Sun. Apr 21st, 2019

The gurus of the parties disagree on the state of the economy

Los gurús de los partidos discrepan sobre el estado de la economía

The growing ideologization of Spanish political life has also reached the economic debate. On the eve of the election day of the 28th of April, political parties tend to flee from concrete discussions and choose to construct models with radical affirmations that satisfy abstract yearnings of the voters that consider their target audience, such as paying less taxes or enjoy a pension worthy

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In the section of the pre-campaign So far, the debate has focused precisely on taxes and pensions, along with a cross-analysis of the economic situation of the economy.

A relatively new phenomenon is that of the inclination to search gurus that personalize the economic message. The preferred profile is that of an economist with media projection and firm convictions, sometimes even simple, bordering on populism, mostly fiscal.

The paradigmatic example in the current electoral campaign is that of Daniel Lacalle, elected by the president of the PP, Pablo Casado, to elaborate his economic program and defend it in public debates, occupies the fourth position in the candidacy of Madrid. A man who moves with confidence, familiar with the world of finance for his professional activity as a fund manager, Lacalle has reversed the economic message of the PP of Mariano Rajoy and his Finance Minister, Cristóbal Montoro. The latter has systematically criticized him for his fiscal policy, raised taxes as soon as he arrived at the government on Christmas 2011, and his social-democratic inclinations. In fact, the discoverer of this Madrid-based economist was the supposed liberal Esperanza Aguirre, who also faced Montoro.

Liberal, in his own words, ultraliberal or libertarian (supporter of a minimal state), according to his social democratic rivals, certainly advocates less role for the public - in his opinion this area should be limited to being a "facilitator" of basic services, but not a "provider" He presented the economic program of the PP in a convention in which he was accompanied by Carlos Rodríguez Braun and Lorenzo Bernardo de Quirós, both as Lacalle linked to the Austrian school and to neoconservative economic trends with referents such as Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan.

Hard and implacable polemicist with the Socialists, his main axis of economic policy is the lowering of taxes, key, in his opinion, for growth and attracting investments. Discards that the fiscal revolution that raises, IRPF reduction, societies, suppression of inheritance and heritage, whose cost the PSOE figure at 18,000 million annually, have no cost. The upturn in the activity that such measures would generate, in his opinion, would compensate for the fall in revenues. It is the famous as well as questioned Laffer curve. On the conjuncture, considers that the economy, which is not really in the growth phase but recovery of the crisis, lives a "worrying slowdown" to which the Government of Pedro Sanchez is not facing. On the border with Lacalle, Rubén Manso, the guru of the extreme right-wing Vox, is hardly public. Inspector of the Bank of Spain, institution from which he left on leave more than 20 years ago, Doctor of Economic Sciences and army lieutenant in the reserve, advocates the dismantling of the State (only be devoted to defense, security and administration of justice) and defends the privatization of the vast majority of public services, from health to education. Supporter also of a drastic fiscal reduction, considers that the rich are fiscally discriminated against. He is the most exotic of the representatives of the parties in the economic field.

Supporter of the gold standard, in force until the First World War and which was based on the limitation of the issuance of currency based on the amount of precious metal available, defines itself as "traditionalist, in the sense of a return to the Western tradition of individual responsibility ", according to his own words in a video released by him on Twitter. Spokesmen of Vox rejected in his name to make declarations to The vanguard.

Citizens is the party that presumes of greater academic solvency in its economic team, with the economist Luis Garicano (Valladolid 1967) in front, although the fact that it is presented to the European elections and not to the general elections has caused it to alternate its appearance in the debates with the candidate for Barcelona, ​​the Catalan economist Antonio Roldán. Garicano holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago, where he was also a professor, a position he also held at the London School of Economics. Self-defined as ordoliberal, faces the debates with tranquility and maintains good relations with his opponents. As an example, Rajoy's Minister of Economy, Luis de Guindos, saw him as a possible candidate for international positions on behalf of the State.

Associated with the image of modernity that appeals to sectors of the urban middle classes, marks distances with the ideas on the State of the right, Lacalle, trying to define a program to improve the functioning of the administration. In front of the PSOE, he criticizes public waste and criticizes his desire to "return to the past" when he announces labor counter-reform plans. He would be the center economist, although in an increasingly uncomfortable situation after the support of his party
to the latest budgets of the State of Rajoy, agreed with the PNV, and the alliance with PP and Vox in Andalusia.

Garicano considers the economic moment very dangerous, due to fiscal irresponsibility and the European break. He is also concerned about the effect of the Italian stalemate on Spain.

The PSOE has widely distributed the responsibilities of its economic program, more since Pedro Sanchez is at the head of the Government. The policy is coordinated by the Minister of the Economy, Nadia Calviño, who until now has not participated in debates, perhaps because of her technocratic profile. The last minister who did it, and little, was Luis de Guindos, in this case in 2016. And from there, we must go back to the 2008 campaign, with the premonitory debate between Minister Pedro Solbes and Manuel Pizarro (PP) .

His electoral public face in economic matters is Pedro Saura (Murcia, 1962), Secretary of State for Infrastructures and for many years a socialist spokesman in Congress on matters of finance, budgets and economy. Doctor by the University of Murcia, he defines himself as a social democrat. Critic with the proposed tax cuts on the right, Saura considers himself a social democrat with classic pillars of economic policy: balance between competitiveness and social cohesion, which requires a well-financed state. On the moment of the Spanish economy, Saura has admitted that the economic cycle is mature and could move towards a greater slowdown, but insists that the current reality is more growth than in the rest of the eurozone and that the main indicators, including those of employment, are very positive.

We can, on the other hand, have Nacho Álvarez (Madrid, 1977) PhD in Economics from the Complutense as a visible and responsible face of this secretariat. His analysis of the time of the Spanish economy is somewhere between the harsh diagnosis of Lacalle and Saura's most complacent. The deceleration is a reality in Europe and is reaching, although not alarmingly, the Spanish economy. To cope, it advocates a program of expansion of green investment spending equivalent to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), about 30,000 million euros, jointly financed by the State and private initiative. Álvarez defines himself as Keynesian inspiration.

JxCat has the ex-president of the Presidency of the Generalitat and now a candidate for the Barcelona City Council, Elsa Artadi (Barcelona 1976), as its economic reference. PhD in Economics from Harvard University, she also has a broad international career. See the economic situation with more optimism, and remember that the slowdown announcements have not been validated by the facts. Despite this, it qualifies that the high degree of openness of the Catalan makes it susceptible to suffer the negative impacts of international trade. It does not propose generalized tax reductions and reminds those who consider it ultraliberal that the Government has raised taxes more than the previous tripartite ones.

Albert Castellanos (Barcelona, ​​1978), Secretary of the Ministry of the Government and ERC referring economist, for his part, discards that internal factors, such as the action of the central government, are at the base of a slowdown that has external explanations and whose importance He does not want to exaggerate either. This economist from the Pompeu Fabra considers himself a liberal social-democrat in favor of fiscal progressivity in both labor income and corporate tax.


Daniel Lacalle

Economist professionally forged in finance. He describes the current situation of the economy as a "worrisome slowdown". Self-defined as a liberal, his critics consider him an ultraliberal and even a libertarian (defender of a minimal state). His claims about a cut of up to 40% of pensions have generated controversy in the pre-campaign. It advocates a drastic tax reduction. Economic references: Joseph Salerno, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, all from the Austrian school.


Pedro Saura

The current Secretary of State for Infrastructure believes that although the cycle is advanced, the Spanish economy shows good records and its situation is good. Discards tax cuts while reducing the public deficit. He defines himself as a classical social democrat and cites a phrase by Keynes: "Economics is a science that thinks in terms of models, and it is the art of choosing relevant models in the contemporary world". Name Dani Rodrick, economist supporter of regulating globalization.


Luis Garicano

Economist with extensive international experience. It sees "very dangerous" the moment of the Spanish economy if the scenario of stagnation in Europe and, especially, in Italy is consolidated. Ordoliberal is defined (German line that also defends a State with strong institutions). Its reference economists are Sherwin Rosen, who studied inequality and John M. Keynes, who "brought together a fabulous academic work with a huge impact in the real world, from the end of the First World War to the Great Depression through Bretton Woods. "

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Nacho Álvarez

Economist, he considers complacent the vision that the PSOE has on the state of the economy and too dramatic the one that the Popular Party contributes. Supporter of budgetary stimulus measures that promote the development of the green economy with private participation. He feels comfortable in the realm of Keynesian thinking. His referents in the field of economic thought cover a broad spectrum ranging from Josep Stiglitz to Thomas Piketty, through Ozlem Onaran, Engelbert Stockhammer and Ann Pettifor.


Elsa Artadi

Economist and exconseller of the Presidency of the Generalitat. He does not see the current economic situation alarming and remembers that several quarters have been announcing the stagnation and he has not just arrived. Supporter of reordering the tax system more than tax rebates. It defines itself as a progressive partisan of equal opportunities, and considers that the labels of economic currents are of the 20th century, not of the present. As references of economic debate quotes Robert J. Gordon and Martin Ford.


Albert Castellanos

Licensed by Pompeu Fabra, Albert Castellanos dismisses the implication of internal policies in a slowdown of the Spanish economy as the one currently under discussion and that he considers evident, but not dramatic. He defines himself as a liberal social-democrat. Supporter of the open operation of markets and a strong public intervention that controls inequalities. It does not postulate tax rebates, if a redefinition of the system. Appointment as an economist regarding Joseph Stiglitz, the former IMF director.


Rubén Manso

Supporter of dismantling the State and privatizing all services and a drastic tax reduction, believes that the rich are fiscally discriminated against. Defend the gold standard.

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