Croissance des inégalités: comment éviter le désastre

NEW HAVEN – Le capital au XXI° siècle, le livre impressionnant de Thomas Piketty soulève de nombreux commentaires et attire l'attention sur la croissance des inégalités. Mais il ne s'étend guère sur les solutions. Ainsi que son auteur le reconnaît, sa proposition - un impôt progressif et mondial sur le capital (ou le patrimoine) - exigerait un niveau important et sans aucun doute irréaliste de coopération internationale.

Il faut éviter de privilégier les solutions trop rapides. Un peu partout, la principale préoccupation des responsables politiques devrait être d'éviter le désastre - autrement dit, un événement inattendu aux conséquences catastrophiques. Et comme les inégalités n'évoluent que lentement, il ne se produira sans doute pas avant plusieurs années.

Dans son livre, Piketty décrit longuement ce désastre - un retour à un niveau d'inégalité jamais atteint depuis la fin du 19° siècle et le début du 20° siècle. Dans ce scénario, une toute petite minorité accumule une immense fortune, non parce que ses membres seraient plus intelligents ou travailleraient davantage que le reste de la population, mais en raison d'une redistribution capricieuse des revenus par les forces économiques fondamentales.

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