¿Qué políticas reducen la desigualdad de ingresos?

BERKELEY – El presidente norteamericano, Barack Obama, recientemente declaró que la creciente desigualdad de ingresos y la desigualdad de oportunidades que ésta genera son los desafíos determinantes que hoy enfrenta Estados Unidos. Estos problemas treparon hasta el tope de la agenda política estadounidense, pero no son exclusivamente norteamericanos.

La desigualdad de ingresos comenzó a ampliarse en Estados Unidos a fines de los años 1970, y la tendencia se propagó a Europa a fines de los años 1980, afectando inclusive a países con largas tradiciones igualitarias a comienzos del nuevo siglo. En la víspera de la Gran Recesión de 2008-2009, la desigualdad de ingresos había alcanzado alzas sin precedentes en Estados Unidos y la mayoría de los países desarrollados.

La recesión y la recuperación dolorosamente lenta hicieron que las condiciones empeoraran en todas partes, especialmente para los niños y los jóvenes que ingresan en el mercado laboral. El hecho de que la creciente desigualdad de ingresos sea una característica común de las economías desarrolladas sugiere causas comunes que todavía no llegan a entenderse del todo bien.

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