Could Spain end up like Venezuela?

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Venezuela is a tragedy as much as it is a warning. A warning of how a once-rich country can end up oppressed and impoverished by radical socialism and communism (how many more examples will we need?), of how a people can destroy itself deceived by the promises of demagogues and of how a democracy can …

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Vampire States, the killers of prosperity and freedom

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In a recent speech, Spain’s acting Finance Minister advocated for an increase in the size of the government and announced a brutal tax hike while criticizing the idea that “taxpayers’ money is better in their own pockets,” a concept she dismissed as a “mantra”. The whole sentence, copied word for word from an article published …

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Banal technology, the obese State and low productivity

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We live in an era of technological intoxication, in which we all bow down in fascination before the Golden Calf of new technologies. However, we ought to ask ourselves an unpleasant question: are all these technological advances really productive? Why it is, then, that productivity growth has slowed down in developed countries? Given that time …

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The true cost of the Welfare State

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Do you happen to know, dear reader, which proportion of your hard-earned income is eaten up by the State’s Leviathan if you add all the direct and indirect taxes that you pay throughout the year? Welfare States follow two essential rules: the first is to conceal the true level of taxation it obtains from plundering …

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Crushed under debt: lessons from a desert island

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In the last eight years US public debt has doubled in dollar terms. In Spain, public debt has roughly increased from 40% to 100% of GDP during the same period while the sum of public and private non-financial debt has climbed to 250% of GDP (versus 155% twenty years ago). Both are nice examples of …

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Indispensable reforms: playing Cassandra (part II)

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As I wrote in my previous article, when the Transition to democracy took place in Spain in 1975, the unemployment rate was 5% and the standard of living had grown by a factor of four in a single generation as a result of the country’s huge (though fragile) economic growth between 1950 and 1974 (a …

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Playing Cassandra: a course on reality

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I witness, in some degree of amazement, how our government officials appear to be immersed in a binge of mutual congratulation and merry back-slapping in the belief that the crisis has run its course, mistaking the manna delivered by the ECB and the nerve-strained inflows of investment funds (which come and go in the blink …

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Destructive monetary policies

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We are living in an era of economies intervened by central bankers who have been raised to the level of magicians or even gods of Olympus: infallible, clairvoyant and beneficent. Unfortunately nobody whispers in their ear, while holding up the laurel crown, that they are nothing but men. To be fair, at the worst moment …

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