Chris Van Es

La Grande Depressione nella memoria economica

PARIGI – La disputa emersa negli Stati Uniti e in Europa tra i sostenitori delle politiche governative di stimolo e i fautori dell’austerità fiscale assomiglia molto a un dibattito di storia economica. Entrambi i fronti hanno rivisitato la Grande Depressione degli anni ’30 – nonché la secolare storia delle crisi di debito sovrano – in una controversia che sembra essere simile alle tradizionali controversie di politica economica.

Il fronte favorevole agli stimoli spesso fa riferimento ai danni prodotti negli USA dall’austerità fiscale nel 1937, quattro anni dopo l’elezione di Franklin Roosevelt a presidente degli Stati Uniti e il lancio del New Deal. Secondo i calcoli dell’economista Paul van den Noord, il risultato finale del bilancio del 1937 fu una contrazione fiscale che si aggirava intorno a tre punti percentuali del Pil – certamente non un risultato da nulla. La crescita economica precipitò dal 13% nel 1936 al 6% nel 1937, e il Pil scese al 4,5% nel 1938, mentre la disoccupazione saliva dal 14% a circa il 20%. Sebbene la politica fiscale non sia stata l’unica causa del double dip, i pressanti tagli alla spesa pubblica sicuramente hanno fatto la loro parte.

Allora, siamo forse nel 1936, e le politiche restrittive contemplate in diversi paesi rischiano di provocare una simile recessione double dip?

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