News Sep 25, 2012 at 11:31 am


Maybe they're not as wasteful in Spain, but here you can get tons of food out of supermarket dumpsters and I guarantee that you couldn't tell the difference between it and the food they're still selling inside.
By golly, Dan, yer on to somethin. Here's what we do, we call us da anarchists, gather up by Urban Outfitter, maybe forty of us, fifty, a hundred even, then we rush QFC and steal all the food we can. Then we can take it down Broadway or downtown or to the jungle. By the time we get to the jungle we'll we be so damn drunk the whole city will be in flames!!! Wooooo! That's how you fight austerity. Keep it up, mang!
This is what austerity brings.

My guess about the "public health precaution" is that they do not want people getting sick from eating rotting food. Seems to me the better solution would be to collect the food the supermarkets are about to toss, and distribute what you can.

But I guess that would cost money, and with austerity and all...
@1: I suppose so, as long as you get it in time.
This is a crisis of capitalism. Specifically a crisis of debt-backed money.

There are enough skills, goods, and willing labor to go around. EVERYBODY could be fed, everybody could be housed, and everybody could be working or doing something. But what is the problem? What is in short supply? Money.

Only that. The scarcity of money itself is starving people.

And it's only going to get worse, because compound-interest debt is *always* more than the amount of money floating around. And will always be more, and will always increase.

So the difference is made up by forcing some people/businesses/countries to go bankrupt so that others can be rich.

This is a crime.
Maybe they don't want an epidemic to break out if people eat contaminated food. The starving folks could spread it to everyone else. That would seem to be the reasoning. In Meiji-era Japan, restaurants would do a neat business selling leftovers, and this was a big way that tuberculosis spread.

Still "put a lock on the dumpster" is not the best solution to widespread hunger. I'm used to the U.S., where food is cheap and readily wasted, but is there truly nothing that could be made available?

It also seems possible that some scavengers are strewing garbage around the dumpsters, attracting rodents to the mess.
Actually, never mind, "public health" apparently means "don't scare away the tourists".
This just in: Generalisimo Francisco Franco is NOT dead. :(
More info and manifesto here…

esto es en madrid en esperanza - this is hope in Madrid
Read the banner wrong -sin Esperanza. This is Madrid without hope.
You guys are overthinking this, the problem in Spain was not in joining the EU, productivity, or public services. As a Spaniard I can tell you that the reason we are this fucked right now is good ol' greed and corruption. Banks, politicians and developers robbed the nation blind and are now being rescued, while the average tax payer foots the bill and all they get is their services suspended...
17, oh sure. Ignore the fact that debt-backed money will ALWAYS have these crises, and blame it on the people who are being screwed. Nice.

WHO's bad choices exactly? Politicians and bankers bad choices perhaps? I highly doubt the average worker or student or small business owner made any choices that led to an economic collapse. Sounds more like the standard abusive, neoliberal economic tactics brought once again by the IMF-ECB-EU.

And don't give me any of that "oh, they're only following the ruuules" crap. Money is a tool of human beings, and we can either help each other, or beat each other with it. The path of pain is being chosen.

16, Kvetching with hindsight about what "should never have" happened is facile and pointless. Let's deal with how to get people out of the situation and not let it happen again.

Regardless of whether people think "oh the Spanish and Greeks are lazy" or whatever stupid cultural stereotypes you wish to promulgate, the fact is that there are people willing and able to work, and willing and able to make a basic, decent living without having to forage in garbage cans. But they are not allowed to do so because money is artificially scarce due to "austerity" measures and interest rate manipulations, required by "international banking entities" who put debt repayments on money before commodities and people.

This is a crime.
@4 said a guy who never had to dumpster-dive for any reason.
17, Sure, hint at the negative stereotype that the Greeks and Spanish are "lazy", and blame the average people who are getting burned for what is a crisis of debt-money.

This is good ol' neoliberal wealth extraction executed by the IMF-ECB-EU via punitive and extortionary money practices. The problem is NOT a lack of "productivity" or labor, or goods, or skills... it's a restriction of capital done specifically to make it more valuable, so that the lenders can obtain their pound of flesh from the backs of the working classes. This bankers and politicians valuing debt-payments over human necessities. Cash over commodities and labor. A classic maneuver that has been executed against the third world time and time again.

10,16, Saying in hindsight that Gr/Sp shouldn't have joined the Euro is facile and pointless. It was done, and you had no part in that decision. Let's address the issue at hand and how to fix it, and how to ensure it doesn't happen again. Because if we continue with the blind pursuit of money über alles these crises will only keep happening.
23, oops. Thought the original post was lost. Also, neglected to close an italic tag in 19. *sigh*

22. I didn't once say that the Germans should be doing more to help the Greeks and Spanish. Don't put words in my mouth.

Furthermore, all national currency systems are the same. They are all positive interest currencies. And as such, they are all subject to the exact type of crises being exploited in this situation. Debt is incurred, loans are offered by the IMF, but only at abusive rates... slashing social programs, raising the interest rate to absurd levels, and sucking cash out of the local economy, leaving people to forage in dumpsters. It's no different in any country, it's the exact same currency type.

As long as we let the bankers/wealthy run the game, we're all pretty much fucked.
treacle, the least you could do is close your italics.

This is what socialist welfarism brings
@18 and @19 I'm with you. As always, the plutocratic leaders get greedy and vainglorious and end up screwing up, and then the poor and the middle class pay the price. The cost gets passed down the line and the benefits stay at the top. These people have a right to be damned angry and they should make their political leaders fear for their lives. There's more of them than the politicians and the security forces.

Everyone else: This is the concept of "smaller government" in practice. Enjoy your Republican mantras.

I spent several years being homeless, dumpster dived, and live in squats both here and in Europe.

Also the Spanish tend to be lazy and demanding as fuck. I worked with the Red Cross at the G8 camps in Germany, It gave me a special kind of contempt for the Spanish.

I guess it is shocking for liberal pantywaist who think everything should be handed out for free, paid for with someone else's money.
Does anyone else find these (now regular) images of police beating unarmed protesters as disturbing as I do?
@30 No, his argument is that an monetary system based on lending currency at compound interest in a world with finite resources is guaranteed to eventually blow up - and that we are seeing the effects of that right now. I would go farther to say that along the same lines, we're seeing the beginning of the end for an economic system that relies on compound interest growth of around 3 percent per year to be considered properly functioning. We're hitting the wall in terms of environmental, human, and resource exhaustion.
Interestingly, the historical solution to keeping systems like this from imploding was periodic jubilees. Every x number of years, or on the coronation of a new king, the slate was totally wiped clean. We'll see if the elites are smart enough to do the same this time around.
@29 I bet you were the coolest dumpster diver in Europe, always taking responsibility for being a filthy worthless urchin instead of blaming it on circumstances like the rest of those savages. Why exactly were you a jobless and penniless piece of garbage for so long anyway, instead of working to contribute to the national good?
@35 Are you thinking of the progressive tax system that allows Warren Buffett to pay a lower percentage of total taxes than his secretary? Or the one that allows Mitt Romney to pay a lower total percentage than the working poor?

Social democrat-style redistribution can serve as a safety valve for an unequal system. Unfortunately, it only managed to last about 40 years before the process of dismantling it started in earnest. Even though the best conservative economists like Hayek understood that success in capitalism was mostly a roll of the dice, it didn't stop conservative politicians from turning it into a moral issue. The unsuccessful were lazy, and deserve to live miserably. Clearly, the argument resonates with people even if it's disastrous over the long term.

Beyond that, for the reasons I mentioned earlier I don't think merely returning to a social democratic welfare state is a viable option. The relationships of production need to be fundamentally altered so that those affected by environmental damage, inequality, and excessive labor demands are the ones making the choices. Worker of corporations democratically selecting their own board of directors, and devolving decisions to the lowest possible level qould be a start.
Read about the Mondragon corporation in Spain. 100,000 workers at a cooperative that's been around for over fifty years. It's one of the most successful businesses in Spain. I could say that the hierarchical, militaristic corporate model has been proven a failure many times over by its countless individual failures, but that would be unnecessary. I find it morally repugnant, and there are clearly examples of how to do things better and more democratically.
@39 Why have the capitalists in this country demanded tens of trillions in bailouts? I'm sure cooperatives would be a lot more plentiful if they had the same level of control over the political system that their failed capitalist brethren do. Mondragon isn't alone btw. There's a rich history of workers cooperatives in this country as well. Mostly capitalist businesses have used political control to keep them in rural parts of the country, though. They basically saved American capitalism in the 30's by being the only functional business model for rural utilities, for example.

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