Tre vie per le democrazie indebitate

CHICAGO – I governi democratici non sono incentivati a prendere decisioni che abbiano costi a breve termine e profitti a lungo termine (lo schema tipico di qualsiasi investimento). In effetti, per questo tipo di investimenti le democrazie richiedono una leadership impavida oppure un elettorato in grado di capire i costi eventuali derivati dal posponimento delle scelte più difficili.

Una leadership impavida è tendenzialmente rara, così come un elettorato impegnato ed informato, tanto più visti i consigli confusi che gli esperti elargiscono agli elettori. Gli economisti che sostengono pensieri diversi hanno enormi difficoltà ad ottenere il consenso sulla necessità di adottare determinate politiche. Consideriamo, ad esempio, la discordanza delle argomentazioni legate alla spesa pubblica: si tratta realmente dell’unico strumento per tenere a bada la depressione, o tale strumento ci sta, in realtà, gradualmente portando sulla strada della perdizione? Il dibattito non porta quasi mai ad un accordo, gli elettori moderati non sanno cosa credere e le scelte politiche vengono fatte, alla fine, in base alla minor resistenza, per poi finire a sbattere contro un muro.

L’accumulo di debito pubblico nei paesi industriali (già in rapido aumento molto prima della Grande Recessione, periodo in cui era quasi a livelli insostenibili) rispecchia questa teoria. Il pubblico ricompensa i governi democratici per la gestione dei rischi negativi derivanti dai mercati competitivi, sia che lo faccia con una spesa mirata alla creazione di posti di lavoro, sia attraverso il salvataggio delle banche con titoli a rischio nei loro bilanci.

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