Quando é que se considera arriscada a dívida pública?

BERKELEY – Um Estado que não aplica uma tributação suficiente para cobrir a sua despesa acabará por deparar-se como todo o tipo de problemas resultantes da dívida gerada. As suas taxas de juros nominais aumentarão, uma vez que os obrigacionistas temem a inflação. Os seus líderes empresariais irão manter-se ao abrigo e tentar transferir a sua riqueza para fora das empresas que gerem, com receio de um aumento futuro nos impostos sobre as sociedades.

Além disso, as taxas de juros reais irão subir, em resultado da incerteza política, afectando a rentabilidade de muitos investimentos que são verdadeiramente produtivos a nível social. E, quando a inflação “se instalar”, verificar-se-á uma diminuição da divisão do trabalho. O que antes era uma grande teia unida por finos laços monetários, fragmentar-se-á em redes muito pequenas, solidificadas por fortes laços de confiança pessoal e de obrigação social. E um nível reduzido de divisão do trabalho significa baixa produtividade.

Este conjunto de situações poderá - em última análise – acontecer, se o nível de tributação aplicado pelo Estado não for suficiente para cobrir a despesa pública. Mas, haverá a possibilidade de esta situação ocorrer se as taxas de juro se mantiverem baixas, os preços das acções em expansão e a inflação controlada? Tanto eu como outros economistas - incluindo Larry Summers , Laura Tyson, Paul Krugman e muitos mais - somos de opinião que não.

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