Today I went for a haircut. It cost $6. And now, I sit down for an afternoon coffee with milk foam and a tall glass of orange juice freshly squeezed before my eyes. $3. The same in the United States would’ve easily cost twice or three times as much, which stands to reason I would have to make two or three times as much for the same experience.
These services were through lovely stores equal to those in the United States, but operating under Spanish “socialism” where capitalism is very much alive but taxes are considerably higher, people make a living wage with weeks of vacation, and are afforded greater rights to healthcare and housing. It’s far from perfect, of course, with high unemployment and conditions that don’t make for as many Google and Amazon enterprises. But it’s not hard to see which system has led to a better quality of life for most of its citizens. The objective proof is in the higher rates of mental illness and violence in the United States.
What I see here in Spain is a society that strives to serve the middle class and make it as expansive as possible. In contrast, what I’ve known of United States is a society that has thus far voted in favor of believing that if we grant the privileged few lower taxes and unbridled potential, they’ll lift all boats.
Whatever theory you believe makes more logical or intuitive sense, until you’ve traveled and lived extensively to experience the difference with your own eyes, I call bullshit on the latter.
American capitalism, you’re broken.
Below: my $3 cafe con leche, y jugo fresco de naranja.