La división atlántica en blanco y negro

En las últimas décadas, las relaciones entre la Europa continental occidental y los EU nunca han estado tan tensas como lo están ahora. ¿Se debe esto a un desacuerdo de corto plazo sobre un asunto específico, la guerra en Iraq? ¿O acaso la división ideológica transcontinental es más profunda y tiene escasas probabilidades de desaparecer en el futuro cercano?

Antes de que los diplomáticos y los analistas empiecen a sepultar en papel las diferencias entre ambos bandos, es necesario reflexionar sobre sus orígenes. Nosotros creemos que la división transatlántica refleja en efecto diferencias fundamentales en cuanto a valores (con la advertencia inmediata de que esas diferencias no ponen en conflicto a los dos bandos ni tienen por qué hacerlo).

La mejor manera de apreciar los valores profundamente distintos que tienen Estados Unidos y Europa es examinando como perciben la pobreza, la desigualdad y la asistencia social. Según la Encuesta Mundial sobre Valores, un estudio respetado sobre formas de pensar realizado en 40 países, el 60% de los estadounidenses creen que los pobres son "holgazanes", visión que comparte sólo el 26% de los europeos. Una proporción casi exactamente opuesta (60% de los europeos y 29% de los estadounidenses) cree que los pobres están atrapados en la pobreza.

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