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Repenser la mobilité de l’emploi

PRINCETON – L’année écoulée restera dans les mémoires comme une période de révolte contre ce que le président élu américain Donald Trump se plaît à qualifier de mondialisme. Les mouvements populistes ont ciblé les « experts » et les « élites » qui se demandent aujourd’hui comment ils auraient pu gérer différemment ces forces que sont la mondialisation et l’innovation technologique.

Le consensus qui s’est fait jour est que les populations et les communautés déplacées par ces forces devraient être dédommagées, peut-être même au moyen d’un revenu de base inconditionnel. Mais cette stratégie comporte de nombreux dangers. Il est probable que des individus rémunérés pour des tâches vides de sens, ou pour aucun travail du tout, deviennent encore plus déconnectés et marginalisés. Des régions subventionnées uniquement parce qu’elles sont en perte de vitesse pourraient revendiquer une plus grande autonomie et ensuite devenir vindicatives lorsque les conditions ne s’améliorent pas.

De simples transferts monétaires ne sont donc pas suffisants. Les êtres humains sont ingénieux et adaptables, mais seulement dans certaines circonstances ; nous devons par conséquent continuer à rechercher des occasions durables qui permettent à chacun de contribuer de manière créative et utile à l’économie. A cette fin, nous devons nous tourner vers l’histoire et étudier le sort des « perdants » des précédentes périodes de mondialisation technologique rapide.

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