Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Education Cuts & Spain's 100€ Billion Bailout

"Education isn't sold, it's defended."
Lately, there have been very frequent protests in Madrid near Gran Vía, Sol, and Atocha.  The theme I see most in these is education.  In general, many people are unhappy that the Spanish government is making large cuts in the funding for public universities in order to revive and fix the corrupt banking system.  I believe that cutting funding for public education is a terrible long-term solution.  Think about the effects of having a less or weaker educated country.

I don't often write about protests in my blog because they don't usually affect me.  I'm living behind a shield here.  The unemployment in Spain rises to 50% for people my age and 24% overall, but I work for an American university.  Public education in Spain gets cutback, but I will be attending in a private university next year, and it's in the US.  That's not to say that I'm callous towards the issues here and the people affected, but I am admittedly more of an observer.  I take note of what's going on and have opinions about it, but am never directly affected.
This riot gear would make a great Halloween costume.
I place tremendous value in education and have been raised to believe that education is fundamental to my formation as a useful person and is necessary for getting a job (so I can buy lots of shoes!), so I decided to support the cause by purchasing one of the organization's classic, green t-shirts.  There are a few different editions of green t-shirts that the education protests have come out with.  People usually wear them to the protests.  I will not be joining any protests since I have neither the time for nor the interest in getting arrested, but I am more than happy to buy one of their t-shirts and support the cause.

Admittedly too hot to wear my coat from Florence, but I just couldn't resist.
Manifestación en Gran Vía
para apoyar la educación pública

Recently, it was decided that Spain would receive up to 100€ billion of bailout money from the European Union.  I'll be interested to see what changes here as a result of this gift.  Personally, I feel that this money is useful in terms of emergency disaster mediation, but that it will be no stronger than a band-aid unless serious steps toward setting up a stable financial plan are made quickly.  From what I have observed here during the year, it seems that difficult shifts in ideas about lifestyle, not just the banks, will be necessary to dig Spain out of its current situation.  A lot of people discuss this, and I'd rather not get into the issue here.  All I'll say is that I might start making changes by ditching the siesta, although I imagine that idea would not resonate well with many people.

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