Großbritannien will es nicht wahrhaben

SANTIAGO – Wenn man heutzutage London besucht, stellt man fest, dass merkwürdige Dinge vor sich gehen: Je stärker es mit der britischen Wirtschaft bergab geht, desto leidenschaftlicher insistieren die Minister und Volkswirte der Tories unter David Cameron, dass drastische Sparmaßnahmen gut für das Wirtschaftswachstum seien.

Einige Beobachter sehen darin einen Akt des Glaubens (vermutlich in die Kraft des unbehinderten Marktes). Andere, wie der Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Paul Krugman, sehen darin einen Akt der Böswilligkeit: Die Tories wollen einfach weniger Staat, ungeachtet der Konsequenzen für das Wachstum.

Es bleibt die Frage, ob es ein Argument gibt, das für eine Kürzung der Ausgaben zur Konjunkturbelebung spricht, das nicht auf Glauben beruht. Die Antwort lautet ja. Es gibt sogar zwei. Wissenschaftliche Forschungen haben ihre Wirkung in der Vergangenheit gezeigt – so etwa während der 1980er-Jahre in Irland und in Dänemark. Für die Tories ist nur bedauerlich, dass keines der beiden Beispiele für konjunkturbelebende Ausgabenkürzungen zur misslichen Lage passt, in der sich Großbritannien gegenwärtig befindet.

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