Mitos y realidades de Europa

Tras siglos de audaces exploraciones en los ámbitos de la ciencia, la navegación y la ingeniería, la Europa Continental del siglo XX dio inicio a importantes innovaciones sociales. Se inventaron nuevas instituciones y políticas económicas bajo la creencia de que una economía organizada de manera más racional y humana permitiría una mayor productividad y salarios más altos, más satisfacción laboral, menor desempleo, mayor participación y depresiones menos intensas. Esto ha tenido como resultado una economía de mercado que mantiene la propiedad privada, pero que tiene una apariencia muy diferente a la de otras economías de mercado como la de Estados Unidos.

La característica economía de Europa Continental se organiza, en términos generales, en torno a las líneas corporativistas surgidas en los años de entreguerra (1919-1939). Un sistema tripartito formado por corporaciones de gran tamaño y estrechamente ligadas, grandes sindicatos industriales y el gobierno media en los conflictos y bloquea los cambios a través barreras para la entrada, el control de las licencias y normas, la regulación de los grandes bancos, las llamadas "acciones de oro" y, en algunos países, la propiedad estatal de empresas de importancia clave.

El corporativismo de entreguerras debilitó a los sindicatos, incluso dejando a las huelgas fuera de la ley. Hoy en día les da poder mediante la concertazione , la co-determinación, y un derecho irrestricto a la huelga. Pero mientras esto brinda protección contra el abuso de las empresas y "externalidades" que causan daños ambientales, también produce una economía más politizada y reglamentada que en el caso de las estructuras capitalistas atomizadas y descentralizadas de Estados Unidos.

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