La sociedad mala

LONDRES – ¿Cuánta desigualdad es aceptable? A juzgar por los niveles anteriores a la recesión, mucha, particularmente en los Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña. Peter Mandelson, del Nuevo Laborismo, expresó el estado de ánimo de los últimos treinta años cuando comentó que se sentía “tranquilo” por el hecho de que la gente se enriqueciera de forma "desmedida”. El enriquecimiento era el objetivo de la "nueva economía". Y los nuevos ricos se quedaron con una parte creciente de sus ganancias, a medida que se redujeron los impuestos para alentarlos a enriquecerse aún más y se abandonaron los esfuerzos para repartir el pastel de forma más justa.

Los resultados fueron predecibles. En 1970, los ingresos brutos de un alto ejecutivo estadounidense eran aproximadamente treinta veces más elevados que los del trabajador medio; actualmente son 263 veces más elevados. En Gran Bretaña, el salario básico (sin bonificaciones) de un alto ejecutivo era 47 veces superior a la del trabajador medio en 1970. En 2010 fue 81 veces superior. Desde finales de los años setenta, los ingresos netos del 20 por ciento más rico de la población han aumentado cinco veces más rápido que el del 20 por ciento más pobre en los Estados Unidos y cuatro veces más rápido en el Reino Unido. Aún más importante es la creciente brecha entre el promedio de los ingresos y la mediana de los ingresos, es decir que la proporción de la población que vive con la mitad o menos de la mitad del ingreso medio en los Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña ha estado aumentando.

Aunque en algunos países esta tendencia no se ha impuesto del todo, la desigualdad ha estado aumentando durante los últimos 30-40 años en todo el mundo. Ha crecido la desigualdad dentro de los países, y las diferencias entre ellos aumentaron considerablemente después de 1980, hasta equilibrarse a finales de los noventa y comenzar a disminuir después de 2000, cuando el crecimiento en los países en desarrollo comenzó a acelerarse.

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