Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

May Day in Madrid

It's May Day, the international day of workers' solidarity, and to celebrate various unions and leftist political parties here in Madrid have organized four different marches since they can't agree enough to all march as one, proving yet again that the workers have anything but solidarity. Most madrileños aren't going to the marches; they're off on daytrips or hanging out at home or going to one of the few cafés that are open.

Spain has a lot of new money, so they are beginning to fall into the American myth of a classless society, or shall we say a society where everyone is middle class. There are lots more cars on the streets than ten years ago, lots more people going on vacation, and most of the manual labor is done by Moroccans, West Africans, and Eastern Europeans.

Of course, the idea of a classless society is nonsense. There are still the rich (walk through the shopping district in Calle Serrano and try to find something a schoolteacher can afford) and still the poor and blue collar workers (the immigrant labor mentioned above) and while the middle class is swelling in numbers, it's on very rocky ground. Borrowing is up, the real estate bubble has burst, and with a lower quality of graduates coming from the schools, employers are complaining about having difficulty finding qualified employees.

That was Spain I was talking about, not the U.S. As Almudena likes to say, Europe is about ten years behind the U.S. Looks like we're catching up!

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