Paul Lachine

Los peligros de 2012

CALCUTA.– El año 2011 será recordado como la época en que muchos estadounidenses que siempre habían sido optimistas comenzaron a renunciar a la esperanza. El presidente John F. Kennedy dijo una vez que la marea alta eleva todos los botes. Pero ahora, con la marea baja, los estadounidenses no solo comienzan a ver que quienes tienen mástiles más altos han sido elevados mucho más, sino que muchos de los botes más pequeños han sido destrozados por el agua.

En ese breve momento en que la marea creciente estaba, efectivamente, subiendo, millones de personas creyeron que tenían buenas probabilidades de cumplir su «sueño americano». Ahora también esos sueños están retirándose. En 2011, los ahorros de quienes habían perdido sus empleos en 2008 o 2009 ya se habían gastado. El seguro de desempleo se había terminado. Los titulares que anunciaban nuevas contrataciones –aún insuficientes para incorporar a quienes habitualmente se suman a la fuerza laboral– significaban poco para cincuentones con pocas ilusiones de volver a tener un empleo.

De hecho, las personas de mediana edad que pensaron que estarían desempleadas por unos pocos meses, se han dado cuenta a esta altura de que, en realidad, fueron jubiladas a la fuerza. Los jóvenes graduados universitarios con decenas de miles de dólares de deuda en créditos educativos no podían encontrar ningún empleo. La gente se mudó a las casas de sus amigos y los parientes se han convertido en sin techo. Las casas compradas durante la burbuja inmobiliaria aún están en el mercado, o han sido vendidas con pérdidas. Más de 7 millones de familias estadounidenses han perdido sus hogares.

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