Exuberancia Irracional Latinoamericana

MONTEVIDEO – América Latina está llegando al final de un ciclo extraordinario de crecimiento que ha transformado gran parte del continente, especialmente a los países exportadores de materias primas. Pero a medida que el auge se disipa, se hace más evidente una profunda y debilitante deficiencia: los inadecuados sistemas educativos de la región. Esta deficiencia socava las perspectivas económicas del continente a largo plazo, la estabilidad social, la lucha contra la pobreza y la exclusión social.

Estas advertencias han sido oscurecidas en los últimos años por titulares que destacaban las elevadas cifras de crecimiento del PBI. Desde 2004 a 2011 la región casi duplicó su tasa de crecimiento promedio de largo plazo. Este período de expansión sostenido fue aún más notable porque interrumpió medio siglo de decadencia relativa, cuando el ingreso per cápita de América Latina en relación a los Estados Unidos pasó de ser alrededor del 50% en 1950 al 23% en 2004.

La aceleración del crecimiento económico, el aumento de los ingresos privados y públicos y una política de redistribución activa en la última década, han contribuido a reducir las tasas de pobreza en 13 puntos porcentuales y la extrema pobreza en 5 puntos porcentuales. Esto ha extendido la clase media (medida por el ingreso de los hogares), lo que a su vez ha ayudado a la región a consolidar la democracia.

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