Austérité et démoralisation

NEW HAVEN – Le chômage élevé que nous connaissons aujourd’hui en Europe, aux Etats-Unis, et ailleurs est une tragédie, non seulement par la perte de production agrégée qu’il implique, mais aussi par le poids personnel et émotionnel que subissent les chômeurs du fait de ne pas participer à une société au travail.

L’austérité, selon certains de ses partisans, est supposée remonter le moral. Le Premier ministre britannique David Cameron, partisan de l’austérité, prétend que son programme réduit la « dépendance à la protection sociale, » restaure la « rigueur, » et encourage les « hommes et les femmes d’action, les créateurs, et les porteurs d’un message de vie. » De même, le député américain Paul Ryan déclare que son programme participe à la promotion de « la créativité et de l’esprit d’entreprise. »

Certains types de programmes d’austérité peuvent en effet avoir une incidence positive sur le moral. Les moines trouvent le sens de leur existence dans les environnements les plus austères, et les camps d’entrainement militaire sont sensés forger le caractère. Mais le genre d’austérité budgétaire pratiqué actuellement a pour effet immédiat de mettre les gens au chômage et de remplir leur vie avec rien si ce n’est un sentiment de rejet et d’exclusion.

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