Paul Lachine

Consolidadores frente a estimuladores

LONDRES – Todos los sistemas intelectuales se basan en supuestos que no es necesario explicar, porque todos los miembros de esa comunidad intelectual particular los aceptan. Esos axiomas “profundos” están implícitos también en la economía, pero, si se dejan sin examinar, pueden conducir a los encargados de la formulación de políticas a un callejón sin salida. Eso es lo que está ocurriendo actualmente con las medidas adoptadas en un país tras otro para reducir drásticamente el gasto y disminuir los déficits presupuestarios.

La misión principal que John Maynard Keynes se fijó al escribir su Teoría general del empleo, el interés y el dinero fue la de descubrir los axiomas profundos subyacentes a la ortodoxia económica de su época, que daba por sentada la imposibilidad de un desempleo en masa persistente. La pregunta que formuló sobre sus oponentes fue la siguiente: “¿Qué han de creer para afirmar que el desempleo en masa persistente es imposible, que el ‘estímulo’ estatal para aumentar el empleo no puede ser positivo?” Al responder esa pregunta, Keynes reconstruyó la teoría ortodoxa... y después pasó a desmontarla.

En la actualidad, pese a la revolución keynesiana, la misma pregunta requiere una respuesta. ¿Qué deben creer sobre la economía quienes piden una rápida “consolidación fiscal” en medio de un gran desempleo para dar coherencia a su política?

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