La pobreza de la dictadura

CAMBRIDGE – Tal vez la conclusión más notable del recientemente publicado Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano, que cumple su vigésimo aniversario, sean los sorprendentes resultados de los países musulmanes del Medio Oriente y el norte de África. Túnez figuraba en el sexto lugar de 135 países en términos de mejoras de su Índice de Desarrollo Humano (IDH) en las cuatro décadas previas, por encima de Malasia, Hong Kong, México y la India. Egipto no estaba muy lejos, en el decimocuarto lugar.

El IDH es una medida del desarrollo que refleja los logros en educación y salud junto con el crecimiento económico. Egipto y (especialmente) Túnez tuvieron buenos resultados en lo que se refiere al crecimiento, pero donde realmente destacaron fue en esos indicadores más amplios. La expectativa de vida en Túnez, que es de 74 años, supera la de Hungría y Estonia, países que tienen el doble de su riqueza. Alrededor del 69% de los niños egipcios van a la escuela, una proporción que igual a la de Malasia, cuya riqueza es mucho mayor. Es evidente que estos eran Estados que no dejaron de proveer servicios sociales o de distribuir ampliamente los beneficios del crecimiento económico.

Con todo, al final eso no importó. Los pueblos de Túnez y Egipto estaban, parafraseando a Howard Beale, furiosos con sus gobiernos y ya no estaban dispuestos a tolerarlos. Si Zine El Abidine Ben Ali en Túnez y Hosni Mubarak en Egipto esperaban obtener popularidad política como recompensa por los avances económicos, se deben haber llevado una gran decepción.

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