La guerra de China contra la disparidad

BEIJING – Un nuevo objetivo importante del “Plan Quinquenal para el Desarrollo Económico y Social” que China acaba de dar a conocer es impulsar la tasa de crecimiento del ingreso (disponible) de los hogares para que iguale la tasa de crecimiento del PBI del país. La razón es simple: en los últimos 10 años aproximadamente, el ingreso de los hogares de China creció más lentamente que el PBI, convirtiéndolo en una proporción cada vez menor del ingreso nacional total.

Muchos problemas estructurales importantes resultaron de esta tendencia. El ingreso rezagado de los hogares puso freno al consumo privado, aunque la economía tenga la capacidad de producir más bienes de consumo. También hizo subir los ahorros corporativos, porque las ganancias de las empresas están creciendo más rápido que el ingreso de los hogares (y, en ese sentido, más rápido que el PBI general). Eso, a su vez, puede causar una mayor inversión o burbujas de activos, ya que las empresas intentan reinvertir sus ahorros en alguna parte. Y el ingreso rezagado de los hogares claramente contribuye al excedente comercial de China, porque un consumo doméstico bajo tiende a mantener las exportaciones más altas que las importaciones.

Sin embargo, hay más problemas relacionados con el ingreso desproporcionadamente pequeño de China, en especial la creciente disparidad de ingresos. De hecho, no todos los “hogares” de China se han beneficiado de la misma manera del rápido crecimiento del PBI. Algunos grupos sociales, como los trabajadores calificados, los ingenieros y los empleados del sector financiero, han visto crecer fuertemente sus salarios. Los ciudadanos urbanos –las personas con un registro formal como residentes urbanos- también han percibido subas en los ingresos, debido a que el gobierno se hace cargo del sistema de educación y de la red de seguridad social. Y, como las ganancias corporativas crecieron, aquellos que comparten las ganancias de capital de una manera u otra también han visto crecer sus ingresos más rápido que el promedio nacional.

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