France's new economic policy Bertrand Guay/Getty Images

Un nuevo rumbo para el liberalismo económico

GINEBRA – Desde la revolución agraria, el progreso tecnológico siempre ha alimentado fuerzas opuestas de dispersión y concentración. La primera ocurre con la erosión de viejos poderes y privilegios; la segunda, cuando se expande el poder y el alcance de quienes controlan las nuevas capacidades. La denominada Cuarta Revolución Industrial no será una excepción.

La tensión entre dispersión y concentración ya se está agudizando en todos los niveles de la economía. A lo largo de la década de 1990 y los comienzos del nuevo milenio, el comercio creció dos veces más rápido que el PIB, sacando de la pobreza a cientos de millones. Gracias a la globalización del capital y del conocimiento, los países fueron capaces de desplazar recursos a sectores más productivos y mejor remunerados. Todo esto contribuyó a la dispersión del poder de mercado.

Pero esta dispersión se produjo en paralelo a una concentración igualmente marcada. A nivel sectorial, un par de industrias clave –especialmente en los sectores financiero y de tecnologías de la información– lograron una creciente cuota de ganancias. Por ejemplo, en Estados Unidos el sector financiero genera solo el 4% del empleo, pero representa más del 25% de los beneficios empresariales. Y la mitad de las compañías estadounidenses que generan ganancias del 25% o más son firmas tecnológicas.

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