تفاوت مفيد وآخر ضار

ميلانو ــ كان اتساع فجوة التفاوت في الدخل والثروة في العديد من البلدان في مختلف أنحاء العالم اتجاهاً طويل الأجل دام ثلاثة عقود من الزمان أو أكثر. ولكن الاهتمام المكرس لهذه القضية كان في ازدياد بشكل كبير منذ اندلاع الأزمة المالية في عام 2008: فمع تباطؤ النمو يصبح التفاوت المتزايد أكثر إيلاما.

كانت النظرية "القديمة" حول التفاوت بين الناس تتلخص في أن عملية إعادة التوزيع من خلال النظام الضريبي تسببت في إضعاف الحوافز وتقويض النمو الاقتصادي. ولكن العلاقة بين التفاوت والنمو أكثر تعقيداً وتعدداً للأبعاد مما قد توحي به هذه المفاضلة البسيطة. ذلك أن قنوات التأثير وآليات المردود المتعددة تجعل التوصل إلى استنتاجات نهائية أمراً صعبا.

على سبيل المثال، الولايات المتحدة والصين هما الاقتصادان الرئيسيان الأسرع نمواً اليوم. وكل منهما لديه مستويات عالية متماثلة ومتزايدة الارتفاع من التفاوت في الدخل. ورغم أننا لا ينبغي لنا أن نستنتج من هذا عدم وجود ارتباط بين النمو والتفاوت أو أن الارتباط بينهما إيجابي، فإن التصريح المطلق بأن التفاوت ضار بالنمو لا يتفق حقاً مع الحقائق.

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