Domeñar la economía vudú

Los americanos han puesto fin una vez más a una temporada de campaña presidencial en la que la calidad del debate sobre la política económica ha sido abismal. En el bando republicano, gacetilleros, maestros del efectismo y mucha gente que debería haber demostrado mayores conocimientos experimentaron de repente un interés extraordinario por algo llamado “Encuesta de los hogares sobre el empleo” como supuesto indicador, mes tras mes, de los cambios en el mercado laboral. Esa encuesta no fue concebida para eso, pero ofrecía el más favorable barniz para la espantosa ejecutoria del gobierno Bush en materia de empleo.

En el bando demócrata, los mismos tipos de gacetilleros y expertos en relaciones públicas, centraron la atención, como un haz de láser, en las malas noticias en materia de empleo de los años de George W. Bush, sin tener en cuenta las buenas noticias sobre producción y productividad. Y de nuevo los republicanos respondieron tendenciosamente, centrándose en la tasa de desempleo, en lugar de en el número de puestos de trabajo... como si fuera positivo que la pésima situación del mercado laboral desde 2001 haya reducido artificialmente el número de personas que buscan trabajo.

Asimismo, los republicanos presentaron con mucha labia las reducciones fiscales de Bush –el equivalente de lo que el padre del Presidente Bush, el Presidente George H. W. Bush, llamó “economía vudú”- como el súmmum de la sabiduría económica. No tuvieron en cuenta la pesada carga que el desequilibrio creado por Bush en la hacienda pública de este país impondrá a la economía en los próximos decenios. Los demócratas afirmaron, por su parte, que las reducciones fiscales ya habían perjudicado a la economía, cuando deberían saber que el mayor daño está por venir.

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