Thomas Trutschel/ Getty Images

Hay que volverse fiscal

LONDRES – Todos saben que sin dolor no hay ganancia. Pero también puede haber dolor sin ganancia -una lección que las poblaciones occidentales han venido aprendiendo a fuerza de golpes desde por lo menos 2012-. Años de austeridad fiscal en Estados Unidos, Europa y Japón no han logrado nada, así que es hora de que los gobiernos empiecen a gastar otra vez.

La propuesta será recibida con indignación por muchos gobiernos, especialmente, pero no exclusivamente, el de Alemania, y será descartada por los muchos candidatos políticos que consideran la deuda soberana, acumulada por los funcionarios a los que intentan derrocar, como una obra del diablo. Pero más allá de la ideología y del interés propio hay una verdad simple e inevitable: la austeridad no funciona.

El primer ministro japonés, Shinzo Abe, reconoció a regañadientes el fracaso de la austeridad cuando anunció el 1 de junio que su gobierno pospondría un incremento planeado del impuesto al consumo del país. Lejos de ayudar a controlar el déficit presupuestario y la enorme deuda pública de Japón, el alza del impuesto probablemente habría reducido los ingresos. Después de todo, el aumento anterior, implementado en abril de 2014, rápidamente hizo que la economía volviera a caer en una recesión.

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