El déficit perjudica a los más pobres

No sorprenden los indicadores de pobreza de Argentina, país que viene a los tumbos desde hace más de 70 años. Tenemos que hacer un alto en el camino y revisar nuestra conducta, para lo cual es indispensable abandonar telarañas y cerrojos mentales y mostrar capacidad de corrección.   Por Alberto Benegas […]

No sorprenden los indicadores de pobreza de Argentina, país que viene a los tumbos desde hace más de 70 años. Tenemos que hacer un alto en el camino y revisar nuestra conducta, para lo cual es indispensable abandonar telarañas y cerrojos mentales y mostrar capacidad de corrección.

 

Por Alberto Benegas Lynch (h) – Presidente del Consejo Académico, Libertad y Progreso

No es una originalidad sostener que todas las personas de buena fe desean el progreso moral y material, la gran cuestión radica en los medios adecuados para lograr esa meta. Las intenciones no resultan relevantes. Como todo en la vida, no interesan las explicaciones sino los resultados.

Es sabido también que, en definitiva, las políticas erradas perjudican a todos pero muy especialmente a los más necesitados. Y aquí viene parte del meollo: se insiste en que las inversiones son esenciales para elevar el nivel de vida de la gente, pero simultáneamente se castiga la fuente de las inversiones con gravámenes directos y progresivos.

En el caso argentino, me refiero a los impuestos a las ganancias, a los bienes personales y a los ingresos brutos al efecto de liberar inversiones que constituyen la única causa de los salarios e ingresos en términos reales. Y esto no es principalmente para proteger la propiedad de los más acaudalados, más aún, ellos mismos pueden solicitar incrementos en la presión fiscal puesto que sus patrimonios son abultados, el problema central son los relativamente más pobres cuyos ingresos se ven mermados.

Durante estas siete décadas hemos reiterado hasta el hartazgo la financiación del elefantiásico gasto público que ampara funciones incompatibles con un sistema republicano, por turno con inflación y con deuda, en una especie de calesita macabra, pero nunca en todos los colores de gobiernos se ha considerado achicar el Leviatán que trata a los ciudadanos como súbditos.

La gestión gubernamental actual hace bien en promover foros locales y extranjeros para contrarrestar el aislamiento del gobierno anterior, pero el sentido de colocarse en la vidriera no es para exhibir un populismo de buenos tratos repitiendo recetas fallidas sino para aparecer ante el mundo como una sociedad abierta.

Desafortunadamente hay quienes todo lo justifican con el argumento de que “no puede hacerse todo al mismo tiempo” cuando, en verdad, de lo que se trata es de ponerse en marcha y rechazar la sandez de que no hay que reducir el gasto público sino “hacerlo más eficiente”. Como si fuera posible esa contradicción denominada “populismo eficiente”, puesto que al distorsionarse los precios fruto del entrometimiento estatal se deteriora la posibilidad de la evaluación de proyectos y la contabilidad.

La progresividad en el impuesto significa un castigo a la eficiencia; la comentada regresividad, obstáculos para la tan necesaria movilidad social.

En este contexto, resulta de especial importancia enfatizar el indispensable comercio libre, también con el exterior, tan coartado en nuestro país a través de manipulaciones en el tipo de cambio, aranceles astronómicos, con lo que se genera un cuello de botella entre productos finales y sus respectivos insumos. Comprar caro y de mala calidad no es negocio, la consecuente mayor erogación por unidad de producto naturalmente reduce los productos disponibles, aunque los empresarios prebendarios estimulen esas políticas para enriquecerse a costa de la gente.

Si un proyecto mostrara pérdidas durante los primeros períodos y se conjeturara que más tarde las ganancias más que compensarán aquellos quebrantos, se debe financiar esa situación con recursos propios y no pretender endosarle el problema a sus congéneres. Si el emprendimiento en cuestión no contara con fondos propios, se puede vender el proyecto local o internacionalmente y, si nadie se interesara, será porque se trata de un cuento chino (lo cual no es infrecuente).

Todos descendemos de las cavernas y de la miseria, el tema es que para progresar se torna indispensable la protección de los derechos de todos, esto es, igualdad ante la ley anclada en la Justicia de “dar a cada uno lo suyo”; es decir, el respeto a la propiedad. De allí es que observamos países con cuantiosos recursos naturales y amplios territorios que, sin embargo, son pobres, mientras otros con escasos espacios geográficos y sin recursos naturales son ricos. Esto es porque la riqueza es un tema de las cejas para arriba, en otras palabras, del pensamiento.

Desde los Fueros de León de 1188 y la Carta Magna de 1215 toda la tradición constitucional consistió en limitar la función del poder político para proteger y garantizar los derechos de los gobernados. Es relativamente reciente el desvío de ese camino para transformar las constituciones en una lista de aspiraciones de deseos dignas de la anti-utopía orwelliana en un contexto de pseudo-derechos que significan apropiarse del fruto del trabajo ajeno, como si la sociedad pudiera sobrevivir si se la concibe como un inmenso círculo donde cada uno tiene las manos en los bolsillos del prójimo.

Poner orden no es “ajustar”, ya que de lo que se trata es de evitar los constantes ajustes en el nivel de vida de la gente por un populismo rampante. Se trata de liberar recursos humanos y materiales a los efectos de incrementar la productividad y evitar que los que se esfuerzan con sus trabajos cotidianos tengan que soportar sobre sus espaldas estructuras parasitarias. Tampoco se trata de proponer políticas de shock, puesto que bastante hay de eso en la vida cotidiana de los argentinos. Se trata de poner orden para facilitar el progreso, de modo muy especial para los de menores recursos.

Por otra parte, la “guillotina horizontal” está muchas veces respaldada por la envidia. Thomas Sowell trascribe un cuento al respecto: Iván y Boris eran dos campesinos extremadamente pobres, lo único que los diferenciaba era que Boris tenía una cabra. En un momento dado, Iván se topa con la consabida lámpara de Aladino. Cuando el genio le ofrece concederle un deseo, Iván, luego de una breve cavilación dice: “Que se muera la cabra de Boris”.

*Publicado por La Nación el 25 de octubre de 2016

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El déficit perjudica a los más pobres

tiempo de lectura: 4 min