Published On: Wed, Mar 2nd, 2022

Robin Hood Syndrome

We’ve all heard of Stockholm Syndrome. If you have seen the Netflix series Money Heist, you know that hostages fall in love with their captors. St. Maarten seems to have its own form of Stockholm Syndrome. I call it Robin Hood syndrome. Let me explain.

St. Maarten will cost the Netherlands billions. Of course, the Netherlands has come up with a new way to justify the costs of those many billions in Sint Maarten in the coming years by setting up the COHO, the Caribbean Body for Reforms and Development. In the meantime, the Netherlands will also saddle the coming generations on St. Maarten with a debt of billions in loans. Loans that we, our children and grandchildren will never be able to repay. Many are hoping that those loans will be converted into gifts. Others think it should because the Netherlands, with its colonial past, owes it to the islands. Reparation payments. Who knows. If De Nederlandse Bank (DNB) is willing to recognize its colonial past, who knows, maybe that will be the first step towards reparations to the islands for the slavery our ancestors had to endure.

Lately I’ve been reading more and more about decolonization, recolonization and neocolonialism. Connoisseurs among us who are familiar with the banking system already know that we have long been made slaves of the financial system. Yet part of the population continues to believe that they are free and smarter than the rest. Smart enough to turn the system in their favor. That cleverness and cunning are being systematically applied while everyone is talking about integrity, morality and ethics. In the meantime, however, the government coffers, the coffers of the public companies and the social and health insurance funds are being looted. All at the expense of tax and premium payers. But luckily we have the Netherlands. Our motherland will save us anyway. Saving us from the brink of bankruptcy, financial ruin and economic destruction. Ultimately, it will not only cost taxpayers in St. Maarten, but also taxpayers in the Netherlands. And who are they actually? The little guy. The ordinary worker. The honest taxpayer. The frugal saver.

What does all this have to do with Stockholm-syndrome? Gradually I no longer know whether the islands are being held hostage by the Netherlands or whether the islands are holding the Netherlands hostage. It is clear that there is a love-hate relationship between the islands and the Netherlands. Even if someone was to make an offer on the islands via eBay, the Netherlands cannot simply get rid of the islands. Nor can the islands just step out of the Kingdom. Where would liquidity support come from then? We are stuck with each other. Captors and hostages forever locked in a love-hate embrace.

But I think the Robin Hood syndrome is even worse than the Stockholm syndrome. We have so little financially and instead of putting our household in order, cutting cost and living more frugally, we continue to spend money like crazy and incur more debts. We are so eager to spend and incur more debt that we even approve a deficit budget in Parliament when we didn’t even have permission to do so. But yeah, we’re not worried about that because we know and count on mother love to keep saving her child in financial need. But basically we are stealing from our future generations to pay our present generation. We think we are doing good, but we are only hurting ourselves in the long run.


Originally published in Dutch on DossierKoninkrijksrelaties.nl as “Love is in the air“.