El dilema de los Estados Unidos sobre el empleo

BERKELEY – Siempre hay dos vías para impulsar el empleo a corto plazo. La primera consiste en impulsar la demanda de bienes y servicios y después sentarse a ver aumentar el empleo, a medida que las empresas contratan a trabajadores para hacer que los bienes y servicios atiendan dicha demanda. La segunda consiste en no preocuparse por la producción de bienes y servicios, sino intentar impulsar el empleo directamente mediante la contratación gubernamental directa.

La primera vía es mejor: no sólo se consiguen más puestos de trabajo, sino que, además, se obtienen más productos útiles. El problema radica en que no surte efecto muy rápidamente. Está sujeta a lo que Milton Freedman llamó “demoras largas y variables”. Así, las políticas encaminadas a impulsar el empleo al final, pongamos por caso, de este año debían haberse aplicado hace un año para que tuvieran tiempo de surtir su efecto completo.

Algunos países –China, por ejemplo– aplicaron, en efecto, esas políticas de creación de empleo hace un año y ya están viendo los beneficios. Otros, como los Estados Unidos, no lo hicieron y el desempleo sigue representando el 10 por ciento, aproximadamente.

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