Voices on the Street: Employed and Unemployed in Barcelona
The Spanish economy, long enamored with bubbles, is set for rocketing unemployment again this year. Big Think, in collaboration with Barcelona Reporter, talked to some Barcelona residents to see how they were getting by.
Spain has seen bad unemployment before. It flirted with 22% after the boom years of the "Spanish miracle." The early 90s saw better times, but the jobless rate was again above 20% by 1995. Here are five voices from the ground:
"I can say that I am one of the fortunate few whose salary has risen this year, but I don't know if that's luck or a disgrace. I am playing into the hand of the enemy, working extremely hard to save a financial institution from delinquency and desiring with all my heart that once and for all this capitalism would just go away."
Anna, 32, Taxation Specialist
"The recession sucks. I got fired last week and am moving to Shanghai for a year. I am going to study Chinese for two semesters. I will probably be back in Barcelona in May, next year, depending on the economy."
Carlos, 28, Former Corporate Auditor
"I think the banks have a lot to answer for. They have made it easy for people to get into debt, even here in Catalonia where the Spanish people are generally very careful with their money. Many people got caught up in the property boom and this has stretched their resources as the crisis arrived.
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It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Our attention is more than just a resource. It is an experience.
'We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.' Those were the words of the American biologist E O Wilson at the turn of the century. Fastforward to the smartphone era, and it's easy to believe that our mental lives are now more fragmentary and scattered than ever. The 'attention economy' is a phrase that's often used to make sense of what's going on: it puts our attention as a limited resource at the centre of the informational ecosystem, with our various alerts and notifications locked in a constant battle to capture it.
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