Paul Lachine

¿Cuán capitalista es Estados Unidos?

CAMBRIDGE – Si la frontera del capitalismo es con el socialismo, sabemos por qué el mundo acierta cuando ve a Estados Unidos como fuertemente capitalista. La titularidad estatal es baja y se la considera una aberración cuando ocurre (como las absorciones por parte del gobierno de General Motors y Chrysler en los últimos años, de las cuales los funcionarios quieren salir a toda prisa). El gobierno interviene en la economía menos que en la mayoría de los países avanzados, y los principales programas sociales como la atención médica universal no están tan profundamente arraigados en Estados Unidos como en otras partes. 

Sin embargo, éstas no son las únicas dimensiones a tener en cuenta cuando se juzga cuán capitalista es Estados Unidos realmente. Consideremos hasta qué punto manda el capital -es decir, los accionistas- en las grandes empresas: si surge un conflicto entre los objetivos del capital y los de los gerentes, ¿quién gana?

Analizado de esta manera, el capitalismo de Estados Unidos se vuelve más ambiguo. La ley estadounidense les da más autoridad a los gerentes y a los directores corporativos que a los accionistas. Si los accionistas quieren decirles qué hacer a los directores -digamos, pedir prestado más dinero y expandir el negocio, o cerrar la fábrica deficitaria-, bueno, no pueden hacerlo. La ley es clara: la junta de directores de la corporación, no sus accionistas, rige el negocio.

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