Chinese steel plant worker STR/Getty Images

Il protezionismo non protegge i posti di lavoro da nessuna parte

CAMBRIDGE – Mentre si preoccupano per il futuro dei posti di lavori di qualità, i politici americani ed europei farebbero bene a considerare i problemi ben più grandi che si trovano ad affrontare i paesi asiatici in via di sviluppo – problemi che minacciano di esercitare una forte pressione al ribasso sui salari a livello mondiale. In India, dove il reddito pro capite è pari a circa un decimo di quello statunitense, ogni anno più di dieci milioni di persone lasciano le campagne per riversarsi nelle aree urbane, dove spesso non riescono a trovare lavoro nemmeno come chaiwalas, cioè venditori di tè, figuriamoci come programmatori. La stessa ansia che gli americani e gli europei hanno riguardo al futuro dell’occupazione è di un ordine di grandezza superiore in Asia.      

L’India dovrebbe forse ispirarsi al tradizionale modello industriale lanciato dal Giappone, che tanti altri, compresa la Cina, hanno seguito? E dove può portarla ciò se, nell’arco dei prossimi due decenni, l’automazione è destinata a rendere obsoleta la maggior parte di questi mestieri?

C’è, naturalmente, il settore dei servizi, che nelle economie avanzate dà lavoro all’80% della popolazione, e in cui l’outsourcing indiano continua a occupare il primo posto nella classifica mondiale. Purtroppo, anche lì il futuro è tutt’altro che roseo. I sistemi automatizzati di chiamata hanno già soppiantato una quota notevole dell’attività globale dei call center, e molti lavori di programmazione stanno anch’essi perdendo terreno per la concorrenza dei computer.  

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable

    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.