Not so fast, Spain

8 03 2012

Reading about Spain’s “lost generation” – or the fifty percent of Spanish youth unable to find employment – is pretty disheartening stuff. Spain’s deteriorating economy has led to decreasing opportunities for young Spaniards, who are feeling understandably paralyzed; it’s impossible to begin a career when entry-level jobs are nowhere to be found.

At least we can take some consolation in the fact that, no matter how bad things are here, we’re not as badly off as Spain, right?

Well, not so fast. America’s unemployment statistics aren’t much better. With 46 percent unemployment for American youths aged 18 to 24, we’re already as bad off as Greece.

It didn’t have to turn out this way.

We warned progressives not to pursue the European welfare state model. Time and again, we pointed out that cradle-to-the-grave government coddling was morally wrong, not to mention economically unsustainable. They forged ahead anyway, with no support for their big government programs beyond their own flawed idealism and the false prosperity of the European Union.

Recall the arguments in favor of Obamacare. According to Nancy Pelosi, profligate spending on health care and other welfare programs cultivates creativity, leading to a vibrant, dynamic economy and society. Under Pelosi’s formulation, Spain’s unemployed youth have been busy honing their artistic skills, writing great novels, or preparing to launch the next Google or Facebook. After generations of welfare statism, Europe’s Second Renaissance should be just around the corner.

Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. In fact, young people from stagnating southern European nations are rushing  in droves to learn German so that they might have some chance at gainful employment. No word yet on whether their bankrupt governments can afford to buy them a copy of Rosetta Stone.

It used to be easy to laugh at the apparent backwardness of nations like Spain and Portugal, which seemed to be content with routine high unemployment – until it became apparent that the United States is following in their fatal footsteps. The welfare state gravy train is rapidly reaching its terminus, and the long-term cost of the ride is already proving to be tragically high.

Let’s step on the brakes before we wind up with our own “lost generation” forced to scramble for jobs abroad.




One response

8 03 2012
Gary Knowles

Again, you’re right on target Mr.Kozak. And I think there’s another aspect of it that exacerbates the whole sad situation. I was recently at a conference where I saw this unfold: About 800 people, mostly well-dressed, well-educated upper middle class professionals were headed into a ballroom to hear a dynamic keynote speaker and have a great lunch. They arrived, pretty much en mass, before the convention center staff had finished preparing the room and the doors were closed. As they crowed into the corridor hoping to get a good seat up front, the folks in the middle-back got impatient. A rumor spread that there weren’t enough seats and after lots of grumbling, people near the back of the line started to leave. When the doors finally opened there was a rush for the seats and – yes – there were quite a few open at the back. The ones who left, discouraged and disillusioned, went home early and missed a good meal and decent presentation. I think the unemployment situation is similar – in that those who have stood in line and waited for entry level jobs have seen little movement up ahead and reports circulate back that even those that get a job go nowhere. The ones at the back leave for the “whatever” else is out there and many are so disillusioned that it will take a lot to get them back – if they can even be convinced to try again. Of course the government model would have been to set up a free sandwich cart at the back of the line and put sports programming on the overhead TVs. No need to keep trying to do better. Easier to let the state feed and entertain you.

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