trump hands Mandel Ngan/ Getty Images

No perder de vista la perspectiva económica más amplia

BERKELEY – Hace poco escuché al ex Director General de la Organización Internacional del Comercio, Pascal Lamy, parafrasear un proverbio budista clásico en que Huineng, Sexto Patriarca Budista de China, dice a la monja Wu Jincang: “Cuando el filósofo apunta a la luna, el necio le mira el dedo”. Lamy añadía que “El capitalismo de mercado es la luna. La globalización es el dedo”.

Ahora que en Occidente va en ascenso el sentimiento antiglobalización, este ha sido un año de mucho mirar dedos. En el referendo del Brexit del Reino Unido, los “pequeños ingleses” (o “Little Englanders”) votaron por abandonar la UE, y en Estados Unidos Donald Trump ganó la presidencia porque convenció a suficientes votantes de estados cruciales de que “volvería a hacer grande a Estados Unidos”, no en menor medida negociando “acuerdos” de comercio muy distintos para el país.

Pensemos como guía cómo se ve hoy la luna de la política económica, especialmente con respecto al crecimiento y la igualdad. Para comenzar, la innovación tecnológica en áreas como el procesamiento de la información, la robótica y la biotecnología sigue acelerándose a un ritmo notable. Pero el crecimiento de la productividad en los países del Atlántico Norte ha caído desde el 2% al que nos habíamos acostumbrado desde 1870 a cerca del 1% actual. El aumento de la productividad es un importante indicador económico porque mide la reducción interanual de los recursos o la fuerza de trabajo necesarios para alcanzar el mismo nivel de producción económica.

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