O bem-estar norte-americano desde 1979

BERKELEY – A história conta que: desde 1979, o auge do último ciclo económico antes de Ronald Reagan ter tomado posse como Presidente, o crescimento económico nos Estados Unidos da América tem sido predominantemente um fenómeno aplicável unicamente aos mais ricos. Os salários, os rendimentos e o nível de vida reais (ajustados pela inflação) das famílias pobres e de classe média dos EUA estão, na melhor das hipóteses, apenas um pouco mais elevados. Embora o PIB real anual per capita tenha aumentado 72%, passando de 29 mil dólares para 50 mil dólares (a preços de 2009), a maior parte desse crescimento beneficiou aqueles que agora ocupam o nível mais elevado no que diz respeito à distribuição do rendimento nos Estados Unidos da América.

Tudo isto é verdade, mas importa fazer algumas ressalvas importantes. Uma delas está relacionada com o relatório relativo à Distribuição do Rendimento e dos Impostos Federais dos Agregados Familiares, publicado no ano passado pelo Congressional Budget Office (CBO) dos EUA. A jusante do imposto, o valor do rendimento real para o quintil inferior dos agregados familiares norte-americanos foi, em 2010, 49% superior face a 1979, apresentando uma taxa média de crescimento de 1,3% ao ano. Em 2010, o rendimento depois de impostos para os três quintis de rendimento médio registou um aumento de 40% - o equivalente a 1,1% do crescimento médio anual.

 É certo que os agregados familiares que ocupam os percentis 81 a 99 registaram um benefício de 64% em termos de rendimentos depois de impostos, enquanto a parcela consagrada ao grupo de 1% do escalão mais elevado foi de 201%, o que representa uma taxa de crescimento médio anual de 3,6% - que ultrapassa em muito os demais grupos de rendimento. Além disso, com a actual recuperação concentrada igualmente entre os ricos, o grupo de 1% de norte-americanos que ocupa o escalão mais elevado tem fortes probabilidades de se estar a aproximar de um ganho cumulativo de 300% desde 1979.

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