Paul Krugman y la recuperación de Obama

NUEVA YORK – Durante muchos años –a menudo, varias veces al mes– Paul Krugman, el economista, ganador del premio Nobel y columnista del New York Times, ha presentado un mensaje central a sus fieles lectores: los «austerianos» (como llama a los partidarios de la austeridad fiscal) que están a favor de reducir el déficit han sido engañados. La racionalización fiscal en un entorno de debilidad de la demanda privada conduciría a un elevado desempleo crónico. De hecho, los recortes presupuestarios se exponen a una repetición de 1937, cuando Franklin D. Roosevelt redujo prematuramente el estímulo del New Deal y devolvió a los Estados Unidos a la recesión.

El Congreso y la Casa Blanca efectivamente jugaron la carta austeriana a partir de mediados de 2011. El déficit presupuestario federal ha caído del 8,4 % del PBI en 2011 hasta del 2,9 % del PBI, según las estimaciones para el total de 2014. Según el Fondo Monetario Internacional, el déficit estructural (a veces llamado «déficit de pleno empleo»), una medida de estímulo fiscal, ha caído del 7,8 % del PBI potencial al 4 % entre 2011 y 2014.

Krugman ha protestado vigorosamente, aduciendo que la reducción del déficit prolongó, e incluso intensificó, lo que reiteradamente llama una «depresión» (o, a veces, una «depresión leve»). Solo unos tontos como los líderes del Reino Unido (quienes le recuerdan a los tres chiflados) podrían pensar lo contrario.

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