Given the political changes in Latin America in recent years, the French economist Thomas Piketty suggests in an interview with EFE that the countries of the region should have more transparency in their tax systems and in public spending to accelerate the movement for equity.
“We need to involve citizens. We need to have more transparency in both the tax system and public spending (…) so that citizens can really see if we are moving in the right direction.”says Piketty, who participated in the There is Festival of Cartagena de Indiayes
The economist, who published “A Brief History of Equality” (Planeta) last year, gave as an example what is happening in Colombia, where the Constitution says that the tax system must be progressive. “But, in fact and in practice, it is not progressive and there is little transparency in this regard,” says the also professor at the École d’économie de Paris (EEP), a graduate of École Normale Supérieure and politically linked to the French socialists. .
Along these lines, he stated that he hopes that governments like Gabriel Boric’s in Chile will do well, since “Latin America is a place where there is a lot of inequality” and the problem it should not only be addressed with its mention but also with concrete actions.
BETTER BUT INSUFFICIENT
In Piketty’s view, the United States is better off with Joe Biden as president than he was with Donald Trump, but he described that as insufficient because the current president does not have the real majorities in Congress. This, in part, because he considers that there are congressmen who are from the Democratic Party but they are closer “to the right” and, in his opinion, are corrupted by “private donations, private money.”
“I think there is a majority of public opinion in the United States that would really like to tax millionaires“, he expressed and added that the Democrats are still far from that because they are “in favor of the interests of private businesses.” That is why he sees the need for a presidential candidate from the “left side of the party“that can convince the “popular voters and lower-class electorate” that “they are ready to change their attitude toward big business” and will speak “about ordinary people” and their needs.
Piketty also spoke about US military tensions with Russia over the Ukraine crisis, which has skyrocketed in the last month due to the concentration of more than 100,000 Russian soldiers on the border with the latter country. “We must think of new forms of sanctions against countries, which should be mainly against the elites and oligarchies and not against the people,” he says.
He adds that there should be sanctions against “the top 10,000 or 5,000 richest Russians, including Putin himself”, although he considers that the oligarchs of the West will not do so because later that can be used against them. “I think we should have a much better impact on the situation than trade sanctions that will harm the population or adding military to the issue, which is not going to work,” he says.
AN INEQUALITY THAT BREAKS SLOWLY
Much is said that there is a greater inclusion of women in the labor market, but their share of world income was 31% in 1990 and grew to just 35% in 30 years, according to Piketty himself.
“If you look at the population that earns the most and has the best jobs (…) we see a minimum proportion of women“, she expresses. That is why she appreciates that now more women are seen in positions of popular election, but she considers that it should also be done in jobs in the private sector. “We also have to see the fact that there are entire occupational sectors that have traditionally been occupied by women, such as sales in stores, cleaning services or jobs related to the elderly,” she says.
This type of work, he explains, has problems such as difficulties in organizing time or low wages when compared to traditionally male sectors such as industry. That is why you see the need laws that try to give more structure to these jobs and that “basically guarantee better wages and better organization of working time” for women.