La democracia en el siglo XXI

NUEVA YORK – La recepción en Estados Unidos, y en otras economías avanzadas, del reciente libro de Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Centuryda testimonio de la cada vez mayor preocupación sobre la creciente desigualdad. El libro de Piketty refuerza aún más la colección ya abrumadora de pruebas sobre la vertiginosa subida de la proporción de ingresos y riqueza en la parte más alta de la distribución del ingreso y la riqueza.

El libro de Piketty, además, ofrece una perspectiva diferente sobre los 30 o más años posteriores a la Gran Depresión y a la Segunda Guerra Mundial: ve a este período como una anomalía histórica, tal vez causada por la inusual cohesión social que los eventos catastróficos pueden estimular. En dicha época de rápido crecimiento económico, la prosperidad fue ampliamente compartida, y todos los grupos avanzaron; sin embargo, aquellos grupos en la parte inferior vieron mayores ganancias porcentuales.

Piketty también arroja nueva luz sobre las “reformas” que promocionaron Ronald Reagan y Margaret Thatcher en la década de los años ochenta como potenciadoras del crecimiento del cual todos se beneficiarían. De manera posterior a dichas reformas sobrevino un crecimiento más lento y una mayor inestabilidad a nivel mundial, y además, el crecimiento que sí aconteció benefició en su gran mayoría a aquellos en la parte superior de la distribución.

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