Feb 13, 2015

This Is Your Best Argument?

     From the testimony of  Dr. Philip R. de Jong, a Dutch professor, called by Republicans to testify before the Senate Budget Committee (emphasis added):
The reformed Dutch DI scheme purports to cover only those that have hardly any productive capacity left, and to provide other workers with disabilities with strong incentives to remain active. The results for the first nine years of the operation of the new scheme show that inflow rates have dropped substantially to levels that are reasonable by international standards, and showed to be robust against the deep recession of 2008-2013. The incentive structure that steers the behaviour of employers and long-term sick workers proves to work.
     Even though de Jong presents the Dutch Social Security disability program as only covering those who "have hardly any productive capacity left", 8.3% of the Dutch population receives disability benefits while only 5.9% of Americans receive the benefits! The Netherlands only achieves its low rate of disability by requiring employers to spend large amounts of money on rehabilitation. The United States gets to a much lower rate of disability by a simpler route; it just denies most disability claims, imposing economic hardship on huge numbers of disabled people.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In other words, employers are required to comply with a strong expectation of accommodation, which American employers would consider "socialism."

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. If we want to be like the Netherlands, we should increase the number of our disability benefit recipients so that 8.3% of our population is receiving disability (that's about a 35% increase considering our current rate of 5.9%). We should also make employers pay a lot more for rehabilitation of employees with disabilities. I'm okay with that, although I'm wondering why the Republicans called the Prof to testify. Wouldn't their big business and small government supporters have conniptions if that happened here?

Anonymous said...

My guess is their intent was to highlight the importance of effective work incentives? Not sure it worked out here though.

Anonymous said...

Your numbers in the link are from 2006/7. The problem is that is now 2015. De Jong says rates are now 1) higher now in US than Netherlands and 2) the trends suggest that Netherlands will be lower than the US in the future. See Table 1:

http://www.budget.senate.gov/democratic/public/_cache/files/3a0f9524-e75c-42cc-be0b-9e40d9dfa6ff/philip-de-jong-testimony.pdf

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