La economía de tecnología avanzada y de proximidad

LONDRES – Un informe reciente ha revelado que el patrimonio de las cinco familias más ricas de Gran Bretaña es mayor que el del 20 por ciento de las más pobres del país combinadas. Parte de la riqueza procede de nuevas empresas, pero dos de ellas están encabezadas por un duque y un conde cuyos antepasados eran propietarios de los campos por los que se extendió Londres en el siglo XIX.

La riqueza debida al terreno urbano no es un fenómeno exclusivo de Londres. Como muestra el reciente libro de Thomas Piketty El capital en el siglo XXI, en todas las economías avanzadas la riqueza acumulada ha aumentado rápidamente en comparación con los ingresos a lo largo de los 40 últimos años. En muchos países, la mayoría de esa riqueza –y la parte del león del aumento– corresponde a la propiedad inmobiliaria de viviendas y locales comerciales y la mayor parte de dicha riqueza no radica en el valor de los edificios, sino en el del terreno urbano sobre el que se encuentran.

Podría parecer extraño. Aunque vivimos en el mundo virtual de tecnología avanzada de la red Internet, el valor de la cosa más física –el terreno– no cesa de aumentar, pero no hay contradicción: el precio del terreno aumenta por los rápidos avances tecnológicos. En una época de tecnología de la información y la comunicación (TIC), es inevitable que valoremos lo que una economía con gran densidad de TIC no puede crear.

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