Sunday, March 08, 2009

La ideología "desarrollista" de los economistas

Recientemente escribí sobre el desarrollismo y coincidencialmente me encontré hoy con esta excelente reflexión de Murray Rothbard:

" In recent years economists and journalists alike have been heavily emphasizing a new concept—“growth,” and much eco­nomic writing is engaged in a “numbers game” on what per­centage, or “rate of growth,” “we” should have next year or in the next decade. The discussion is replete with comparisons of the higher rate of country X which “we” must hurriedly counter, etc. Amidst all the interest in growth, there are many grave prob­lems which have hardly been touched upon. First and foremost is the simple query: “What is so good about growth?” The econ­omists, discoursing scientifically about growth, have illegitimately smuggled an ethical judgment into their science—an ethical judg­ment that remains unanalyzed, as if it were self-evident. But why should growth be the highest value for which we can strive? What is the ethical justification? There is no doubt about the fact that growth, taken over as another dubious metaphor from biology, “sounds” good to most people, but this hardly constitutes an ade­quate ethical analysis. Many things are considered as good, but on the free market every man must choose between different quantities of them and the price for those forgone. Similarly, growth, as we shall presently see, must be balanced and weighed against competing values. Given due consideration, growth would be considered by few people as the only absolute value. If it were, why stop at 5 percent or 8 percent growth per year? Why not 50 percent?

It is completely illegitimate for the economist qua economist simply to endorse growth. What he can do is to contrast what growth means in various social conditions. In a free market, for example, every person chooses how much future growth he wants as compared to present consumption. “Growth,” i.e., a rise in future living standards, can be achieved, as we have implicitly made clear throughout this volume, only in a few definable ways. Either more and better resources can be found, or more and better people can be born, or technology improved, or the capital goods structure must be lengthened and capital multiplied. In practice, since resources need capital to find and develop them, since technological improvement can be applied to production only via capital investment, since entrepreneurial skills act only through investments, and since an increased labor supply is rela­tively independent of short-run economic considerations and can backfire in Malthusian fashion by lowering per capita output, the only viable way to growth is through increased saving and investment. On the free market, each individual decides how much he wants to save—to increase his future living standards —as against how much he wants to consume in the present. The net resultant of all these voluntary individual decisions is the na­tion’s or world’s rate of capital investment. The total is a reflec­tion of the voluntary, free decisions of every consumer, of every person. The economist, therefore, has no business endorsing “growth” as an end; if he does so, he is injecting an unscien­tific, arbitrary value judgment, especially if he does not present an ethical theory in justification. He should simply say that, in a free market, everyone gets as much “growth” as he chooses to obtain; and that, furthermore, the people as a whole benefit greatly from the voluntary savings of others who do the saving and investing."

He notado que un gran número de economistas aún los que se las dan de mas cientificos y alejados de ideologías, típicamente asumen que el "crecimiento económico" no es un valor mas sino que es algo deseado por TODOS los individuos dentro de una sociedad.

Pocas veces realizan un análisis realmente objetivo sin que recomienden aquello que en su opinión llevará a un mayor crecimiento.

Esta es la ideología que me gusta llamar "desarrollismo" aunque este termino es usado para nombra una teoría económica del subdesarrollo tercermundista.