L’humiliation de la Grande-Bretagne

BERKELEY – A la fin 2008, au moment où la crise financière a frappé l’économie mondiale de plein fouet, les pays se sont divisés en deux groupes : ceux dont les dirigeants ont décidé de se débrouiller tant bien que mal, et la Chine. Les Chinois furent les seuls à prendre au sérieux l’argument de Milton Friedman et de John Maynard Keynes qui veut que face à la possibilité d’une dépression, le gouvernement doit en tout premier lieu intervenir stratégiquement sur les marchés financiers et des biens et des services pour maintenir le niveau de la demande agrégée.

Ensuite, au début 2010, les pays qui se débrouillaient tant bien que mal se divisèrent à leur tour en deux groupes : ceux dont la légitimité gouvernementale était intacte continuèrent à se débrouiller, tandis que d’autres pays, comme la Grèce et l’Irlande, dont la légitimité gouvernementale était affaiblie, n’eurent pas d’autre choix que de suivre une cure d’austérité et tenter de rétablir la confiance fiscale.

Aujourd’hui, une nouvelle division s’opère, entre les pays qui continuent à se débrouiller du mieux qu’ils le peuvent, et la Grande-Bretagne. Même si la légitimité gouvernementale britannique n’est en rien altérée, l’administration du Premier ministre David Cameron s’apprête à mettre en ouvre sur plusieurs années des mesures qui constitueront peut-être la plus importante contraction fiscale connue – un plan qui vise à réduire le déficit budgétaire de 9 pour cent du PIB en quatre ans.

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