Economics In Spain Taking Psychological Toll On Unemployed

I wrote in a previous blog, titled Obama’s Plan Leaving Millions of Unemployed Dejected, I

No more construction jobs for Spain

wrote how the long term unemployed are affected psychologically by leaving them “dejected.”  Well, it seems that Americans are not the only ones.  In Spain, their “self-esteem is a mess,” which is tearing “the social fabric apart.”  Globalization, Free Trade and the private markets aren’t doing much good for the Euro system either, apparently.

And Spain, the next European domino to fall after Greece, has more than double the unemployment rate of the rest of the European community, somewhere above 24%, as this article by Oliver Stanley in businessweek.com points out. As the govenment cuts more, in a futile attemp to balance their budget, the unemployment will continue to grow. And it’s all taking a toll on the population psychologically.

“My self-esteem is a mess,” Atkinson said. “My nephew is 15 years old, and the only difference between him and me is I have kids. That’s how I feel.” …

“For the rest of their lives, they’re damaged,” said Newman, who has written about labor and families in Spain. “They don’t recover occupationally, their earnings are depressed for 20 years, they don’t marry at the same rate.”

Joblessness, combined with the destruction of household savings, “tears the social fabric apart,” she said.

The article, interestingly, talks about how Spain really pushed the temporary, or short-term contract worker thus avoiding all severence pay and benefits associated with full time workers.  And it blames the temporary jobs as the root of the unemployment. In fact, recent labor laws were passed to make it easier to fire workers. The theory is that if it’s easier to fire workers, they’ll be quicker to hire workers.

That just seems wrong, to me, even absurd. That law was passed in February. So, where are all the hirings, even if they are temporary? It’s just a bogus argument to be able to get rid of workers in a deepening depression (24% unemployment is higher than the official 23% unemployment in the US during the Great Depression).

That whole contract worker/temporary worker thing is becoming a big deal in the U.S. also.  It may be a cause for some unemployment, but it’s not the real reason.  It’s just getting rid of, or bypassing, the safeguards put in place in the past century to protect workers.  The corporations need that to make bigger profits in a recession.  Wall Street needs it to loot the economy even more.

It still boggles my mind that no one is talking about how to rebuild the economy, that is, a great reconstruction program based on industry, agriculture and infrastructure building, along the lines of what American System presidents such as Lincoln, Roosevelt or Kennedy did. But, then again, I remember the control that Wall Street and City of London finance has over the political arena, for now.

I’ve seen, especially since the assasination of Kennedy, that anyone coming close to a program like that gets killed or scandalized out of office. It’s an undeniable pattern to the point that not one leader, today, is talking about real economic reconstruction because that, or course, would mean taking on the international financial powers.

The aforementioned financial institutions and powers are in a world looting mode that’s continuing to depress the world economy. So, unfortunately, for now, there is no hope for any growth in the economy weather here or in Spain, unless the historic programs of the American System are put in place, programs that have always gotten us out of an economic mess and created prosperity.

What do you think about the economic situation in Spain, or the U.S., for that matter? What would you do to solve the economic problems?

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