Budget Cuts in Education, Science and Healthcare

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Don’t do it. You would be making a serious mistake. 

-With our best efforts to understand the consequences of the “real estate bubble” and having lived beyond our means, we can accept that its’ time for all of us to “lend a hand”. But not to give in to the “great (military, energy, financial and media) domain’s” hounding of the euro zone, which has lost its sails and is off course, because it continues to operate as an Economic Community rather than a European Union, without an autonomous security system, without fiscal federation, without the capacity to define economic stimulation policies with incentives for growth and the creation of employment. 

-Obsessed with complying with the 32 conditions imposed by the European Union in exchange for “rescuing” Spain’s banks (that “unconditional line of credit” announced by the government!), they haven’t hesitated to include measures that will have profound repercussions in our nation’s near future: 

  • Reduction in healthcare personnel and resources, that great pillar of the social welfare we’ve achieved. For example, it is ludicrous to cut subsidies for dependant persons to save 250 million euros when only one shameless Galician bank needs 5,000 million euros to pay off its debts... 
  • Dismissal of 800-1,000 university professors in the Autonomous Community of Madrid and reduction of professors at other academic levels. Once again, the savings realized with this budget cut equals less than 18% of the money needed as a result of the total mismanagement (public funds included) of one of the middle-sized financial institutions that will now be rescued from the brink. 
  •  Don’t do it. This is a serious error. Reducing the number of scientists, teachers and healthcare personnel will darken our future. Don’t do it. It is in no way proportional and contradicts the invariable truism that in a system based on speculation, delocalization of production and war, the creation of employment depends on knowledge, competition, imagination and the capacity of citizens to commence a new era... 

-An editorial in El País on 14.07.12 warned that “although our solvency abroad is a priority, these new budget cuts will increase the recession”. 

"The Government has blocked tenure exams for professors in public universities". Don’t do it. They’re making a mistake. "Surviving the crisis" depends on educating citizens, preparing them for maintaining what should be maintained and changing what should be changed. 

The Ministry of Education has stated that "the brain drain isn’t a negative phenomenon". Especially (remember Dr. Severo Ochoa, Professor Joan Massagué, etc., etc.) for the recipient countries. But for Spain, it’s an enormous loss. Mobility, yes. But so that all of them can return (especially the best of them). 

Now that funds are being made available to compensate for the huge deficits incurred by certain banks, savings institutions, city governments and autonomous communities (without any punitive measures, to-date), is it so difficult to identify those who are really responsible and reconsider the allusions to the “legacy received”, thus revising some of the decisions being announced? 

-"Spain’s R&D system has regressed at least a decade", announced a full-page headline in ABC on July 13. The number of patents, so important for economic recovery, will decline. 

Don’t they realize that these crucial aspects for the present and future of our citizens cost less than half of the rescue funds for Bankia? 

The silence of those who are somewhat or largely responsible for the excesses of those “happy years” is unfortunately understandable. But I can’t understand the silence of businessmen, and especially of the SMEs, who should clearly and serenely raise their voices in dissent. 

They, better than anyone else, understand that in addition to the present economic situation, progressive automatization and robotization have reduced the number of jobs available, and now it is work rather than employment that we have to find... 

Rectify. This would be a serious mistake. 

Tomorrow I will offer some concrete proposals to seek greater coherence in the package of measures that would warrant all of us “lending a hand ".