Comments on: The tide goes out in Spain Tue, 31 Mar 2015 00:16:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: nixonfan Sun, 20 Jan 2013 16:13:24 +0000 Franco was a very shrewd man. He would never have given up the peseta as a “gesture of European solidarity”. Modern, liberal, European Spain is bankrupt thanks to the “innovators”.

By: EthicsIntl Mon, 31 Dec 2012 06:05:11 +0000 The so obvious Banksters & corrupt financial institutions in Spain & every country, need to be flushed down the toilet, then we might see some world economic daylight.

By: mdtaylor Sat, 29 Dec 2012 04:01:17 +0000 Ms Schiffren, You write beautifully but please read some Milton Friedman or George Gilder and learn to appreciate and understand where wealth and prosperity come from. You owe it to yourself and your readers…

By: matthewslyman Fri, 28 Dec 2012 12:19:44 +0000 @LoveJoyOne: Iceland was boxed into a corner by that decision. The government of Iceland (a country with the population of a medium-sized British town, or a small American city); attempted to let their banks go broke, but preferentially bail out Icelandic depositors, without bailing out other EU depositors to the same level. It was a bad move. Without such undertakings from before the crisis, they should have just let the banks go broke, run some social (employment) programs and creative fiscal/monetary policies. Iceland’s illegal move to preferentially guarantee Icelandic deposits and default on foreign deposits, was met with British and Dutch seizure of Icelandic government assets as collateral.

Ireland made a worse unforced mistake: at the height of the liquidity crisis, the government of Ireland (backed only by their tax payers) undertook to guarantee all deposits in Irish banks by anyone. These Irish banks were WAY over-leveraged, over-indebted, over-bought into sub-prime loans and risky business ventures including massive property speculation. It’s going to take at least another decade (perhaps three decades) to unwind Irish debt. They should have just let those banks go bust. We should have pressed “reset” on the economic system, and forced some serious social legislation into law at the same time to prevent non-wealthy, innocent pensioners from taking the hit (for example).

But instead, we must live in a world where the bankers are attempting to make minor adjustments and re-calibrations to a system that collapsed almost completely. They are doing so with the cover of the tax-payer, which they have compelled into their service under threat of near anarchy (through break-down of the economic and social order) if they don’t get their way.

What can we do about this?

• Start making some radical, bold reforms. Start thinking of proportions of available labor and talent, and doing our arithmetic on that basis; instead of staring at black and white columns with arithmetic (in trillions of dollars) that has no personal character. Start thinking in terms of proportions of potential sustainable demand… Start measuring the economy in terms of UTILITY instead of GDP.
• Enact serious social support, environmental protection, labor rights etc.; worldwide; or else back-pedal on globalization until we can force this legislation through. Repeal unemployment benefits and create labor exchanges that provide a base-line of available employment (demand for work) doing basic work (tidying parks, tending allotments, caring for the old); with a basic living wage guaranteed by the tax payer. (Dear readers: Please don’t complain about this suggestion without first understanding that IDLENESS is a tax upon all of us, future generations included.)

By: LoveJoyOne Fri, 28 Dec 2012 10:40:57 +0000 It is ironic that the banks – which were primarily responsible for the huge real estate bubble in Spain – are being bailed out. Meanwhile, individuals are not.

Look at what Iceland did. They let the banks go broke and bail out the individual “victims” of the financial crash.

One thing is for certain: if austerity continues in countries like Spain, with over 25% unemployment (higher than the Great Depression in the 1930s in the US), something will have to give.

There will be entire “lost generations”, or there will be a revolution.

By: AdamSmith Thu, 27 Dec 2012 23:49:37 +0000 Excellent article.

Technological progress is accelerating rapidly, more quickly than ever imagined.

The key concept is this: Computer technology is rapidly ‘organizing’ the human race. Like the complex organs of a huge body. Everything in life is being eaten quickly, organized, by computer programs written by millions of programmers. I am one of them.

This year the degree of organization of the human race jumped much faster than last year. Everything is becoming more and more wired up, more programmed, very quickly. Every nook and cranny of the economy.

And, unfortunately, this wiring up, a now recognizable and scary force of nature, favors those who possess capital. It’s a simple fact of nature.

And it forcefully and quickly enslaves the other 99%, relentlessly, day and night. Each day, more are ruined and enslaved.

So the children of the wealthy, who never did anything worthwhile, will be owning the manufacturing robots that are, this very day, December 27, being built and sold, for around $20,000 each, that are analagous to the first IBM PC’s coming to market in 1983. Who can afford to buy them? The wealthy.

This is why the political system of Spain, and America, and every nation in the world needs to be changed radically, now, before the wealthy make it impossible to even discuss political change.

In a military analogy, the wealthy is using superior technology.The common people don’t stand a chance without vigorous fast action.

Sticking to old ways, old rules and old legal documents is the surest way to lose.

There will soon be an epic battle, or the common man must expect a life of increasing want and desperation very, very soon. And the faster technology progresses, the faster will be the descent.

The common man and his savings are soon parted by the potent technology of the wealthy.

By: urownexperience Thu, 27 Dec 2012 23:45:14 +0000 I fear for the people making derogatory comments on this thread. Sometimes exceptional good luck will create conceit. The humility will come when they get sick and old with nobody who really cares. I hope it doesn’t devastate them too much.

By: wirk Thu, 27 Dec 2012 20:05:42 +0000 This is so biased story. There is nothing said directly about such simple fact that for many years Spain as a whole lived far beyond its means, driven by the colossal construction boom and real estate speculation. Example of the person which bought the ‘3 or 4 apartments’ illustrates this clearly. Should now everybody feel mercy for the plight of this person? Or maybe she should be bailed out?

Would there be other solution than the ‘reckless’ austerity? Borrowing more money? Leaving euro and facing gigantic devaluation?

Stereotype that austerity is ordered by the Germans is nonsense. Apart of the financial problems, in the Spanish economy there are colossal structural problems. Flagship among them was/is legendary rigidity of the labor market. Austerity means thus returning to sanity and one can argue that the crisis in Europe gives unique opportunity to restore normal economy. It would be absolutely impossible to make economic reforms in conditions other than the current deep crisis. Now, people have to suffer but this is the price and lesson of the previous mirage.

By: sarkozyrocks Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:19:59 +0000 You keep shifting financial responsibility to a nameless, faceless, penniless thing you call “government”…and demands this thing to stop being “reckless” and “irresponsible”. What individuals, specifically, are you aiming at? You too are an individual, living in a relatively wealthy country, with a relatively good job, with direct familial ties to these people in need…pull out your checkbook, and start giving to your own family in need…a tad beyond your capability, both financially and otherwise…stop trying to coerce non-family members into doing your job…shirking your own responsibility. Typical communist garbage…