O estranho caso da desigualdade norte-americana

BERKELEY – A menos que surja algum problema inesperado em 2014, o nível de PIB real per capita nos Estados Unidos irá igualar e superar o nível registado em 2007. Isto não são boas notícias.

Para percebermos porquê, consideremos que durante os dois ciclos económicos que precederam a crise de 2007, o PIB real per capita da economia norte-americana cresceu a um ritmo médio anual de 2%; na verdade, durante um século ou mais, o PIB real per capita da economia norte-americana cresceu a esse ritmo. Assim, a produção dos EUA encontra-se actualmente sete anos - 14% - abaixo do nível razoavelmente previsto em 2007. E não há qualquer esperança de que a economia norte-americana recupere ou se aproxime do ritmo de crescimento que tinha antes da crise financeira de 2008. O único consolo - que é, na verdade, um consolo desolador - é que a Europa e o Japão apresentam um resultado consideravelmente pior em relação ao parâmetro de referência de 2007.

O desempenho insuficiente da economia per capita anual dos EUA em 2014 ascenderá, assim, a 9.000 dólares. Isto significa 9.000 dólares por pessoa, por ano, em bens de consumo duráveis não adquiridos, férias não gozadas, investimentos não efectuados, e assim por diante. Até ao final de 2014, as perdas cumulativas per capita resultantes da crise e das suas consequências totalizarão cerca de 60.000 dólares.

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