Réformer la réforme économique

Les économistes ont plus influencé le monde ces quinze dernières années qu'à tout autre moment de notre histoire. Les politiques de centralisation connues sous le terme de dirigisme , et le remplacement des importations, que de nombreux pays ayant nouvellement acquis leur indépendance adoptèrent dans les années 50 et 60, peuvent être considérées comme les idées des communistes, des nationalistes et des socialistes fabiens mais certainement pas comme celles d'économistes experts. Les politiques de dérégulation, de privatisation et de libéralisation des échanges, connues sous le nom de consensus de Washington, que la plupart des pays adoptèrent dans les années 80 sont considérées comme la marque de la victoire des experts de l'économie sur les politiciens démagogiques.

Le paradoxe est que cela ne représente aucunement une victoire pour l'économie. En fait, ces vingt dernières années se sont révélées lugubres pour la pratique de la « science sinistre ». À peu d'exception près, les pays où les technocrates furent éduqués aux États-Unis et ont pris le dessus, ont connu les pires performances de leur histoire par rapport à la situation des années 80.

Les économies en perte de vitesse et stagnantes de l'Amérique latine, qui adopta la philosophie du consensus de Washington plus que tout autre continent, en sont la première preuve. Les plus gros succès de développement de ces dernières années viennent de pays tels que la Chine et le Vietnam, où les philosophies économiques occidentales, quand elles ont été considérées, ont été rejetées pour des approches plus pragmatiques.

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