Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
I’m usually not inclined to science fiction- but having read the description I couldn’t just walk away:
“In a world where jobs are scarce, in a city where only 20% of the population is employed leaving 80% permanently out of work, a young woman, Izia, struggles to survive. She was born in what they call “the Zone”. It’s where all the jobless live, delineated by a Wall separating it from the City (where jobs still exist). Over time, tension has mounted between the two territories: some of the jobless have formed an uprising. This group, called the Activists, is stepping up acts of sabotage and pressure, and the balance of power has become tenuous. In an effort to calm things down, the Government has implemented a “Solidarity Job Act”: 10,000 inhabitants will be selected from the Zone to work in the City, and will be paid as a result. For Izia, this is the chance of a lifetime: she absolutely has to find a way to be recruited. She can finally earn some money, maybe even a lot of it, and use it to hire the services of a smuggler to help her and her son Noah escape to the “South”, where …”
I was speaking to a friend earlier this week about the economy in Spain and how the Trepalium concept isn’t as unrealistic as one first presumes. In the context of property ownership, it’s meant that the price of luxury property has gone up (despite the many difficulties in the country) while property at the lower end of the market has gone down. In some cases quite dramatically. The unemployment rate is still over 22%. That’s meant a race to the bottom for property owners in precarious financial situations who need to get their hands on some cash just to survive.
I used to joke that in Sotogrande houses weren’t priced according to square meterage but according to the owner’s net worth. I wonder if that’s the future of the world? An elite gets to arbitrarily set standards in which everything they have is worth a lot while everything other groups have is deemed worthless. Consider this beach, depending on which side you’re on your property is worth substantially more (or less) than your “neighbours.”
Same weather, same views, same public amenities, same roads, same distance from the airport, same supermarkets and pharmacies.