Le fossé croissant des inégalités et la démocratie aux USA

BERKELEY – S'il n'y a pas de mauvaise surprise en 2014, aux USA le PIB réel par habitant sera supérieur à ce qu'il était en 2007. Mais ce n'est pas une bonne nouvelle.

Pour comprendre pourquoi, il ne faut pas oublier que durant les deux cycles des affaires qui ont précédé le ralentissement de 2007, le PIB réel par habitant augmentait au rythme moyen de 2% par an - il augmentait même à ce rythme depuis une centaine d'années. Or la production des USA est aujourd'hui inférieure de 14% à ce que l'on pouvait raisonnablement espérer en 2007, soit un retard de 7 ans. Et rien à l'horizon ne laisse présager que la croissance de l'économie américaine va se rapprocher du niveau qui était le sien avant la crise financière de 2008. Une seule consolation, une maigre consolation : comparée à 2007, la situation de l'Europe et du Japon est encore pire

Aussi les dépenses devraient-elles diminuer de 9 000 dollars par habitant aux USA en 2014. Autrement dit les Américains consommeront moins, prendront moins de vacances ou pas du tout, et investiront moins, tout cela représentant une baisse de dépenses de 9 000 dollars par habitant. Fin 2014, les pertes cumulées dues à la crise s'élèveront à 60 000 dollars par habitant.

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