If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(The New York Times)   Apparently the reason Spain's economy has tanked is because they're in the wrong timezone   (nytimes.com) divider line 46
    More: Unlikely  
•       •       •

3882 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Feb 2014 at 7:42 PM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-02-18 07:46:01 PM
Timezone? Subby, surely you're not serious.
 
2014-02-18 07:49:10 PM
After 100 years or so since the standardization time zones it's only NOW causing a problem?
 
2014-02-18 07:49:28 PM
Of course I'm serious. And don't call me Shirley.
 
2014-02-18 07:50:12 PM
Instead, Spain would join its natural geographical slot with Portugal and Britain in Coordinated Universal Time, the modern successor to Greenwich Mean Time.

It seems that they forgot to include the word Natural.
 
2014-02-18 07:54:34 PM
Years ago, I used to buy some sintered metal parts from Spain, with me being in Canada.  In the spring, I had to up my buys 100%, as they were closed all of August.

That is why they are in the shiatter.
 
2014-02-18 07:57:30 PM
The reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.
 
2014-02-18 08:00:50 PM
So skimming the article, yes, there's a bunch of things that they could do that would increase economic productivity while hurting the ... culture's not the right word, but *things that make life worth living*?   You have extra money, but you don't have a 3-hour nap in the middle of the day.

Whether that tradeoff is worth it is up to them, but when other people who DO do those things have more money than them, they shouldn't biatch.

/Seriously, how hot is it in Spain where they need a 3 hour nap?
//mad dogs and Englishmen
 
2014-02-18 08:01:10 PM

PowerSlacker: Instead, Spain would join its natural geographical slot with Portugal and Britain in Coordinated Universal Time, the modern successor to Greenwich Mean Time.

It seems that they forgot to include the word Natural.


Which meddling carnt decided Greenwich Mean Time had to be replaced with bureaucratic-speak? I guess it's probably racist or something.

Poms ruled the farking world when this term was popularised, it's a quaint vestige of history, deal with it.
 
2014-02-18 08:04:48 PM

Big Ramifications: PowerSlacker: Instead, Spain would join its natural geographical slot with Portugal and Britain in Coordinated Universal Time, the modern successor to Greenwich Mean Time.

It seems that they forgot to include the word Natural.

Which meddling carnt decided Greenwich Mean Time had to be replaced with bureaucratic-speak? I guess it's probably racist or something.


On top of that, the abbreviation for "Coordinated Universal Time" is UTC. You can blame THAT on the French.
 
2014-02-18 08:06:31 PM
Even as people in some countries are preparing for bed, the Spanish evening is usually beginning at 10, with dinner often being served and prime-time television shows starting (and not ending until after 1 a.m.). Surveys show that nearly a quarter of Spain's population is watching television between midnight and 1 a.m.

Damn. This sounds a LOT like my current schedule. I even eat my last meal of the evening every night at 10.
 
2014-02-18 08:10:40 PM
So can Nepal's difficulties be ascribed to their insistence on being in UTC+05.45?
 
2014-02-18 08:10:59 PM
My MIL, who is Spanish by way of the Conquistadors, went to Spain on a vacation and mentioned this.  She said it was a weekday and they had been traveling all day and were exhausted, so they hit the sack around 9pm.  She said around 10 all hell broke loose with music blaring, people streaming into the streets talking, laughing and singing. It took some time to get use to the rhythm of things there.  Early morning - nobody around, late morning - things start happening, approx. noon to 4 - nobody around, 5 to 8 - things getting done and then around 10 party time.
 
2014-02-18 08:11:50 PM

Big Ramifications: PowerSlacker: Instead, Spain would join its natural geographical slot with Portugal and Britain in Coordinated Universal Time, the modern successor to Greenwich Mean Time.

It seems that they forgot to include the word Natural.

Which meddling carnt decided Greenwich Mean Time had to be replaced with bureaucratic-speak? I guess it's probably racist or something.

Poms ruled the farking world when this term was popularised, it's a quaint vestige of history, deal with it.


If it used to be Greenwich Mean Time, shouldn't it be Coordinated Universal New Time?
 
2014-02-18 08:12:11 PM

skinink: The reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.


This.

Nice things and retirement funds cost money.  You either have to work hard enough to get them, or you have to lower your standards to meet what your work schedule can put out.  You can't have your whole country work 30 half-weeks a year and produce as much as if you had worked 45 full.
 
2014-02-18 08:15:12 PM
If you didn't care what happened to me,
And I didn't care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain.
Wondering which of the buggars to blame
And watching for PIIGS on the wing.
 
2014-02-18 08:20:24 PM
If you've ever been to Barcelona, you will notice that time moves differently there.  I could never be tired in Barcelona.  Or hung over either.  And dinner before 10 PM always seemed uncivilized,.  As did going to bed before 2.  But somehow you were still up at 7 AM all the same.

And before you say it was the coke, I say no.
 
2014-02-18 08:21:03 PM

Foxxinnia: So can Nepal's difficulties be ascribed to their insistence on being in UTC+05.45?


In that case it's the elevation and distance from the sea.
 
2014-02-18 08:21:39 PM

Xetal: skinink: The reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.

This.

Nice things and retirement funds cost money.  You either have to work hard enough to get them, or you have to lower your standards to meet what your work schedule can put out.  You can't have your whole country work 30 half-weeks a year and produce as much as if you had worked 45 full.


blogs.itmedia.co.jp

And you can't be Japan.

Pretty soon, they're going to have 8 million kids, and 37 million grandparents.

And given that those grandparents want their pensions and free medical care, even though the 20% of the population who are elderly have 60% of the wealth, Japan's kind of screwed.

/What is says up there is that with current birthrates, by 2050 Japan will have a total population of 95 million, 8.2 million young, 49.3 million middle aged, and 37.6 million old people. And while 95 million people is still a whole lot of people for a country with barely 100k km2 of inhabitable land, well having 8 million youngsters against 37 million elderly is not good. Not good at all. Especially when those 37 million get pensions and free healthcare, and have a tendency to live up to 90 years old.
Now my first instinct is say: well stop paying the damn pensions. Especially when right now 60% of the assets in the country are owned by old people (at present 20% of the population). The average savings for an elderly household today in Japan is over 30 million yen. Yes I know they paid their money to the pension fund but they don't really need the money. And while it's grossly unfair to deny them a pension which was promised to them because the government spent it in pork for their cronies, surely it's more unfair to tax the dwindling young generation back to the stone age. All to raise funds to pay for the eye surgery for 85 year old grandma.

//Generally agree with that sentiment.
 
2014-02-18 08:24:21 PM

jackmalice: Big Ramifications: PowerSlacker: Instead, Spain would join its natural geographical slot with Portugal and Britain in Coordinated Universal Time, the modern successor to Greenwich Mean Time.

It seems that they forgot to include the word Natural.

Which meddling carnt decided Greenwich Mean Time had to be replaced with bureaucratic-speak? I guess it's probably racist or something.

Poms ruled the farking world when this term was popularised, it's a quaint vestige of history, deal with it.

If it used to be Greenwich Mean Time, shouldn't it be Coordinated Universal New Time?


Win!

Reminds me of the time our largest tertiary tech-school renamed itself as a university - Curtin University of Technology. The Curtin University of New Technology jokes were running thick for a few months after the name change.

// Curtin was our WWII Prime Minister, docha know
 
2014-02-18 08:25:24 PM

Xetal: skinink: The reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.

This.

Nice things and retirement funds cost money.  You either have to work hard enough to get them, or you have to lower your standards to meet what your work schedule can put out.  You can't have your whole country work 30 half-weeks a year and produce as much as if you had worked 45 full.


No. The Eurozone is simply too large for the economies within. So is the United States, for that matter, for reasons I'll get to later.

When Italy, Greece, Portgual or Spain were using independent currencies, their comparative advantage was cost. They were lower-cost labor markets and the currencies floated relative to these and other strengths. That's not to say they were fiscal angels, but neither were their northern neighbors, either. Often the currency would inflate relative to other currencies, correcting the imbalances due to currency flows.

These corrections are no longer possible in the Euro monetary union. And, to their further detriment, their labor is priced in Euros. So two relief valves for their economic differences relative to their northern neighbors are closed off.

America "solves" this with permanent wealth transfers to their "poorer" states. Directly by federal spending / projects or indirectly with income supports and welfare. Europe refuses to consider such things.

But actual economic reality gets in the way of the Prosperity Gospel / "screw the working guy" narrative, so we just have to blame "stuff" because reasons. Even though "stuff" was not a problem before monetary union, and "stuff" isn't contributing to the problem now.
 
2014-02-18 08:26:03 PM
I think it was my 12th day in Spain (3rd in Rioja) where I thought that maybe they wouldn't have such high unemployment if they were open for more than six hours a day.  There was one boutique in Logrono that stayed open through siesta and they were always busy.  To many Spanish, the lifestyle of Spain is better than others.  I can see it.  It's crazy to see old people out past midnight.

And Spanish women haven't heard what American women say about heels - that they're bad for your feet.  Sixty year olds are walking miles a day over cobblestones in those things.  It's somewhat nice to be in a country where nobody walks around in their comfy womfy jammy pajammies.
 
2014-02-18 08:28:42 PM
 
2014-02-18 08:29:35 PM
So, living like an adolescent isn't compatible with conducting business like an adult? Color me shocked.
 
2014-02-18 08:31:49 PM

skinink: The reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.


Northern Italy, especially the Germanic part, I'd like to keep. And Catalonia.

Nah, but in all seriousness. The inhabitants of some nations do seem to have decks stacked against them.

Corruption, a caste system, dodging taxes, dishonesty in business deals, no mobility in the labour market and, as apparent from this article, no concept of arriving at work at 8, working for 8 hours, and then leaving again.

Though it seems healthy to at least acknowledge that there is some reason behind why Northern Europe just does fine, whilst they do not, instead of just going "yeah, but Franco", or whatever the standard excuse is.
 
2014-02-18 08:33:27 PM
thechive.files.wordpress.com

thechive.files.wordpress.com

thechive.files.wordpress.com

thechive.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-02-18 08:37:49 PM

StopLurkListen: America "solves" this with permanent wealth transfers to their "poorer" states. Directly by federal spending / projects or indirectly with income supports and welfare.


I'd also add progressive taxes to that list.

Welcome to the midwest, average income $30,000 a year.  But over there is your $150K 3 BR ranch with a yard, a cup of coffee is $2.50 at the corner store, and a pair of jeans is $13 at Costco.  And your total tax bill is about $4K if you don't qualify for EITC.

Welcome to CA.  You're a software engineer, so you make $100K/year.  Taxes utterly suck, so you actually get to keep $60-65K of that.  And here's your $1 Million crack shack (with attached 7-15K annual property tax bill) or $4000/month 1 BR apartment, your $5 hipster coffee, $24/day mass transit bill, and $50 pair of jeans from the same exact store.

Mind you, part of the reason everything is so expensive is because I CAN pay more, but pretty soon, I'll be making about 3x what my parents are, and having 8x their tax bill.

/Not biatching (It's more griping).  If I'm not paying taxes, we have problems.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-02-18 08:41:45 PM
wow.. the word "socialism" hasn't appeared once in this thread.

Uh..  until now.
 
2014-02-18 08:43:58 PM

meyerkev: StopLurkListen: America "solves" this with permanent wealth transfers to their "poorer" states. Directly by federal spending / projects or indirectly with income supports and welfare.

I'd also add progressive taxes to that list.

Welcome to the midwest, average income $30,000 a year.  But over there is your $150K 3 BR ranch with a yard, a cup of coffee is $2.50 at the corner store, and a pair of jeans is $13 at Costco.  And your total tax bill is about $4K if you don't qualify for EITC.

Welcome to CA.  You're a software engineer, so you make $100K/year.  Taxes utterly suck, so you actually get to keep $60-65K of that.  And here's your $1 Million crack shack (with attached 7-15K annual property tax bill) or $4000/month 1 BR apartment, your $5 hipster coffee, $24/day mass transit bill, and $50 pair of jeans from the same exact store.

Mind you, part of the reason everything is so expensive is because I CAN pay more, but pretty soon, I'll be making about 3x what my parents are, and having 8x their tax bill.

/Not biatching (It's more griping).  If I'm not paying taxes, we have problems.


That's another thing that crossed my mind in Spain.  Food and booze are cheap.  A bottle of wine is a third the price I pay in Atlanta for the same quality.  Restaurants are cheap.  A night on the town with great food and five glasses of wine for two is about $50 even in Madrid.

Could I live in a place where I accept lower pay in exchange for more leisure time?  I really don't think I can.  I'm wired into this culture and it's a part of who I am.  I'm not complaining about being a SW engineer and having to pay more in mortgage and taxes to be closer to that higher paying job, but it's interesting to think about what's possible from a lifestyle perspective.
 
2014-02-18 08:47:32 PM

StopLurkListen: Xetal: skinink: The reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.

This.

Nice things and retirement funds cost money.  You either have to work hard enough to get them, or you have to lower your standards to meet what your work schedule can put out.  You can't have your whole country work 30 half-weeks a year and produce as much as if you had worked 45 full.

No. The Eurozone is simply too large for the economies within. So is the United States, for that matter, for reasons I'll get to later.

When Italy, Greece, Portgual or Spain were using independent currencies, their comparative advantage was cost. They were lower-cost labor markets and the currencies floated relative to these and other strengths. That's not to say they were fiscal angels, but neither were their northern neighbors, either. Often the currency would inflate relative to other currencies, correcting the imbalances due to currency flows.

These corrections are no longer possible in the Euro monetary union. And, to their further detriment, their labor is priced in Euros. So two relief valves for their economic differences relative to their northern neighbors are closed off.

America "solves" this with permanent wealth transfers to their "poorer" states. Directly by federal spending / projects or indirectly with income supports and welfare. Europe refuses to consider such things.

But actual economic reality gets in the way of the Prosperity Gospel / "screw the working guy" narrative, so we just have to blame "stuff" because reasons. Even though "stuff" was not a problem before monetary union, and "stuff" isn't contributing to the problem now.


Greece's problem was that they cooked their books to join the Eurozone, that they're corrupt, don't pay taxes, and borrowed money on false premises.

Spains economy was doing just fine until the global financial crisis which they didn't create, though they did have a housing bubble waiting to burst. Their debt to BNP balance was posterboy material. As it is, they have a very high unenployment due to many reasons, like lack of mobility in the labour market, but they're righting themselves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Spain

Everything points to Spain doing just fine within the Eurozone over time. The argument against that would be that they're just inherently incompetent or something equally racist, which I believe just isn't true.


You're making up a story to fit your narrative.
 
2014-02-18 08:57:48 PM

spawn73: Everything points to Spain doing just fine within the Eurozone over time. The argument against that would be that they're just inherently incompetent or something equally racist, which I believe just isn't true.


Spain has a different economy than most of the EU.  That isn't racist.

The sign of the truly incompetent debater is to cry racism or something similar when someone raises a valid point.
 
2014-02-18 09:05:27 PM

meyerkev: Pretty soon, they're going to have 8 million kids, and 37 million grandparents.


They'd need to import at least a hundred million metric tons of Mexicans to even make a dent in that.
 
2014-02-18 09:32:47 PM
I'm going to Spain next month and I'm still trying to wrap my head around eating dinner around 9 or 10. One place doesn't open for dinner until midnight. What the fark.
 
2014-02-18 09:39:28 PM

Marcus Aurelius: meyerkev: Pretty soon, they're going to have 8 million kids, and 37 million grandparents.

They'd need to import at least a hundred million metric tons of Mexicans to even make a dent in that.


Maybe we can sell them ours?
 
2014-02-18 09:43:59 PM

WienerButt: I'm going to Spain next month and I'm still trying to wrap my head around eating dinner around 9 or 10. One place doesn't open for dinner until midnight. What the fark.


Well, if you can do it, you're cut out to be a programmer.

Wake up at 8, roll into work around 9:20, get off at 7:00, get home at 7:45, and THEN start running errands, cooking dinner, and finally going to bed at midnight.
 
2014-02-18 10:28:14 PM

meyerkev: WienerButt: I'm going to Spain next month and I'm still trying to wrap my head around eating dinner around 9 or 10. One place doesn't open for dinner until midnight. What the fark.

Well, if you can do it, you're cut out to be a programmer.

Wake up at 8, roll into work around 9:20, get off at 7:00, get home at 7:45, and THEN start running errands, cooking dinner, and finally going to bed at midnight.


You're forgetting the 3 hour nap in the middle of the day.

Which I think would be a wonderful thing to introduce to the US.
 
2014-02-18 11:00:41 PM

Kwai Lo: Years ago, I used to buy some sintered metal parts from Spain, with me being in Canada.  In the spring, I had to up my buys 100%, as they were closed all of August.

That is why they are in the shiatter.


zimbomba63: My MIL, who is Spanish by way of the Conquistadors, went to Spain on a vacation and mentioned this.  She said it was a weekday and they had been traveling all day and were exhausted, so they hit the sack around 9pm.  She said around 10 all hell broke loose with music blaring, people streaming into the streets talking, laughing and singing. It took some time to get use to the rhythm of things there.  Early morning - nobody around, late morning - things start happening, approx. noon to 4 - nobody around, 5 to 8 - things getting done and then around 10 party time.


Same in other PIIGS nations.

When i was living in italy, the print shop near where i lived, that i needed to use to get work done, had hours that were roughly this:

Monday: 9-4
Tuesday: 12-3, 5-7
Wedesday: Closed
Thursdays (alternating): 10-3, 6-9:56
Friday (if lucky): 8-8:15, 9:12-4:00
Saturday (non football game days): 10-2
Sunday (areyoufarkingkiddingme?)
 
2014-02-18 11:09:58 PM
You take off in the middle of the day for lunch and a nap and you think you can improve on a system like that? Next they'll give up their six weeks off.

They don't know how good they have it.
 
2014-02-18 11:54:29 PM

Marcus Aurelius: meyerkev: Pretty soon, they're going to have 8 million kids, and 37 million grandparents.

They'd need to import at least a hundred million metric tons of Mexicans to even make a dent in that.


You misspelled Philipinos.
 
2014-02-18 11:57:12 PM

skinink: he reason the economies of the PIIGS have tanked is because those countries are fiscally irresponsible. It would never happen but I would love to see all five of those countries cut loose from the European Union and let them sink or swim on their own strengths.


Irresponsible enough to tie their currency to the Deutschmark (Euro). The Spanish government wasn't running a deficit prior to everything going to hell. However easy money from British, French, and German banks were driving a real estate bubble.
 
2014-02-19 02:07:06 AM

fusillade762: Even as people in some countries are preparing for bed, the Spanish evening is usually beginning at 10, with dinner often being served and prime-time television shows starting (and not ending until after 1 a.m.). Surveys show that nearly a quarter of Spain's population is watching television between midnight and 1 a.m.

Damn. This sounds a LOT like my current schedule. I even eat my last meal of the evening every night at 10.


I know. I need to finish me delocation of income and move.
 
2014-02-19 02:21:51 AM
"Reduce lunchtime?" he said. "No, I'm completely against that. It is one thing to eat. It is another thing to nourish oneself. Our culture and customs are our way of living."

The rest of the European Union to the lazy PIIGgieS:

i1003.photobucket.com
Have fun with your worthless Peseta, Liras, Drachmes...
 
2014-02-19 02:45:30 AM

Badgers: "Reduce lunchtime?" he said. "No, I'm completely against that. It is one thing to eat. It is another thing to nourish oneself. Our culture and customs are our way of living."

The rest of the European Union to the lazy PIIGgieS:

[i1003.photobucket.com image 100x100]
Have fun with your worthless Peseta, Liras, Drachmes...


I don't think the rest of the EU is going to be quite so sanguine with nations dropping out when their economies hit a rough patch.
 
2014-02-19 03:01:13 AM

fusillade762: I don't think the rest of the EU is going to be quite so sanguine with nations dropping out when their economies hit a rough patch.


What exactly is the added value of a bunch of money drains down south and when _did_ they have a good economy? (Keeping in mind the creative bookkeeping exposures and economic scandals)
 
2014-02-19 10:35:16 AM

meyerkev: StopLurkListen: America "solves" this with permanent wealth transfers to their "poorer" states. Directly by federal spending / projects or indirectly with income supports and welfare.

I'd also add progressive taxes to that list.

Welcome to the midwest, average income $30,000 a year.  But over there is your $150K 3 BR ranch with a yard, a cup of coffee is $2.50 at the corner store, and a pair of jeans is $13 at Costco.  And your total tax bill is about $4K if you don't qualify for EITC.

Welcome to CA.  You're a software engineer, so you make $100K/year.  Taxes utterly suck, so you actually get to keep $60-65K of that.  And here's your $1 Million crack shack (with attached 7-15K annual property tax bill) or $4000/month 1 BR apartment, your $5 hipster coffee, $24/day mass transit bill, and $50 pair of jeans from the same exact store.

Mind you, part of the reason everything is so expensive is because I CAN pay more, but pretty soon, I'll be making about 3x what my parents are, and having 8x their tax bill.

/Not biatching (It's more griping).  If I'm not paying taxes, we have problems.


I remember reminding you a little while back that California's income tax is, what, 1% more than Michigan's? So go back to Michigan if you hate it here so much. Or shut up and pay your taxes so you can have things like clean water, paved roads and sewage treatment, without the discomfort of a polar vortex camped out overhead, you whiny, fat fark.
 
2014-02-19 02:16:28 PM
Right now, Spain has a bigger problem on their hands...Lamar Odom is moving there to play
basketball.  (If Khloe Kardashian follows him...as Bart Simpson says, "Ay caramba!")
 
2014-02-19 03:07:42 PM

Lokkii: After 100 years or so since the standardization time zones it's only NOW causing a problem?



The article doesn't go into detail about the origins of our weird schedule, and those that do are in Spanish.  So I'll summarize:

Before the '30s, the Spanish schedule was normal.  Lunch at noon, dinner at 5pm or 6pm.  Then there was a Civil War, the country was ruined, people were hungry... and to top it off, Franco made it illegal for married women to work (family values and all that).  It became normal for men to have to work two jobs to keep their families alive: one in the early morning and one in the afternoon/evening.  They'd have lunch and a quick nap between jobs, at  1pm, and dinner at 9pm (roughly... I guess they weren't full 8-hour shifts).

Then in 1942 Hitler changed occupied France's timezone to match Germany's, and Portugal and Spain did the same because they were allies.  Now the meals were at 2pm and 10pm.

Things improved and men cut back to having one job, but the mealtimes and nap had become too established to change.  The new single-job schedule worked its way around them, resulting in a two-part work schedule.  The same happened with schools; when I was there we'd get out at 1pm and return for another two classes from 3pm to 5pm.

Commuters get screwed - they can't really take a nap, so they have downtime away from home and that basically comes out of your sleep.  Spain gets about an hour less sleep than the rest of Europe.
 
Displayed 46 of 46 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report