* For real. I had to translate it to “half the drinks”, though it wasn’t exactly that. To “stimulate consumption”, the town council in the city of Melilla offered to pay for half the cosumptions in bars. That is, if you buy the drink, they give the “tapa” (a small dish of whatever food is available at the bar) for free, or viceversa, during two months this 2012. I couldn’t write “tapa” in English, so I used “drinks”, but in any case, they tried to stimulate economic growth by… giving away free stuff at bars.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, that’s NOT what Keynesianism is about, or what it should be about. It’s about spending when economy contracts, true. But the spending should be properly done. For example, if the Spanish government had used the 2008 surplus to create a nationwide optic fiber broadband net, the net would exist nowadays, the state could hire it to communication companies, and the service would be available to citizens. Win-win-win situation, and lasting in time. However, when the then-president heard of Keynesianism, he stopped at “spending”. Or, more probably, being a man not prone to accept responsibility, he gave away the money to towns and city councils in hopes of not being responsible should they waste it. I’m afraid he’s responsible anyway.
When I think about the great push that surplus could have made for Spain, had it been used properly, I want to cry, punch someone and burn the Parliament. We are so much in the hands of morons.
That said… I HATE stereotypes. I’m from Seville, and I hate the fact that everyone takes for granted I can dance flamenco. Which I can’t. So, whenever Spain is portrayed as… flamenco, tortilla, fiesta, paella, I get angry. I DESPISE, loathe and hate the flamenco stereotype. Then, why did I use it here? Well… Because I despise what Spain did (and is doing) to its economy. That dress I put Spain in is my version of an insult. I would like to draw Spain as someone more modern, cultivated, stylish and sophisticated. Alas, I honestly can’t.