La limite à ne pas franchir pour les Démocrates

BERKELEY – Depuis les travaux de 1928 de Frank Ramsey, les économistes ont accepté l’argument utilitaire que, dans une bonne économie, les retours sur investissement ne doivent  pas être un multiple trop important – inférieur à trois – du taux de croissance économique par habitant. En effet, dans une économie où les bénéfices des investissements sont élevés par rapport à la croissance, l’épargne et les investissements sont insuffisants.

En outre, cette idée a donné lieu à l’hypothèse solide que si dans l’ensemble une économie n’épargne et n’investit pas assez, le gouvernement doit aider à résoudre le problème en enregistrant des excédents et en n’aggravant pas la situation par des déficits qui épuisent les fonds d’épargne privée disponibles pour les investissements. C’est pour cela que la plupart des économistes font la chasse aux déficits.

Certes, les gouvernements ont besoin de provoquer des déficits en cas de récession pour stimuler la demande et juguler le chômage. De plus, nombre de dépenses publiques d’urgence sont bien acceptées en tant qu’épargnes et investissements nationaux. Franklin Delano Roosevelt n’aurait pu faire de meilleur investissement pour l’avenir de l’Amérique et du monde entier que de déclarer une guerre totale contre Adolf Hitler. De même, George H.W. Bush et Bill Clinton auraient dû admettre dans les années 1990 qu’une sorte de plan Marshall pour l’Europe de l’Est dans le cadre de la transition post-communiste aurait été un excellent investissement pour l’avenir de la planète.

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