La raya en la arena de los demócratas

BERKELEY—Desde la publicación de la obra de Frank Ramsey en 1928 los economistas han aceptado el argumento pragmático de que una buena economía es aquella en la que los rendimientos de la inversión no son un múltiplo demasiado grande –menos de tres– de la tasa de crecimiento económico por habitante. Una economía en la que los beneficios de la inversión son altos en comparación con la tasa de crecimiento es una economía que no está ahorrando ni invirtiendo suficientemente.

Esa idea ha engendrado la suposición poderosa de que, si una economía en conjunto no está ahorrando ni invirtiendo suficientemente, el gobierno debe contribuir a corregir ese problema obteniendo superávits y no empeorarlo con déficits que agotan el cúmulo de ahorros privados disponibles para financiar la inversión. Ésa es la razón por la que la mayoría de los economistas son partidarios de la línea dura en relación con los déficits.

Naturalmente, los gobiernos deben recurrir a los déficits en las depresiones para estimular la demanda y frenar el aumento del desempleo. Además, la mejor forma de considerar un gran gasto público de emergencia en partidas corrientes es como ahorro e inversión nacionales. Franklin Delano Roosevelt no podía haber hecho una mejor inversión para el futuro de los Estados Unidos y para el mundo que lanzar una guerra total contra Adolf Hitler. Asimismo, los presidentes George H. W. Bush y Bill Clinton deberían haber reconocido en el decenio de 1990 que algo parecido a un plan Marshall para la Europa oriental con vistas a contribuir a la transición del comunismo habría sido una inversión excelente para el futuro del mundo.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now