Barcelona is a wonderful economic capital, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the mountain Tibidabo. The thousand facets of mosaic that decorate its most famous buildings reflect it perfectly, as it crystallises diversity, warmth, and beauty – the reasons why this city imposed itself as an evidence for me to carry out my Erasmus year.
Can money buy happiness? The urban dictionary defines greed as “the root of all evil”, but maybe greed is nothing more than the pursuit of happiness and does not merit such a bad reputation. Then again, perhaps the things that money can’t buy are what truly lead to happiness.
Weed lover’s Paradise, entrepreneurs profit spree, the marijuana industry has most everyone seeing green.
By the first semester of 2018 recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada. Besides being a weed lover’s paradise, it represents a huge investment opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors. According to cannabis research firm ArcView, legal marijuana sales in North America are expected to grow 26% annually through 2021, a market worth nearly $22 billion. Globally, this number could reach $200 billion. As reported by the Brightfield Group, together the US and Canada will make up more than 86% of global cannabis sales in 2021. European markets will follow with 12% of sales, dominated by Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.
It should not come as a surprise that there is a problem with gender representation in the field of economics. At the American Economic Association meeting this January, during an mostly-woman panel, researcher after researcher presented their work revealing patterns of gender discrimination in our discipline and, for the first time, the leaders of the AEA made an announcement that they would take these concerns more seriously.
Whereas the international media considered the German election boring and prearranged, the outcome in fact contained dramatic results. At first sight, nothing much changed: Chancellor Angela Merkel will stay in office and appears to be a constant in German politics. The person Merkel seems to matter whereas the other parties appear to be negligible variables and the distribution of seats in parliament a sideshow. Building a new government will prove a challenge however, with a far-right party in the parliament for the first time since 1949 holding nearly 12.5% of all seats.
No one putting a foot in Barcelona can get away from Catalan culture. No one can skip the “calçots -with their sauce, please-”, la “sardana”, the “Castells” and the many other things that differentiate Catalonia from the rest of Spain. Yet, no one that goes to Galicia could miss Galician, or miss a “Queimada”. No one going to Andalusia could miss the different accent, nor the “feria de Abril”, or the “migas de la alpujarra.” Evidently there is no such thing as a homogeneous Spanish culture. As Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the opposition, said just a few weeks ago, it is a “nation of nations.” Though this might be disputed by many, no one can deny that Spain is formed by regions, or autonomous communities, as is stated in the constitution. These regions have their own voice in education and public health, some even have their own regional police (Mossos or the ertzaintza) and many have substantial control over tax revenues. Yet these regional powers are not universal and vary considerably. Certainly, there are a number of regions that match the Oxford Dictionary definition of nationhood: “A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.” No one that knows about the Iberian history could rightfully deny this, though of course some of them will.
“Our greatest opportunities are now global (…) like spreading prosperity and freedom, promoting peace and understanding, lifting people out of poverty, and accelerating science. Our greatest challenges also need global responses (…) like ending terrorism, fighting climate change, and preventing pandemics”