Chinese steel plant worker STR/Getty Images

El proteccionismo no protegerá los puestos de trabajo

CAMBRIDGE – Además de preocuparse por el futuro de los empleos de calidad, los líderes políticos de Estados Unidos y Europa harían bien en examinar los problemas mucho mayores que enfrentan los países asiáticos en desarrollo, que amenazan con ejercer una gran presión a la baja sobre los salarios globales. En India, donde la renta per cápita equivale a alrededor de una décima parte de la estadounidense, anualmente más de diez millones de personas abandonan el campo para desplazarse hacia las zonas urbanas. A menudo no pueden encontrar trabajo ni siquiera como chaiwalas, mucho menos como programadores. La misma ansiedad sobre el futuro de los empleos que tienen los estadounidenses y europeos es mucho más profunda en Asia.

¿Debe la India seguir el modelo tradicional de exportación de manufacturas que inició Japón y que han seguido tantos otros países, incluyendo China? ¿Cuál sería el resultado, si consideramos que la automatización volverá obsoletos la mayoría de esos trabajos en las próximas dos décadas?

Por supuesto, existe el sector servicios, en el cual trabaja el 80% de la población de las economías avanzadas, y donde la externalización de la India sigue liderando a nivel mundial. Lamentablemente, aquí las previsiones también son desalentadoras. Los sistemas automatizados de llamadas ya han reemplazado una parte sustancial del negocio global de centros de llamadas, y muchos trabajos de programación rutinarios también están perdiendo terreno frente a los ordenadores.

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