china rural village Zhang Peng/LightRocket/Getty Images

¿El fin de la pobreza en China?

BEIJING – Puede que una de las estadísticas más citadas sobre China sea la cantidad de ciudadanos a los que se ha sacado de la pobreza en los últimos 35 años. Son más de 800 millones: una cifra enorme y una hazaña extraordinaria. De hecho, ningún otro país ha logrado tal nivel de reducción de la pobreza en tan corto período. Pero ¿qué ocurre con los millones de chinos que han quedado atrás?

El gobierno de China se ha comprometido a terminar la tarea, con el objetivo de reducir la pobreza rural a cero para 2020. Las autoridades manifestaron por primera vez el compromiso en las Naciones Unidas en 2015, y lo han reiterado en ocasiones oficiales posteriores. Pero cumplir esa promesa -que hoy implicaría mejorar el bienestar de unos 45 millones de personas, el equivalente a la población entera de Sudán- tendrá importantes costes.

La reducción de la pobreza, como tantos esfuerzos importantes, está sujeta a la ley del rendimiento decreciente: cuanto más se hace algo, menos productivos son los movimientos. Piénsese en dar cuerda a un reloj: mientras más cuerda se da, más resistencia se acumula en el muelle principal y más energía se necesita para mover el eje la misma distancia.

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