Crecimiento y desarrollo

66
Panorámica de Bogotá.

Carlos Fernández*

Ha presentado el Gobierno nacional, por intermedio del DANE, los resultados del comportamiento de la economía en su conjunto hasta el mes de septiembre del presente año. La marcha de la economía de un país es medido mediante un indicador denominado producto interno bruto (PIB). Como es costumbre, los resultados obtenidos dan cuenta de un comportamiento en el que se combinan crecimientos y decrecimientos sectoriales que dieron como resultado final una variación de conjunto de 2,7%, cuando se compara el valor del producto a precios constantes del tercer trimestre de 2018 con el del tercer trimestre de 2017. Puede afirmarse que este informe cierra el ciclo del impacto de la política económica de los dos gobiernos de Santos, tema al que haremos referencia en próxima ocasión.

Algunas precisiones conceptuales

Para evaluar los resultados de este indicador, conviene hacer claridad sobre lo que implican algunos conceptos que subyacen o que se explicitan en la noción de producto. Este concepto tiene dos caras: de un lado, hace referencia al comportamiento de este indicador desde la perspectiva de la producción, es decir, desde la oferta, o sea que nos dice cómo se comportó la producción nueva durante el período que se analice. De manera que el producto habla del valor nuevo creado durante dicho período en tanto que la noción de producción involucra tanto el valor nuevo como la utilización de valores creados en otros períodos, conocida como consumo intermedio.

De otro lado, el concepto en cuestión involucra la forma en que se utiliza el producto desde el punto de vista de la demanda, o sea que mide el nivel de consumo de los hogares, el consumo del gobierno, los gastos en inversión y el resultado neto del comercio exterior (exportaciones menos importaciones). Las cantidades del PIB deben ser iguales en ambos lados.

Esta forma de abordar este indicador presenta el inconveniente de que soslaya la cuestión de cómo las personas se vinculan a la producción y al conjunto de la actividad económica. Por el lado de la oferta, nos habla de sectores (agricultura, industria manufacturera, servicios del gobierno, sector financiero, etc., lo cual, claro está, es de gran importancia) y, por el de la demanda, nos habla de hogares, gobierno, exportaciones e importaciones y no dice nada sobre clases sociales ni sobre relación de propiedad o no propiedad de las personas respecto a los medios de producción y, obviamente, no involucra el concepto de explotación de los trabajadores.

Origen del valor agregado

Para la macroeconomía convencional o burguesa, desde el punto de vista de la oferta, el valor agregado no es más que la diferencia entre el valor total de la producción y el consumo intermedio, o sea, la utilización durante el proceso productivo de mercancías cuya producción corresponde a ciclos productivos anteriores, como ya lo señalamos. Desde el punto de vista de la demanda, el valor agregado es la suma de remuneraciones que reciben los asalariados más las ganancias de los capitalistas (denominadas en la jerga oficial excedente bruto de explotación), más una cuenta denominada ingreso mixto de explotación que hace referencia a los ingresos de los que trabajan por cuenta propia, pues son, al mismo tiempo, empleadores y trabajadores. Al sumarle a este valor así agregado los impuestos sobre la producción y las importaciones y disminuirles las subvenciones recibidas por las empresas se obtiene el producto interno bruto.

Para la economía política marxista, la distribución del valor producido en un período determinado, que proviene, exclusivamente, de la explotación de la fuerza de trabajo vinculada a la producción material (agricultura, industria, etc.) a través de la generación de plusvalía, ésta es absorbida por los capitalistas dueños de las empresas dedicadas a estos sectores productivos. Para la realización de esta plusvalía, tales capitalistas deben ceder una parte de la misma a los encargados de la circulación de tales mercancías, esto es, a los comerciantes, los dueños de establecimientos financieros, el transporte, etc. Esta plusvalía cedida se desdobla en remuneración de los trabajadores de estos sectores y ganancias de los propietarios de las empresas dedicadas a la circulación.

Examen de los últimos resultados

Estas precisiones un tanto prolijas nos permiten ver los resultados que presenta la estadística estatal con una óptica diferente. Más que analizar qué sectores crecieron más que otros, desde la perspectiva de la oferta, conviene echar una mirada a la estructura de la economía colombiana resultante de políticas de hace tiempo que han hecho que los sectores más productivos pierdan peso y lo ganen los sectores orientados a la circulación de las mercancías. Así, vemos que, en el tercer trimestre del presente año, los sectores se clasificaban así dentro del total del PIB:

  1. Comercio al por mayor y al por menor; reparación de vehículos automotores y motocicletas; transporte y almacenamiento; alojamiento y servicios de comida: 17%.
  2. Administración pública y defensa; planes de seguridad social de afiliación obligatoria; educación; actividades de atención de la salud humana y de servicios sociales: 14%.
  3. Industrias manufactureras: 12%
  4. Actividades inmobiliarias: 9%
  5. Construcción: 7%
  6. Actividades profesionales, científicas y técnicas; actividades de servicios administrativos y de apoyo: 7%
  7. Agricultura, ganadería, caza, silvicultura y pesca: 6%
  8. Actividades financieras y de seguros: 5%

Los porcentajes de participación en el PIB de los sectores señalados son elocuentes respecto a lo que venimos diciendo sobre el enorme peso de los sectores dedicados a la circulación respecto a los eminentemente productivos. No debe sorprendernos la escasa participación en el PIB del sector de actividades financieras y de seguros, toda vez que ella corresponde a una baja ocupación en el sector, lo que afecta los niveles de remuneración agregados y, por ende, la generación de valor agregado, en los términos de la economía oficial.

¿El crecimiento del PIB implica desarrollo?

En los ámbitos académicos y, sobre todo, políticos, ya es común oir que, si las cifras de crecimiento del PIB son favorables, tal hecho no implica, necesariamente que haya desarrollo. Independientemente de las definiciones que se utilicen para cada uno de esos términos, lo cierto es que el sólo crecimiento, y, sobre todo, el crecimiento medido por un indicador como el PIB, no se traduce automáticamente en un proceso de desarrollo. Empezando porque este indicador no mide, o mide mal, fenómenos tales como la depredación acelerada del planeta que implica la producción capitalista y la extracción de recursos del suelo y del subsuelo o las transferencias elevadas de valor de los sectores productivos a los sectores dedicados a facilitar la circulación de las mercancías, lo que dificulta procesos de industrialización autónomos, no dependientes. Somos testigos, en los actuales momentos, del deterioro de servicios elementales como la salud o la educación pública, deterioro que afecta a los sectores más pobres de la población frente a los privilegios de los más poderosos (remember Sarmiento Angulo).

* Economista.

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