reading paper Edd Sowden/Flickr

Het aanjagen van de economische groei

NEW HAVEN – In zijn First Inaugural Address (Eerste Inaugurele Toespraak), op het dieptepunt van de Grote Depressie, hield de Amerikaanse president Franklin Delano Roosevelt de Amerikanen voor dat “Het enige waarvoor we bang moeten zijn de angst zelf is.” Verwijzend naar het Bijbelboek Exodus zei hij:“We kampen niet met een sprinkhanenplaag.” Er was niets tastbaars dat de depressie veroorzaakte; in 1933 school het probleem in de geesten van de mensen.

Hetzelfde kan vandaag, zeven jaar na de mondiale financiële crisis van 2008, worden gezegd over de vele resterende zwakke plekken van de wereldeconomie. Angst zet individuen ertoe aan om te bezuinigen en bedrijven om hun investeringen uit te stellen; als gevolg daarvan wordt de economie zwakker, waardoor de angst wordt bevestigd. Mensen en bedrijven gaan hun uitgaven nog meer beperken. De inzinking verdiept zich, en een vicieuze cirkel van wanhoop maakt zich van de mensen meester. Hoewel de financiële crisis van 2008 voorbij is, blijven we vastzitten in de emotionele cyclus die deze crisis in beweging heeft gezet.

Het is een beetje als met plankenvrees. Als je daar te lang bij stil staat, kun je ook gaan aarzelen of je inspiratie verliezen. En als je angst een feit wordt, verergert je plankenvrees – en gaan je prestaties achteruit. Wanneer zo'n cyclus eenmaal op gang is gekomen, is het heel moeilijk er nog vanaf te komen.

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