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Spain's unemployment numbers are starting to look like those of Greece.

From the BBC:

Spain unemployment hits record high

Spain's unemployment rate soared to a new record of 27.2% of the workforce in the first quarter of 2013, according to official figures.

The total number of unemployed people in Spain has now passed the six million figure, although the rate of the increase has slowed...

"These figures are worse than expected and highlight the serious situation of the Spanish economy as well as the shocking decoupling between the real and the financial economy," said Jose Luis Martinez, strategist at Citi...
[Emphasis added.]

Just using "round numbers," let's say that 1/3 of the population is unemployed.

Hypothetically, it is not completely far-fetched to imagine 1/3 of the people in a country unemployed, and another 1/3 working for the government or the military. That basically would leave only 1/3 of the adult population earning a "private sector" income to somehow pay to feed, clothe, shelter, provide medical care for, educate and pay the debts for not just themselves, but also for the other 2/3.

These are not "real numbers," but they are not too far beyond what one might imagine some countries to be facing in a slowing "real" (as opposed to financial) economy.

Of course, if there's plenty of "liquidity," it may be possible to inflate the wages of the working 1/3 sufficiently to counteract the deflationary effect of the massive burden created by the other 2/3 including the taxes and debt load. Yeah, I'm aware that the 1/3 working for government and the military are also paying taxes.

Still, one cannot imagine such a hypothetical situation continuing indefinitely without some very serious consequences to the financial economy and some serious social disruptions to the real economy.

Is this where the "developed world" is heading? I certainly hope not.

My crystal ball is cloudy and I probably should be glad that it is.

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