Le plan de relance est-il inutile?

La lecture de la charge de l’économiste de Harvard Robert Barro contre le plan de relance américain intelligemment développée dans son article paru récemment dans le The Wall Street Journal est tout à fait réconfortante, surtout après avoir supporté les inepties de journaleux républicains dénués de déontologie et d’universitaires ignares qui prétendent chacun à leur manière, que les principes de base de l’économie font qu’il est impossible que les décisions de dépenses prises par le gouvernement puissent altérer le flot de l’activité économique.

Pour autant, il me semble que Barro a mal interprété comment son propre raisonnement s’applique à la situation actuelle. Barro écrit qu’il « considère que l’effet multiplicateur de dépense est de 0,4 sur une année et de 0,6 sur une période de deux ans.... Le multiplicateur [ de l’imposition ] est aux alentours de moins 1,1.... [Donc,] le PIB serait supérieur de 120 milliards de dollars en 2009 et de 180 milliards en 2010..., » et de 60 milliards en 2011.

Cela signifie qu’environ 1,3 millions de personnes supplémentaires auront un emploi aux Etats-Unis en 2009, 1,9 millions de plus en 2010, et 700 mille de plus en 2011. Supposons que ce à quoi le gouvernement a dépensé l’argent soit équivalent pour nous en moyenne à la valeur des deux tiers des dépenses effectuées par le secteur privé. Dans ce cas, les 600 milliards de dollars dépensés auraient rapporté environ 810 milliards de dollars d’affaires pour un profit social de 210 milliards de dollars (et ceux qui seraient autrement au chômage conjoncturel ne valorisent pas tant que cela leur temps de loisir perdu).

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