A tresloucada crença na austeridade

Brilhante conclusão de um excelente post de Frances Coppolla:

The Austerity game is as much an avoidance of reality as the preceding Profligacy game. We do not have to cut support to the poor and vulnerable. We do not have to increase people's tax burden. We do not have to pour money into banks in the hopes that they will lend to people who already have too much debt. We do not have to suppress interest rates to extract money from savers. We do not have to bail out foreign creditors at the expense of domestic production (are you listening, Greece?). And above all, we do not have to accept that money is scarce. If it is scarce, it is because we have made it so. And in the developed world, where goods are anything but scarce and can be produced at very little cost, it is a disgrace that people are increasingly poverty-stricken because of shortage of money. I am reminded of Steinbeck's description of fruit, fallen from the trees and left to rot because consumer prices had fallen so low it was not worth farmers' while to pick it, being ruined with petrol to prevent the starving migrants from the drought-stricken American Mid-West from taking it. Nowadays, of course, we wouldn't use petrol - it's too expensive - but there are other ways of preventing people from getting the necessities of life for nothing.

What is needed is for economists and politicians to put their various ideologies to one side and take a hard look at how the economy ACTUALLY works, and what is really going on. Shortage of money is not the problem: allocation of money is the issue. Money is being created, but it is not going where it is needed, and this leads to unnecessary shortages of goods that actually are in abundant supply. That is the defining characteristic of both games - Profligacy as much as Austerity. The underlying reality is gross inequality and misallocation of resources. Until the world recognises this, we are doomed forever to play out the same sequence of games.

1 comentário:

José Couto Nogueira disse...

Coppolla não descobriu, nem está a dizer, nada de novo. O problema é a distribuição, claro. Mas a distribuição não se resolve apenas distribuindo. Para já, tem um custo, por vezes mais alto do que a produção. Depois, parte do valor de um produto deve-se à sua escassez (a outra parte será o seu valor intrínseco, ou seja, a necessidade que satisfaz). Portanto, quem produz tem sempre interesse em que a procura seja maior do que oferta... Resumindo uma longa história: o problema é ético.