La deuda y el declive de Estados

MILÁN – Los italianos y otros europeos tienen serios problemas para enfrentar sus propias deudas nacionales, pública y privada, por lo que puede parecer presuntuoso que uno de ellos hable del grave y creciente problema de la deuda de los Estados Unidos. No obstante, en la actualidad las realidades fiscales a ambos lados del Atlántico son muy similares, y sólo la persistente confianza en la promesa de EE.UU. mantiene viva la expectativa de muchos europeos de que algún gran golpe de efecto solucione la nefasta situación de endeudamiento.

Por supuesto, muchos estadounidenses reconocen la escala de la deuda de su país. El Almirante Mike Mullen, Presidente del Alto Mando Conjunto y, por ende, el militar estadounidense de más alto rango, declaró recientemente: "el mayor peligro para la seguridad de los Estados Unidos radica en la deuda nacional". Cuatro de diez estadounidenses están de acuerdo con él, mientras menos de tres de cada diez piensan que el terrorismo o Irán son más peligrosos.

El estatus de Gran Potencia de Estados Unidos siempre ha estado vinculado a su nivel de deuda. De hecho, fue la ausencia de deuda lo que marcó su surgimiento como potencia mundial entre 1914 y 1917. Estados Unidos pasó de deber 3 mil millones de dólares (principalmente a Gran Bretaña) a ser un acreedor neto por cerca de la misma cantidad, gracias a los 6 mil millones de dólares en créditos de guerra otorgados a los aliados occidentales. Los 3 mil millones de dólares en créditos para la reconstrucción europea de posguerra cimentaron el estatus de EE.UU. como principal nación acreedora del mundo, con su superávit de cerca del 8% del PGB de la época.

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