I was a sophomore in college in 2009 the first time I learned that a “child allowance” is a thing that exists in the world.

I was getting ready to study Dutch social policy during a summer study abroad program at the University of Amsterdam. To prepare, I was reading up on the country that would be hosting me for the summer, and came across a New York Times Magazine article by Russell Shorto, an American expat living in the Netherlands. He wrote about what it was like to discover a generous European social insurance system through American eyes:


Joel Dodge

public interest attorney. policy thinker. writer. views are my own. bylines various places. @ Queens, NY.

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