Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images

Una política tóxica contra una economía mejor

NUEVA YORK – La relación entre la política y la economía está cambiando. Los políticos de los países avanzados están trabados en conflictos absurdos y a menudo tóxicos, en vez de seguir las recomendaciones de cada vez más economistas que coinciden en el modo de poner fin a este largo período de crecimiento escaso y desigual. Hay que revertir la tendencia antes de que paralice estructuralmente al mundo avanzado (y se engulla también a las economías emergentes).

Obviamente, que haya desacuerdo entre los políticos no es nada nuevo. Pero hasta hace poco, se suponía que si los economistas profesionales llegaban a un consenso tecnocrático en relación con determinadas medidas, la dirigencia política prestaría atención a sus recomendaciones. Incluso si partidos políticos más radicales trataban de impulsar una agenda diferente, otras fuerzas poderosas (ya se trate de la capacidad de persuasión de los gobiernos del G7, los mercados de capitales privados o las condiciones para obtener crédito del FMI y el Banco Mundial) se encargarían casi siempre de asegurar el triunfo final de la estrategia consensual.

Por ejemplo, en la última década del siglo que pasó y la primera del actual, las políticas de gran parte del mundo se guiaron por el denominado Consenso de Washington. Todos los países (desde Estados Unidos hasta una multitud de economías emergentes) aplicaron políticas de libre comercio, privatización, mayor uso de mecanismos de precios, desregulación del sector financiero y reformas fiscales y monetarias con un fuerte énfasis en el lado de la oferta. Los organismos multilaterales adoptaron el Consenso de Washington y así ayudaron a difundirlo e impulsar un proceso general de globalización económica y financiera.

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