Mano de obra: un paraíso perdido

LONDRES – Debido a que las personas en el mundo desarrollado se preguntan cómo sus países volverán al pleno empleo después de la Gran Recesión, podría resultarnos beneficioso echar un vistazo a un ensayo visionario que John Maynard Keynes escribió en el año 1930, titulado “Posibilidades económicas para nuestros nietos”.

La obra de Keynes Teoría General del Empleo, el Interés y el Dinero, publicada en el año 1936, equipó a los gobiernos con herramientas intelectuales para luchar contra el desempleo provocado por las depresiones. Sin embargo, en el ensayo citado al principio, Keynes distinguió entre desempleo causado por crisis económicas de carácter temporal y lo que él denominó “desempleo tecnológico”, es decir, “el desempleo debido al descubrimiento de medios para economizar el uso de mano de obra a un ritmo que supera el ritmo con el cual podemos encontrar nuevos usos para dicha mano de obra”.

Keynes creía que íbamos a escuchar mucho más sobre este tipo de desempleo en el futuro. Pero su aparición, él vislumbraba, sería un motivo de esperanza y no de desesperación. Por que dicho desempleo mostraría que por lo menos el mundo desarrollado estaba en camino de resolver el “problema económico”, es decir el problema de la escasez que mantuvo a la humanidad encadenada a una agobiante vida de trabajos que requerían grandes esfuerzos.

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