Europa y su lapsus de sentido común

NUEVA YORK – Por fin, los Estados Unidos está mostrando señales de recuperación de la crisis que estalló a finales de la administración del presidente George W. Bush, cuando la casi implosión del sistema financiero conmocionó a todo el mundo. Pero, no es una recuperación fuerte; a lo sumo, la brecha entre donde la economía habría estado y donde está hoy no se está ensanchando. Si se está cerrando, lo está haciendo muy lentamente; los daños causados por la crisis parecen ser a largo plazo.

Sin embargo, podría ser peor. Al otro lado del Atlántico, hay pocas señales de, incluso, una recuperación modesta al estilo estadounidense: la brecha entre donde Europa está y donde habría estado en ausencia de la crisis sigue creciendo. En la mayoría de países de la Unión Europea, el PIB per cápita es menor al de antes de la crisis. Una media década perdida se está convirtiendo rápidamente en una década entera perdida. Detrás de las frías estadísticas, las vidas se arruinan, los sueños se desvanecen, y las familias se desintegran (o no se forman) a la par de que el estancamiento – que llega a ser depresión en algunos lugares – se arrastra año tras año.

La UE tiene una población con gran talento y alto nivel de educación. Sus países miembros tienen marcos legales sólidos y sociedades que funcionan bien. Antes de la crisis, la mayoría de estos países incluso tenían economías que funcionan bien. En algunos lugares, la productividad por hora – o la tasa de su crecimiento – era una de las más altas del mundo.

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