Rich and poor Peter Parks/Getty Images

Confrontar la amenaza global a la democracia

OXFORD – En todo el mundo, los populistas están atrayendo votos con sus promesas de proteger a la gente común de la dura realidad de la globalización. No se puede esperar que el establishment democrático cumpla con este objetivo, aseguran, ya que está demasiado ocupado en proteger a los ricos -un hábito que la globalización no hizo más que intensificar.

Durante décadas, la globalización prometió traer beneficios para todos. En una escala internacional, facilitó el ascenso de los tigres asiáticos y de los países de los BRICS (Brasil, Rusia, India, China y Sudáfrica), produjo un crecimiento rápido en toda África y facilitó la bonanza en los países desarrollados hasta 2007. También creó nuevas oportunidades y aumentó el crecimiento al interior de los países. Pero desde la crisis de 2008, muchos países ricos se han visto cercados por las medidas de austeridad, las economías asiáticas se han desacelerado, el progreso de los BRICS se ha detenido y muchos países africanos han vuelto a endeudarse.

Todo esto ha contribuido a una creciente desigualdad, que hoy alimenta el descontento. Emmanuel Saez y Gabriel Zucman calculan que en Estados Unidos la brecha de riqueza ya es mayor que en cualquier otro momento desde la Gran Depresión: hoy casi la mitad de la riqueza del país está en manos del 1% más rico de los hogares.

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