12 de julio de 2011

Es cierto, no hay varita mágica

Frecuentemente muchos intelectuales y políticos (tanto de izquierda como de derecha) asumen que los problemas pueden arreglarse si se 'cambia de rumbo' y se aplican las recetas que ellos mismos nos recomiendan.

A propósito del debate en los Estados Unidos sobre que hacer para reducir el enorme déficit fiscal, hoy David Brooks, columnista del New York Times, nos recuerda en su editorial The Magic Lever que, a pesar de lo que digan, ni los demócratas ni los republicanos tienen 'varitas mágicas' con soluciones fáciles y que los problemas tienden a ser una interrelación de muchos factores.

La columna no tiene desperdicio. Aquí unos párrafos:

... These three groups — bankers, Democratic Keynesians and staunch Republicans — have one thing in common: They all believe they have identified the magic lever. They believe they can control their economic fate.

Some of us do not believe there is a magic lever. Deficit spending stimulates growth, but not by that much. Tax increases are bad, but they are not disastrous...

... We look at the tax cuts of 2001 and do not see tremendous gains. We look at the tax increase of 1982 and do not see a ruinous disaster. We look at high deficit eras and low deficit eras and do not see an easy correlation between deficit spending and growth...

... We believe that if you rest everything on a single lever (Increase deficits! Cut taxes!), you give people a permission slip to be self-indulgent. They will spend or cut to their hearts’ content and soon you’ll be facing national bankruptcy. We believe that even if you are theoretically right, your policies will be distorted by human frailties and special interests.


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