When the welfare state ends, it’s good to be a king

The golden chariot arrives carrying King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands arrives at the Ridderzaal during celebrations for Prinsjesdag (Prince's Day) on September 17, 2013 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

The king of The Netherlands today declared the end of the welfare state in his country.

In the first speech for King Willem Alexander — a speech written by the government — he said the country will switch “towards a ‘participation society’ in which people take control of their own lives,” according to Dutch News.

“The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form,” he said.

He said the national government will get out of the business of care of the elderly, youth services, and job retraining after layoffs and let local governments respond as they see fit.

He then got in a horse-drawn golden coach and returned to his palace.

The king’s family — his mother abdicated the throne in April — is worth over $200 million, much of it inherited. The royal family does not pay taxes.

(h/t: Julia Schrenkler)