Schuldenfreundliche Konjunkturanreize

NEW HAVEN – Nun, da die Weltwirtschaft offenbar in einer durch Sparpolitik verursachten  langen und schmerzhaften Krise feststeckt, ist es an der Zeit einzusehen, dass wir uns diese Falle ganz und gar selbst gestellt haben. Entstanden ist sie aus unglückseligen Denkmustern über den Umgang mit stark steigenden Staatsschulden. 

Die Menschen entwickelten diese Denkweisen auf Grundlage ihrer Erfahrungen im Familien- und Freundeskreis: hat man Schulden, muss man seine Ausgaben verringern und eine Zeit lang sparsam leben, bis man die Last (Schulden im Verhältnis zu Einkommen) abgetragen hat. Das heißt über einen gewissen Zeitraum keine Restaurantbesuche, kein neues Auto und keine neue Kleidung. Diese Reaktion auf die Umstände scheint der Hausverstand zu gebieten – ja, gar eine moralische Tugend zu sein.

Doch während dieser Ansatz der Schuldenbekämpfung bei einzelnen Haushalten in Notlage funktioniert, ist dies bei einer ganzen Volkswirtschaft nicht der Fall, denn Ausgabenkürzungen verschärfen lediglich das Problem. Dabei handelt es sich um das Sparparadoxon: Wird gespart, verlieren die Menschen ihre Arbeit, weil die von ihnen hergestellten Produkte niemand kauft. Durch Jobverlust sinkt aber die Schuldenlast nicht, sondern steigt an.

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