Spain is the country of Picasso, Miro, Gaudi, Salvador Dali, Don Quixote, and a former superpower (centuries ago). Now it is a shadow of even what it was a decade ago. This report comes to us from a friend of ACC.
“…The grandparents are the safety net for the extended family. They provide lodging for the children and grandchildren. The grandparents have avoided debt and own more than one home mortgage free. They pay for groceries, school, and clothing for the children and grandchildren.
There is no hiring beyond what is absolutely necessary. The same people stock shelves, make deliveries and act as cashiers in grocery stores. Self checkout kiosks are ubiquitous.
Small business staff with family and friends who are paid under the table. Businesses open sporadically and share what business there is by deciding among themselves which days they will be open.
People who are working full time are almost all older than you would expect. They are tenured employees who do not quit until they qualify for a pension.
The wonderful network of toll roads is deserted. One can drive 50 kilometers and encounter maybe 10 speeding Mercedes and BMWs and no trucks.
The new high speed rail (AVE) is little used because it is so expensive. Intercity and long haul bus routes thrive.
NOBODY drinks wine – only beer….wine is too expensive. Café owners complain that young people don’t go out but instead buy their booze at supermarkets and drink in the parks.
There are many street side vendors who are in the country illegally.
It is considered bad form not to give to beggars (as long as they are not gypsies.)
Tax avoidance is common. You know when you get no receipt that the sale is not reported.
Abandoned cars are common (too expensive to put on the road.)
The 1% goes on – No one knows where all their money comes from.”