L'Économie internationale du désir

À quel point les pays avancés doivent-ils s'inquiéter de l'externalisation de la fabrication des biens en Chine ou du développement des logiciels en Inde ? La crainte de voir partir les emplois dans les pays où les coûts salariaux sont faibles touche une corde sensible mais laisse de côté un élément essentiel : la prospérité des pays développés dépend en premier lieu de l'esprit d'entreprise.

Après tout, aucune économie ne peut améliorer le niveau de vie de ses populations à l'envi grâce à des innovations conçues pour augmenter le rendement de la production de biens existants. À court terme, le coût des biens et des services est réduit par l'augmentation du rendement, donc les consommateurs consomment en plus grande quantité. Cependant, les consommateurs finissent par refuser d'acheter toujours plus, même si les prix continuent de chuter. Après tout, atteindre un rendement toujours plus élevé implique de se débarrasser des salariés.

La création et la satisfaction de nouveaux désirs chez le consommateur entretiennent le système en absorbant la force de travail et le pouvoir d'achat dégagé par la satisfaction toujours plus rentable des anciens désirs. À l'opposé du spectre, on retrouve les producteurs qui répondent aux anciens désirs et continuent à économiser parce qu'ils se battent, pour se gagner des employés et des consommateurs, contre les producteurs qui répondent aux nouveaux désirs.

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