La disuguaglianza finanziata con soldi pubblici

WASHINGTON, DC – Uno dei fattori alla base del massiccio aumento della disuguaglianza globale e della concentrazione della ricchezza in cima alla distribuzione del reddito è l'interazione tra innovazione e mercati globali. Nelle mani di un imprenditore capace, una conquista tecnologica può valere miliardi di dollari, grazie alle tutele normative e alla natura dei mercati globali che vengono controllati da chi è più efficiente. Ciò che spesso viene trascurato, tuttavia, è il ruolo che il denaro pubblico gioca nella creazione di questa versione moderna di concentrazione della ricchezza privata.

Come ha recentemente fatto notare l'economista Dani Rodrik, molti degli investimentii statunitensi in nuove tecnologie sono stati finanziati con soldi pubblici. I finanziamenti possono essere diretti, attraverso istituzioni come il Dipartimento della Difesa o gli Istituti Nazionali per la Salute (NIH), o indiretti, attraverso sconti fiscali, assegnazione di appalti o sussidi ai laboratori o ai centri di ricerca.

Quando un filone di ricerca finisce in un vicolo cieco - come molti inevitabilmente fanno - il settore pubblico ne sostiene i costi. Per quelli invece che danno frutti, tuttavia, la situazione è spesso molto diversa. Una volta che una nuova tecnologia si è affermata, gli imprenditori privati, con l'aiuto di capitale di rischio, la adeguano alla domanda del mercato globale, costruiscono posizioni di monopolio temporanee o di lunga durata, e quindi si appropriano di grandi profitti. Il governo, che ha portato il peso di una gran parte del suo sviluppo, non vede praticamente nessun rendimento.

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