Spain Debates UBI-type Program Amid Covid-19


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    So, there is hope for a better world after fascism?Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      probably – though Spain’s shift the last 20 years to mostly autonomous regional governance has not been devoid of problems. Frankly I still expect the Basques and Catalans to break away fully in the next decade or so.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I wonder if Spain has a housing crisis like we do?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      I thought “that’s an interesting question…”

      I mean, remember when we were all worried about the EU and specifically the PIIGS? Apparently, they had one back in 2008 (well, who didn’t?) and it was the usual bubble thing. Housing prices were going Up, Up, Up and that meant that it not only was a good idea to get a house RIGHT NOW but, if you already had a house, get a second one and rent it out because housing prices were going Up, Up, Up!

      Anyway, it popped.

      The housing crisis in Spain now, finally, shows signs of being over. Wait, you ask. What kind of crisis are they talking about?

      Well, the crisis of people’s houses not being worth as much as they used to be.

      What kind of crisis are you talking about?Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

        Not enough supply to meet demand like we have here?

        My one hesitation regarding a UBI is that if there is not enough housing, rents will rise to consume the UBI.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          so housing in Spain is a different beast. In cities like Seville and Madrid there is a lot of densified housing – akin to American style coop buildings and condos. Cities have sprawled out, and do include single family residential developments that Americans would recognize, but its not yet on the scale we might see in say Denver. Most of the inner city is old (like hundreds of years old) residential and small scale mixed retail, and not subject to redevelopment.

          The countryside is a real mix of traditional family owned villas and compounds and new development, but not in a planned sense. so the issues are not so much on supply and demand.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

          There are two crises.

          On the one side, you have homeowners who view their houses like an investment and housing prices staying stagnant (OR GOING DOWN!!!!) means that their investment is losing money!

          On the other side, you have people who want to buy a house. They don’t want to live in a dang apartment anymore or a dinky condo. They want to buy a *HOUSE*. And a housing market that keeps going up in value is a housing market that prices out new people who want to buy houses.

          You gotta walk a tightrope between these two and figure out which side you want to fall over into because fall you will.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

            that’s the American approach. Spaniards are not really that way.Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H says:

              NIMBY-driven housing inflation seems to be a problem in many different countries. Not only is this not a uniquely American problem, but I don’t think it’s even especially bad in the US.

              I would be surprised if there were any country where homeowners aren’t at least a bit unhappy at the devaluation of an asset that constitutes more than 100% of their net worth.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                That’s the kicker though, innit? The thing DavidTC is always going on about, how people the value of housing to always appreciate, and by quite a lot.

                You can do nothing to your home except the bare minimum maintenance to keep it habitable and if the value doesn’t rise faster than inflation, everyone will panic.Report

  3. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Note that the requirement to be seeking work or in training makes this more like an expanded unemployment program than an actual basic income.Report

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