قصة اقتصاد أميركي، وآخر أميركي أيضاً

نيويورك ـ رغم إعلان الولايات المتحدة مؤخراً عن نمو في الناتج المحلي الإجمالي أثناء الربع الثالث من هذا العام بلغ 3,5%، وهو ما أوحى بأن أشد موجة ركود تشهدها البلاد منذ الكساد الأعظم قد انتهت، فإن الاقتصاد الأميركي في الواقع أضعف كثيراً مما توحي به البيانات الرسمية. ولكن القياسات الرسمية للناتج المحلي الإجمالي قد تبالغ على نحو صارخ في تقدير النمو الاقتصادي حيث أنها تعجز عن التعامل مع حقيقة مفادها أن المشاعر المرتبطة بعالم الأعمال والتي تسود بين الشركات الصغيرة سيئة للغاية، وأن ناتج هذه الشركات ما زال يسجل هبوطاً حاداً مستمراً. والواقع أن الناتج المحلي الإجمالي في الربع الثالث ـ إذا تم تصحيحه وفقاً لهذه العوامل ـ ربما يكون 2% وليس 3,5%.

إن المشكلة التي تعاني منها الولايات المتحدة في الوقت الحاضر تتلخص في ازدواج اقتصادها. فهناك اقتصاد أصغر يتعافى ببطء واقتصاد أكبر ما زال يمر بدورة هبوط عميقة ومستمرة.

ولنتأمل معاً الحقائق التالية: رغم أن معدل البطالة طبقاً للتقارير الرسمية الأميركية قد بلغ 10,2% بالفعل، فإن الرقم يقفز إلى 17,5% إذا أضفنا إليه العمال المحبطين والعمال بدوام جزئي. وفي حين تفيد البيانات الواردة من الشركات إلى أن الخسائر في الوظائف بلغت ستمائة ألف وظيفة أثناء الأشهر الثلاثة الأخيرة، فإن دراسات المسح للأسر الأميركية، والتي تتضمن العاملين لحسابهم الخاص وصغار المقاولين، تشير إلى أن تلك الخسائر تتجاوز المليونين.

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