Le fardeau de la récession doit être partagé

PRINCETON – La crise économique qui s'est abattue sur la planète en 2008 amène à se demander si l'apparente prospérité qui précédait était bien réelle. Dans des pays aussi divers que la Chine, l'Inde, la Russie et les USA, le nombre de milliardaires à fait un bond. Plus généralement, les 1% les plus riches de la population se sont enrichis, mais le fossé entre riches et pauvres s'est élargi, et au moins aux USA, le revenu des pauvres et des classes moyennes a stagné.

Le scepticisme à l'égard des plans de sauvetage des banques, des compagnies d'assurance et même des fabricants d'automobiles, aux frais des contribuables n'a rien de surprenant. Est-ce encore une fois une affaire dans laquelle les politiciens s'arrangent pour que même au cœur des pires difficultés, l'élite fortunée qui les soutient tire une fois de plus son épingle du jeu ?

Mais c'est une erreur que de se focaliser sur le fossé entre riches et pauvres si on veut évaluer les bénéfices de la croissance. Si le revenu d'une personne passe de 300 à 500 dollars cela peut suffire à la tirer d'une situation d'extrême pauvreté et va produire une énorme différence quant à son niveau de vie et celui de sa famille. Si au même moment le revenu d'une personne qui gagne un million de dollars augmente de 100ampnbsp;000 dollars, l'écart des revenus se creuse. Mais comme 100ampnbsp;000 dollars n'ont pas beaucoup d'effet sur le bien-être de quelqu'un qui gagne un million de dollars, le fossé diminue en terme de niveau de vie.

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