As U.S. headlines bombard us with proof of how low humanity can go, here's a look at a happy, peaceful, and prosperous country — The Netherlands — to remind us that it is actually possible for the human race to get it right. If people want to change present circumstances through liberal ideals, it's helpful to look at a liberal, politically stable country with a strong and open economy. Also known as Holland, the country does not have the same history and culture that creates the inherent social and economic problems in the U.S., but it is clearly moving in the right direction — forward.
It's a great destination for liberal ex-patriates looking for a place to live and work — especially in the tech sector — that already has its shit together, in case you really are now considering moving out of the country. Staying or going, it makes sense to see what a liberal society looks like and how it works.
We've compiled a list of facts about The Netherlands to show you what humans can do when they're not fighting en masse on Twitter:
- The Dutch government plans to ban the sales of petrol and diesel-powered cars in 2025
- Healthiest country in the world for diet
- Keeps closing prisons due to a lack of prisoners
- First to legalize same-sex marriage
- Highest concentration of museums in the world
- Highest English-proficiency in the world where it is not first language
- Highest population density in Europe
- Home to more bikes than people
- Cycling in the Netherlands is the safest in the world
- Amsterdam's Schiphol airport offers more direct flights than any airport in the world
- 83 percent of the population live in urban areas but there are few high rises
- Largely secular country: up to 40 percent of Dutch say they have no religion, 30 percent are Catholic, and 20 percent are Protestant.
- Most physically active EU population
- Has liberal stances on issues like drugs, abortion, euthanasia
- Has few abandoned dogs after aggressive campaign fining breeders
- 20,000 miles of bike paths
- World's first solar-powered bike lanes
- Charging points for electric cars are located within 50 meters of each other
The Netherlands' centuries-old tradition of creativity, pragmatism, entrepreneurship, openness and collaboration make it the perfect place to find solutions to the challenges society is facing today in the areas of health and wellness, security, renewable energy, mobility and the climate. The Dutch high-tech systems and materials sector offers pragmatic solutions for these technological challenges. Solutions that, due to the complexity of the challenges, are primarily found in cross-overs in technology and collaboration. The Netherlands is recognized around the world for its products, knowledge and concepts. Its high-tech systems and materials sector has high-end jobs for foreign knowledge workers, skilled workers and teachers. It is also a centre of excellence for research and development in the area of technology and innovation, and promotes collaboration and technology partnerships. The Netherlands offers excellent business conditions for domestic and foreign technology companies alike, and is an attractive place to live and work for entrepreneurs, researchers and students.
The Netherlands has an excellent business infrastructure, an open relationship with the government, knowledge institutes and other companies, excellent technical universities, and work ethics that guarantee high productivity. Many Dutch companies owe their success to their openness and transparency. What's more, the Dutch government is committed to reducing the administrative burden and simplifying regulations, in addition to which its special position as active launching customer plays an important role. The collaboration between industry and knowledge institutes is particularly interesting. A perfect example is the Brainport region of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands where creativity and high-tech help shape the future.