workers car factory Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty Images

Des mesures pratiques face à des temps révolutionnaires

OXFORD – Alors même que se réunissent les décideurs financiers mondiaux dans le cadre des assemblées de printemps du Fonds monétaire international et de la Banque mondiale, les travailleurs du monde entier sont nombreux à exiger un changement radical, estimant que leur voix n’est plus entendue. Ceux qui sont censés les représenter ne doivent plus ignorer cette colère et cette frustration.

D’après le baromètre de confiance Edelman 2017, la confiance de l’opinion publique dans l’ordre établi s’effondre à travers le monde, en raison d’une inquiétude généralisée face à la mondialisation, à l’innovation, à l’immigration, à l’érosion des valeurs sociales, et à la corruption. Dans le même temps, la réponse apportée par les élites, qui se considèrent comme les gardiennes de la croissance économique, aggrave parfois la situation. Si ces élites pensent pouvoir apaiser les craintes de l’opinion en se contentant d’exposer les bienfaits de l’actuel système économique mondial, ou de modifier les politiques existantes un peu plus en faveur des laissés pour compte, le réveil risque d’être brutal.

Le FMI, la Banque mondiale et l’Organisation mondiale du commerce ont publié ce mois-ci un rapport conjoint, qui fait l’éloge des échanges commerciaux en tant que moteur de croissance de la productivité, de la concurrence, et d’un plus large choix pour les consommateurs. L’argument formulé par ce rapport en faveur du libre-échange n’est pas nouveau, de même que ne date pas d’hier la recommandation qu’il énonce et qui consiste à employer des « politiques actives liées au marché du travail » afin d’amortir le choc des pertes d’emplois et d’une baisse des moyens de subsistance. La nouveauté, en revanche, c’est que l’éternelle répétition de ces affirmations, sans réponse aux préoccupations plus profondes des populations, risque aujourd’hui de faire plus de mal que de bien.

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