Solve for the Dutch equilibrium

Police in the Dutch city of Rotterdam have launched a new pilot programme which will see them confiscating expensive clothing and jewellery from young people if they look too poor to own them.

Officers say the scheme will see them target younger men in designer clothes they seem unlikely to be able to afford legally – if it is not clear how the person paid for it, it will be confiscated.

The idea is to deter criminality by sending a signal that the men will not be able to hang onto their ill-gotten gains.

…He [the police chief] said the young men targeted often have no income and are already in debt from fines for previous convictions but wearing expensive clothing.

This “undermines the rule of law” which sends “a completely false signal to local residents”, he explained.

I know how this would play out in New Jersey or Rhode Island, but the Netherlands?  Here is the full article, and for the pointer I thank the excellent Samir Varma.


The equilibrium is this.

There is not a single country on the face of the earth that wants people from other countries to come in and commit, at a higher rate than the natives, crimes.

And there never will be. The individual criminals might do well, for a while, but eventually, the welcoming country will decide that the criminals are not wanted.

People do not like criminals who are born in their own countries (criminals often forget this, but the fact is, they are not liked, their parents are usually ashamed of them, and nobody wants them around) , and it is improbable to think that people in any country will have more tolerance for criminals born in other countries than they would for home-grown criminals. People who migrate to another country and raise criminal children, after having been welcomed as if they were good people who would raise children not to be criminals, will never be people whom the welcoming country is happy to have as fellow citizens. Either you care about other people or you don't.

Sometimes, in limited circumstances, the equilibrium favors criminals. Eventually those limited circumstances become the past.

Western countries these days have extremely strict visa regimes (you wouldn't know it unless you lived outside the West.) So the chances of a lot of criminals or criminally-inclined people getting to immigrate are very low. What I think is actually happening is that many of these people, though not criminal themselves, are unable to succeed or assimilate very well in their host societies, and therefore, their (local-born) children are at much higher risk of turning to crime.

How exactly do you propose to screen people for possible criminal inclination in future generations?

Look at whether the country they come from is a shithole country, if it is, don't take them in (except under very exceptional circumstances). Any third world country would be a good definition.

This certainly explains the Little Englanders not wanting EU immigrants from shithole countries like Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Italy ....

Almost as if the Little Englanders just aren't up to date with American standards of who to allow to immigrate or not. Because in the case of the Little Englanders, they generally have to hear someone speak before knowing whether they belong or not, while many Americans apparently can tell just by looking.

That's it, that's what they were worried about. Weird how taking in all of these immigrants from Catholic Europe made the country 5% Muslim.

'That’s it, that’s what they were worried about.'

You don't really read the Mail, do you? Try 'Polish plumber' to get a taste. Here is some UK related info from wikipedia - 'The "Polish plumber" cliché may symbolise the fear of cheap Central and East European labour threatening the jobs of West Europeans. On the other hand, some British media changed track and sounded a more positive note, praising affordability and reliability of immigrants' work. Statistics for 2003–2007 estimated that two million East and Central European immigrants arrived in the UK and that half of them were Polish. Polish immigration also meant new business in some areas, shops introduced bilingual English-Polish signs, bookshops established "Polish language" sections, some Police forces looked to recruit Polish speaking staff.[3] Nonetheless, the stereotype was cited as a factor in the referendum that led to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.'

'Weird how taking in all of these immigrants from Catholic Europe made the country 5% Muslim.'

Weird how many of those 5% Muslim UK citizens have roots that come from countries ruled by the UK before the EU was ever formed.

And you do know that Brexit has basically nothing to do with Muslims in the UK, right?

Speaking from the UK, there's no real animus against the Poles/Balts, and they are regarded positively on average. Unfortunately, they do create considerable downward pressure on wages, and upward pressure on housing due to supply limitations (not their fault, but still). So on balance, they are probably a net loss for the lower 50% of the UK population, and a net gain for the top 25%.

There is a lot more animus against South-East Europeans and Pakistani Muslims, as both communities have serious pathological tendencies and a much lower economic participation rate.

? What animus? I'm from the north of England and go back pretty frequently. The only animus I or my family and friends have encountered was schoolyard bullying in the 80s. Animus towards Pakistanis isn't nearly as strong as the American animus towards their black underclass which colours their responses on Muslim immigration to the West. They assume it is going to be a repeat of the white flight and crime epidemic in the 60s when blacks moved in large numbers north of the Mason Dixon line. That is why the new American ambassador to the Netherlands assumed local Muslims were burning politicians alive probably because as he was from Michigan he'd seen the really ugly bits of Detroit.

the equilibrium is that white people can't stand when blacks be styling. day trying to keep us in chains. fore real dough.

Impersonated polar bear, but kinda. It is sad when something like sumptuary laws are pointed at the poor. When "they look too poor to own them."

Any third world country would be a good definition.

No, it wouldn't. Indian immigrants exhibit no criminal behavior even after the n-th generation, and I'm sure India qould qualify as a s***hole country in your worldview. Neither do Chinese immigrants, and China was a s***hole until not too long ago. Neither do Nigerian immigrants, as far as I am aware, but the numbers of Indian and Chinese immigrants are much larger (not surprising, given that they collectively have 35% of the world's population), so those are better examples.

As a fortress American we have enough domestic, even white, illiterate idiots, let alone more non english speaking, non laborers for non existing unskilled non jobs such that now we have hundreds of entire cities, not towns but cities, that are little more than tax sinks, although they do provide pensions and full benefit slug jobs for leftists as administrators of the Iron Triangle of the Welfare Industrial Complex. But at least the Chinese, and Asians in general seem to be industrious, thrifty, and crime free. For this they are liked and respected.
There is of course a class struggle. The domestic elite like cheap servants, and the labor price pressure that illegals provide for their urban hot restaurant kitchens, nannies, landscapers, building their McMansions. The costs are spread out amongst the bottom 80 percent, and of course the illegals do not at night live in their gated communities but amongst the domestic deplorables.

Chinese immigrants exhibit no criminal behaviour?



Yes, I think both limited in scale, and (critically) internal to the community. They don't sh*t on other people's lawn, and that's what the majority cares about.

+1 to Kris and Paul.

It is notable in the UK that Indian Hindus (or the much smaller number of East Asians) are always singled out for praise when other ethnic minorities are bashed for pathological tendencies.

It's not a question of innate criminality. It's a question of propensity to criminality when placed in an environment full of potential victims from an outgroup.

To non-European immigrants, crime against the Dutch (if considered wrong at all) is generally considered "less wrong" than is crime among themselves.

And the way to screen for this propensity is simply to look at ethnic identity and place of origin. And a very simple can exclude those with such propensity. Just say no!


Some cultures are MUCH more predatorial on outgroups.

Islam, I'm looking at you.

" The percentage of suspects among non-Western migrants is still roughly four times as high as among Dutch natives; that was the case in 2000 and was still the case in 2014. In 2014, 2.7% of non-Western migrants were suspected of having committed a crime, compared with 0.7% of Dutch natives. There are however wide differences between individual migrant groups. Members of the Antillean and Moroccan groups are most often suspected of committing an offence (4.7% and 3.9%, respectively). The crime figures are lowest among those of Turkish and other non-Western origin (2.2% and 1.9%, respectively), but are still almost three times as high as in the native Dutch population."

This is a bad idea. It is such a bad idea that even I think it is a bad idea. If you have a large disgruntled male population from cultures that are very sensitive to disrespect and perceived slights, what better way to improve the situation than to humiliate these young men in the street - in full view of their peers?

This is what I would call the Mapai effect. Mapai used to be the largest political party in Israel. It was the dominant force in Israeli politics until it merged to form the Labor Party and then the combined party continued to be the dominant force in Israeli politics for another generation. Now it is almost a historical footnote. Because Mapai grew out of the Marxist Left. They talked about things like human rights. Now admittedly they behaved in a completely different way towards their own Palestinians, but they claimed they supported liberal democracy. So when it turned out these did not help with Hamas and suicide bombing, the Israeli voters turned away towards parties like Likud.

In the face of Islamic terrorism - and general rejection of Western values - the Western Left has no answer either. Just as "liberal" Israel was rejected by the voters, so too is liberalism being rejected in the West.

It really is tragic that the Netherlands, which has been so liberal (in the good sense) for so long, should think that this is a sane policy. Of course it won't be enforced. The first couple of lads they try this on will summon a few of their friends and beat the daylights out of any policeman near by. Western police forces are already extremely reluctant to patrol areas where these rules might be applied. This is not going to make things better.

So Much for Subtelty - the Netherlands has been liberal in the bad sense, too.

They are not pro-life. They do not protect their own innocent children. And they are anti-Israel, despite their cowardice when the Nazis murdered Zionists every day. It is not your fault you do not know that.

Yes, both versions of the Netherlands are true. They were amongst the first good liberals, and amongst the first bad.

"when the Nazis murdered Zionists": you what? They murdered Jews (and no doubt others).

So it only took sixty decades of constant wars for survival with the Arabs and bombings to make Israel reject the liberal left?

600 years?

Sorry. Apparently, I had to choose between sixty years and six decades and chose both.

Well, it's six of one and a dozen of the other, Thiago!

No, it is six of one and sixty of the ojer.

"Of course it won’t be enforced. The first couple of lads they try this on will summon a few of their friends and beat the daylights out of any policeman near by."

Doubtful. The average Dutchman is 4-6 inches taller than the average immigrant and in much better physical shape. Even Dutch women are generally stronger than immigrants. Not a lot of physical intimidation going on in Holland compared to the US.

The last time I saw a news report about more unusual youth behavior in the Netherlands, it was about the death of an assistant referee at a High School match. He was kicked to death by several players who disputed a call. Richard Nieuwenhuizen was his name.

"You can't imagine it happening," said the Ajax coach, Frank de Boer. "That boys of 15, 16 years short-circuit like that. You wonder about the parenting. Something has to be done, because this is too ridiculous for words."

Yes, you do wonder, don't you? I think we can agree that policemen are likely to be a lot like Nieuwenhuizen. Physically much larger than your average 15 year old. I hope we can agree that the Armani-wearing welfare recipients are more likely to be like these boys. There is no point being bigger if you are not willing to fight. Ferrets kill much larger rabbits all the time. The West has decided to be like the Moriori. So size is irrelevant.

The Guardian is interesting, as it refuses to name any of the boys. It repeatedly mentions another case and refers to that boy by First name an initial - a Western first name. But it does give part of the name of the father who got what the Dutch judge called a very heavy sentence - six years. Once. He is referred to as "El-Hasan D".

Do the Dutch police not carry firearms?

Even Dutch women are generally stronger than immigrants

That'll be true only if those immigrants have been starving for a while. On average, a woman of any race needs to have a significant height and bulk advantage to overpower a man of any race. Martial arts probably level the playing field to some extent, so go for it, ladies! And pepper spray too!

The equilibrium is that the proposed policy (not yet active) is contrary to both the Dutch constitution (article 14) and the European Convention on Human Rights (Protocol, Article 1).

But plays well to a certain sort of audience.

Sort of like those Dutch no-go zones.

dutch no go zones? You clearly have never been in Netherlands.

Whenever I hear "racial profiling" as an excuse not to do something, I assume it's a pretty good idea. However, if Dutch policeman start wearing Armani suits on days off, I could have second thoughts.

I find it remarkable that 2 of the 7 top-level comments thus far jump to the question of racial profiling or immigration ("This is the equilibrium").

I find it remarkable that 2 of the 7 top-level comments thus far jump to the question of racial profiling or immigration ("This is the equilibrium"), neither of which are mentioned in the quote. However, the Dutch language media are discussing whether this would be discriminatory in practice.

Own goal.

This “undermines the rule of law”.

I agree - if by "this" he means allowing the police to confiscate property with zero evidence of any wrongdoing.

I know how this would play out in New Jersey or Rhode Island

Isn't this playing out in New Jersey and Rhode Island even as we speak? Aren't American police perfectly willing and able to seize any amount of cash from people they think have no good reason for holding it? And their cars and mobile phones?

I am not sure there is much of a difference here except the Dutch don't have the weak excuse of the Drug War.


The kids should just say "My dad's in waste management." That's how we do it in New Jersey.

The New Jersey kid's Armani is not stolen directly, but is coming through the mafia connections? Waste management = mafia, or is that true only for dock workers?

I suppose it's to the police's credit to announce the program of official ethnic profiling as opposed to what's done here in the U.S. (i.e., unofficial racial and ethnic profiling). Honesty is the best policy, right? What's incongruous is that the Dutch refugee policy is one of the toughest in Europe. Most of the refugees, however, are from Syria, who are most likely to apply for and be granted asylum. Here's another oddity: the refugees are housed in former prisons, not because they are criminals but because the crime rate had dropped drastically and the Netherlands had lots of empty former prison space. As for Cowen's equilibrium, I would contrast the Netherlands with Lebanon, which has enjoyed relative peace between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in large part because they have been about equal in number (i.e., sectarian equilibrium). Since the start of the Syrian civil war, about 1.5 million refugees from Syria have come to Lebanon, almost all of them Sunni Muslims, creating a sectarian disequilibrium. What can be expect to see in Lebanon as a result? Indeed, what have we already seen? That's right, the Saudis fomenting sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

None of these phenomenon are "odd." They are entirely predictable.

"Most of the refugees, however, are from Syria": that's quite unusual for "Syrian" "refugees", I understand.

In the South we distinguish between a Yankee and a damn Yankee: the former comes South to visit and returns from whence he/she came, while a damn Yankee comes South to visit and stays. The problem with Syrian refugees, as opposed to refugees from other places, is that they are like damn Yankees: they come to visit and ask to stay (i.e., they seek asylum). Syrians are not mentioned in the new policy in Rotterdam, but one could infer that Syrians are likely the target for profiling; after all, before the refugee crisis, crime had declined to such a degree that prisons were being closed across the Netherlands. I'm just providing a rationale for it.

Not all of the Dutch prison's are empty, others are rented out to countries with too many "migrants".

From article above: "Norgerhaven is not the first Dutch jail to be used by foreign prisoners. The Willem II prison in Tilburg is currently housing several hundred Belgians. According to the Dagblad van het Noorden, Norway is paying the Netherlands €25.5m a year to rent the prison."

That explains the increase in crime due to the Schengen agreement, those evil Belgians are free to roam!

Somehow Ctrl-F does not turn up the term "sumptuary law", either in the article or in the comments here, so I'm just going to say it, just to get it out of the way:

"Sumptuary law"

"if it is not clear how the person paid for it, it will be confiscated"

I predict that the price of a good counterfeit sales receipt from a high-end shop just went from zero to worth having a market in.

Or phony ebay transactions.

Its the source of the income that they mean by "not clear how the person paid for it" so a receipt won't mean anything. Maybe phony pay stubs would work.

I just wonder if someone looks underdressed and therefore deemed not cooperating with economic growth or fighting inequality... will he be forced to empty his wallet in Armani?

Wouldn't this just be taxing people who buy off-the-truck stolen goods, not the people who actually steal them?

Woops, meant this as a standalone comment, not a reply. My bad.

How did sumptuary laws work out in the past?

Help a Canadian out doesn't immediately know how this would play out in New Jersey or Rhode Island.

It would be blatantly illegal in the US. Police do get away with (way too much) civil forfeiture, but they snuck that one in as interfering with criminal activity. Hard to make that stick for Yeezys.

I would hope the equilibrium would be that this never happens, and that the Dutch wise up.

Makes me glad we have a Bill of Rights and pretty rigid civil liberties.

Do stores not sell knockoffs? Have the Dutch no thrift stores? Are we to suppose the constabulary can tell the difference between a knockoff and the Real Deal, or between the Real Deal when it's bought new and after it's been recycled through a thrift (charity) shop?

Why does this make one think, "Sumptuary Laws," and how did that work out? Perhaps they know something in New Jersey or Rhode Island that the Dutch don't?

Then again, our Bill of Rights doesn't seem sufficient to protect us from civil forfeiture abuse ...

"Are we to suppose the constabulary can tell the difference between a knockoff and the Real Deal (...)?" If one buys knockoffs, one is a criminal and should be crushed like grapes.

Surely Dutch police, like police everywhere, are supremely knowledgeable about high fashion, and know in an instant whether a clothing item is genuine or a knockoff. Moreover, they can tell, without prejudice, by looking at someone their approximate net worth and income. And I'm sure no one will wonder how they attained the resources to wear the fashionable clothing they have seized, because, as we all know, police are better paid than CEOs.

Slippery slope towards racial profiling.

So the article desperately tries to disinform. The problem is 'youths' or immigrant youths who live a life of crime. The liberal assumption of civilization being a natural state of affairs, reflected in the youth crime policies, has fallen apart with these 'youths' taking full advantage of the privilege and laxity. So the police try another tack.

Expect a series of articles on the collapse of the inner cities and the blight of suburbanization and gated communities.

Trump immigration policy is to get these intelligent and highly productive Dutch to immigrate to the US. He will find takers, lots of them.

One example from an irrelevant country, wow!

derek is a Canadian who bizarrely posts here to worry about American diversity, Mexican immigrants, etc.

I just read the article. Did you?

It describes a very specific criminal pattern that the police are unable to deal with in any other way.

And in the article opposition to the police activity is expressed as police racism.

I saw both the article, and where you went with it: to inner cities and American immigration law.

The fact of the matter is that you can find the same sorts of problems in rural and white communities across North America.

Speaking of which, how is that opioid epidemic going, and is it really a smaller problem in North America than inner city immigrant crime?

"The arrests came in July after a months-long investigation involving multiple police forces, the Canada Border Services Agency and spearheaded by the Ontario Provincial Police ASIAN Organized Crime Task Force."

Sometimes one has to read carefully. A-S-I-A-N Organized crime. Apparently it's a big deal in the urban centres of Canada.

File this under "things you know will backfire."

First they came for the Rolex wristwatch, and I did not speak out— Because I did not own a Rolex wristwatch. Then they came for the Cartier jewelry, and I did not speak out— Because I did not own Cartier jewelry. Then they came for the Hermès clothes and I did not speak out— Because I did not wear Hermès clothes. Then they came for cheap suits —and there was no one left to speak for me.

I guess inviting all those 8th century types is not working out so well.

For everyone who poor person who got those fancy clothes through criminality, there are four or five people who got them from spending their meager welfare earnings or mcwages, or bought them with a credit card. Most crime doesn't pay.

*For every poor person

Really no different than cops seizing cash in the US. A better article here: explains that seizures are accomplished through a system involving training and are done under supervision with reviews for legitimacy. One of the great advantages of small countries is that they don't have what it takes to support a grievance mongering industry. People live close to one another and have shared concerns in each other's welfare so Babbitts like Tyler get frozen out pretty quick. Not that the EU won't find a way to destroy that too eventually:

good example of noxious influence of EU moral preening about defendant's rights resulting in a degraded quality of life for majority of Spaniards:

"Five Spanish women who were secretly filmed stealing products from their workplace have been awarded €4,500 in compensation by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. The women launched the case after they were dismissed after being caught on hidden cameras robbing or helping other employees rob products from the supermarket where they worked as cashiers. The court ruled that while the women received a fair trial and were dismissed on fair grounds, an employer cannot secretly film their employees in the workplace."

I recently found out that my state's food-welfare program has an app for your smartphone. So we're pretty far from the narrative that the poor need help because they're starving.

Peripherally related, I know.

No, no, no, we do not count government assistance when measuring a person's level of poverty.

Most of the comments here are pretty close to stupid. When you look at your local news, how much crime could you identify as being committed by immigrants? How much could you identify as being committed by Muslims? I wish I could find a webpage of the most heinous crimes being committed daily in the U.S., from enslaving children to high school teacher-student sex to sexual assault and have you list how many immigrants and Muslims are involved. I should search for such a pager.

Its pretty easy to predict the equilibrium point in Europe ... give it another generation or two

"The Uncomfortable Truth About Swedish Anti-Semitism"

"Almost 1,000 cars torched around France on New Year's Eve but government insists it 'went particularly well'

The assumption of criminally is the problem here. People in poverty will often find some way to spluge; tradng small declines in many areas for luxury in one. This is true for many in the u.s., be it new athletic wear in the inner cities or, as was the case where I grew up in rural Texas, a nice car. For an extreme version of this, see the African dandies who live in poverty but sport clothing that most of us "can't afford" (ah, choices)

Would not want this law, but I suspect it could be extremely effective. It's not so much an anti-crime law as enforcing cultural standards. Even if this particular law fails, Holland is getting its balls back.

From the Daily Mail, showing assimilation does work:

Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam tells fellow Muslims who do not appreciate the 'freedoms' of living in the West to 'pack your bags and f*** off' on live TV

Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Moroccan-born Muslim, spoke after Paris attack
The mayor said Dutch Muslims who 'don't like freedom' can f*** off
He added: 'Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here'
Aboutaleb became the first immigrant mayor in the Netherlands in 2008

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