Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Un plan económico mejor para Japón

NUEVA YORK – Han pasado veinticinco años desde que estalló la burbuja de activos de Japón -y han sido veinticinco años también de malestar con una "década perdida" tras otra-. Parte de la crítica que han recibido sus políticas económicas es injustificada. El crecimiento no es un objetivo en sí mismo; deberían preocuparnos los niveles de vida. Japón está un paso adelante en lo que concierne a contener el crecimiento de la población, y la productividad ha venido aumentando. El crecimiento de la producción por persona en edad de trabajar, especialmente desde 2008, ha sido superior que en Estados Unidos, y mucho más alto que en Europa.

Aun así, los japoneses creen que les puede ir mejor. Coincido. Japón tiene problemas tanto del lado de la oferta como de la demanda, y tanto en la economía real como en las finanzas. Para resolverlos, necesita un programa económico que, muy probablemente, dé mejores resultados que las medidas que han adoptado recientemente los responsables de las políticas, que no han alcanzado su objetivo de inflación, no han restablecido la confianza ni han impulsado el crecimiento al nivel deseado.

Para empezar, un impuesto importante sobre el carbono, si está acompañado por "finanzas verdes", estimularía una enorme inversión para modernizar la economía. Casi con certeza, este estímulo excedería el efecto contractivo de la salida de dinero del sistema y el efecto de riqueza negativo del menor valor de los "activos de carbono". El efecto de riqueza adverso como consecuencia de la caída del valor de los activos de carbono sería menor y, con el capital social muy fuera de sincronía con el nuevo sistema de precios, la inversión generada sería importante, a menos que hubiera cuellos de botella al cerrarse la brecha.

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