At your service in the big city

Like many artists Geesje sometimes had to take on temp jobs in the big city so as to make ends meet. She worked as a service employe at the tax offices around the time a big criminal scandal unfolded.

Working in the city

Post-modern corruption

To let public money flow into private pockets, the tax-department of The Netherlands contrived a scheme called Bonuses. They would give money to people with low incomes to help them pay for their health insurance, rent and daycare. Thus funneling great sums of money through the lowest economic class into the claws of big corporations.

A extensive public campaign was started, highlighting the intention of the tax department to give away money. As a result the costs of health-insurances sky-rocketed and housing-corporations started speculating on the short-term markets. Vulture capital came from the USA buying into daycare centers and borrowing huge amounts of money on the expected income. Then they would take off again leaving the original owner stuck with the debt.

The public was given the impression that tax-department was being extra ordinary generous towards them. In the beginning one could even get some money to give to grandma for babysitting the grandchildren. But there were catches.

The bonuses were provisory, calculated on the expected income of the ‘customer’. The same ‘customer’ was given the responsibility and liability for the correctness of the data in the administration of the state. Soon the tax-office started to change the rules more and more frequently and complicating things unnecessary. They increased the administrative burden to absurd levels especially with regards to the bonuses for daycare. But there were still too many runners in the race for their liking.

Bureaucratic terrorism

An algorithm was implemented, branding people as criminal frauds amongst others on the basis of their last names and the colour of their skin. There was no way to get rid of this stigmatization of being a criminal. “The computer says so, so it is a matter of fact”. This was the opinion of all the courts and other institutions in this enlightened country . More than 20.000 families were forced to pay back the bonuses they spend on day care. This came on top of the huge fines given to them. Their lives and the lives of their children were ruined and destroyed.

Collateral damage

The perverse greed in the city of The Hague knows no satisfaction so they put “the child protection services” in play. Under the pretext of financial unfit parents they started gathering up the children of these destitute people. An institutionalized child is accompanied by a big backpack of money. The amount of money is proportional to the amount of damage the child suffered. If the parents didn’t succeed in getting them back within a year the children were lost forever. Some 500 children are still missing today. Their parents do not know were they are; if they are alive or dead and under what conditions they are being held. The government refuses to give any information.

The ruling class has acknowledged that their behavior wasn’t very nice. It didn’t deserve a pretty price but that is as far as they’re willing to go. They do spend a lot of money on soul searching, lamenting the victims and thinking deeply and profoundly about integrity.

The living city

Remember this little story when someone tells you “The Hague is The city of peace and justice”.