La falsa panacea chiamata flessibilità del mercato del lavoro

AMSTERDAM – Il termine economico del momento è sicuramente “competitività”. Barack Obama ne ha parlato a gennaio durante il suo discorso alla nazione, il cosiddetto “State of the Union”, e i leader europei, dal Tory britannico David Cameron al socialista spagnolo José Luis Zapatero fino al nuovo ministro dell’economia giapponese Kaoru Yosano, ne hanno fatto una priorità. Ma che tipo di competitività hanno in mente?

Nel settembre del 2007, alla domanda sull’eventualità o meno che i governi europei liberalizzassero i codici del lavoro nei rispettivi paesi, l’ex presidente della Federal Reserve americana, Alan Greenspan, rispose che le leggi sulla tutela del lavoro in Europa avevano notevolmente inibito le performance economiche e causato una disoccupazione fortemente elevata in tutto il continente. Negli Stati Uniti, i lavoratori vengono licenziati con maggiore facilità rispetto a qualsiasi altro paese, e il tasso di disoccupazione in quel periodo era tra i più bassi del mondo.

Ma non siamo più nel settembre del 2007 e il tasso di disoccupazione americana ora si attesta al 9,4%, e non al 4,5%. E a detta del successore di Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, non c’è motivo di presumere che il tasso di disoccupazione si attesti presto al 5% –considerato generalmente il naturale tasso di disoccupazione.

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