La segunda Edad de Oro de los Estados Unidos

El distrito electoral más rico de los EU es el llamado distrito de las "medias de seda" en el lado Este de la ciudad de Nueva York, con un ingreso per cápita de 41,151 dólares al año. El distrito más pobre es uno compuesto en su mayoría por inmigrantes hispanos en Los Angeles, con un ingreso per cápita anual de 6,997 dólares. En 1973, el 20% más pobre de las familias estadounidenses tenía ingresos de 13,240 dólares al año en promedio (en dólares actuales). En 2000, el ingreso del 20% más pobre era el mismo: 13,320 dólares. En contraste, el 5% más rico de las familias estadounidenses en 1973 tenía un ingreso anual promedio de 149,150 dólares, y en 2000 era de 254,840. El aumento en la desigualdad fue tan grande que elevó el ingreso de los ricos en un 66% en el mismo lapso en que el de las clases medias creció sólo un 10% y el de los estratos bajos no creció.

Para los extranjeros, lo más peculiar de la creciente desigualdad en Estados Unidos es que muy pocos estadounidenses tienen objeciones. Seguramente una sociedad con desequilibrios en la distribución del ingreso está en peores condiciones que una donde los ingresos son más parejos. Diez mil dólares adicionales al año no elevan gran cosa el bienestar de un multimillonario, mientras que un déficit de esa cantidad tiene un enorme impacto en la forma en que vive una familia de clase media.

Si seguimos el principio utilitario del Premio Nóbel James Buchanan de que hay que evaluar el bienestar social de una sociedad imaginando que existe la misma oportunidad de ser pobre que de ser rico, es fácil concluir que la sociedad más igualitaria tiene un mejor conjunto de arreglos sociales y económicos. De ahí es fácil dar el salto a la postura de que (siempre y cuando los impuestos redistributivos no desaceleren el crecimiento económico) cuando la desigualdad aumenta, es el deber del gobierno fijar impuestos a los ricos y transferir el dinero a los pobres para equilibrar ese aumento.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/BZsSncP/es;
  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable


    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.