Le test du Chamallow de l'économie mondiale

NEW YORK – L'économie mondiale est en train de donner des prémisses tumultueuses à l'année 2016. Les marchés boursiers sont en chute libre, les économies émergentes sont ébranlées par la forte baisse des prix des matières premières, les afflux de réfugiés continuent de déstabiliser l'Europe, la croissance de la Chine a nettement ralenti en réponse à une inversion des flux de capitaux et à une monnaie surévaluée et les États-Unis connaissent la paralysie politique. Quelques directeurs de banques centrales se battent pour maintenir l'économie mondiale.

Pour échapper à ce chaos, quatre principes doivent nous guider. Premièrement, le progrès économique mondial dépend d'un haut niveau épargne mondial et de forts investissements. Deuxièmement, il faut considérer les flux d'épargne et d'investissements d'un point de vue mondial et non plus national. Troisièmement, le plein emploi dépend de taux d'investissements élevés, qui correspondent à des taux d'épargne élevés. Quatrièmement, d'importants investissements privés de la part des entreprises dépendent d'importants investissements publics dans les infrastructures et dans le capital humain. Passons en revue chacun de ces points.

Tout d'abord, notre objectif mondial doit être le progrès économique, ce qui signifie de meilleures conditions de vie dans le monde entier. En effet, cet objectif a été inscrit dans les nouveaux Objectifs de Développement Durable adoptés septembre dernier par les 193 membres de l'Organisation des Nations Unies. Les progrès dépendent d'un taux élevé d'investissements mondiaux dans le renforcement des compétences, de la technologie et du stock de capital physique pour tirer vers le haut les niveaux de vie. En matière de développement économique, comme dans la vie, on n'a jamais rien sans rien : sans des niveaux élevés d'investissements dans le savoir-faire, les compétences, les machines et l'infrastructure durable, la productivité a tendance à baisser (principalement du fait de la dévalorisation), ce qui fait chuter les niveaux de vie.

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