Kreative Zerstörung am Werk

OXFORD – Immer wieder in der Geschichte wurden durch technologischen Fortschritt enorme Reichtümer, aber auch große Umwälzungen geschaffen. Die Stahlindustrie der Vereinigten Staaten erfuhr beispielsweise in den 1960ern, als große, integrierte Stahlwerke nach und nach durch kleinere Anlagen verdrängt wurden, einen enormen Wandel. Dies zerstörte die wirtschaftliche Grundlage von Städten wie Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, und Youngstown, Ohio. Die kleinen Anlagen allerdings steigerten die Produktivität enorm und schufen an anderen Orten neue Arten von Arbeitsplätzen.

Die Geschichte des Stahls in den USA lehrt uns eine wichtige Lektion über das, was der Ökonom Joseph Schumpeter „kreative Zerstörung“ nannte: Langfristiges Wirtschaftswachstum bedeutet mehr als nur die Steigerung der Produktion bestehender Fabriken, sondern beinhaltet auch strukturelle Veränderungen des Arbeitsmarktes.

Ein ähnliches Phänomen können wir aktuell in der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie (IKT) beobachten, die die meisten Bereiche moderner Arbeitsumgebungen beeinflusst, darunter sogar jene, die nicht direkt mit der Programmierung von Computern oder der Erstellung von Software in Beziehung stehen. Durch Computertechnologien entstanden blühende neue Unternehmen (oder gar ganze Unternehmensgruppen). Andererseits verdrängten sie bestimmte Arbeitsplätze in der Produktion und führten zum Niedergang ganzer Städte, in denen alte Produktionstechniken vorherrschten.

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