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Combatiendo la pobreza en Estados Unidos

BERKELEY – De 2005 a 2014, el ingreso real de dos tercios de los hogares en 25 economías desarrolladas se mantuvo sin cambios, o incluso decayó. Sólo después de una intervención gubernamental muy agresiva en impuestos y transferencias algunos países lograron, por lo menos, que las familias no se vieran perjudicadas.

Esta experiencia conlleva lecciones para países como Estados Unidos, donde la desigualdad y la distribución de ingresos causan preocupación en vísperas de las elecciones presidenciales y parlamentarias de noviembre. ¿Qué puede aprender Estados Unidos de lo que funciona en otras partes?

Estados Unidos es un caso aparte a nivel global en lo que concierne a asociar gran parte de su red de seguridad social con el empleo. El gasto en previsión social promedia el 23% del PIB en Europa, pero apenas el 16% en Estados Unidos. Y Estados Unidos también está especialmente lejos del resto en lo que concierne a las familias: solamente otros tres países -Tonga, Surinam y Papúa Nueva Guinea- carecen de una política nacional para la licencia familiar paga.

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