Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Poner a las personas primero en Europa

PARÍS – El mismo tipo de descontento populista que dio impulso al Brexit en el Reino Unido está avanzando en toda Europa, lo que sugiere que las autoridades han perdido de vista el objetivo central del proyecto europeo: asegurar el bienestar de todos los europeos. Como lo expresara el primer Informe de Desarrollo Humano de las Naciones Unidas en 1990: “Las personas son la verdadera riqueza de una nación”.

La mejor manera de invertir en el capital humano de un país o región es a través de la equidad social. En su magistral La idea de la justicia, Amartya Sen concluye que para alcanzar una verdadera equidad social no se requiere un trato igualitario para todos, sino más bien un trato no igualitario que favorezca a los pobres y a los desfavorecidos. La mera equidad en las finanzas públicas o ante la ley no basta si no consideramos también los diferentes puntos de partida de las personas y grupos en la sociedad. Reconociendo este punto, los sucesivos informes de la ONU desde 1990 han recalcado que tanto las economías como las sociedades son más sólidas cuando las políticas públicas ponen el bienestar de la gente en primer lugar.

Sin embargo, esta perspectiva todavía no ha arraigado en la elite de formulación de políticas de la UE, donde economistas y políticos bienintencionados a menudo creen estar haciendo lo correcto al equilibrar presupuestos y poner límites al gasto, por lo general mediante recortes a la sanidad, la educación y la infraestructura. Con poca evidencia empírica, creen que si hoy se es prudente en lo fiscal se logrará una economía más sólida mañana.

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