Reglas nuevas para una nueva economía

El progreso económico es más que un asunto de mercados e innovaciones tecnológicas. A medida que la estructura de una economía cambia, las políticas de gobierno deben cambiar también, o el desarrollo económico resultará atrofiado.

Consideremos la revolución agraria de Inglaterra antes de 1800, que fue un prerrequisito esencial para la revolución industrial que le siguió. El movimiento para cercar los campos extinguió los derechos comunes a la tierra y permitió a los terratenientes (aunque a costa de grandes sufrimientos) experimentar con técnicas nuevas más productivas. Si las instituciones y las leyes no hubieran cambiado, esa transformación económica en particular no se habría dado.

O echemos una ojeada a los EU al final del siglo XIX ("el horno donde se estaba forjando el futuro", como lo llamó León Trotsky). La producción en masa, las grandes corporaciones, un mercado continental y la energía eléctrica no habrían sucedido sin los cambios institucionales y legales subyacentes a la transformación económica. La preeminencia de las leyes federales sobre las estatales convirtió al país en un mercado único. Sin un nuevo régimen legal, las compañías de responsabilidad limitada (necesarias para obtener capital para proyectos grandes) no podrían haber existido. Las leyes antimonopolios aseguraron que las enormes economías de escala de las grandes corporaciones no se obtuvieran a costa de eliminar la competencia.

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