Category Archives: Spain

Future For Youth?

Four years ago in most European nations young people were hopeful that with further education there would be ample opportunities to secure a good job.Today, the unemployment rate in Spain or Greece is over 50% for young people with scant prospect of changes during the coming decade of their life. Stylia Kampani, now works as an unpaid intern for an important Athens newspaper. What happens after the end of her internship is unknown. “None of my friends believes that we have a futureor will live a normal life. That wasn’t quite the case four years ago.” She is now part of a lost generation which is doomed to low wages, uncertan job security and loss of control over individual lives. European nations have not learned the lesson of America’s Depression when the federal government created jobs for youth like the CCC. It funded the theater, opera, symphony orchestras and provided many job opportunities in society.

Germany recruits some  skilled workers from Greece or Spain. In the UK anger is directed at immigrants because the government has done nothing to offer youth a chance for the future. Oh, it has tripled the cost of college. Youth needs to go beyond protest and organize political parties which pledge to create jobs, and, in so doing create hope. If governments refuse to act to create jobs, the end result will be emergence of neo-fascist political parties based on hate an violence.

German Spanish Arrives

The dream of Germans during the Nazi era was to spread across Europe ad bring their culture to the world. Alas, today, Germans are not going anywhere but, instead are welcoming those from other areas of Europe. A new program to bring skilled and semi-skilled Spanish workers to Germany confronts two problems- the need for semi-skilled workers and the need to bring in more Christians in order to prevent Muslims from gaining greater population strength. Small business firms will partner Spanish workers with their own people and, hopefully, within a year there will be a hard working Spanish German added to the work force and the “German” population.

The collapse of Spain’s construction industry  has left hundreds of thousands    available to work, and if the weather is a bit colder, who cares as  long as their is work. Unlike America, Germany welcomes immigrants and many receive subsidies while they adjust to life in Germany. In some cases, government finances the trip to Germany. Ami,welcome to Germany.

Mitt, We Need You-In UK!

During the past election, Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans, warned the American people that to follow Obama economic ideas was the road to serfdom and poverty. Mitt insisted the solution was to cut, cut, cut, and embrace austerity as the model for ending our recession. There has been a monthly increase of new jobs averaging at least 150,000 and today’s figure for February was–198,000! However, European nations like the UK, Spain or Greece report DECLINE in the number of jobs and continual loss so that in Spain, the unemployment figure is about 24% for youth. Oh, the report also reveals that 24,000 more jobs were created in January than initially reported.

Health costs declined since the Affordable Health Act was passed. The economy is growing about 1.8% but it is  growing, not declining as in  Engand. Perhaps it is time for Mitt to head for the UK and assist the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron to increase unemployment and make certain there is a stagnant economy.

Make Your Lunch And Pay To Eat It!

If any American desires to know what this country can expect from a Romney government, just gaze across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain. Spain has an unemployment rate of 25% which has caused millions to struggle dealing with basic  daily expenses. Ordinarily, most Spanish parents have children eat lunch at school during the two hour break in school work. That costs them about $6 per day.  Given the economic situation, many parents decided to pack a lunch for the kids. However, school officials will charge parents $5 a day for kids eating their own lunch. Why? ” The charge is to cover use of the lunchroom and supervision costs.

The conservative government of Mariano Rajoy has cut subsidies for children. Vote for Mitt Romney and expect severe reductions in aid for poor children. Just another example of how money talks in modern America. After all, if your parents are poor, there are always jobs available picking peaches. Who needs book learning?

Abortion Issue Arises In Spain

The nation of Spain confronts important economic issues which impact the lives of all citizens in the land. Nearly 40% of its inhabitants lack jobs and people are going hungry. So, what does the conservative government of Spain introduce into the lives of people–abortion rights! The new conservative leadership intends to offer a new abortion law that will contradict one passed under the previous Socialist administration. The current law allows abortions up to 14 weeks into the pregnancy and allows abortion in case of a malformed foetus.

Hundreds of women  protested in Madrid. They shouted: “We give birth, we decide. Not one step backwards.” The current government is reducing money for poor people, it is reducing funds for children with deformities and now it wants more disabled children.

The author of this blog has mixed feelings regarding abortion. We believe both sides in the debate offer valid reasons. But, if a government wants to end abortions, it must fund women who give birth to children, it must fund aid to disabled children. If a government believes in the right to  life, it must also believe in the right to a healthy life.

Rock And Hard Place

Spain in 2012 typifies the old expression concerning being caught between a rock and a hard place. Unemployment is over 25% and for those under 30 it is much higher. The government is cutting, cutting, relying on austerity and concerned if anyone will even loan a dollar to the government. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned there is a “serious  risk that investors will not lend us money or they  will do so at an astronomical rate.” So, what to do?

The answer is clear to Angela Merkel, to David Cameron to Mitt Romney, to the Republican party– just cut government expenditures, lower taxes on the wealthy, and let a few people reduce calorie intake in order to end obesity and end rising debt. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence this approach will work, but it certainly looks great to the “job creators”of the modern world.

Somehow, it is still a bit unclear which type of jobs they are creating and for whom are those jobs? In the meantime, cut out the food.

Austerity Not Austere For Europeans

Each day brings new evidence Europeans are disgusted with government policies which seek to reduce expenditures in order to restart economies. Of course, over fifty years ago John Maynard Keynes put to rest false notions that reducing government expenditures is the road out of recessions. In America, right wingers denounce the “European ideas” of Barack Obama even though European nations like Ireland, UK, Spain, Italy, France, etc.. are putting into practice Republican ideas about reducing government expenditures.  Of course these European measures are being carried out by Capitalist governments even while Republicans are denouncing Socialist governments for European problems.

President Obama has made mistakes, but his current programs of stimulating the economy are on the right track. The US economy is leading all but Germany in recovery even as Republicans demand he carry out  austerity programs. Firing people leads to unemployment, not to employment. US corporations have witnessed–under Obama–doubling of the Dow Jones and they are sitting on over $2 Trillion in their corporate accounts. They have NOT been impacted by taxes and the fault lies in failure to hire people, get them working and get them paying taxes.

Reign Of Terror In Spain

If you are considering a visit to Spain, make certain to avoid the island of Mallorca if safety is your concern. A reign of terror has wracked the island due to rise of terrorist Muslim groups. The town council, in an effort to halt the spread of terrorism, has banned  Muslim women from wearing a  burqa or a niqab in public  places. According to Mayort Biel Serra, it is an issue of “public safety.”

Actually, there are exactly two Muslim women on the island who wear a face covering. However, the mayor is concerned that if one of them commits a crime it will be impossible to identify the culprit. There is need on this island to find out who is behind the reign of terror. Frankly, the mayor is right to focus on these two Muslim women as the source of crime and terror. First, they  take over Mallorca, next the two women seize control of Spain.

Perhaps, Karl Marx Was Right

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the ongoing mantra among conservatives, liberals and libertarians has been that capitalism is the only way to function in a modern society. As I recall, Karl Marx predicted that capitalists were greedy and only concerned withe their own economic interests which meant they would be more than happy to destroy the middle class and create a society in which a small group of wealthy were in control. As one examines modern capitalism, that prediction increasingly describes what is.

In nations like the US and England, the top one percent control about 20% of the wealth and the top 5% control over 40%. Statistics reveal the middle class has been continually declining in wealth over the past twenty years. In other words, exactly what was predicted by Marx is now a reality. Does this suggest that Capitalism is inherently designed for the top five percent while the remaining population lives off crumbs thrown by those above?

Perhaps, it is time to revisit Karl Marx and pose a different question: were his ideas insightful, but placed in the hands of those who never understood him, the result was an economic disaster? After all, isn’t that what happened to the ideas of Jesus Christ?

Drive Car Without Driving!

President Obama continues to emphasize the need for America to become a nation driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship, but all too many of our business leaders are only focused on the bottom line of profit. Over $2 Trillion are safely stored in bank accounts or invested in the market rather than invested in new ideas. Swedish, German and Spanish automobile companies are experimenting with a new idea that would encourage road safety. They have created a model which allows drivers to go to sleep and still drive their car.

Project SARTRE, Safe Road Trains For Environment, allow a driver to join a “convoy” of cars proceeding on a major highway. There is a lead car which is electronically equipped to drive all cars in the convoy. A driver places his vehicle on autopilot, picks up a book or gets a snooze while his car is being driven by the lead vehicle. When the driver decides to go off on his own, he sends a signal, and within moments is able to exit the convoy and do what he desires.

We await some new ideas from American automobile companies that point the way to the future. How about using some of that $2 Trillion for new development?