outspoken western-alike political figure” and labelled as a Chinese political supernova with his whooping socialist class-conflict campaign in the city of Chongqing, he was “unexpectedly” slashed and expelled from the politburo, stripped out of his official title, and put into a house arrest under a series of political and criminal investigation. Now that is a piece of classic politic news that the western media likes. The best part isn’t over yet. The linkage between Bo’s lawyer wife Gui Kailai and the mythic death of a Brit associated with M16 escalated public interest in Bo’s political death into an even higher level. Most of the articles I read in English about Bo share a sense of sympathy, with more focusing on his flamboyant personality and little on what his lousy politics. The subliminal message is loud and clear: Bo sounds just like our political entertainers, he was a great public entertainer, an outspoken dude with humanity, and most of all, he was trying to fight for the root class of Chongqing! It was a tragedy that he was doomed in the evil and authoritarian Chinese politics. For all they care, Bo could be the crack they always dream for, the Chinese “JFK”. And his wife is called as the Jackie Kennedy of China (though she was virtually unheard of among western media until the shit hits the fan, honestly I think she is more like a cold-blooded money sucking bitch). Bo could be China’s Yeltsin to take down the last major counter force of western liberalism.

I am Da Man!

Of course nobody gives a rat about his hedonistic son‘s hardcore clubbing in London and Beijing with Ferrari and women. Likewise, no one would make the effort to take a second look at how superficial and stupid his political campaigns are made. The dude was probably trying to create a noisy fuzz in Chongqing just to get himself back to Beijing (I bet he watched too much western TV soaps on politics). Thanks to his wife who probably murdered that English dude, he was finally ousted from Chinese politics. No more puppet charlatan in the politburo. This dude should have been born in Czech Republic, or Romania. He might make a big time there with his demagogic gimmicks.

No, I am really the man.

Once again I am glad that China holds probably one of the last bastions of the good old fashion politics. Politics should be about how the jobs are done, not some claptrap clamorous rendezvous with panache. You know who is cool? Hu Jintaois cool, for he has a sense of coolness in playing the political game instead of a drama show. Meritocracy in my view is far more superior than the idea of democracy. I am happy that no one calls his wife the Jackie Kennedy of China, no cone calls him charming and charismatic. The statesmen gotta be cool and smart, not emotional and entertaining. My last consolation about China.

Genuine nonsense

Czech Republic granted the husband of jailed ex-Ukraine PM Yulia Tymoshenko asylum status?

Pure ass licking job. I don’t think political corruption is something peculiar in Czech Republic as well. While the west liberals brand this woman as a liberty-defender of the already screwed-up Ukraine and tried everything to protect her as if she is the righteous good guy against the the evil, she is no more than an opportunist who took advantage of the breakdown of the USSR. Why liberal mentality always has to label someone on their interest as the absolute good victim? How could such genuine nonsense become the principle of everyday hypnosis in our society?

Insurmountable tax money for the welfare state

Recently I got the chance to be enlightened by a few friends on how generous the mighty Dutch welfare system is to the people and how “fortunate” people are benefiting on such generous welfare structure. Without further blathering, here is the real deal:

Deal 1: Apparently if you reside in the Netherlands (a resident, not necessarily a citizen) and work for an under-paid job (by Dutch standard, 1000euro/month is considered under-paid), and you also happen to live in an “over-paid” apartment/house (let’s say the monthly rent is 400euro/month), you are then eligible to apply for the national rental subsidy, which the government would spare you hundred something cash every month into your little pocket. By the way, just saying, the Dutch government already has this super cheap welfare housing in every municipality for the “less fortunate”.

Deal 2: If you are registered as a student in the Netherlands (for Dutch citizen only), you would receive a monthly pocket money from the government for at least 4 years plus free traveling of the Dutch public transportation system (the expensive bus and train are all free!). But the rate of pocket money is different, judging from if you still live with your parents or not. Obviously if you are registered to live away from your parents you’d receive 250euro/month, if not you would only get 90euro/month. As far as I know, most Dutch students still stick to their parents through most of their twenties, while “living” in a different place close to their school.

Deal 3: If you reach 18 and become a university student (not only Dutch but for all EU citizen) in Holland, you could immediately request a student loan from the government (if you think your 300euro/month subsidy couldn’t sustain a student life with 1000euro/year tuition). Let’s say a pothead who just reached 18 claim 600 euro/month from the loan. Even if his parents came to the tax office and told them his son is a no good pothead and can never repay his student loan, the loan is most likely to be granted, for the age 18 is the legal age for individual to bear their responsibilities fully. The fun part here is that if that pothead miraculously does finish his degree, but he can’t find a decent job within the four years after graduate, the government would send a guy to check the situation and would deem the dude incapable of bearing the financial burden and therefore cancel all the student loan debt he took during his university period. Isn’t that sweet? By the way, I have written an article previously talking about such case in detail.

It’s hilarious that how the Dutch welfare system treats people like they are very honest, pure, and vulnerable to money issues. But unfortunately I have known too many evil doers who are simply just sitting on this system and get money for nothing. There was a story of a dude from South America who basically came to Holland to live and study, without paying even a dime, and making a considerable monthly income upon his idleness! The only trick is, he got hooked with a true love of Dutch origin. That reminds me that sometime ago I met this Dutch cop. The guy actually only does one thing: to find out who is taking money out of the government for such gimmicks. A little more information, most of his targets are those Moroccan immigrants.

Here is the thing, with such a generous welfare system, it’s a sin not to take advantage of it for the mortals. For all I know, old Dutch geezers are probably the only people who are stupid enough to stay clean of those welfare money. The young pothead kids do it, other EU people do it, immigrants do it. Well, I don’t think the amount of babies they produce every year could sustain such a giant money hole. Just wait till the money runs out.