El mito de la “sociedad de propietarios”

“No”, dijo el ex periodista de Fox News Tony Snow, recientemente asignado como uno de los colabores más estrechos de George W. Bush, su secretario de Prensa, cuando hace poco le preguntaron por sus ahorros de retiro. “A decir verdad, estuve demasiado tonto y no me metí en una 401(k). De modo que no hay ninguna pensión de Fox. La única pensión de prensa que recibo es a través de AFTRA”.

Una 401(k) es una cuenta muy favorecida a nivel impositivo en la que los trabajadores pueden ahorrar dinero para su jubilación. Por lo general, los empleadores –entre ellos, Fox News- equiparan los aportes que los trabajadores hacen a la 401(k), de manera que abrir una 401(k) es un acuerdo financiero irresistible, algo verdaderamente muy sencillo. Sin embargo, Tony Snow no lo hizo. Sólo el sindicato al que se vio obligado a afiliarse, la Federación Norteamericana de Artistas de Televisión y Radio (AFTRA), ha venido haciendo algún ahorro formal y asignación de sus activos de jubilación.

En mi opinión, el caso de Snow encierra lecciones muy importantes, y no sólo para Estados Unidos. Si la administración Bush tiene una filosofía coherente para la política interna, es la idea de la “sociedad de propietarios” –la noción de que las instituciones intermediarias, ya sean gobiernos, sindicatos o los departamentos de servicios de las empresas deberían quedar al margen del negocio del seguro social-. En cambio, los individuos deberían recurrir a sus propios activos para obtener seguridad financiera a la hora de jubilarse o en caso de una enfermedad grave. Denle a la gente los incentivos para planificar su futuro, sostienen los defensores de la sociedad de propietarios, y lo harán.

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