– Humberto García Larralde – 10-4-2017

Tenazas del ajuste draconiano impuesto por Maduro a los venezolanos

Humberto García Larralde, economista, profesor de la UCV, humgarl@gmail.com

La dolarización de la economía venezolana es notoria para todo aquél que hace mercado. El bolívar sigue siendo la moneda de curso legal en el país, pero los precios se fijan con referencia al llamado dólar paralelo, ya que buena parte de las importaciones se hacen a esa cotización. El dólar paralelo está en niveles artificialmente elevados por el absurdo control de cambio actual y los severos desequilibrios macroeconómicos causados por las políticas del gobierno. Como el trabajador percibe su sueldo en bolívares -cuyo ajuste se rezaga con respecto a la inflación-, y no en dólares, los precios dolarizados y la caída de su salario real se convierten en garras que atenazan su nivel de vida.

De poder contar con un tipo de cambio que equiparase el poder de compra interno del bolívar con su poder adquisitivo externo, la inmensa mayoría de los productos que compramos bajarían significativamente de precios. Un cálculo simple arroja que el tipo de cambio real de equilibrio pudo haber estado para finales de marzo en torno a Bs. 700/$. Esto indica que con Bs. 700 se hubiese comprado lo mismo en el mercado doméstico que lo que se adquiere afuera con un dólar. En el anexo se registran precios al consumidor final de algunos productos alimenticios tomados al azar de la página web de Walmart, traducidos a bolívares como si se importaran a Bs. 700/$. El kilo de azúcar y de arroz, que sólo se consiguen hoy a Bs. 5.000, costaría Bs. 805; el pote de leche en polvo Nestlé estaría en Bs. 6.815/kg., cuando una bolsa de “bebida láctea en polvo” se vende ahora a más de Bs. 21.000; el papel toilette a Bs. 455 el rollo; etc., etc., como podrá apreciar el lector.

Pero en los actuales momentos no están dadas las condiciones para que todas las transacciones externas pudiesen sostenerse a Bs. 700 por dólar. Por ejemplo, si se divide la Liquidez Monetaria por las Reservas Internacionales existentes para finales de marzo, da un tipo de cambio de Bs. 1.200/$. De liberarse el tipo de cambio, la cantidad de bolívares en poder del público y la pérdida de confianza en esta moneda como depositario de valor dispararía la cotización del dólar muy por encima de Bs. 700. Es más, lo racional sería endeudarse o vender activos para comprar dólares a ese precio antes de que se acabasen, generando una presión especulativa que pondría el precio del dólar por las nubes. La gente sabe que la exportación de petróleo ha disminuido considerablemente y, con ello, la cantidad de dólares que ingresan al país. Además, parte importante de éstos van a pagar el servicio de la deuda. En la medida en que existan expectativas de una altísima inflación, como ha sido el caso en los últimos años, nadie va a querer conservar bolívares, ya que perderán rápidamente su poder adquisitivo. La gente busca gastarlos de inmediato en cosas que hacen falta o adquiere dólares para preservar su poder de compra. Nadie atesora bolívares por la desconfianza en esta moneda y en las políticas del gobierno.

Esta desconfianza se alimenta de un gasto público desbordado, del financiamiento monetario de sus déficits -la “maquinita” del BCV- y la caída en las reservas internacionales. Estimaciones propias indican que el financiamiento inorgánico del déficit podría haber superado el 20% del PIB en 2016[1]. Distorsiones macroeconómicas tan fuertes explican la descomunal inflación del 550% del año pasado estimada por la Asamblea Nacional. De seguir con las mismas políticas, algunos calculan que la inflación podría superar el 1.600% en 2017 (¡!). No se puede estabilizar el tipo de cambio en torno a sus valores de equilibrio si no se controla la inflación y se consigue un financiamiento capaz de equilibrar en el corto plazo las cuentas externas. Si no se solucionan los graves desequilibrios macroeconómicos, internos y externos, no podrán resolverse los perversos desequilibrios microeconómicos entre precios de consumo dolarizados y capacidad adquisitiva disminuida del salario, que empobrecen a los venezolanos hoy.

Pero el gobierno se niega a corregir sus políticas para acabar con estas distorsiones macroeconómicas. Ello implicaría sanear las cuentas públicas, sincerando los precios de los bienes y servicios que vende, desembarazándose de empresas que desangran al Estado y rescatando a PdVSA de la lamentable postración a que la han llevado. Un Estado robustecido en sus ingresos podría focalizar el gasto de manera mucho más eficaz en los bienes públicos de educación, salud, infraestructura, servicios y asistencia social, que requieren los venezolanos. El gobierno se niega, asimismo, a acudir a organismos financieros internacionales para un empréstito que permitiría renegociar la deuda externa sin tener que sacrificar las importaciones, así como unificar y estabilizar el tipo de cambio muy por debajo de su actual cotización “paralela”. En este marco, un crédito puente serviría para solventar de inmediato la crisis humanitaria que resulta del desabastecimiento de alimentos y medicinas. Un financiamiento externo bien negociado permitiría disponer, además, de recursos para compensar a aquellos sectores de bajos ingresos ante la sinceración de los precios de la gasolina, la electricidad y la telefonía, hasta tanto la economía se reactivase y pudiesen conseguir empleos cada vez mejor remunerados. Por último, el Ejecutivo se niega a desmontar el sistema de controles que actualmente asfixia la actividad económica doméstica, dificultando la capacidad de repuesta del aparato productivo ante las reformas mencionadas. En un marco de garantías sobre los derechos de propiedad y para solución de conflictos, estas reformas atraerían inversiones extranjeras interesadas en las grandes potencialidades de nuestra economía y en los bajísimos sueldos que, lamentablemente, han provocado las políticas “revolucionarias”. Actualmente, Venezuela es el país latinoamericano que percibe menos inversiones foráneas, salvo Haití.

El gobierno se refugia en su retórica ideológica para no cambiar sus políticas. Denuncia las reformas como “neoliberales”, capitalistas, mientras sus políticas favorecen al pueblo (¡!) Las verdaderas razones por las que se niega a cambiar consisten simplemente en que el sistema de controles y los desequilibrios a que dan lugar son la fuente de inconmensurables ingresos que, de la noche a la mañana, se embolsilla la oligarquía militar-civil actualmente en el poder, a espaldas del control político y social de los venezolanos, como expliqué en otro artículo
[2]
. Así las cosas, el único ajuste que le queda a Maduro ante la caída en el ingreso petrolero es el recorte drástico de las importaciones para poder pagar la deuda externa -agravando aún más el desabastecimiento interno- y el rezago en el incremento de los salarios ante al alza en los precios, que empobrece al trabajador, como política anti-inflacionaria. El control de precios tenía que fracasar, pero pregona ahora que la solución está en los CLAPs, instrumento de chantaje y control social de los más humildes, y fuente de corruptelas y dineros malhabidos.

En un plazo comparativamente corto un aparato productivo libre de importar insumos, equipos y repuestos a un dólar mucho más barato que el “paralelo”, y sin los controles de precio que lo aplastan, podría suplir buena parte de los requerimientos de la demanda doméstica, sustituyendo importaciones y ahorrando divisas. La afluencia de inversiones extranjeras permitiría ampliar exportaciones petroleras y no petroleras, aliviando la restricción externa y permitiendo el pago de las deudas contraídas. La reactivación de la economía generaría fuentes de empleo productivo que permitirían un aumento relativamente rápido de los sueldos que, junto a un tipo de cambio de equilibrio, recuperaría el poder adquisitivo de los asalariados. El emprendimiento de grandes, medianos y micro empresarios, así como nuevas inversiones, se traducirán en aumentos sostenidos de productividad. Ello revertiría el perverso desequilibrio entre precios dolarizados altos y remuneraciones ínfimas.

Que este gobierno insista en su ajuste hambreador, habiendo posibilidades de superar el sufrimiento que hoy agobia a la población, es señal inequívoca de crueldad. Le quita toda legitimidad.

ANEXO

NOTA: A pesar de que los precios de Walmart son de finales de agosto del año pasado, la inflación anual en EE.UU. ha estado por debajo del 2% en los últimos años, por lo que los precios no han debido haber variado casi.}

[1] Incluyendo el incremento de la subcuenta “Otros activos externos” que publica el BCV referente a la Base Monetaria para 2016. Sin esta subcuenta -hay dudas sobre si estos activos externos en posesión del BCV se están monetizando-, el financiamiento monetario estaría aún por encima del 16% del PIB.

[2]
http://elestimulo.com/ elinteres/el-destructivo- modelo-economico-del-regimen- madurista/

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