The current issue of The Economist features a survey of the Netherlands. Its author, John Peet argues that even though the shine of the Dutch 'polder model' has worn off, the Dutch still have plenty going for them. The most popular answer to the question what example the Dutch could be setting to the rest of the world today, is the polder model, with its supposed economic and social benefits. Yet, the survey argues that the country's recent economic success has had little to do with that model. The real lessons to be learnt from the Netherlands lie elsewhere: and above all, in its pragmatic approach to solving social and economic problems.
Source: The Economist, 4 May 2002