June 8, 2010

A depressed Spain

I consider myself a quite apolitical individual. In fact I have not voted in the last 6 or 8 years and this is mainly due to the fact that Spanish politicians and Spanish politics as a whole do suck, badly... It does not matter what their colors are. They all suck and they are not ready to take the country out of a recession in which they dragged it themselves. Let's not forget about the unions, damn, have these guys ever worked? You take a look at the so-called "leaders" acting in politics and you want to cry.

I am pessimistic these days. It is really sad to look around. It is about crisis and downturn all over the place, about cuts, about tax raises...It is true that many, if not all, Western countries are going through a rough time and it seems to be like that recovery will eventually come in a W shape (we are in the second downward slope).

I feel somewhat privileged considering the job that I have, my wage, and so forth. But it drives me nuts when, for instance, I see one of these "leaders" claiming that higher taxes "is the price that Spaniards must  pay for living in a modern country". It makes me mad when an "effort" is demanded from those who earn the most (please, let's be serious defining what earning the most means... it is not 30k or 40k a year, for Christ's sake!), considering that it is these people who go out there and spend money to prevent restaurants, shops, bars and so forth from closing and from sending people to the unemployment lists.

And in this shitty scenario, let's not forget that Spain has recently lost to Canada the "privilege" of being the country with the most inaccessible housing in the world (the ratio price to income is 172, in the US, for instance 94).

With all these in mind, one thinks whether it is worth it to leave in this country. What do you work for? To see how all these "leaders"  become richer and richer, to digest how uneducated people take the reins of one of the top 10 or 15 economies in the world? It is so frustrating. Today I came across a blog posting on the leading Spanish financial site Cotizalia. Two paragraphs that really got me to think about quite a bunch of people that could see themselves pictured in these words:

"Tengo un amigo que es un crack. Tiene 32 años, como yo, un buen puesto en una gran empresa española y un don de gentes fuera de lo común. Un líder, vamos. Hace un par de semanas quedamos a comer y me dijo que estaba pensando irse a trabajar fuera de España. ¿Por qué? ¿Descontento en su empresa? ¿Malas relaciones con su jefe? No, y tampoco era por la envidia que suelen provocar programas del tipo “Españoles por el mundo”.
El problema de mi amigo es que ha dejado de confiar en España. No ve salida a la situación por ningún lado. Y no se refiere a llevar un sueldo a casa a fin de mes, que yo creo que nunca le faltará: se refiere a poder hacer algo grande en este país, a las capacidades de proyectarse, de desarrollarse profesionalmente, aspirando a lo máximo, a ser un líder en los negocios globales".

One of those people that I know was in San Francisco not long ago and one of the things that impacted him the most was what the vibe around business is. People are non-complacent, they are thrilled to explore new ideas, to take on challenges, to leave crises behind, to be productive... It is true that San Francisco is vibrant and quite different to most places in this context. But the problem is that Spain is exactly on its antipodes. 

Que dios reparta suerte...

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