Monday, January 4, 2010

FerFAL in Spain

I'm in Barcelona right now, visiting the family with my wife and kids.
Its a been nice so far and we really needed to relax a bit.

Preparedness wise, and mostly regarding "Surviving in Argentina" Blog, its giving me a much better perspective, since being in Argentina for so long detaches you from the rest of the more civilized world in man ways.
There's no comparison between this and life in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.
Thanks to this I have a more objective point of view now.
People are so different here, relaxed and yes, much more "sheeply" so to speak. But I dont mean this in a bad way. Its clear that people here dont worry about getting killed on the streets like we do, or ending up living on the streets.

Talking with people during Christmas dinner, one person "knew someone" that had been mugged once on the street by a burglar with a knife. Single attacker, knife. Same question asked in Argentina would have gotten a different answer, all personal stories, 9 out of 10 having been a victim since 2001, almost everyone having been mugged at gunpoint, most often by multiple attackers.

The economic crisis is a big issue here and I'll be writing some reflections about that. Its bad, 20% unemployment, but of course, its no an economic collapse and they aren't suffering here the things we went through in Argentina.

Such a different life, much better life standard here, they dont know how fortunate they are.

The few comparisons, parallelisms and differences, some of the things I'm noticing, I'll be writing more about that during the following days and I believe it will be very interesting for you guys that live in 1st world countries, in Europe and USA.

Take care folks.



Bones said...

It's been clear to me as a resident of a quiet, stable and safe suburb in the US, that Argentina is now a world apart. Things are clearly FAR worse in Argentina than they are here in the US. Argentina is an object lesson to every country. The saddest part is noting that you, a savvy guy, lacked perspective on how bad things are until you traveled to Spain. Everyone is simply so used to the poverty, crime and government ineptitude and indifference that it seems normal.

There's signs here in the US that the pendulum is swinging back toward the conservatives. Hopefully tax relief and a reduction in government spending is on the way. Several republicans are publicly calling obamacare unconstitutional and it's clear things will be interesting for some time to come.

EN said...

I urge you to keep in mind that Spain, Greece and Portugal are all on the verge of a catostrophic economic event almost exactly like Argentina experienced.

Don Williams said...

1) Something that may badly screw the world economy is that Financial Reform in the USA is being sabotaged by lobbyists and financial interests.

For example, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has only recently started work and its report is not due until Dec 15.

Advocates for Wall Street are arguing that any laws for financial reform should be deferred until the Commission makes its report.

2) But the Republicans are likely to gain several additional Senate seats in the November election --in part because the Democrats have a lot of seats to defend in weak districts and in part because leftists in the Democratic Party are growing infuriated by Obama's pandering to Big Business in the Financial Bailout and Healthcare Reform debate.

The Republicans may win not because they are all that attractive but simply because angry, disillusioned Democrats may stay home and not vote.

3) If the Republicans acquire 4 or 5 more Senate seats, then they can probably block any effective versions of financial reform -- which will leave the common citizens being bled dry to pay the gambling debts of the rich.

Only a moron plays in a crooked card game --and investors are not likely to risk much in such a corrupt political environment.

But the USA needs at least $1 Trillion per year in investment just to maintain the status quo --to replace depreciated equipment
for example.

As the world's largest economy, if the USA falls it is likely to drag a lot of its trading partners down along with it.

4) As a nation, the USA has suffered several bad wounds in the last decade --and they have all been self-inflicted.

The result of corrupt politicians who put the agendas of their financial backers ahead of the National Interest.

Anonymous said...

The biggest difference with Port/Greece/Spain/Ireland is that they are riding the back of Germany, an efficient powerhouse which stabilizes the currency.

The whole world has US Dollar savings (so the US is riding on the world) but Argentina doesn't have anyone to back them. Maybe if Brazil began to lead South America we could see hope, but I'm not sure that's even on the agenda. Right now Brazil is taking care of... Brazil.

FerFAL said...

Hi guys, I just rejected 2 comments by mistake, one from Don (about finances)and the other one about security during vacations. If you guys want to comment again I'd appreciate it.I accidentally rejected them along with some spam on dating websites. I get this Spam junk links on daily basis.


Stuart said...

Great Blog FerFal, been following you for years now.

I live in Spain, south of Barcelona and i would agree that compared to many parts of Spain Catalunya isn't as bad as some other communidads. But the real problems haven't begun for Spain yet or Greece, Latvia, Ireland, Portugal with regards to paying back their debts to the IMF.

I do not think it impossible that we could see another Argentina situation here in Europe as the countries make the decision to A) Drive their people into poverty or B) payback their spiralling debts to the IMF.

Greece has said today i think that they plan to make a 10% in spending but that also there is another economic plan that is being kept secret from the eyes of the people of Greece but the IMF will be recieving this plan. Very fishy indeed.


Anyway keep up the great work and......

Bon Any Nou!

Wolfen aka "Ravenwolf31" said...

FerFAL, with me living in the US, I cannot imagine the life that you live. Sadly though I am not liking the way our country is turning and the rate it is going is astonishing. I just hope we can turn things around before it gets too bad. BTW, I bought your book and I think it is pretty good, it has helped me out in some ways of my life. Also I did a review of it on my own blog "The Wolf Den" if you want to check it out. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

Leoric said...

With the situation in United States I can't see anything here improving. People that follow politics know that the country is very weak and that the financial power is going to Asia.

One thing I would like to partially disagree with is what Don said. I don't think either party is concerned about what is best in the interest of the people. The way our government is set up is that no single person can really make sure that legislation stays uncorrupted and almost anyone with connection can effect it.

For instance Democrats might really want to punish the rich (what ever that means). But the problem is that the rich are the very people who have the means to influence the 2000 page bills that no one reads. Since no one reads the bills the rich are not going to be caught until it is too late.

-- Sixpackover here new account easier on log ins :D.