September 5th, 2012
As the economic and financial systems of the world rapidly approach the real possibility of total collapse, signs of what we can expect on a mass scale in the near future are beginning to appear throughout Europe.
In Spain, a country that just a few years ago was heralded as a shining example of real estate entrepreneurship, international tourism and a rising middle class, the situation is so bad that many are unable to meet the most basic necessities for life.
Social safety nets across the continent are visibly under stress and breaking down, so much so that unemployed Spaniards have begun raiding supermarkets in order to put food on the table. As recently as last month the people of Cadiz and Sevilla, which have a reported unemployment rate of 32%, joined together to loot local grocery stores of three tons of food – some of which was distributed to local food banks:
To be fair they aren’t taking booze and big screen TVs, but taking what isn’t yours is still under the same principle. Would you do any different if you couldn’t put food on the table and spent months unemployed?…Just a few years ago many Spaniards would joke saying that thanks to the new immigration wave everyone in Spain could afford to have a “Sudaca” as a maid. Sudaca is a derogatory term similar to wetbacks, commonly used in Spain referring to South Americans. This is pretty sad given that these “sudacas” are children and grandchildren of those same Spaniards that left to SA because of the Spanish Civil war. Now, its obvious that they are suffering many of the miseries their “Sudaca“ brothers went through in the past.Spaniards eating out of garbage bins, many of them senior citizens, have become a common sight in Spain and in other European countries where they have emigrated to looking for work themselves.
This morning we learned that 46.7 million Americans – a new record – are receiving government nutritional food assistance benefits, so the troubles we’re seeing in Spain, Greece and other European countries are not just limited to the other side of the ocean. They are happening right here at home.
The only reason stores in the United States are not yet being looted like those in Spain is that our social safety nets are still able to support the basic needs of most of the population. But as prices continue to rise, more jobs are lost, and record numbers of people join the ranks of the already 100 million receiving some form of government welfare, the breaking point is quickly approaching.
In Spain, just a few short years ago people were living the high life. Expensive homes, expensive cars, luxury vacations and dining, ever-expanding credit limits, and not a worry in the world. Does that sound familiar?
Those same people who would have laughed in your face five years ago had you told them the economy was going to collapse and their country would be facing a massive debt default that would leave the majority of their population in poverty – those same people are rumaging through garbage cans in the hopes they can find some bread, rice and vegetables to put on their dinner tables.
This is reality.