Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Um melhor plano económico para o Japão

NOVA IORQUE – já passou um quarto de século desde o rebentamento da bolha dos ativos no Japão – e um quarto de século de mal-estar à medida em que uma “década perdida” se sucedeu a outra. Algumas das críticas das suas políticas económicas são injustificadas. O crescimento não é um objetivo em si; devíamos estar preocupados com os padrões de vida. O Japão lidera na contenção do crescimento da população e tem aumentado a produtividade. O crescimento da produção por pessoa ativa, especialmente desde 2008, tem sido maior do que nos Estados Unidos e muito maior do que na Europa.

Ainda assim, os japoneses acreditam que podem fazer melhor. Eu concordo. O Japão tem problemas tanto no campo da oferta como no da procura, e tanto na economia real como nas finanças. Para resolvê-los, é necessário um programa económico que seja mais provável de ser trabalhado do que as medidas que os governantes adotaram recentemente, as quais não conseguiram atingir as suas metas de inflação, restaurar a confiança ou impulsionar o crescimento para o nível desejado.

Para começar, um grande imposto sobre o carbono, se for acompanhado por “financiamento ecológico”, estimularia um enorme investimento para modernizar a economia. É quase certo que este estímulo excederia o efeito de contração do dinheiro a ser retirado do sistema e o efeito negativo da riqueza da diminuição do valor dos “ativos de carbono”. O efeito adverso sobre a riqueza da diminuição do valor dos ativos de carbono seria pequeno; e, com o stock de capital mal sincronizado com o novo sistema de preços, o investimento desencadeado seria grande, a menos que houvesse obstáculos na eliminação das lacunas.

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