El precio de la desigualdad

NUEVA YORK – A los estadounidenses les gusta pensar en su país como una tierra de oportunidades, opinión que otros en buena medida comparten. Pero aunque es fácil pensar ejemplos de estadounidenses que subieron a la cima por sus propios medios, lo que en verdad cuenta son las estadísticas: ¿hasta qué punto las oportunidades que tendrá una persona a lo largo de su vida dependen de los ingresos y la educación de sus padres?

En la actualidad, estas cifras muestran que el sueño americano es un mito. Hoy hay menos igualdad de oportunidades en Estados Unidos que en Europa (y de hecho, menos que en cualquier país industrial avanzado del que tengamos datos).

Esta es una de las razones por las que Estados Unidos tiene el nivel de desigualdad más alto de cualquiera de los países avanzados. Y la distancia que lo separa de los demás no deja de crecer. Durante la “recuperación” de 2009 y 2010, el 1% de los estadounidenses con mayores ingresos se quedó con el 93% del aumento de la renta. Otros indicadores de desigualdad (como la riqueza, la salud y la expectativa de vida) son tan malos o incluso peores. Hay una clara tendencia a la concentración de ingresos y riqueza en la cima, al vaciamiento de las capas medias y a un aumento de la pobreza en el fondo.

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