Thursday, October 8, 2015

No Box to Check for "Self-Employed"

Typical! My Spanish bank, BBVA, is threatening to shut my account down if I don’t give information for the “Ley de Blanqueo de Capital” they want to make sure I am not spending government money on hookers and chalets, or something like that. BBVA wants my passport, they want to know how I make my money – here in the US! I tell them I don’t even live in Madrid, I just visit, I filled out the “form of no residente” I have a bank account to pay for my piso expenses, mortgage, gas, luz,.  Not enough info, they want more would you please call us says BBVA?

So I call from California, they ask me their most obsessive question, “is your job in the US Temporary or Permanent? ” ONLY TWO CHOICES! Temporary or Permanent, always the same obsession – permanent job of course is the only correct answer that ANYBODY wants to hear. If you don’t have a permanent job you are a nobody, a low-life, and a nothing.

So, what do I answer at 5 am in the morning still slightly groggy? Well, first off, “Temporary” and “Permanent” mean nothing to an American, ALL jobs are temporary!  Next, I own a company, a corporation, a small corporation, but a corporation none the less, with employees - of which I am one. So what am I? Temporary or Permanent? As far as I am concerned NOTHING is permanent, especially my corporation, my “job”, even if I have been 21 years in business. Market conditions could change and I could be out. So I make a fatal error, I say “Self-Employed”.

ALARMS GO OFF! The BBVA dude’s computer freezes up. He says, his computer will not accept “self-employed”. There are only two choices in Spain TEMPORARY or PERMANENT. I pause ... I say….. you know… I am an employee of my company so my job is permanent. Yes, please put down Permanent. TOO LATE! Can’t continue! Computer won't accept it! Please go to your bank branch – In Madrid! To finish the form.

So Spain, I’d like to say a few words in defense of the Self-Employed. Do you know how many people in the US are self-employed and who contribute to the economy? Give people jobs, create products and major innovations? A SHIT LOAD! You do know that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, were all self-employed when they started, right?

No box to check for “self-employed” ? Spain, that’s a problem….

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lot's Happening in Spain

And I'm MIA

But, interesting post by  Martin Varsavsky

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In L.A. This Would Be A Problem

So I was in the metro the other day and I see this girl sitting in front of me. She is maybe about 17 - 20 years old, sitting with a nerdy looking guy. Nothing too out of the ordinary except she seemed to be packing two Smith and Wesson 9 mm police issue semi- automatics. Yes, she definitely is. One in an under arm carry position - perfect to hide under a suit jacket, and another strapped to her leg.

This may be no problem in Texas - although two hand guns is kind of excessive even there. But I do know that in L.A. there would be a major problem if she encountered our friendly neighborhood LAPD (police). They really don't like people walking around with very real looking - but fake - guns. Actually, they tend to shoot people waving those around.

Not sure if this is some kind of Madrid fashion statement. Thoughts?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hey, I saw this one..

Hey, I saw this O'Reilly factor segment on the Spanish Breast Feeding Doll and I don't remember any "Rage" or any talk about the doll "Inciting Pedophelia". I did hear them say that perhaps six year old girls should not be thinking about breast feeding and maybe they should be little girls first. Besides, I thought it was sexist to train all little girls to be mothers?

But I'm sure El Pais would never mislead their readers about a Fox news report though... Right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Rough Out There for Young Spanish People

Interesting Article in the New York Times. Pretty right on I'm afraid - and it has been like this for as long as I can remember. Employment laws meant to "protect the worker" have ended up screwing young people. Employers won't hire because they can't fire anyone if the business climate changes. At the same time, everyone runs around obsessing about the "permanent job" a concept that has never existed in the U.S. save some government employees - and that is changing too.

I like what this guy says regarding pensions, healthcare and what will happen when Spain's low birthrate continues:

“What we have is a Ponzi scheme,” said Laurence J. Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University and an expert in fiscal policy. He said that pay-as-you-go social security and health care were a looming fiscal disaster in Southern Europe and beyond. “If these fertility rates continue through time, you won’t have Italians, Spanish, Greeks, Portuguese or Russians,” he said. “I imagine the Chinese will just move into Southern Europe.”

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fire'em All!

I know it will never happen. There is no way Zapatero has the cashews, but he should pull a Reagan and fire all the air traffic controllers. They should be thankful they have a job.

For anyone who is not, shall we say .... OK, as old as me, in 1981 the air traffic controllers in the US tried to pull this same stunt. Reagan gave them 48 hours to return to work and when they didn't he fired 11,000 striking controllers. They hired new people, they used the military to fill in, etc. and it all worked out.... except for the guys who got fired.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

El Roto Thinks the Same as Me?

I don't see any good coming from Spain's Historical Memory Law, the one that literally looks for the buried bodies from the past. A lot of nasty shit went down during the civil war - on both sides. Now that PSOE is in power, they are looking for all the nasty stuff that Franco did. As soon as PP gets back in there, will they start looking for the nasty stuff the communists did on behalf of the Republic?

If I am reading El Roto correctly, and that usually is not an easy task, it seems he also doesn't think the wounds from the war last through the generations.

Maybe it's time to, if not forgive or forget, time to move on and solve some present problems?