La verdad incómoda de los Friedman

BERKELEY – Tengo en mi escritorio en este mismo momento dos libros; uno es del periodista Timothy Noah y se llama The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It [La gran divergencia: la crisis de la desigualdad creciente en EE. UU. y lo que podemos hacer para resolverla]; el otro es el clásico de Milton y Rose Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement [Libertad de elegir]. Viéndolos juntos, no puedo sino pensar lo difícil que sería para los Friedman volver a justificar y propugnar el libertarismo minarquista hoy en comparación con cuando lo hicieron en 1979.

En aquel momento, los Friedman plantearon tres vigorosos postulados fácticos respecto de cómo funciona el mundo; en ese momento, parecían verdaderos, posiblemente verdaderos o al menos defendibles; pero hoy parecen casi con certeza falsos. El argumento de estos autores a favor del libertarismo minarquista, que dependía en gran medida de esos postulados, prácticamente se vino abajo, porque resultó que el mundo no quiso funcionar como ellos suponían.

El primer postulado decía que la causa de los problemas macroeconómicos no está en la inestabilidad del mercado privado sino en el gobierno; o mejor dicho, que el tipo de regulación macroeconómica que se necesita para producir estabilidad económica es sencilla y fácil de implementar.

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