This Sunday EL PERIÓDICO dedicated its theme of the day to the Great Renunciation, that surprising American phenomenon consisting in that, since April, five million citizens voluntarily leave their jobs monthly. People who prefer to miss out on their few savings or public aid to continue working in conditions that they consider unworthy. It is difficult to imagine a more forceful sample of the ingrained malaise in western societies. If to this example we add issues such as, among many others, the emergence of mental pathologies or, in the Spanish case, that quarter of the population that is in risk of social exclusion, we can come to the conclusion that we have done something very wrong in the last decades. A disaster to which the imperfections of a globalization as accelerated as it is ungoverned have contributed greatly. And among these dysfunctions, the divergence in the consideration of capital and labor stands out.
Free movement of capital, in an open world and without a common legislative framework, makes them move incessantly in search of the best performance. Thus, to attract them, they must be guaranteed a good and regular dividend, whatever happens. In this way, the return on capital has gone from being a variable cost, to be determined based on the results, to acquiring the status of fixed. In turn, this global economy means that, for many companies, the ultimate goal of their activity is limited to systematic cost reduction, a requirement that may have no limits and that entails punishing wages.
This reduction of costs as the sole objective, with its direct consequences on the quality of employment and its remuneration, ends up with bankrupt society. A wicked dynamic that can only be reversed with a new leadership of the public sector, respectful of the free market and supported by a broad business and social consensus. It is not about recovering old protectionist or interventionist measures, or even about increasing the tax burden, but it is about understanding that in the face of the evident failures of global markets, an innovative public approach different from the known ones is necessary. Only in this way will it be possible to promote greater employment and, especially, that whoever works can make ends meet. Nor is it asking so much.
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