En defensa de los fontaneros polacos

Los partidarios del modelo social europeo afirman que lo que lo distingue es la importancia que en él se concede a la "cohesión social" y, naturalmente, tan difícil resulta oponerse a la cohesión como a la amistad, pero la cuestión que de verdad importa es la de qué políticas funcionan mejor.

Las políticas existentes para lograr la cohesión social se basan en la creencia de que, si no se corrige, el libre funcionamiento de las fuerzas del mercado provocará grandes disparidades en ingresos y con ello intensificará el conflicto social, pero los estudios hechos revelan por lo general que la mayoría de las transferencias de ingresos llevadas a cabo por los Estados se producen dentro de la clase media, mientras que sólo una proporción relativamente pequeña pasan de los ricos a los pobres. De hecho, algunas transferencias siguen el camino opuesto. Por ejemplo, muchos sistemas de pensiones transfieren dinero de los pobres a la clase media, simplemente porque los ricos suelen tener una vida más larga.

Lo que la mayoría de los países europeos obtienen a cambio de su gasto social es gran cantidad de prestaciones estatales y no una gran reducción de la desigualdad social, de modo que unos niveles inferiores de gasto social podrían entrañar sólo un aumento relativamente pequeño de desigualdad y conflicto social. Además, si los europeos hicieran una mejor asignación del gasto social, podrían lograr una mayor reducción de la desigualdad con un nivel inferior de transferencias sociales.

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