L’économie du développement durable

PARIS – Deux écoles de pensée ont tendance à dominer les débats économiques d’aujourd’hui. Du côté des partisans de l’économie de marché, il s’agit pour les gouvernements de réduire les taxes, d’assouplir les réglementations, de réformer le droit du travail, pour ensuite se retirer et laisser les consommateurs consommer, et les producteurs créer de l’emploi. L’économie keynésienne privilégie pour sa part une vision dans laquelle il s’agit pour les gouvernements de booster la demande globale au moyen de l’assouplissement quantitatif et de la relance budgétaire. Or, aucune de ces approches n’aboutit à des résultats favorables. Il nous faut aujourd’hui élaborer une nouvelle économie du développement durable, dans laquelle l’État s’attacherait à promouvoir de nouveaux types d’investissements.

Si l’économie de marché produit de formidables résultats en faveur des plus riches, la situation se révèle désastreuse pour le reste de la société. Si les gouvernements d’Amérique et de certains pays d’Europe entreprennent de tailler dans la dépense sociale, la création d’emplois, les investissements en infrastructures ainsi que la formation professionnelle, c’est bel et bien parce que ces riches patrons qui financent les campagnes électorales des candidats se portent pour leur part extrêmement bien, alors même que les sociétés qui les entourent sont à la renverse.

Les solutions keynésiennes – accès facile au crédit et hauts niveaux de déficit budgétaire – ont elles-mêmes échoué à honorer les résultats promis. À l’issue de la crise financière de 2008, nombre de gouvernements se sont essayés à la relance par la dépense. Après tout, rien de plus facile pour un responsable politique que de dépenser un argent qui ne lui appartient pas. La dynamique suscitée à court terme a pour autant failli, à deux principaux égards.

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