The next twenty-five years. A survey of future developments in the Netherlands
The aim of the WRR in its report The next twenty-five years. A survey of future developments in the Netherlands (Report no. 15, 1977) is to present a coherent long-term vision of the future. It formulates this vision by extrapolating existing trends in two scenarios for sixteen sectors with a view to helping shape opinion, political choices and policies.
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The two scenarios differ fundamentally in terms of the assumptions made about economic growth. Neither is extreme in nature. The scenarios are based on the assumption that widely acknowledged current trends will continue. The scenarios are not primarily intended as policy recommendations, but the WRR does stress the need for anticipatory political decision-making in the report.
A number of bottlenecks are identified that will occur to more or less the same extent in both scenarios. Economic development will lead to increasing damage to nature and the environment, for example. It is uncertain whether unemployment can be reduced to 150,000. Energy consumption will increase. The population will age. The function of the family will change, partly because a growing number of married women will go to work. Government intervention will increase in almost every area, but the nature of that intervention will change from regulation to negotiation. Other bottlenecks apply more specifically to one or other of the scenarios.