El comodín de la desigualdad

DAVOS – Mientras siguen desarrollándose los dramáticos acontecimientos en el norte de África, muchos observadores fuera del mundo árabe se dicen a sí mismos, con aire de suficiencia, que todo gira alrededor de la corrupción y la represión política. Pero el desempleo elevado, la desigualdad ostensible y los precios en alza de las materias primas básicas también son un factor importante. De manera que los observadores no deberían estar preguntándose hasta dónde se propagarán acontecimientos similares en toda la región, sino qué tipo de cambios podrían producirse en casa frente a presiones económicas similares, si no tan extremas.

En el interior de los países, la desigualdad de ingresos, riqueza y oportunidades posiblemente sea  mayor que en cualquier otro momento del siglo pasado. En toda Europa, Asia y América, las corporaciones nadan en efectivo, mientras su implacable búsqueda de eficiencia sigue generando enormes ganancias. Sin embargo, la porción de la torta que les corresponde a los trabajadores se está reduciendo, gracias al alto desempleo, a las jornadas reducidas de trabajo y a los salarios estancados.

Paradójicamente, la realidad es que las mediciones de desigualdad de ingresos y riqueza entre países están cayendo, gracias a un crecimiento robusto constante en los mercados emergentes. Pero a la mayoría de la gente le importa más lo bien que le va en relación a sus vecinos que a ciudadanos de tierras lejanas.

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