Today we tend to feed ourselves, not on well-articulated reflections or brainy speeches, but on headlines, slogans, what we used to call ejaculatory prayers and today are known as mantras. One of these invocations, commonly used in management, is the exhortation to think outside the box. It only produces its full effects in its English version: think outside the box. Let us try to apply it to the analysis of our situation.
The box, our immediate economic environment, is not looking good. A global recession is not inconceivable. We know that inflation, due in part to the unraveling of globalization and in part to the enormous increase in world liquidity, will force central banks to raise interest rates sooner or later, with the consequences everyone fears. Meanwhile, the salary tensions produced by inflation can feed back into it, creating one of those spirals that end in a crash, and leading to an atmosphere of social discontent. As if that were not enough, the war between the US and Russia that is being waged on the battlefield of Ukraine only makes things worse for Europe.
And that's just the foam of the days. Beneath the surface, Europe has realized that it is a very fragile land, with an economy based, like all advanced ones, on the availability of energy that it does not possess, and whose use is today drastically limited by the threat of climate change . Our industrial system, built over two centuries, will have to adapt to a low-energy world, and with it our way of life will change. We are facing a so-called energy transition whose severity we prefer not to analyze, so as not to come face to face with what will be the great problem of the coming decades: how to digest major adjustments that the free market will distribute very unequally.
Out of the box, things look different. Long supply chains have been revealed to be vulnerable; In addition, transport will be more expensive due to the increase in energy prices. This will encourage us to resort to closer suppliers for essential products. We will then discover one of our great assets, the emptied Spain: a land that other European countries do not have and that will become a scarce factor. That yes, it will be necessary to take care of it avoiding that it serves only to fatten other cattle, and it will be necessary to distribute better the value of the fruits of the earth. On the other hand, our energy situation is not bad: our economy is not very energy intensive (tourism spends less than industry), and our suppliers are not very conflictive (if we don't tickle them). Beyond the veil of the parliamentary spectacle, our economic policy, if it is not brilliant, is not catastrophic either: a temporary reduction in taxes does not seem like a bad idea, an income pact, essential in my opinion, seems to be within our reach today. It is not that we have to do very different things: we would go a long way by doing the usual things well.
Generosity is the only thing that can save our world from a bad end. Fortunately, our country is generous: our attitude towards refugees shows it. “Prodigals of their lives”, said Quevedo of the Spaniards, rightly so. That generosity will make resignations that will be difficult more bearable. In short, dear reader: when you see everything black, try, you too, to think outside the box.