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So, when a European country reverses course to reduce welfare dependency and restore work incentives, it is worth noting – especially when that country is the Netherlands, which built one of the world's most expansive welfare states in the 1960s and 1970s.From the 1960s and 1970s on, those writing about the Netherlands often lamented the "Dutch disease".Similarly, the Dutch have embraced welfare reform, much as the United States did in 1996, when a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and a Republican Congress agreed on time limits, as well as work and training requirements.Just as Wisconsin's reform proved to be a model that was successfully adopted nationally, so reforms in one European Union country could spur policy innovations elsewhere in the EU and around the world.The U.S., for example, will go from one retiree for every three workers today to a 1:2 ratio in the next three decades.The share of China's population that will be over 65 a generation from now will be larger than in the U.S.Common-sense policy reforms that ought to be adopted for their own sake, like the Dutch disability and welfare reforms, will provide a second dividend by lowering the dependency ratio.
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