Faced with the few voices that are calling for dialogue, negotiation and the achievement of broad State consensus, the Government and the opposition engage in bitter and Manichaean discussions, which often border not on aggressiveness between them, but directly on the other. insult the citizen If in their fratricidal fight they take a good law or even worse, if with their irresponsibility they corrode the prestige of the institutions, bad luck.

Thus, in a truly surprising display of Adamism, at each rally President Sánchez seems to have invented the welfare state, accusing his conservative rivals of quickly pulling out the scissors when it comes to protecting the poor or pensioners, but of dragging feet when it is necessary to raise taxes on the rich. Nor did some populares fall short in their defamatory accusations against the Socialists or against the Generalitat, with messages loaded with hate, one day warning of the dangers of the return of the communists, the other denouncing an alleged ethnic supremacism in schools.

As if we were incapable of learning from the mistakes of the past, both seem determined to return to the history of the two Spains, written in black and white, or perhaps we should better say in blood. Fortunately, some of these arsonists will soon have to justify their hate speech in court. Others remain at ease sowing discord simply to keep their position.

The worst thing is that one has the impression that often behind this malignant rhetoric there is only the desire to hide the bad government. How else to justify, for example, the nonsense in which our authorities have left the AP-7, for decades a high-performance fast track, a symbol of Mediterranean progress, today turned into a mousetrap of traffic jams, fatal accidents and spending for the ministry ? Or how to interpret that one and the other argue about the benefits of raising taxes at will, while no one faces serious measures to contain spending? A few days ago, Xavier Graset denounced in RAC1 the nonsense of the youth cultural voucher, a measure designed to set fire to almost 200 million euros and which, curiously, has left close to 40% of the possible interested parties indifferent or directly excluded – thus it seems that they it has happened to about one hundred thousand young people–, because its processing “was more difficult than getting the baccalaureate”, according to an eighteen-year-old in the networks.

If governments love the middle and working classes so much, perhaps more than trying to inflate children with bonuses and gift vouchers, they could simply lower taxes for their parents and invest in education. This is not to mention other paternalistic occurrences such as the extension of free commuter trains for all of 2023, which will mean a transfer from the State to Renfe of 700 million and for the moment the service has only worsened, punishing the competitiveness of the bus alternatives. or by subway and indiscriminately subsidizing those who needed support and those who did not.

A few days ago, at lunch with a renowned industrial engineer from Barcelona, ​​I became interested in the evolution of the most capillary economy in our city. How is the processing of new activities going? I asked him. Little thing, he told me. For some time now my main source of business has not been processing licenses to start a business, but rather resolving complaints or inspections. Besides, he told me, no matter how well-meaning the district councilor on duty is, the bureaucratic machine is so sophisticated and callous that the City Council has become ungovernable.

This is what John Stuart Mill warned in his day that it was already happening even to the Tsar of Russia: “The tsar himself is impotent against the bureaucratic body; he can send each of the members to Siberia; but he cannot rule without them or against his will. If the Spanish modernization process of the eighties was based on consolidating the welfare state, but also on believing in a market economy open to the world and with few statist distortions, now we are living in different times. European directives, transpositions of regulations, fiscal arbitrariness and paternalistic policies cloud everything. At least while the budget lasts.