Today we tend to feed, not on well-articulated reflections or savvy speeches, but on headlines, slogans, what we used to call ejaculations, and are now known as mantras. One of those invocations, commonly used in management, is the exhortation to think outside the box. It only has full effect in the English version: think outside the box. We try to apply it to the analysis of our situation.

The box, our immediate economic environment, does not look good. A global recession is not inconceivable. Inflation, due in part to the unrest of globalization and in part to the huge increase in global liquidity, we know will sooner or later force central banks to raise interest rates, with the consequences that everyone tem. Meanwhile, wage pressures caused by inflation can feed back, creating one of those spirals that end in a slap in the face, and leading to an atmosphere of social discontent. To make matters worse, the war between the United States and Russia on the battlefield of Ukraine is only making things worse for Europe.

And that’s just the foam of the day. 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 have, and whose use today is 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 will change our way of life. We are facing a so-called energy transition, the severity of which we prefer not to analyze, so as not to face what will be the big problem of the coming decades: how to make great adjustments that the free market will distribute very unevenly.

Out of the box, things look different. Long supply chains have been shown to be vulnerable; in addition, transportation will be more expensive due to rising energy prices. This will encourage us to turn to nearby suppliers for basic necessities. 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. However, care must be taken to prevent it from being used only to fatten the cattle of others, and the value of the fruits of the earth must be better distributed. 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 conflicted (if we do not tickle them). Beyond the veil of the parliamentary spectacle, our economic policy, if not brilliant, is not catastrophic either: a temporary reduction in taxes does not seem like a bad idea, an income pact, indispensable in my opinion, seems that today we have it within reach. It’s not that we have to do very different things: we should move forward with the usual ones.

Generosity is the only thing that can save our world from a bad end. Fortunately, our country is generous: our attitude towards refugees proves it. “Proud of their lives,” said Quevedo of the Spaniards, rightly so. This generosity will make more bearable waivers that will be difficult. In short, dear reader: when you see everything black, try to think outside the box.